How to Simplify App Development Using Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch

By Patrick Emmons  |  Posted 2011-02-15 Print this article Print

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch is a rapid development environment that makes it easy for developers to create line-of-business applications. Although many developers don't see Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch as a useful tool, its cost-effectiveness and efficiency for both startup companies and prototyping are just a couple of its key benefits. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Patrick Emmons further explains why Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch can be very beneficial for developers to use in some circumstances.

Microsoft's Visual Studio Live! is a developer's conference that is all about development in the Visual Studio environment. Visual Studio Live! Orlando was held at the Hilton Walt Disney World Resort in November 2010. One of the big announcements from this conference was the launch date for Visual Studio LightSwitch.

Visual Studio LightSwitch is a rapid development environment that gives technical and somewhat technical people the ability to create lightweight, line-of-business applications. While many developers don't think Visual Studio LightSwitch will be useful for creating applications, I think it can be very beneficial to use in the right circumstances. Here are some reasons why.

Right-sized versus enterprise-ready

In recent years there has been a growing philosophy that everything needs to be enterprise-ready. The prevailing thought is that all solutions need to be scalable, flexible, "anything-able." While that is true for anything that really does need to be enterprise-ready, there are situations where enterprise-ready is too much.

Imagine you are a small startup. You are not focused on enterprise-ready. You are focused on getting through your first year. Alternately, you might be an established organization that is considering getting into a new line of business. Focusing on getting something up and running to let your employees share information in a cost-effective way would ensure that you are not risking valuable resources (that is, capital). In today's economy, capital budgets are limited (and nonexistent in some companies).

Patrick Emmons is Director of Professional Services at Adage Technologies. Patrick is an accomplished technical architect with more than 15 years of programming and Web development experience. He is also a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). Prior to his position at Adage, Patrick was a principle for another Web development firm, and also worked as a developer and consultant for Ameritech, Motorola and Baker Robbins. He can be reached at

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