Rapid Business Application Development with Visual Studio LightSwitch

logo This morning Jason Zander announced an exciting new product that the Visual Studio BizApps team here at Microsoft has been building – Visual Studio LightSwitch!

I am so excited to be able to finally talk about this product! It’s great to be part of a team that works on so many Visual Studio tools (like our Office and SharePoint tools) but LightSwitch is definitely near and dear to my heart because of the types of applications you build with it – data-centric business applications. In the 15 years prior to joining Microsoft, I’ve built a variety of business applications and application frameworks so I’m really excited to be working with this part of our team and ramping up on LightSwitch. I’ll definitely be helping with articles, How Do I videos and team interviews as we journey through the Beta to ship cycle.

LightSwitch makes it easy to create data-centric applications for the desktop and the cloud. You can connect to multiple data sources (i.e. SQL, SharePoint, Azure, WCF RIA Services, etc.) to create feature-rich Silverlight applications on a solid .NET architecture without having to know the depths of Entity Framework or Silverlight or n-tier design. The LightSwitch application framework handles this for you. It also provides so many features that all business applications have in common right out of the box – like an entire application shell, data validations and search. There are also many screen and control templates to choose from as well as a whole set of partners building additional controls, themes, templates, and plug-ins that we will make available right from the LightSwitch development environment via Visual Studio Gallery.

The idea is you just concentrate on defining entities and screens and the business rules and workflows. The only code you write is the code only you could write – code related to your business domain. And you can use either VB or C# to do that.

I’m just learning all about this myself but it will sure be a fun ride and I’m excited to jump into it and help you all learn too along the way. The Beta 1 will be available on August 23rd from the LightSwitch Developer Center and we’ll have a lot more tutorials & walkthroughs for you then.

For now check out some of our online resources we launched today and stay tuned to these channels for more info. We’ll be rolling out more videos on the Developer Center each week:

Also check out some of the buzz from today’s announcement: