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Microsoft Turns On Visual Studio's 'LightSwitch'

The company says it is working on a tool to enable programmers of varying skill sets and business experts to build applications that run on the desktop, in the cloud and on the Web.


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Microsoft this week said it is working on a new Visual Studio tool meant to give developers of all skill levels the ability to create business applications using prefab templates that will run on the desktop, in the cloud and on the Web.

Called LightSwitch, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) officials demonstrated the new tool at the Visual Studio Live (VS Live) summer conference being held on the company's Redmond, Wash. campus this week.

[login] The tool is intended to be useful for business domain experts and developers who want to build business applications without necessarily having to bring in an entire development team to perform coding tasks.



"LightSwitch is a new member of the Visual Studio family focused on making it easy to develop line of business applications," Jason Zander, corporate vice president of Visual Studio Development, said in a post to his blog Tuesday.

The tool, which will be available as a standalone product or with editions of Visual Studio Professional and above, is slated to enter beta testing on August 23, a company spokesperson told InternetNews.com in an e-mail.

"LightSwitch ...enables developers of all skill levels and organizational sizes to easily build business applications that target the desktop, cloud and Web...[It] makes building professional-looking, custom business applications practical and affordable through pre-built templates and tools in a simplified development environment," the spokesperson said.

As far as development goes, Zander said in his post, there is only one question: whether to program in Visual Basic or in C#.

LightSwitch works with SharePoint, Silverlight (both inside and outside the browser), Office and Windows clients, as well as with SQL Azure and Windows Azure, according to a blog post by S. Somasegar, senior vice president of the Developer Division.

"With LightSwitch, there is now a tool that better enables business domain experts to easily build professional-quality, line-of-business applications without focusing on writing code. This is critical because these business applications -- which may be built out of a short-term need -- often need to be extended and IT supported," Somasegar added.

Tags: Microsoft, Visual Studio, developer, LightSwitch



   
Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.
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