Microsoft Visual Studio® LightSwitch™ 2011 is the newest edition of the Visual Studio Family. It’s a simplified, self-service development tool that enables you to build business applications quickly and easily for the desktop and cloud, regardless of your development skills. It also has Starter Kits (downloadable project templates you can customize to suit your needs) to enable the quick creation of common business apps for tasks like time tracking, customer service, and performance reviews.

You can easily add more complexity as needed with the LightSwitch Extensions provided, such as components, data sources (including SharePoint® 2010, SQL Server, SQL Azure, and other third party databases), and services for your app.

From a technical perspective it creates the necessary core plumbing for your business applications on top of well-known technologies like Silverlight, MVVM, RIA Services, and Entity Framework, and best practices in user experience, security and n-tiered applications.

The starting place to visit first for development content is the LightSwitch Development Center on MSDN:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-nz/lightswitch

As you can see from the page, there are four steps to get you started:

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Download Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011

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Watch the instructional LightSwitch "How Do I?" videos

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Get essential training

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Ask questions in the LightSwitch forums

There’s been an increasing amount of interest in the product here in New Zealand, and I hope this post has captured your interest in it. We have extended the Switched ON briefings to New Zealand covering both LightSwitch and Windows Azure. Here are the registration links:

· Wellington,  16 November
· Auckland, 17 November

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You made it here? Great! Here are a few more interesting links:

· Deploying LightSwitch Applications to Windows Azure article on the MSDN Magazine November 2011 edition
· The official LightSwitch Team Blog
· The “LightSwitch Star” Contest on CodeProject


Thiago Almeida
Technology Evangelist
Microsoft New Zealand
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