Getting Started with Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011

, posted: 17-Nov-2011 15:45

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011 is the newest edition of the Visual Studio Family. It's a simplified, self-service development tool that enables you to build business applications quickly and easily for the desktop and cloud, regardless of your development skills.

It also has Starter Kits (downloadable project templates you can customize to suit your needs) to enable the quick creation of common business apps for tasks like time tracking, customer service, and performance reviews. You can easily add more complexity as needed with the LightSwitch Extensions provided, such as components, data sources (including SharePoint 2010, SQL Server, SQL Azure, and other third party databases), and services for your app.

From a technical perspective it creates the necessary core plumbing for your business applications on top of well-known technologies like Silverlight, MVVM, RIA Services, and Entity Framework, and best practices in user experience, security and n-tiered applications.

The starting place to visit first for development content is the LightSwitch Development Center on MSDN. As you can see from the page, there are four steps to get you started:

 Download Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011

 Watch the instructional LightSwitch "How Do I?" videos

 Get essential training

 Ask questions in the LightSwitch forums

Here are a few more interesting links:

. Deploying LightSwitch Applications to Windows Azure article on the MSDN Magazine November 2011 edition
. The official LightSwitch Team Blog
. The "LightSwitch Star" Contest on CodeProject

Thiago Almeida
Technology Evangelist
Microsoft New Zealand
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