Visual Studio LightSwitch announced

Quickly create professional-quality business applications, regardless of your development skills.
August 10, 2010 - 11:02
Press Release

Microsoft recently announced Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch™, a new version of Visual Studio that they are touting as "The simplest way to build business applications for the desktop and cloud". The product is aimed at non-programmers, power users, or beginner developers and gives them a tool to quickly create business applications using existing data sources currently used within their companies. The user can bind to virtually any data such as SQL Server, SQL Azure, SharePoint Lists, Office documents, or any data exposed through WCF RIA. The creation process for applications is data-centric, starting from single or multiple data sources and tying them visually to a set of screen templates and patterns for creating, searching and updating the data. Basic applications can be created without writing any code by using the built-in LightSwitch application designer. For more advanced users, applications can be further customized through the use of C# or VB as LightSwitch is based on .NET 4 and Silverlight standards. Applications can be deployed to the desktop, as a browser app, or as a cloud-based application.

Microsoft demonstrated LightSwitch at the Visual Studio Live! training conference and expects third-party extensions to allow even more functionality and "customization without programming" within the LightSwitch environment. The screen templates, business data types/validation, business logic components and data-connectors can all be customized, replaced, or supplemented with third-party products. A demonstration of the technology showed a set of replacement screen templates built by Infragistics that allowed a more modern look-and-feel, as well as touch screen functionality by just selecting that third-party template and deploying/running the app. No programming changes were required. Also shown was a custom data connection component created by RSSBus that allowed LightSwitch to natively bind to QuickBooks data, so an application could be built very quickly based on a company's accounting data. RSSBus will be releasing other connectors to allow connections to commonly used local and cloud services like, Amazon, FedEx and others.

Microsoft announced that LightSwitch is scheduled to go to a public beta on August 23, 2010 but has not announced an anticipated final release date. Pricing for the new product is targeted to be lower than Visual Studio Professional 2010. Owners of the Professional, Premium and Ultimate versions of Visual Studio will probably receive LightSwitch for free as it may be included in future editions of those products.

Related Links

Visit the Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta Web site:

Visit the RSSBus Web site:

Read Joab Jackson's article at InfoWorld:

Read Jason Zanders' blog at MSDN Blogs:

Read Jason Beres' blog at Infragistics Blogs:

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