Silverlight is dying, long live LightSwitch!

Ah yes, nothing like a “Silverlight is dead” post to get the discussions rolling, both in the comments, twitter and via mail.  Love it.

I do want to clarify something here…

The previous post, titled “Silverlight is dead, long live LightSwitch” was a part of an introduction to LightSwitch’s amazing Metadata-driven architecture.  The emphasis was not on whether or not Silverlight has a future, it was on the fact that a Metadata-driven technology (LightSwitch) is simply amazing, and “loosely coupled” to the implementing technology (Silverlight).

Thus, the future of LightSwitch does not depend on the future of Silverlight.

In fact, I was being a drama queen when stating that “Silverlight” is dead all-together.  Sure, any client-side technology, server-side too even, will be dead at one point.  For Silverlight, that point is visible, but that doesn’t mean Silverlight is dead at all.  Far from, it’s still my favorite technology for fat clients, I’ll be using it for a couple more years before I’ll be ready to let go.  By the way, the XAML skills will survive many more years, I’m sure of that.

Thus, Silverlight is not dead, at most it’ll start being deprecated in a couple of years.

Although I must admit, technologies that are based on open standards, will end up with the “legacy” or “deprecated” labels a lot slower… The fact that LightSwitch now uses OData for example, made it’s backbone strong as hell…  And who knows, it ìs possible that one day we’ll see our prayers answered that we can use HTML5 as a native front-end for LightSwitch, without manual coding against the exposed OData services.

Thus, it would truly rock if LightSwitch could generate HTML5 clients, in addition to Silverlight.

This kind of mash-up power is available to us today, because of the manual coding we can do against the OData services, and isn’t really absolutely a deal-killer right now, it would just truly rock if we can use LightSwitch as a single IDE to create enterprise systems with clients that run on all sorts of technologies, to answer to the requirements that the business imposes perhaps not yet today, but most definitely in the very near future…


5 thoughts on “Silverlight is dying, long live LightSwitch!

  1. My bet is that we will see an HTML 5 and Win RT client support on or before VS 2012 RTM.

    There are lots of clues as to why I feel that this will come to pass, the split of the LSML from one file to multiple files in the latest VS 2012 RC release is but one, and in a recent Pod Cast in which Beth Massi makes a subtle reference that LightSwitch can be updated out-of-band from the VS major releases is perhaps another clue…

    Either way, I am not expecting any client to provide the utility that Silverlight does within LightSwitch (at least initially) so while I do believe we are just about to turn a multiple-supported-client corner within LightSwitch (in a matter of months if not weeks) … I also feel that Silverlight will hold the a strongest position in the LOB enterprise space for many years to come.

    I believe the other clients will provide (initially at least) nice augmentations to LightSwitch but will not have the full capabilities that Silverlight brings to the table as I feel that the necessary JQuery libraries over an enriched LightSwitch OData API will not be available day one to support HTML 5 and won’t be for some time to come. There needs to be a very capable Server-Side LightSwitch API that a LightSwitch enriched JQuery library can consume and this LightSwitch based API and libraries need to be as secure and as capable as that which Silverlight provides which is why I speculate that in a first release of HTML 5 support there will be a limited API that will allow for some primitive editing of data and support for layout and that over time (years) this API and JQuery libraries will mature to provide the capability of Silverlight but that’s years away.

    I could be completely wrong, but then again as long as LightSwitch continues to evolve I really do not care and I will remain a strong proponent of this amazing LOB technology!

    • Amazing how close your comment was aligned with reality!
      “I could be completely wrong, but then again as long as LightSwitch continues to evolve I really do not care and I will remain a strong proponent of this amazing LOB technology!” > same!!! The LS team will adapt to technology shifts long before they become actual business requirements, now and in the future!
      Keep rocking LS!


  2. Pingback: HTML5 is in town! Long live LightSwitch! « Jan Van der Haegen's blog

  3. We still see a very solid place for internal business database applications that fit very well for Silverlight and LightSwitch. There are lots of applications currently in Excel and Access that could be improved by migrating to LightSwitch and SQL Server. These aren’t external, public facing solutions so Silverlight is fine. The migration to HTML5 is good but it’s not as powerful as Silverlight so the level of effort required to build the same solution would be wasted if the solution didn’t need any of the benefits HTML5 provides over Silverlight. Wrote a paper about what we see in the migration of Microsoft Access databases to LightSwitch:

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