LightSwitch Community and Content Rollup–March 2014 (+//build/)

A while back I started posting a monthly rollup of interesting community happenings, content, samples and extensions popping up around Visual Studio LightSwitch over on my personal blog. If you missed those rollups you can check them all out here: LightSwitch Community & Content Rollups.

This month I’ve decided to move the community & content rollup permanently here, to the LightSwitch team blog. Because many awesome members of the team drive content & support with the community, it just made sense. We also felt that it would be more discoverable to new members of the community looking to learn LightSwitch and Office 365 Cloud Business Apps (CBA).

In March we had a lot of exciting stuff happen. We released another Office Developer Tools update and a couple big conferences happened recently which showcased our tools. Read on…

Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 – March 2014 Update image

In the beginning of March, the team released a free update for Visual Studio 2013 that contains a ton of new features that improves support for Cloud Business Apps and LightSwitch projects as well as apps for Office & apps for SharePoint in Visual Studio 2013.

You should have already received a toast notification in Visual Studio to install the new update. But if you don’t see the new features you can download & install them manually:

Download the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 – March 2014 Update.

We’ve got SAP support, enhanced data designers, improved HTML controls, new screen template, bookmarking, document library support, and a whole lot more. For what’s new in LightSwitch and Cloud Business Apps check out: Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013 – March 2014 Update and for all the details on the complete set of tool updates see the Visual Studio Team Blog.

We also launched a new video series on Channel 9 that is all about building Cloud Business Apps for Office 365. Check it out:

Watch the Videos: Building Cloud Business Apps for Office 365 with Visual Studio 2013

Thanks to all that have given us great feedback here as well as in the forums! Please keep it up, it makes our products that much better for the next release.

SharePoint Conference – March 3-6

With over 10,000 attendees including 4,000 developers from 85 countries, SPC remains the premier event for engaging with customers on Office & SharePoint development. One of the overpowering things about this audience is how they are so enthusiastic about the work that we have done in the Visual Studio tools for Office & SharePoint. I did not personally go to SPC but a lot of other team members did – and they say the conference rocked!

imageBill Clinton kicked off the main keynote, which was broadcasted live, where he talked about empowering people through technology. A big highlight for our team was when CBA was shown in the developer keynote (about 55 minutes into it) and the demo generated a round of applause from the audience. Nice!

Our very own Steve Lasker had a breakout session that dove deeper into building a CBA connected to SAP data and integrated with SharePoint documents. It was clear that these developers liked how a CBA could mash up different data sources through a virtual relationship and have them show up in an app on one screen.

Developing Office 365 Cloud Business Apps

Watch: Developing Office 365 Cloud Business Apps

I’d say people enjoyed it judging by this photo of him after the session where he was bombarded with great questions. 🙂


You can watch all the SPC sessions on Channel9.

//build/ – April 2-4

//build/ is the premiere developer event of the year for Microsoft and I had the pleasure of speaking this year. What an amazing and electric vibe! I have to say it was awesome seeing all the positive reactions to our announcements. There was a lot of focus on .NET developers. We released a TON of amazing previews and we open sourced the VB & C# compiler platform “Roslyn”! For details, see: The .NET Foundation and .NET Platform Innovation

It’s an absolutely exciting time to be a .NET developer. I’ll post more about what I observed on my blog this week — I’m still digesting it all.

Yours truly spoke in the Office & SharePoint developer track and I did a similar session as Steve did at SPC to a packed room. However this is //build/ baby, so I showed more code and how you could customize both the client and the services. According to the tweets and feedback afterwards, the session went really well.

Developing Office 365 Cloud Business Apps

Watch: Developing Office 365 Cloud Business Apps 

You can also watch all the //build/ sessions on Channel9.

More Notable Content this Month

Did I miss anything significant? Post a comment below!

Extensions & packages released this month (see over 100 extensions here and NuGet packages here):

Great to see Dale Morrison back cranking out some great controls. Also a huge shout-out to our partner, ComponentOne, for more LightSwitch HTML goodness.

Samples (see over 100 of them here!):

Team Posts:

Community Rock Star Articles:

Thanks everyone for your awesome contributions in March! Great post this month by Michael Washington on building an end-to-end HTML5 app using the March tools update and includes a live demo!

Forum Answerers

Thanks to all our LightSwitch forums contributors, particularly Xpert360’s Dave Baker this month! Thank you for helping make the LightSwitch community a better place. It’s selfless dedication like this that makes our community rock.

Top 10 forum answerers in March:


Keep up the great work guys!

LightSwitch Team Community Sites

Become a fan of Visual Studio LightSwitch on Facebook. Have fun and interact with us on our wall. Check out the cool stories and resources. Here are some other places you can find the LightSwitch team:

LightSwitch MSDN Forums
LightSwitch Developer Center
LightSwitch Team Blog
LightSwitch on Twitter (@VSLightSwitch, #VS2013 #LightSwitch)

Beth Massi, Visual Studio Community