Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting Started with Microsoft Visual Studio Lightswitch Beta

The newest addition to the Microsoft Visual Studio family is Lightswitch - a new take on the IDE allowing business applications to be built faster than ever. Lightswitch uses the model of such applications being based on data tables and screens, and the provision of standard functionality (e.g. field validation) that developers spend countless hours rewriting every time, to speed up the development process.

Aside from the standard functionality provided, customisation (e.g. custom validations) is possible using the normal C# or Visual Basic code we are all used to. Additionally, the look and feel of applications can be changed through a simple dropdown box, and may be adjusted on the fly even while debugging applications.

The Lightswitch website provides information, screenshots and videos on what Lightswitch is all about. The Lightswitch Developer Center provides several resources to get started, including a download of the beta itself.

Actually getting up and running with the Lightswitch beta can be a bit tricky. Paul Patterson's blog post goes through the difficulties encountered in setting up Lightswitch. A forum post deals with removing WCF RIA Services for Visual Studio 2010 through the registry (since the uninstall does not actually cleanly remove it), which is necessary before installing the Lightswitch beta.

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