Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More LightSwitch commentary

Tim Anderson has two informative posts about Microsoft’s LightSwitch. I’ll try to summarize them here.

Ten things you need to know about LightSwitch (Tim Anderson):

  1. LightSwitch builds Silverlight apps for Windows, and to a lesser extent, Mac.
  2. There is no visual forms designer.
  3. However, you can customize your form while running in the debugger.
  4. LightSwitch lets you build a model of your application behind the scenes.
  5. It has built-in business data-types like E-mail Address and Phone Number.
  6. LightSwitch tries to make it easier for non-developers to understand relational database design.
  7. To that end, it uses LINQ and not SQL.
  8. LightSwitch will be cheaper than VS Professional when it releases.
  9. LightSwitch applications are cloud-ready, as long as you want to use Windows Azure.
  10. Tim speculates that Windows Phone 7 will be added as a target platform.

Visual Studio LightSwitch – model-driven architecture for the mainstream (Tim Anderson):

Tim spoke to two LightSwitch team members. They couldn’t speculate on a release date, but did say that Windows Phone 7 will not be targeted in the first release. Perhaps it will be added later. The product was designed to allow different output formats for applications, but Mac is not considered high-priority. The development of LightSwitch had an influence on the design of some WCF RIA Services features.

While Microsoft seems to be positioning LightSwitch as a tool for the masses to develop departmental applications, it remains to be seen if it will catch on. Perhaps on a larger scale, Microsoft intends to deliver on the promise of model-driven application generation. And that would be no small feat.

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