Visual Studio LightSwitch is a Microsoft development environment and application framework for quickly building data-centric applications. It is the simplest way to create business applications for the desktop and the cloud. It provides a rich three-tier application infrastructure that lets the developer focus on the custom business logic and data design, minimizing the amount of code required. With LightSwitch it is easy to create data-centric business applications that can consume a variety of data sources and create clients that can run on a variety of devices. Using LightSwitch you can:
- Build HTML5-based apps that run on all modern devices
- Consume and aggregate multiple data sources like databases, SharePoint and OData
- Eliminate plumbing code and focus on what makes your application unique
- Have flexible deployment and cloud hosting options including Azure and Office 365
- Trust that the solution is built on best-of-breed technologies and practices
Visual Studio LightSwitch includes a lot of pre-built components for the most common business application tasks. LightSwitch applications are flexible enough to support extensions for templates, data sources, shells, themes, business data types, and custom controls. LightSwitch apps can be hosted on Microsoft Azure or on IIS. SharePoint-enabled LightSwitch apps, also known as Cloud Business Apps, are to be hosted on SharePoint for Office 365.
LightSwitch is built on Silverlight which makes it easy to deploy the final application either to the desktop or to a webserver to run in a browser. The application loses a bit of functionality when running in the browser since it runs in the Silverlight sandbox and can’t access things like COM automation or get unlimited access to the local file system. Apart from those limitations, there is currently no easier or quicker way to quickly build a browser-based Silverlight application.
One can write custom code in Visual Basic .NET or C#. It can also be deployed to the desktop, browser, or cloud to share your application with others more easily without the cumbersome installation processes.