Introducing Visual Studio LightSwitch

I am pleased to announce a new product in the Visual Studio family – Visual Studio LightSwitch. 

LightSwitch is the simplest way to build business applications for the cloud and the desktop.

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.

You can quickly build line-of-business applications beginning with only one decision – Visual Basic or C#.

You can build forms from existing templates and populate them with data from data sources including SQL Server, SQL Azure, SharePoint, and others. There is integrated support for working with Microsoft Office for tasks such as exporting data to Excel without having to write code. Within minutes you can have a basic business application created and ready to deploy, leveraging disparate data sources and Office tools.  While developing your application, you can modify the application as it runs.

LightSwitch creates Silverlight applications that can run in the browser, out-of-the-browser, or in the cloud.  When your application grows, you can use Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium or Ultimate to extend and customize it further.

In the coming months, we’ll provide more details about LightSwitch.

We will be making the first beta of LightSwitch available broadly on August 23rd.  To learn more about LightSwitch, visit the LightSwitch page or read Jason Zander’s post on LightSwitch.



Comments (23)

  1. Rob M says:

    Hi, the links are broken at the end of your post. Looks interesting, I'll keep checking back.

  2. Can MS save native C++ developer??? says:

    I agree there are many exciting features vs2010 introduced especially for dot net. But there are nearly no improvements for VC++ 2010, even worse there exist some very silly issues in ATL, please have a look at below links, which are very basic ATL functionalities but with unreasonable bugs.…/0d8f34ac-5a4c-416f-864a-c747c68e2d7f…/42fb42f7-6976-4cd1-a946-833c8eca02bc

    Has MS forgotten native C++ developers?

  3. Can MS save native C++ developer??? says:

    please google 0d8f34ac-5a4c-416f-864a-c747c68e2d7f and 42fb42f7-6976-4cd1-a946-833c8eca02bc if you want to know how silly the ATL bug are.

  4. Matt Carter/Microsoft says:

    Rob M; check at The information is now live, including an introductory video which takes you on a tour of what Visual Studio Lightswitch can do.

  5. S. Somasegar says:

    Hi Rob M,

    The links are live now.  Thanks for the catch.


  6. Sam says:

    Looks like native C++ is history! C# has taken over! hehe 🙂

  7. phuff says:

    Native developers, don't fret- we are planning new features and significant tooling enhancements especially for C++ developers in the next release of Visual Studio.

    Polita Paulus


  8. danieldsmith says:

    As I said on JZ's blog, when you try and abstract things like this, we're just going to end up having to learn a whole new set of stuff in order to plug into this in order to extend it and work around the limitations of the abstraction framework.  Once interest dies down, it's destined to end up on the scrap heap like similar ideas such as the now defunct PopFly.

    I think the real frustration we're seeing lately (even just in the last few comments here) is that there are loads of existing MS technologies that are in daily use in the real world, that are desperately in need of attention.  There are literally thousands of of dev requests on Connect for areas that need to be addressed, yet resources are being spent on questionable new projects like this.

    On a more positive note, I really appreciate the last few announcements (VS 2010 Productivity Power Tools with the fantastic new Solution Explorer, SQL CE 4, IIS Express etc.) which are all great news for developers, but I'm afraid can't say I'm too enthusiastic about LightSwitch.

  9. Smart Gotodo says:

    Thank you, Paulus! i hope i will be happy with next release of VC++ 201X.

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  11. Andre says:

    This reminds me of a LOB framework that Microsoft developed about 2 years ago. There was a blog here on MSDN with screenshots with the same light blue color. Does anyone remember the name?

  12. Manuel says:

    It seems great for building administrative back-ends, it could reduce a lot of time on a project, allowing the development to focus on the core architectural features and less time on the repetitive administrative features.

  13. John says:

    You know what is worrisome you blog about the visual studio product line and talk like an expert in the field however your development tool offering are so inefficent to use that your own company's online services division is losing billions of dollars with them. How you can you promote design prinicples, best practices and tools for software development when your own company  can not turn a profit with these tools and you don't even have to incur the licensing cost!?!?!?

    Microsoft further adds insult to injury by blaming part of the lost on R and D in otherwords your tools visual studios and best practices and the number of employees to support your applications.

    I have been coding a long time starting with punch cards, ada and cobol back then we had to do everything by hand then came the RAD tools of the 90's and instead of builing on that momentum Microsoft has taken giant leeps backwards by reverting to hand coding all aspects of the development process. VS is support to be oop yet here comes composite UI controls losing most of the value of inheritance. Your class browser in VS is worthless. EDM and Linq are horrific on a multitude of levels for common tasks. MSFT'S implementation of MVC is even a bigger mess then webforms lovely you have seperation from the data layer at the expense of sever side coding didn't you think we need an easy validation solution other then JQUERY???? As long as webforms has been out why can't you build a WEBFORM designer that works I don't get it.

    Yopu can't Microsoft just pick a path and do it right, the best it can be and focus on RAD instead of running around like a chicken with your head cut off releasing garbage as soon as it is 20% done?

    The one good part about Microsoft over PHP and MySql in the past which made it worth the cost was the completeness of the product. Visual Studio used to feel like a total solution especially VS 6 …That completeness was lost in visual 2003 and keeps getting worse Visual Studio 2010 is NOT an exception to that rule.

    Now it is like we are paying for beta-ware, nothing "EVER" feels DONE and the RAD capabilities are non-existant. Take MVC for example gu's brag about a new syntax for html-helper controls did the thought ever occur to you that programmers should not even have to write that code this is 2010 NOT 1970! We should have a designer that we build forms in?

    The cost to change platforms from visual studio to open source is becoming more appealing unless you guys can get your act together and deliver what we need in the field not some vast arrays of 3 letter technologies that are losely thrown together in some bizarre manner. Our goal in the field is to deliever solutions in the most cost effective way possible. We are not interested in trying to learn how to duct tape and piece meal Microsoft beta-forever-ware technologies together.

  14. Andre says:

    Hello Soma,

    is LightSwitch based on the work of Acropolis?

    "In a nutshell, Acropolis is a set of components and tools intended to make it much easier to build modular, business focused clients applications on the .NET Framework."…/acropolis

    I also have to concur with John. You release tools that feel unfinished on top of products that feel and are unfinished. The only answer from the Visual Studio teams is "we look into this for the next release". Unfortunately the teams just moves on to develop the next thing.

    Also who takes the responsibility for all the abandonware DevDiv released lately? Who on earth thought that we need something like PopFly? Who approved such a project and who approved the resources for such a project? I could list many more abandoned and useless projects from DevDiv here. Maybe you sir have a problem with setting priorities? Maybe you should stop such projects and relocate the resources to the VC++ team were resources seems to be really needed?

    There was a slow chat with the VC++ team in 2006. Two releases later nothing really happened, a lot of things are worse now.…/forumdisplay.php

    With all appropriate respect


  15. Tyler Jensen says:

    I'm very interested to learn more. I've been disappointed with some community reaction. I've written about that on my blog at if you care to read it. I look forward to getting my hands on the beta.

  16. S. Somasegar says:

    Thanks Tyler.  I did read your blog post on this.  You should be able to get access to the beta on the 23rd of this month.  Would love to hear your feedback after you have had a chance to play around with the beta.


  17. Marcelo says:

    John: it may well be the consequence of the lack of a strong, vigorous leadership or perhaps there are too many leaders in the visual studio product line.

  18. Can MS save native C++ developer??? says:

    Such kind of projects only makes you managers happy. But have you thought what developers want? Developers need a development platform instead of an application like this. Please VS team focus on what developers really need

  19. S. Somasegar says:

    Andre – The work done in the Acropolis project is being used to power many of our current projects, one of which is LightSwitch.  For instance, the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) was developed in Acropolis, and it was shipped in both .NET 4 and Silverlight 4.  You can learn more about MEF on  Other technologies that came out of Acropolis are helping to build our line of business solutions for Silverlight as well.

    Balancing new innovation with releasing the right set of products is always a challenge.  Sometimes this means projects get renamed, merged with other projects, or in rare cases, not pursued further.  

    PopFly is a good example of an incubation project that helped us learn about the space, but the project didn’t come together as a product well.  However, we’ve used pieces of PopFly to make other projects currently in development better, including SharePoint and the VS editor.  

    Releasing early incubation ideas on labs like DevLabs enable us to incubate ideas before they are mature enough to become products.


  20. Kumar Pandya says:

    Looks promising. I can think of various scenario where this will be a perfect fit. Look forward to getting hands on beta.

    By the way, is silverlight the only UI option or is pure HTML output a possibility? Don't see how this will run on iOS or Android devices unless Silverlight shows up there.

  21. phuff says:

    Kumar, LightSwitch will create only Silverlight applications for the first version.  We are considering supporting other UI platforms, such as HTML, for future versions, but right now we’re concentrating on getting the first version ready for customers.

    Polita Paulus


  22. Smart Gotodo says:

    Hi Soma,

    i have no other way than to ask you to help triage such a silly vc++10 bug since no feeadback at all after nearly one month passed, could you please have you members have a look at this critial issue?

    https: //

    VS2010 bug?? unresolved external symbol ###_ProxyFileInfo

    Many thanks,

  23. phuff says:

    LightSwitch Beta1 is now available at…/default.aspx.

    Jason Zander has an amazing LightSwitch app building walkthrough here:…/lightswitch-beta1-now-available-building-your-first-app.aspx.

    Polita Paulus