Announcing LightSwitch HTML Client Preview 2!

We are pleased to announce an updated preview of the LightSwitch HTML Client!  The overly positive feedback we received following our first preview last June for building HTML5-based, touch-optimized mobile business applications has truly been energizing – thank you for your constructive feedback and support as we continue to develop this important release.  Here’s a summary of what’s new in Preview 2.

Preview 2 can be Installed into Visual Studio 2012 RTM

Early adopters will remember our first preview was made available only as a preconfigured VHD, a decision we made at the time to expedite getting the preview out to you for some early tire kicking.  This time, with Preview 2, we’ve made it available as a simple WPI (Web Platform Installer) package that you can install on any machine that already has Visual Studio 2012 Professional or above.

Build SharePoint 2013 Apps with LightSwitch

This is potentially our biggest announcement for Preview 2, and for many good reasons!  SharePoint has fast become an important hub of activity within the enterprise.  It’s the central portal where folks sign-in to collaborate with each other and participate in business workflows, so it makes sense that an increasingly common request we’ve heard is to create business apps where your users are: that is, run LightSwitch apps from SharePoint.

Leveraging the simplicity and productivity of LightSwitch, you can now use Preview 2 to build SharePoint 2013 apps and install them on an Office 365 site.  For the developer, this means simplified deployment, central management of user identity, app installation and updates, and the ability for your app to consume SharePoint services and data in a more integrated fashion. For users of your app, this means a central place for them to sign-in once and launch modern, web-based applications on any device for their everyday tasks.

PortalSite

Users sign-in to a SharePoint 2013 site and launch apps from a central app catalog.

SurveyApp

SharePoint Apps built with LightSwitch run with the user’s credentials without needing to sign-in again.  The top blue bar—called the SharePoint Chrome control—allows users to jump back to the SharePoint site with a single tap.

We’ve provided a walkthrough to help you explore building SharePoint Apps with LightSwitch. You’ll also need to sign up for an Office 365 Developer account by visiting http://dev.office.com.  Click the Build: Sign up and start building apps tile to start the process.

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Visit http://dev.office.com to sign up for an Office 365 account.

HTML Client Experience Enhancements

We’ve continued to evolve and improve the experience for building modern HTML5-based web apps with LightSwitch, improvements that apply regardless of whether you’ll run your app on SharePoint 2013, Azure, or on-premise IIS.  In Preview 2 we have significantly improved the design-time coding experience with better JavaScript IntelliSense support and debugging, introduced a number of additional coding entry points for responding to common events, and a richer set of APIs for interacting with the application.  We’ve also provided an integrated experience with jQuery Mobile ThemeRoller for custom theming, introduced a new Tile list control, simplified control of layout and sizing, added support for publishing to Azure websites, and more!  Stay tuned over the next several days for a series of blog articles that cover these enhancements in detail.  To help you tie all this together, we’ve updated the Contoso Moving walkthrough to include new features from Preview 2.

Download Preview 2

Download the preview and tell us what you think!  We’re very much looking forward to your feedback, questions, and suggestions. Please use the LightSwitch HTML Client forum to post your feedback and check the HTML Client Resources Page on the Developer Center and this blog for videos and articles as they become available!

 

Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio – Preview 2

Note: This is a one-stop package which includes LightSwitch HTML Client – Preview 2 as well as other components for building SharePoint 2013 Apps.

- John Stallo, Lead Program Manager, Visual Studio LightSwitch Team