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MVC for Developers, Light Switch for the Masses




Have you looked at the Light Switch application generator from Microsoft? I don’t hear a lot of buzz around it. But, within the target audience for which it is designed you can stand up an application really quickly.

I just finished walking through a tutorial using a sample database I designed and the experience was surprisingly refreshing. Light Switch works like T4 templates on steroids. It creates you data access and simple screens allowing access to your tables.

They have added MVC generated code to the already existing Silverlight generated code. This allows you to get an application working quickly and then take it over, tweaking it how you want.

I did look at the generated classes and they are very enterprise like. Each property has a number of additional properties such as changed, updateable, validation, etc. It also uses partial classes so you can make modifications that are not overwritten if you modify the underlying data.

Who is the target audience for this tool? I’m not really sure. You create your applications in Visual Studio. But you don’t have to be a real techie to use it. I am not sure I would want to be a developer taking this generated code and extending it beyond the template generated code. Probably developers much smarter than me can take that on.

Perhaps it is meant for the small department manager who needs something quick and can’t wait for IT to develop it. At least this builds something intended to be multi-user friendly. Would you let Light Switch into your company? Would you
want to support applications build this way? Share your thoughts here or byEmail to btaylor@sswug.org.

Cheers,

Ben
 
10/1/2014
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