Microsoft has finally announced the Visual Studio LightSwitch, which is featured as the newest member of the Visual Studio product family. This web development tool was previously code-named as Kitty Hawk. It will be actually made available as a part of Visual Studio Professional, Premium, and Ultimate. According to the leader, Microsoft, it says that the Visual Studio LightSwitch web development tool is aimed at the developers possessing skills at different levels and varied sizes of organizations, who actually are interested to build business applications that are targeted at the Web, cloud, and desktop.
The beta version of the Visual Studio LightSwitch web development tool shall be made available to MSDN subscribers on August 23, and is expected to be followed by the general availability of it. The software giant, Microsoft, is all expectant and hopeful of receiving feedbacks because it will be working on the final version of this product which is scheduled to be released next year.
The Visual Studio LightSwitch web development tool is included with pre-built templates and tools incorporated in a simplified development environment, and the product is aimed for the building of scalable and custom business applications that shall possess the ability to connect to existing applications, legacy systems, and Web services. The developers possess the capability of choosing from a wide variety of options, which include hosting, deployment, and third party plug-in options.
The Visual Studio LightSwitch web development tool provides for a simplified and user-friendly deployment in the way that applications (which are actually Silverlight applications at the core) can be deployed to the client, browser, Windows Azure (post beta). The Visual Studio LightSwitch web development tool can also be used in accordance with C# or Visual Basic, and it supports SQL Server, SQL Azure, SharePoint, and Microsoft Office.
Microsoft has revealed that LightSwitch dramatically decreases the time it takes to build a custom application by automatically handling routine code; it’s a rapid application development tool that offers application shells and screen templates to allow the developer to concentrate on the core business logic. The tool is also provided with “drag and drop” functionality, but the full access to the .NET framework is still available. Thus, “if you need to tinker under the hood, you can do so by opening your LightSwitch application in the “full” version of Visual Studio.”
Compared to the Microsoft’s recently announced WebMatrix web development suite, the Visual Studio LightSwitch web development tool is quite different. Though, both the tools are for the purpose of building applications, but the approach and target audience of both are entirely different in the way that WebMatrix is HTML UI and LightSwitch is Silverlight UI. The WebMatrix is actually a tool which includes a Web server (IIS Developer Express), a simple database (SQL Server Compact), and programming framework (ASP.NET), and it is targeted at the non-professional developers. The creation of new websites from scratch or the use of Microsoft’s Web Application Gallery to customize popular ASP.NET and PHP open source community applications is made easier by WebMatrix. On the other hand, LightSwitch is mainly for the professional developers and enable users to create Line of Business (LOB) applications using data from multiple sources.