Greetings from across the ditch!

My name is Andrew Coates, Developer Evangelist for Microsoft Australia. I’ve been speaking on LightSwitch at TechEd Australia and TechEd New Zealand, and I’m currently touring Australia meeting developers, talking about this exciting new addition to the Visual Studio stable. I have been invited to extend the tour and present “the Power of Lightswitch on Windows Azure” next week in Wellington on November 16, and in Auckland on November 17. As a precursor, the NZ team have also asked me to be this week’s guest editor.

As many of you would know, Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch is the newest edition to the Visual Studio Family. Check out the launch in Australia. The question I get frequently asked is who is LightSwitch aimed at and where does it fit in the developer tools continuum? The primary audience for LightSwitch is what we’re calling the “End-User Developer”, people who use computers to get their job done but aren’t employed specifically to be developers. I often think of engineers, marketers and accountants, but this also includes the many small and medium business IT consultants who spend much of their time integrating systems for their clients. For example, making the accounting system talk to the shipping system.

The Killer Combo is running LightSwitch applications on Windows Azure. Azure gives the End-User Developer the flexible, accessible infrastructure they need, without having to provision or worry about maintaining the bottom of the stack. In almost no time at all, they can have a fast, scalable, robust .NET application running on a highly-available scalable infrastructure without having to invest thousands, or even tens-of-thousands of dollars.

Finally, LightSwitch is not only aimed at End-User Developers. Professional Developers benefit greatly from its robust framework, which takes care of the details behind the scenes for every application. It boasts a comprehensive security model, a validation framework that respects the premise that all input is evil and creates a multi-tiered architecture based on Microsoft’s most up-to-date and scalable technologies.

If you just want to create a new application and get back to something else, then you can be confident that you’ve got the best on offer. If you want to open up the hood and get into the engine, it’s all available. Check out the details in the LightSwitch Developer Centre. And if you think you have what it takes to be a LightSwitch Star - show us your coolest, most productive, LightSwitch business application and you could win a Laptop as well as other cool prizes.

Hopefully this edition is enough to whet your appetite – now register for the free events next week:



Andrew Coates
Developer Evangelist
Microsoft Australia
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