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The First Hour With Lightswitch –BETA-

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8:40 pm – I downloaded LightSwitch and it’s installing. I downloaded the .iso image and mounted it with PowerISO. This is a Beta and the first one at that. All I hope to see is “idiot Proof”. I already know how to program full scale Silverlight application.

This is not for me. It’s for “you” and “them”. The people who will hopefully have a tool that allows them to build useful applications… that will need professionals like me when they are ready to take to the next level.

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Ok let’s do this…

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Hmm that wasn’t what I was expecting to see next… (I don’t know what I expected actually…)

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Ok now I’m wandering aimlessly… I hope this is what I’m suppose to do next…

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Whew! Ok I think I’m back on track…

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Yes! We have already achieved the start of Idiot Proof! (Must buy more MSFT stock…)

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I spend 1 minute making a table that I call Messages.

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I click on the Screen button.

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Ok all this seems obvious. I am doing this as it happens so at this point I do not know if this will actually work…

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Hmm… now what am I looking at? Must stare at this screen for a bit…

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Ok I couldn’t resist, I had to click the Write Code button. Hmm I like what I see you are actually suppose to be able to write code if you need to.

But, I want to see what you can do if you don’t know how to write code.

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Ok one small detour, If I click on the “Save bar”…

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I see additional places to write code :)

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But, I have to admit I am totally lost. When in doubt, hit F5

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Nooooooo

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(sigh)

Ok I cannot resist a small rant. This is not ok, it must work, period. If this were Microsoft Access it would work. period. This kind of thing is also the problem I have with WCF. It is is hard to deploy. The fact that it is so great means nothing if it doesn’t work. Things must work, period. Ok rant over.

In case you didn’t notice, I am no longer wearing my “happy face”. However, this is a Beta software, and consider the rant above my “early feedback”. At this point a “Popup Wizard” should open up and guide me through solving the connection problem.

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Ok now I have my “professional programmer” hat on and I’m gonna try to figure this one out. I double-click on MessagesSet in the Solution Explorer

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Click on Attach to External Data Source

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Umm let’s click Database and then Next…

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Ok I am connecting to one of my existing databases because I don’t know what else to do…

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Ok I am connecting to the database used in this tutorial: RIATasks: A Simple Silverlight CRUD Example

I point that out because while that tutorial is easy, it is still a LOT for a person to go through to create an application. My hope is that LightSwitch will make things like that easy.

Now that it looks like I wont have a connection problem connecting to my existing data source, let’s try to build an application with my existing Tasks table…

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Ok fine, the smile is starting to return…

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However, the Solution Explorer now looks like the image above. I am going to delete MessagesSet and CreateNewMessages screen…

 

Second Try: Application 2

Ok when I tried to build the project after deleting that stuff, it still wanted to connect to SQL Server Express (I have it installed and I know what the problem is (it is turned off!), but that’s not the point).

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I create a new project. Click Attach to external database…

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Connect to my existing database…

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Create a Screen

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Let’s keep it simple…

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Hold breath and hit F5

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(sigh)

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9:40 pm - ok I’m off to bed…

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No wait! I wont sleep tonight with this bugging me! I go into my Sql Server Configuration and right-click on SQL Server Express and turn it on (I had a good reason for having it turned off!).

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I hit F5 and the application now works.

In Conclusion

Right now this is Beta. You have to expect “issues”. So far I am happy with these things:

  • There is a “path” for a non-programmer to get something working
  • There are PLENTY of places to drop in code
  • The overall design and concept seem correct to me




Comments are closed.
Showing 13 Comments
Avatar  Nitin 7 years ago

Not sure who the target audience for the product is - school kids?. How useful is this in creating some serious applications - is it only a db-view linker ?<br>

Avatar  Michael Washington 7 years ago

@Paul Patterson - That is a great site <a href="http://blog.selectsystems.ca/?cat=51" rel="nofollow">blog.selectsystems.ca/?cat=51</a>

Avatar  Paul Patterson 7 years ago

This is kinda expected with a beta. I am fighting my own daemons trying to get a successful build because of WCF RIA Services issues. Oh well, be patient and keep testing its limits. I know I have been, and will continue to do. <br><br>I'm keeping a journal of my LightSwitch "journey" here: <a href="http://blog.selectsystems.ca/?cat=51" rel="nofollow">blog.selectsystems.ca/?cat=51</a><br><br>Cheers!<br>

Avatar  Michael Washington 7 years ago

@Craig - I am going to stick my neck out on this one and say that with LightSwitch you will have LESS buggy software because it "holds your hands".

Avatar  Michael Washington 7 years ago

@David Padbury - This is Beta so perhaps that is the "eventual plan", I hope :)

Avatar  David Padbury 7 years ago

I'm surprised they aren't already using the recent SQL Server CE 4.0 stuff to make getting started with a database a little easier.

Avatar  Craig 7 years ago

To be honest I hadn't heard of Lightswitch until today. I think it's great, because it will make a bunch of people who can turn on a computer think they're programmers and they'll start creating applications that I can probably spend the rest of my working years fixing.

Avatar  Michael Washington 7 years ago

@Mark Wisecarver - Thanks for the comment. The Beta is about getting feedback. Make sure you provide feedabck at: <a href="http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-us/lightswitchgeneral/threads" rel="nofollow">social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-us/lightswitchgeneral/threads</a>

Avatar  Mark Wisecarver 7 years ago

Good stuff bro.<br>As for the SQL Server instance. This part bugs me because I run SQL Server 2008 Enterprise.<br>I'd like an option to keep SQL Server Express from getting installed.<br>Playing around with Lightswitch last night I got the same "feel" as you did.<br> All the best,<br> Mark

Avatar  Jonathan van de Veen 7 years ago

Was Sql Server already on your machine when installing LightSwitch (as you had VS 2010 Ultimate already on there you might have installed that with Sql Express)? Because in that case you can't blame Microsoft for leaving your Sql config alone. You're smart enough to install Sql? Make sure you do it right.<br>If Sql wasn't already on your machine then just ignore my comment.

Avatar  Michael Washington 7 years ago

@Vinit Yadav - Sorry but I don't agree. SQL Server Express should only be in my configuration if it is being used. I do not want to use SQL Server Express.

Avatar  Michael Washington 7 years ago

@ Vinit Yadav - Sorry I am not an expert on SQL Server Express :(

Avatar  Vinit Yadav 7 years ago

I have no SQL instance named SQLEXPRESS and I tried almost everything I can do to connect to my custom instance name (sql2008) but failed. So can you tell how to do that?