June 13, 2012

Microsoft LightSwitch Now Comes with HTML5 Support for Visual Basic 2012

HTML5 continues to gain ground and most recently, Microsoft (News Alert) announced that its rapid-application-development (RAD) tool, LightSwitch, will come with HTML5 support. The tool, codenamed, “KittyHwak”, is targeted at fledgling coders that are looking to build business applications for the Web, cloud and desktop. The LightSwitch tool is part of the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment that simplifies and shortens development time and allows beginners or experienced developers to create professional applications without writing a line of code. LightSwitch provides screens that automatically display data from a database simply by specifying the elements to be displayed. It comes with predefined templates. According to “the Softies”, using LightSwitch is so easy it’s like flipping a switch.

The public release of LightSwitch last summer has, however, not had a lot of impact on productivity programmers, receiving only modest traction. Enterprise developers were even reported as being dismissive of the product. Version 2 of LightSwitch is now in beta and comes out with Visual Studio 2012. Microsoft had hinted, back in February, that it would integrate HTML5 into Visual Studio. The recent announcement now confirms that support for HTML is coming to Visual Basic via LightSwitch.

During the announcement, Microsoft also said that LightSwitch HTML Client for mobile Web clients would be coming soon. The upcoming mobile client will be an important companion to the Sliverlight-based desktop client that currently helps in building touch-oriented business applications. The first release of LightSwitch allowed for an N-Tier application that had a rick desktop, was data-centric and cloud-ready. Application data was, however, limited to what Microsoft was supporting. The second iteration comes with an updated middle tier that uses Open Data (OData) Protocol that supports a standards-based medium for publishing and consuming data.

The beta versions of the new releases are also available for download and open to feedback, questions and suggestions.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


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