.NET Developments

Oct 15 2010   4:34PM GMT

LightSwitch user: MS developer tool helps you quickly assess business models

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

By Kathleen Kriz

With Microsoft’s Visual Studio LightSwitch beta software, users are given the opportunity to build business applications by using a simplified process, according to an early adopter. LightSwitch helps line-of-business and small business users quickly create both desktop and browser applications, with Azure cloud computing deployment planned in a future version.

Importantly, LightSwitch allows companies to try out new business models, without building full-fledged enterprise applications, according to Patrick Emmons, Director of Professional Services for Adage Technologies.

The simplicity of LightSwitch is beneficial, said Emmons. When creating an application, LightSwitch allows the developer to connect to data, bind it to the controls, add validation, then finally test and deploy in a more simplified way than is possible with the  full-fledged tools of the Visual Studio suite.

“If you’re a company who’s trying to test out a new line of business or an add-on service, LightSwitch would be a great way to share data,” said Emmons. “You can have a SilverLight interface with the database out in the [Azure] cloud so your investment is significantly reduced and you can still validate your business model.”

LightSwitch has three different models. It can be run solely as a desktop application, on the desktop and also host the user’s database, or can be run on the Azure cloud. It can be built in either C# or Visual Basic, and aids the user by creating project templates for Windows, Web, or a similar project.

There is always much discussion of ”enterprise-ready” applications, but, Emmons says that not everything has to be enterprise-ready.

“In many cases you shouldn’t start there,” said Emmons. “I think maybe that’s a reason why a lot of these enterprise development efforts fail is because they’re trying to start at the teenage years and they didn’t bother with the infancy.

“That’s where LightSwitch really has some huge value because you’re not going to have to risk a lot of resources like time or money or people to get something up and running to validate a business model,” he said.

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