On his blog yesterday, Soma (Sr. VP of Developer Division at Microsoft), announced that Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2 will be coming soon. I can tell you, we are really excited about LightSwitch, and apparently you are too (you’ve downloaded over 100,000 copies of Beta 1).
One question that comes up a lot is, what can LightSwitch do versus what can Visual Studio Professional do? What’s the difference? Well, the difference is pretty clear.
Visual Studio LightSwitch is a specialist tool for building line-of-business applications for the desktop and cloud, while Visual Studio Professional is a generalist tool for building anything you can imagine for Microsoft's platforms.
Take a look at this feature matrix and you’ll see what I mean (we’ll get a formal version of this up on http://www.microsoft.com/lightswitch soon).
Visual Studio LightSwitch
Visual Studio Professional
Visual Studio Project System
Team Explorer (Team Foundation Server integration)
LIGHTSWITCH APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
Predefined Screen Templates
Application Skinning and Theming
Data Entity Designer
Business-oriented Data Types (e.g. EmailAddress, PhoneNumber, etc.)
Automatic Data Input Validation
Windows Azure Deployment
SQL Azure Support
LANGUAGES, EDITORS & COMPILERS
Office Applications & Add-ins
SharePoint Applications & WebParts
Visual Studio Add-ins
1 Only available for LightSwitch applications. Requires Visual Studio LightSwitch and Visual Studio Professional to both be installed. 2 Team Explorer will integrate with LightSwitch but must be installed separately. 3 Requires a Team Foundation Server Client Access License (CAL).
I hope that helps!