03 August 2010

Visual Studio LightSwitch Announced

Today, Microsoft announced a new Visual Studio product, LightSwitch, scheduled for Beta 1 release on August 23rd.

“Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta helps you solve specific business needs by enabling you to quickly create professional-quality business applications, regardless of your development skills. LightSwitch is a new addition to the Visual Studio family.”

You can loosely relate the idea of LightSwitch to that of Microsoft Access – but better.  LightSwitch will allow you to perform data mash-ups from various data sources (e.g. Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Azure, SharePoint, WCF RIA Services, etc.) and present the resulting data on (skinnable) professional looking screens that get generated automatically by LightSwitch.

If you need to modify the application above and beyond what gets generated for you, you can use Visual Basic or C# to customize the code to your needs.

Once everything is to your liking, you can deploy the application to the desktop or a browser (support for cloud deployment will be available post beta 1).  The beauty of LightSwitch is that you don’t have to worry about the deployment platform while you’re building the application.  And, since LightSwitch generates Silverlight-based applications (running on the .NET Framework 4.0), it supports multiple browsers and/or operating systems.

This will be an exciting product to watch over the next few months!

For more information, check out these links: