Announcement: Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch, a new product for non-programmers

Announced today at VS Live.

From the LightSwitch site:

Want to create custom business applications—without breaking a sweat? Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch is your answer. Get to know the newest member of the Visual Studio family…

The targeted architectures are:

  • Desktop Client, 2-tier deployment
  • Desktop client, 3-tier deployment on IIS
  • Browser Client, 3-tier deployment on IIS

But take a look at the ease of building an application. No programmer required.

From Somasegar’s post:

Today, businesses move at the speed of light even as people balance the responsibility of more than one role within their organizations. As this shift becomes more pronounced, it's become clear that a broader set of developers is building business applications and really expects a much simpler way to quickly accomplish their goals... and with this observation, a light went on and LightSwitch was born.

LightSwitch provides a variety of pre-built templates and tools to build business applications that target Windows Client or Windows Azure using as much or as little code as you want to write. With LightSwitch, there is now a tool that better enables business domain experts to easily build professional-quality line-of-business applications without focusing on writing code. This is critical because these business applications - which may be built out of a short-term need - often need to be extended and IT supported.

From Jason Zander (VS GM) post, with a walkthrough

At their core, most end user business applications combine two things:  data + screens.  LightSwitch is optimized around making these two things very simple.  Let’s walk through a simple example which demonstrates how easy it is to get going…

Our goal with LightSwitch is to remove a lot of the “plumbing” work and instead allow you to concentrate on the core business logic of your application so that the code you write is exactly what you want to write and no more.

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.  Because the apps are built on top of .NET with VS you will be able to open your LightSwitch applications in the full version of Visual Studio and do advanced extensions.  This is very helpful when your application starts to become more popular and usage becomes wide spread and you need to do more than the core LightSwitch product supports.

You can find out more about Visual Studio LightSwitch on its new home page here


Introduction to Visual Studio LightSwitch

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