Trip Report–DevReach Bulgaria & Silicon Valley Code Camp

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at DevReach in Sofia Bulgaria. I’ve spoken at DevReach before and it’s always a great conference organized by Telerik. What I like most about it is that there tends to be more women at this conference than I am used to seeing in the states — very encouraging! :-) It’s held the Arena Cinema Mladost, a large movie theater, where more than 40 speakers from 10 countries came to speak this year. The conference content is delivered in 60+ sessions in 6 parallel tracks covering a broad range of topics.

This year I presented LightSwitch in two different tracks, cloud and web. LightSwitch in Visual Studio 2012 is the easiest way to build modern line of business applications that are scalable, n-tier web applications and OData services. These applications (and services) can be easily deployed to the cloud, including Azure websites. So LightSwitch is appropriate for multiple conference tracks :-) 

I also spoke at Silicon Valley Code Camp last weekend so I unfortunately could only spend one day in Bulgaria this year (and I was a lot more jet lagged with the short turn-around). SVCC is one of the largest free code camps around and I’ve been speaking at SVCC since it started 7 years ago — it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. There was a great line-up of sessions in so many different technology areas. The one and only Scott Guthrie also made an appearance on Sunday with a couple Azure sessions. I delivered the same sessions at both conferences.

Building Business Applications for Mobile Devices

This talk focused on the LightSwitch HTML Client preview that was made available back in late June. I encourage you to check it out for yourself:

Download the LightSwitch HTML Client Preview


Download the LightSwitch HTML Client Preview 

The HTML client focuses on touch-oriented mobile device apps. In many business today you see mobile companion apps to line-of-business systems. The LightSwitch team is focusing on bringing its rapid development experience to HTML/JavaScript clients. So you will be able to not only build rich desktop applications optimized for mouse and keyboard, but also be able to build companion applications optimized for touch and mobile scenarios.

This talk was very well attended at both conferences. Most people had heard of LightSwitch but didn’t realize that this is the direction we are going. It was very encouraging to see folks interested in this so much. There are a lot of developers out there that are being asked to build these mobile solutions as an extension to their core business applications and are struggling with where to start. LightSwitch is positioned to make this type of development easy and I think I conveyed that to the audience. The demo I did was very similar to the walkthrough that is provided with the preview. (See below for the slides)

 Building Open Data (OData) Cloud Services with LightSwitch

This session was a total blast for me. I started from scratch to build an application that tracks job candidates & open positions using one of our Starter Kits and incorporated an OData service that provides development experts called Proagora. You can actually see how I did that in this video: How Do I Consume OData Services in a LightSwitch App?

I also show how LightSwitch creates OData services automatically for us so that you can interoperate with other business systems and clients easily. LightSwitch is all about data. When you design a LightSwitch app, you are modeling your data and writing business rules around that data. What LightSwitch in Visual Studio 2012 does for you is it takes that model (business rules, permissions and all) and exposes it as a service endpoint so that it can interoperate with other systems easily. You can see how that works in this video: How Do I Create OData Services with LightSwitch? 

You can then deploy these services to Azure. I showed how to deploy to the new Azure websites offering and it took about two minutes to get our application and services running. Pretty slick. Andrew wrote up a good post on the LightSwitch team blog on how to deploy to Azure: Publishing LightSwitch Apps to Azure with Visual Studio 2012 

Session Slides & More Resources

Slides: Building Business Applications for Mobile Devices

Slides: Building Open Data (OData) Cloud Services with LightSwitch



 Thanks to all of you who came to my sessions on both continents! Enjoy!