Microsoft has announced a new product called Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch, which the company claims is the simplest way to build business applications for the desktop and cloud. LightSwitch is a new member of the Visual Studio family focused on making it easy to develop line-of-business applications.
What is LightSwitch?
Visual Studio LightSwitch includes pre-built templates and tools in a simplified development environment for building scalable custom business applications that connect with existing applications, legacy systems, and Web services. Developers can choose from a wide variety of hosting, deployment, and third-party plug-in options. Deployment is simplified in that applications (which are at their core Silverlight applications) can be deployed to the client, browser, and even Windows Azure (post-beta). LightSwitch can be used with C# or Visual Basic and it supports SQL Server, SQL Azure, SharePoint, and Microsoft Office.
LightSwitch dramatically decreases the time it takes to build a custom application by automatically handling routine code; it’s a rapid application development tool that offers application shells and screen templates to allow the developer to concentrate on the core business logic.
Security is an important aspect of any business application. LightSwitch provides authentication and authorization features that let you define users and roles. This prevents unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Extensibility features in LightSwitch let you change the appearance of your applications by applying themes, using custom controls, and changing the layout with shell extensions. Custom business types help reduce the code that you write. For example, the Money data type can treat numeric types as currency. This eliminates the requirement to apply formatting in the user interface.
What is the difference between LightSwitch and WebMatrix?
- Both are tools for building applications, but the approach and target audience is very different: “WebMatrix is HTML UI and LightSwitch is Silverlight UI”.
- WebMatrix is a tool that includes a Web server (IIS Developer Express), a simple database (SQL Server Compact), and programming framework (ASP.NET). It is targeted at non- professional developers to make it easier to create new websites from scratch, or use Microsoft’s Web Application Gallery to customize popular ASP.NET and PHP open source community applications. In contrast, LightSwitch is targeted at professional developers and power users looking to create custom Line of Business (LOB) applications using data from multiple sources.
Create Your First LightSwitch Application
If you want to create your first application in lightswitch than here are the steps that will guide you.
LightSwitch will not be for every developer or for every business application you write, especially if you have sophisticated needs. At the same time LightSwitch applications themselves are robust and are built on top of .NET technologies including Entities and WCF, the same technologies you already choose from when you write your apps today.
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