Introducing Visual Studio LightSwitch

I am pleased to announce a new product in the Visual Studio family - Visual Studio LightSwitch.

LightSwitch is the simplest way to build business applications for the cloud and the desktop.

Today, businesses move at the speed of light even as people balance the responsibility of more than one role within their organizations. As this shift becomes more pronounced, it's become clear that a broader set of developers is building business applications and really expects a much simpler way to quickly accomplish their goals... and with this observation, a light went on and LightSwitch was born.

LightSwitch provides a variety of pre-built templates and tools to build business applications that target Windows Client or Windows Azure using as much or as little code as you want to write. With LightSwitch, there is now a tool that better enables business domain experts to easily build professional-quality line-of-business applications without focusing on writing code. This is critical because these business applications - which may be built out of a short-term need - often need to be extended and IT supported.

You can quickly build line-of-business applications beginning with only one decision - Visual Basic or C#.

You can build forms from existing templates and populate them with data from data sources including SQL Server, SQL Azure, SharePoint, and others. There is integrated support for working with Microsoft Office for tasks such as exporting data to Excel without having to write code. Within minutes you can have a basic business application created and ready to deploy, leveraging disparate data sources and Office tools. While developing your application, you can modify the application as it runs.

LightSwitch creates Silverlight applications that can run in the browser, out-of-the-browser, or in the cloud. When your application grows, you can use Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium or Ultimate to extend and customize it further.

In the coming months, we'll provide more details about LightSwitch.

We will be making the first beta of LightSwitch available broadly on August 23rd. To learn more about LightSwitch, visit the LightSwitch page or read Jason Zander's post on LightSwitch.