Trip Report: St. Louis Day of .NET

I just got back Saturday from speaking at the St. Louis Day of .NET (stldodn) conference and I had a blast! It was my first time at stldodn and it did not disappoint. Held at a huge Ameristar hotel/casino/resort in St. Charles, there was plenty of learning and activities available to the hundreds of attendees.

I presented 2 sessions, one Introduction to LightSwitch in Visual Studio 2012, where we built an application from scratch and I showed off the new features you get in Visual Studio 2012. This session was very similar to the webcast I delivered a few months ago as well as the Visual Studio Toolbox episode I did last week:

I started off with the data designer incorporating multiple data sources, created some screens using the screen designer, added a query using the query designer, then I showed off the new shell, entered some data, and hooked up to an OData service without writing any code. Then I wrote a couple simple business rules and showed how LightSwitch automatically creates smart OData services that encapsulate your business rules on the middle-tier, no matter what client is calling them. Then I gave the attendees a sneak peak at the HTML client preview by building a simple mobile client. This was a teaser to my second session.

There were about 30 people in this session and when I asked how many people had not heard of LightSwitch no one raised their hand. I’m glad people have heard of the technology at this point :-). However, only a couple had actually played with it (which was appropriate for an Intro class). I haven’t gotten my evals yet but a handful of folks came up afterwards and gave some positive feedback and asked where they could learn more.

To learn more, I always point people to

The second session I did was called “Building Business Applications for Tablet Devices” and the session was packed, at least 100 people. Almost all of them were web developers which was really fun (and scary since I’m just learning JS/HTML myself). This was the first time I did this session but I think it turned out pretty well. There were many folks that came up afterwards that took my card and expressed fascination and interest. I think people reacted well to the fact that in LightSwitch you’re really spending most of your time on your data model and business logic in the middle-tier data services and that all the plumbing (boring data access and repetitive code) is handled for you. With the HTML client, the screens you get by default do all of the data binding for you and look pretty darn good considering it’s an early preview at this point.

The session was a variation of Jay’s TechEd session — to see the HTML client, skip ahead to the 28 minute mark. You can also watch the interview I did with Joe Binder to get a good overview of where we’re headed.

To download the HTML client preview, head to:  


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