Non Programmers of the world unite!

The greatest IDE just became a whole lot appealing to Non-Programmers. Visual Studio LightSwitch, which is a RAD tool is a stand alone product in the Visual Studio family was announced yesterday in the VS Live event that’s happening on campus. This tool has been in the works for quite some time now and most of you might know this by the code name Kittyhawk. The broad public beta will be available on August 23rd. You can learn more about LightSwitch here: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/lightswitch 

It’s a really simple tool that allows you to build those internal LOB applications.These can be local or browser based and it uses Silverlight. Another cool thing is these apps can run on premise or in the cloud. There’s a lot of talk about how similar this tool is to Microsoft Access. There is some truth to this and just like in access you can build a simple tool within minutes/hours and make it look really polished. One area where this is different though is, right from the get-go this application will be scalable and architected to take it easily to the cloud. So when you need to do ‘more’ than what the app is doing and want to extend it, you can start using Visual Studio/Expression suite of products and easily reuse the code. This approach makes this tool ideal for those initial starter projects.

Also, LightSwitch can easily consume external data in SharePoint or SQL (including SQL Azure in the cloud) or using RIA Services– it provides a data oriented application design paradigm right out of the box thus ensuring good coding practices for your app. If you’re building a standalone application, you can design your tables from scratch as well.

Resources:

a. Here’s a quick video that encapsulates what/why/how of LightSwitch: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Dan/Jay-Schmelzer-Introducing-Visual-Studio-LightSwitch/

b. Here’s a Jason Zander showing you step by step of how to build your first LightSwitch Application: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jasonz/archive/2010/08/03/introducing-microsoft-visual-studio-lightswitch.aspx

c. VS Live Keynote and Intro to LightSwitch Video: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/lightswitch 

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Mithun Dhar