Getting Started with the LightSwitch HTML Client Preview 2

Getting Started with the LightSwitch HTML Client Preview 2

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UPDATE 4/4/2013: We have released the HTML Client! Please see this post for updated information & resources: LightSwitch HTML Client & SharePoint Resources–Get Started Building HTML5 Business Apps Today!


If you haven’t heard, we released the HTML Client Preview 2 yesterday morning! This release is part of the Office Tools Preview 2 release that was announced at the SharePoint Conference keynote in Las Vegas (as well as on Soma’s blog). With this release, LightSwitch enables developers to easily build touch-oriented business applications with HTML5 that run well across a breadth of devices.  These apps can be standalone, but with this preview developers can now also quickly build and deploy data-driven apps for SharePoint using the new web standards-based apps model.

I am personally very excited about these new capabilities. This allows LightSwitch developers an easy entry into web development and web developers an easy entry into business app development. For me, I’m learning just the little bit of JavaScript that I need to build a full-blown HTML5 mobile application. Plus, now I can take advantage of SharePoint to not only deploy and access these apps, but also work with SharePoint assets. Of course SharePoint is not required to build and deploy a LightSwitch application -- they can be hosted on any IIS web server or even in Azure (as I’ve shown before) -- but many enterprises today use SharePoint as a portal of information and applications while using SharePoint’s security model to control access permissions. So with the new SharePoint 2013 apps model, this makes deploying LightSwitch HTML5 applications to SharePoint (or Office 365) very compelling for businesses.

LightSwitch really is the easiest way to create modern line of business apps for the enterprise. Exciting times! So how do you get started?

We created the a LightSwitch HTML Client page on the Developer Center that has the resources you need, like the download, tutorials and documentation. Make sure to point people to

Here are some more resources to get you started.

1- Get the preview

The LightSwitch HTML Client Preview 2 is a Web Platform Installer (WPI) package which is included in the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio Preview 2. This includes other components for building SharePoint 2013 Apps. Make sure you have Visual Studio 2012 Professional or higher installed first.

LightSwitch HTML Client Preview 2 Now Available!Download: Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio - Preview 2


2- Work through the tutorials

We’ve got a couple tutorials that we released to help you learn the new capabilities. Also check out the HTML Client documentation on MSDN.

LightSwitch HTML Client Tutorial – this tutorial walks you through building an application that connects to existing data services and provides a touch-first, modern experience for mobile devices.

LightSwitch SharePoint Tutorial – this tutorial shows you how to use LightSwitch to build a SharePoint application with an HTML client that runs on a variety of mobile devices. The tutorial shows you how to sign up and deploy to an Office 365 online account.

3- Ask questions and report issues in the forum

We’ve got a dedicated forum specifically for getting feedback and answering questions about the HTML Client Preview release. The team is ready and listening so fire away!

LightSwitch HTML Client forum

4- Read our blog

We’ve got a great line-up of posts rolling out in the next several weeks to help you understand the architecture of the apps you build as well as tips & tricks on how to build them. Check out the first post from one of our architects:

New LightSwitch HTML Client APIs

And keep tabs on the LightSwitch Team Blog for a lot more!

5- Spread the word & join the community!

Become a fan of Visual Studio LightSwitch on Facebook. Have fun and interact with us on our wall. Check out the cool stories and resources. Here are some other places you can find the LightSwitch team:

LightSwitch MSDN Forums
LightSwitch Developer Center
LightSwitch Team Blog
LightSwitch on Twitter


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  • I just finished the LightSwitch HTML Client Tutorial and it is really GREAT!. It shows how to create an HTML client, make some very interesting custom UI, and even helps you get the app up and running on an Azure web site.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Thanks Bill!

  • Hi Beth,

    I posted the long comment with the reference to project silk - not sure if that come through - I wasnt signed in but signed in now. Ill probably be doing the rounds on the lightswitch corners of the internet as I've just come across lightswitch, never worked with it or ria, mostly for a while now, and I can see there are a couple of people that are hubs for about 90% of the content posted for LS. Im trying trying to lock-in MVVM to LS and trying to detangle how it applies, today is day 2 coding with LS, once I get the puzzle pieces to fit I'm going to be flying with this product, its just getting the right architectural nudge...

  • Hi Beth,

    What I was trying to ask is could we have something like what the patterns team did for project silk that shows good architectural style from beginning to end on a decent size project, it just makes it a bit easier to see how all the pieces fit together e.g.if we wanted to extended the mvvm style that lS is doing under the covers, the HTML client preview looks along the those lines but im assuming most of us are using 2010 and web client, what would be cool is a project run through (similiar to silk) that assumes a company on Microsoft stack, that uses LS(possibly first chapter could discuss merits/why LS over say and uses some desktop, some web an some phone on the client with a domain style tiered app, say an ordering system.


  • Nice article. HTML5 is the present & future. Lightswitch catch that :)

  • Can you PLEASE make the download available via an ISO?  Many government computers CANNOT install and use Web Platform Installer.  Its an incredibly painful issue to try and use this product.  If you could just make the necessary files available for simple download, you would GREATLY increase your exposure to the product.  

    p.s.  No need to bundle it with MS Office Developer Tools,  just let us get the Lightswitch stuff!

  • @deanvanrooyen - take a look at the architecture series here:

    @Jim - The LightSwitch HTML client relies on the Office Developer tools so unfortunately you cannot install the LS pieces separately and still have them function. WPI is the best way to make sure all the pieces get installed properly along with the prerequisites you need to configure your computer. When everyone gets back from the holidays I'll see if the team has manual steps somewhere.  

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