As you may have seen during the VSLive keynote or read in eWeek yesterday , Microsoft announced an exciting new version of Visual Studio called LightSwitch, which helps developers build line of business apps targeted at the desktop and the cloud.
To grab a quote industry luminary Andrew Brust’s blog:
LightSwitch is a .NET based environment, hosted in Visual Studio, that allows developers to build business apps. Quickly. It harkens back, with pride, to tools of old, like VB6 and FoxPro, that made data, and data maintenance UIs, first class citizens. These tools also treated line-of-business developers as VIPs, not as the great unwashed.
A few weeks back their were some rumors about this tool, and the feedback seemed to be negative – mostly from developers who feel their place in the world is to save everyone form poorly written code. I feel differently, I believe there needs to be tools that are easy to use that help developers be productive. That’s what we try to do here everyday at Infragistics with our UI control suites, and that is what LightSwitch is trying to do for developers who need to build line of business applications.
What is even cooler is that we here at Infragistics had our own piece of history with the LightSwitch announcement. About 45 minutes into the keynote, Microsoft Corporate VP Jason Zander started to talk about the great partner eco-system around Visual Studio tools, and how partners will not only add great functionality to LightSwitch applications in terms of UI controls and tools, but also they’ll build extensions that truly make a LightSwitch application look amazing. So in the next keynote demo, the custom shell extension that the Infragistics UX Services team designed and developed was unveiled. Not only did it show off the flexibility of LightSwitch, with no code changes the entire UI changed into an immersive RIA experience, but it also showed how the extension that Infragistics designed and developed can enable a great user experience, like multi-touch on a Windows 7 laptop. Here is a screen shot of the UI shown in the keynote.
This is a better view, click to see it bigger:
To get a technical rundown of what we did for the extension, check out our resident LightSwitch expert Matt Van Horn’s blog here.
And to see the process the Infragistics UX Services team used to design this custom shell, check out Sr. UX Architect Amy Quinn’s blog here.
I also want to shout out to Jeff Smith, who did the beautiful visual design work on the LightSwitch project. To follow Jeff’s blog, click here.
So what’s next for Infragistics and LightSwitch? I can say that you’ll be seeing more from us around LightSwitch in the coming months, and more importantly I’d like to hear what you’d like to see in LightSwitch. The beta is available on August 23rd, so get your download engines ready!