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Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch is the newest edition to the Visual Studio family that drastically simplifies the way you build data-centric business applications that can be easily deployed to the desktop or the Azure cloud. LightSwitch will release on July 26th. For more information on LightSwitch and what it can do for you see:
LightSwitch Developer Center on MSDN
LightSwitch makes it easy to interface with desktop resources and other applications like Microsoft Office in order to create rich data-centric (data entry) style applications. These applications can be deployed locally on a single machine, deployed to any IIS server, or hosted in Azure. LightSwitch takes care of all of the plumbing you need in a typical n-tier data-centric application and focuses you on just the business requirements. The only code you write is the code only you could write – the business rules.
One of the great features of LightSwitch is that it lets you connect to and manipulate data inside of SharePoint. Data can come from any of the built in SharePoint lists like Tasks or Calendar or it can come from custom lists that you create in SharePoint. This is particularly handy for internal/departmental business productivity applications because you can federate data from multiple sources. LightSwitch has the ability to relate entities (tables or lists) across disparate data sources and even edit them on the same screen. For instance you could have a product catalog which stores product details in SharePoint and relate that to a table in a completely separate order management relational database. Or you could relate a list of issues stored in SharePoint to a customer table in a database in order to allow users to edit the data together on the same screen.
I’ve written a couple articles on my blog as well as produced “How Do I” videos on how to work with SharePoint data in this manner so check them out:
Using SharePoint Data in your LightSwitch Applications
Relating and Editing Data from Multiple Data Sources on the Same Screen
How Do I: Connect LightSwitch to SharePoint Data?
How Do I: Save Data from Multiple Data Sources on the Same Screen?
If you like what you see, here are some more LightSwitch resources:
Watch all the instructional LightSwitch "How Do I?" videos
Get essential training
Ask questions in the LightSwitch forums
Visit the LightSwitch Team Blog
And follow us on Facebook & Twitter!
Enjoy, -Beth Massi, Visual Studio Community