Sharing the goodness…
Beth Massi is a Senior Program Manager on the Visual Studio team at Microsoft and a community champion for business application developers. Learn more about Beth.
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Last week I spoke at DevDays in the Netherlands and what a fun show! They just posted my session Introduction to Visual Studio LightSwitch on Channel 9 so check it out when you have a chance, I think it went really well. The room was about 500 people so there was a lot of interest from professional developers at the conference in LightSwitch.
I’ll write up a full recap of all my sessions (along with the promised code samples and resources!) soon but for now enjoy the Beth Massi show. :-)
Watch: Introduction to Visual Studio LightSwitch (Tip, download the the High Quality WMV if you can, it’s a lot smoother)
Have been following Silverlight from the beginning. Didn't do WPF, because I was interested in web-based applications.
WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere, AKA Silverlight) came out, but 1.0 was only client side, and I was interested in server-side scripting.
SL 2.0 came out, and it was for server side programming, but it focused on visual media such as media players, etc., and it didn't have many controls for biz apps. But I did use the online tutorials, etc. to learn XAML and made my first simple SL website.
With all the controls and other things (data binding, behaviors) in SL 3 and especially SL 4, it's great. However, I spent quite a bit of time trying to get a grasp on MVVM only to eventually decide that it was precious little gain for too much investment of time and effort. I realize that (1) it’s good for compartmentalizing large, scalable projects, (2) the data binding is sweet after it’s all hooked up, and (3) for being able to do unit testing on the view-model code. But even with all the videos, tutorials, and blogs, they were too esoteric with a side of “isn’t this great stuff?” throw in. I didn’t see one simple example, and I eventually thought, “the heck with it.”
Had heard and seen the name LightSwitch within the last year but didn’t know exactly what it was, and with MVVM and so many other new things I’ve wasted my time on in recent years, I didn’t bother to investigate yet another one. Last week though, I found, read about, and then downloaded and installed LightSwitch Beta 2. After watching your 12 walk-through videos on the MSDN LightSwitch site, I can make SL apps all day long, every day. It’s incredibly intuitive (read “easy”), and it’s built on (or uses the patterns of) the Entity Framework, RIA Services, and MVVM, and it has a built-in, easy-to-use Authentication/Authorization screen for security.
And if you spend a little time creating a resource dictionary in Blend and XAML to spruce up the design, there is nothing else out there that compares with Silverlight (using LightSwitch) to quickly create great-looking functional apps. And as a bonus, SL is the OS for WinPhone7 apps, and Visual Studio has a great template for that too.
With LightSwitch (not to mention some 3D capability and other features of SL 5), I think Silverlight has a very good chance to take off. I’m contacting a few friends to turn them onto it as well.
Also, thank you, Beth for your tutorials, videos, and blogs. I should have posted long before now how much I always appreciate the info and enjoy your sunny disposition.
P.S. Go VB!
Thanks Micah! I'm glad you find LightSwitch fits the bill for your development projects. Lots of people like yourself are really jazzed about LightSwitch as well. I've been building business applications for a very long time and I have to say I am very impressed with what you can build with LightSwitch in such a short time. There's also a great extensibility model in LightSwitch so the sky is the limit! You can bet we will see some very interesting LightSwitch extensions coming out from the community :-)
I looked at most of the 'How to' videos, and i must say that I really like what I see. At this moment I am missing two things:
- Your sample shows how you can force the state code to upper case by adding some code behind. For phone number fields you can pick a phone number format. What I am missing is a 'masked edit' control type, so you force values to upper case or force a combination of digits and characters (like in the Dutch Zip code format: 9999 AA) without writing code, and preventing users from entering 'wrong' data. Is this something that we can expect in the release version of LightSwitch ?
- Most of the apps that I have done consist of data, screens and reports. You have not touched reporting at all in the 'How to' videos. How do you see reporting in a Lightswitch application ? I can imagine doring the reports in SqlServer Reporting Services and calling them from the app, but maybe you have another suggestion ?
@Robert - The business types in LightSwitch are extensible so you can create your own and package them up to use across projects or share with the community. We are working on a LightSwitch Extensibility Dev Kit to help you build extensions so stay tuned. Regarding reporting, yes we are recommending reporting services for this. We'll have some guidance out on how to do that for RTM. We're also working with partners to build reporting controls for LightSwitch. Another option for simple client side reports is using Word or Excel which I have written about here on the blog. Also see:
First, good work!!!
Second, i have few business application projects and was thinking of using Lightswitch as my development platform. Do you think it'd be safe for me to build commercial apps with Lightswitch Beta 2 version? or do i need to wait on the full release version?
nice work !!!
your video files is useful for everyone. One more things I wonder.
when do you release RTM?
one more things.
plz post new video for creating themes and localization.
@Commercial Apps - Yes Beta 2 has a Go Live license which means you can use it in production.
@infohoon - Thanks for the suggestions. I'll add them to the list :-)
Is there a way to use the Enter key instead of TAB to move between textboxes on screen in LightSwitch?
Hi Beth, love the how to videos, could you address localization? In my opinion the standard resx way of doing localization
doesn't fit the bill with lightswitch, it's a whole new thing for people to understand. Simply pulling values from the database dependent on the combination of screen name and 'control' name would be excellent.
thanks for all your good work.
In LightSwitch you control the culture of the application on the properties page under General Properties. You will see a dropdown for culture there.
First of all thanks for the very informative video series. They are a big help to get you started in no-time. However i'm probably missing out on something. The application i'm currently building requires a multilingual interface. My users need to be able to select their language of preference at runtime from, lets say, a dropdown box. Is this even possible? And if it is what steps need to be taken to get this done?
I'd love if you could elaborate on this topic or maybe even create a video to address this runtime localization issue.
Keep up the good work and hope to hear your thoughts.