Top 7 Features of Visual Studio LightSwitch

Introduction

Microsoft introduced LightSwitch applications very recently. It is integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio which can be a standalone on Visual Studio 2010 or could accommodate itself as a part of the normal Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 IDE. The LightSwitch applications are introduced for creating a line of business applications which are more data-centric.

Most data-centric business applications perform the same basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operations. In such applications what the developer would do again and again is writing the same kind of code and developing a similar kind of UI.

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch revolves around selecting the type of screen and defining the data for the screen. Below are the list of ready made screen types that Lightswitch provides.

  1. New Data Screen
  2. Search Data Screen
  3. Details Screen
  4. Editable Grid Screen
  5. List and Details Screen

The Lightswitch application eases the job of the developer by asking him to define a data source with a well defined schema and simply add the appropriate screen for it. Maybe a little customization and business logic should be written if required.

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch can be downloaded from here. Note that only the Beta version of Visual Studio Lightswitch is released.

Fast Paced Development of Data-centric Applications

When using LightSwitch the development time is reduced as the developer doesn’t have to spend much time on the UI and data access since the data screens are readily available and it can do the data access on its own. If any customization is required only then does the developer needs to intervene. This ensures a couple of things:

  1. The data-centric business applications are developed fast and in a stable manner.
  2. The final product gets into the user’s hand in no time.

For example here are the steps for creating a sample working screen.

  1. Create the table to store data and define the schema for it.
  2. Select Add New Screen and select the required screen as shown in Fig 1.0
  3. Select Add New Screen and select the required screen
    Fig 1.0

  4. Run the application, you are done with add new or search module based on the screen you have selected.

By considering the above information you can understand how fast a data-centric application can be developed using LightSwitch.

Easy to Choose Whether the Application is to be Browser Based or Desktop Application

This is really an astonishing fact. Declaration of your application to run on a desktop environment or on a web browser is just a click away. Believe me this declaration shouldn’t need to be done before starting off with the project but can be done during the course of development or even if the development is complete. All you need to do is go to the properties of the project and choose the application type that’s it you are done. Check Fig 2.0

 choose the application type
Fig 2.0

Fig 2.1 shows the sample application selected to run as a desktop client

sample application selected to run as a desktop client
Fig 2.1

Fig 2.2 shows the sample application opted to be run in a web browser

sample application opted to be run in a web browser
Fig 2.2

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