LightSwitch: Visual Studio for Dummies?
Visual Studio has been a developer tool for years. Microsoft recently announced that it is going to offer a version of Visual Studio called Visual Studio LightSwitch (formerly code named Kitty Hawk) that will be available as part of Visual Studio Professional, Premium, and Ultimate. LightSwitch will especially be useful for non-developers or business users that don’t know how to write code but want to create fully functional line-of-business (LOB) applications for the cloud and desktop. To me LightSwitch seems to be Visual Studio for dummies, à la FrontPage, which was a Web site editor for the beginners and non-professionals. Let’s just hope that the apps we create in LightSwitch are not as messy as the Web sites created in FrontPage.
WebMatrix vs. LightSwitch
If you recall, Microsoft announced WebMatrix Web development suite not too long ago which is meant for developers, students, and just about everyone who wants to build applications. WebMatrix (currently in beta) is everything you need to build Web sites using Windows. It includes IIS Developer Express (a development Web server), ASP.NET (a Web framework), and SQL Server Compact (an embedded database). Although both WebMatrix and LightSwitch are meant to build applications, the main difference is HTML UI (WebMatrix) vs. Silverlight UI (LightSwitch).
LightSwitch is supposed to help you quickly create professional-quality business applications, regardless of your development skills. The beta version of LightSwitch will be available on August 23, 2010 to MSDN Subscribers. Later on it will be available to the general public. A final version is expected to be released sometime next year.
If you are not a developer, check out this page on Microsoft’s Web site.
If you are a developer, check out this page on MSDN.