This morning at VSLive! 2010 in Redmond, Microsoft announced a new developer offering: Microsoft VisualStudio LightSwitch (previously codenamed ‘Kitty Hawk’). LightSwitch is the newest member of the Visual Studio product family, and it will also be available as part of Visual Studio Professional and above. Its core mission is to simplify the development of the majority of line-of-business applications, which typically consist of forms + data, but do so by leveraging the robustness of the .NET Framework, including Silverlight, Entity Framework, WCF RIA services, LINQ, Office integration and more.
In the vein of Visual Basic and PowerBuilder, LightSwitch is a rapid application development tool that aims to remove a lot of the ‘plumbing’ work via application shells and screen templates to allow you to concentrate on the core business logic and value proposition of your own application, but at the point when you need to tinker under the hood, you can do so by opening your LightSwitch application in the ‘full’ version of Visual Studio. Furthermore, deployment is simplified in that applications built with LightSwitch (which are at the core Silverlight applications) can be deployed to the client, browser, and even Windows Azure (post-beta).
The Beta 1 download will be available on August 23rd to MSDN Subscribers, with general availability to follow; release is scheduled for 2011. That means there’s still a couple of weeks before you can start playing around with LightSwitch. In the interim, here’s a few pointers to more information to get you up to Light(Switch) speed.