LightSwitch Cosmopolitan Shell and Theme for VS 11 Beta

LightSwitch Cosmopolitan Shell and Theme for VS 11 Beta

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NOTE: This information applies to LightSwitch in Visual Studio 11 beta.

Last week the team released the LightSwitch Cosmopolitan Shell and Theme for Visual Studio 11 Beta and there has been a ton of great feedback so far. So this morning I decided to update my Contoso Construction sample application to use it.

This shell displays the application logo at the top right, so I made some minor tweaks to the Home Screen to remove the logo image I had there before. I also updated some of the icons on the screen command bars to make them look a little better with this shell, like adding a transparent background.

Check it out! (click pictures to enlarge) 




What I really like is the ability to brand the application with your own logo by specifying an image on the general properties of the application. This appears across the top of the main window. If you don’t specify an image then no space is taken up for it.


Another thing I really like is the cleaner menu system which takes up a lot less space than the previous “Office” theme. This theme will become the default theme for LightSwitch applications you create with LightSwitch V2 in Visual Studio 11. You’ll still be able to select the office theme, but this one will be the default on new apps.

I’ve updated the sample here:

Download Sample Contoso Construction - LightSwitch Advanced Sample (Visual Studio 11 Beta)

Let us know what you think of the new shell by leaving a comment here or on the LightSwitch team blog post. There are a lot of great comments there already.


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  • That really looks nice :)

  • Looks good.

  • So this is the V2RTM default theme. Your words, I note.

    What I wouldn't mind is, for all that read this blog, to look carefully at the first image. There is a cheat! The "Office" style buttons in the Common Tasks tab are still in full living colour. Should we make these buttons "Cosmo-compliant" and "greyed" them, the whole screen would look dull, in my humble opinion.

    I do hope this does not curb your usual enthusiasm.

  • I actually thought about making the buttons more black & white but I'm not a designer and it was hard enough to make them transparent! ;-)

    I actually gave the team my feedback that the command bar buttons should be in color (or the color that you specified in the image)

    I think that would look a lot better but that's just me. What I REALLY like about this shell is the logo and menu system.

  • It looks terrible, because it has everything mixed. You can't take a 90s app and replace the theme without switching logos and icons.

  • @philly Really? You think the Office theme looks better? Well luckily we'll be giving you the choice so you can still switch back to the Office theme if you want.

  • This is great, thank you very much.

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