Microsoft LightSwitch: 15 Reasons Non-Programmers Should Try It Out

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Microsoft LightSwitch: 15 Reasons Non-Programmers Should Try It Out

by Darryl K. Taft

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LightSwitch Is Just Plain Easy

As Dave Mendlen, senior director of Developer Marketing at Microsoft, says, "Using LightSwitch is almost as simple as flipping on a light switch." LightSwitch is a standalone Visual Studio product that, via the use of templates, enables users to create apps in Visual Basic or C#.

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Easy to Add Data

Add a Data Source—choose from creating a new table for the data model, or retrieving data from SQL Server, SQL Azure, SharePoint or any data source with a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Rich Internet Application (RIA) Services wrapper.

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Simplified Design

Developers can design an entity model for local data, using business friendly data types such as EmailAddress and PhoneNumber.

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Shortcuts to Productivity

Using LightSwitch, non-programmers can create screens for your data quickly with common shortcuts on the action bar.

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Easy-to-Use and Choose Templates

Developers can choose from common screen templates, and match the screen to the appropriate data source.

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Easy Edits

An example of an Edit screen layout using a tree control.

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Familiar Look and Feel

LightSwitch applications use a familiar, professional look and feel—navigation to the left, data views on the right.

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Automated Input

Screens automatically create input field for the entity model they are matched to.

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No Code Necessary

Business data types enable additional validation and functionality with no code necessary.

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Easy Export

Export to Microsoft Excel is included in all LightSwitch applications—with no coding necessary.

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Easy Lookup

Look-up dialogs for known entity types provided automatically.

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Simplified SharePoint Integration

Easily pull data from SharePoint lists, and relate the list data to other entities in your application, without writing any code.

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High Quality

LightSwitch enables non-programmers to develop professional, quality business applications such as this example easily.

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Easy Customization

With LightSwitch, customizable templates enable new and creative user experiences.

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Multidevice Support, Including Support for Multitouch and Touch-Screen Devices

LightSwitch features support for many devices—including touch-screen support—is built in.

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