It’s 2015, and LightSwitch is dead… Now what?

In case I haven’t seen you yet this year (and chances of that are high since I spent almost all of my time in my hammock so far), happy new year to you!

Just two weeks ago, the year turned 2015, always a great opportunity to reflect upon the past, and to learn lessons for the future.

And what a harsh lesson 2014 has taught us: LightSwitch is dead.

There, it’s out, and apparently I’m the first one to publicly carve these words in cyberspace. But unfortunately, a rose by any other name is still a rose, so let’s just call it what it is: dead.

Stage 1: denial

Let me first shed some light on why I consider the lightswitch to be in eternal off-state: there have been no new substantial developments since the HTML client (you weren’t really sitting around waiting for the O365 stuff now, were you), the ‘team blog‘ hasn’t had any meaningful posts in over half a year and many of the active community bloggers have either changed blogs, or have only been writing about using LightSwitch in combination with other technologies (with most of the focus on the other technologies).

If you want to try denying a technology being dead simply due to lack of evolution, then here’s a quote from the team latest post:

we’re currently planning to actively engage with the community and start our discussions on the roadmap in the middle of next year

Our love is dead, and you have been feeling it for a while now.

Perhaps you haven’t admitted it to yourself. Perhaps you are still in denial, but in this fast-paced world of ever-evolving technologies and agile methodologies, I cannot consider the product of a team that shifts priorities for over a year as the solid foundation for my own work.

Stage 2: anger

If you want to, please do take a quick break from reading now to go to the gym, box club, or whatever else you usually do to vent your anger. If you happen to have any pitchforks and/or torches, you could even join the rest of us in our march in the MSDN forums too, there’s a lot of anger already shared over there.

Stage 3: bargaining

We’re still reflecting the pain of 2014. Those of us who were able to overcome denial and anger stages, started bargaining. End of September, I’ve personally sat down with Microsoft folks to talk about the idea of how providing limited extension points so the community would allow us to create a toolkit to address a lot of the missing features. Others have publicly pled to open-source the entire stack, which would fit in great with MSFT’s latest vision and announcements about open-sourcing parts of their stack.  Some have threatened to mail Mary Jo Foley, others to mail Somasegar, in a passive-aggressive attempt to bargain or even blackmail the team into action.

Unfortunately, none of that led to change.

Stage 5: Acceptance

You skipped stage 4: depression.

You just scrolled up and noticed I did not write about stage 4: depression.

Stage 4 in the Kubler-Ross model (‘the five stages of grief’) describes the emotions of sadness, fear and uncertainty that start to develop during the earlier stages.  Feeling these emotions is natural, personal, and shows that we are slowly entering the final stage: acceptance.   So let’s cut to the point and discuss what acceptance could bring, for me and my relationship with you, my highly valued readers, and you’ll see there is very little sadness to be found.

  • LightSwitch being dead does not mean it does not have a future. At some point, probably end 2015 or early 2016, we’ll see a next version from the same MSFT team. Personally I don’t think they’ll actually revive LightSwitch as some kind of frankenstein monster with new body parts, but instead reuse only their experience can into a new product with a new name and marketing strategy.
  • LightSwitch being dead does not mean it ceases to be important in 2015. Personally I have a ton of ongoing projects and consulting opportunities, and they all still stand valid. LightSwitch has always been a tool to create CRUD-oriented, small to medium sized applications, and that is still true regardless of the evolution of the platform itself.  If LightSwitch is the right answer to a particular problem, then File>New>LightSwitch Application here I come! Or as the team puts it:

If the support we have in Visual Studio 2015 meets the needs of your application, then you should feel confident in developing with LightSwitch or Cloud Business Apps as we build out the roadmap

  • This implies an ongoing commitment to my own blog as well. I’ve always blogged strictly about my own professional experiences, and if I encounter anything worth sharing and I find the time to do so, I will gladly blog it! Being it about LightSwitch, or something else…

So there’s the big cliffhanger… What something else?

What now?

There’s not much presently existing that can match the development speed of LightSwitch. However, because LightSwitch does not offer modularity, has bad testability and devastating performance for medium to large applications, I’ve been looking for alternatives to answer challenges that LightSwitch can not…

And I have found it too.

I have found my sweetspot combination of a technology stack that is completely open source (no longer dependent on MSFT management decisions), highly scalable, highly modular, highly performant, fully customizable but yet offers incredible speed of development.

“No way”, I hear you say, “Such a thing does not exist! If it existed, I would have surely heard about it”.

And you are right in saying so. Such a thing does not publicly exists… Yet. But so far, I’ve been mainly writing about 2014, and 2015 is still so very young. This coming Monday, in an announcement that is not my own, the first tip of this veil of secrecy that holds my future, and perhaps yours, will be lifted…

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77 thoughts on “It’s 2015, and LightSwitch is dead… Now what?

  1. OMG! I’ve been following this blog for over a year and never thought I was going to read an entry like this.

    The truth is that it is very sad to read something like this and very difficult to accept.

    I was about to leave my job as an employee and focus on my own company, carrying out projects based on LightSwitch. The software needs in Colombia are perfect for working with LS, but now I do not even know what to think …

    I hope this does not mean the end and I thank you for sharing.

    • Hey J!
      I do not know your personal situation but a few years ago I gambled everything which was steady in my life and left the company I was working for to focus on my own. It has been the best time since.
      If you have some opportunities then my advice would be to go ahead and jump into your own adventure. Perhaps you can talk to your boss and work half-time until you have some financial stability with your own company.
      If you can find problems to solve with LightSwitch, and it sounds like the software needs in Colombia are, I would not hesitate to do so. It’ll give you a chance to grow, build a client base and a reputation. At some point, LightSwitch will be obsolete, yet today is not that day.
      And when that day comes, the answer to ‘what now?’ will already be clear!

  2. Open Source, MSFT Management dependency-free, highly scalable, highly modular, highly performant, fully customizable but yet offers incredible speed of development. Yippy this is what we’ve been waiting for. Although you can’t say much more can you at least say it will be usable for production within a month’s time?

  3. Hi Jan, sad to hear this, I truly loved learning and using LS. Thanks for all your work and articles! But your cliffhanger gave hope!! Looking forward to your announcements, so please keep us LS-fans posted!! In Dutch: “de koning is dood, lang leve de koning”!!

    • Sure will! I consider all of us LOB-app-fans and that’ll always be my sweetspot.
      By the way, ironically, I already once did a post called “LightSwitch is dead, long live LightSwitch”, hah!

  4. Good day Jan, Congrats on your new venture. I’m very curious about whats coming on Monday! I appreciate all the support you gave to the LS community. But ya know… if only Ashton-Tate had kept updating dBase!!! 🙂 (now how many of you kids know who Ashton-Tate is?)

  5. Dang, I know who Ashton-Tate is, and I’ve programmed the dot prompt, so I guess I can’t call myself a kid anymore! Also very curious about the announcement! Can’t wait to see what’s up!

  6. Thanks Jan for your feelings and sadness concerning LightSwitch. Your much appreciated dedication to assisting us all in making LightSwitch an outstanding development tool will be always remembered. Having been a business software developer for more than 30 years, I thought we finally had the tool needed to bring about great, economical, easy to develop, powerful products for the business world. And, from what I have seen, some fantastic LightSwitch business software products are now being used on a daily basis throughout the world. I just can’t stop wondering why Microsoft would create such a nice product and then act like it’s OK to just screw all the businesses, software vendors, developers and their own hard working LightSwitch technical “Team”. What ever happened to that wonderful, young lady Beth Massi that poured out her heart and soul and energy to making LightSwitch such a great tool and teaching us how to use it with those outstanding videos (best I have ever seen for learning). She should have been made President of Microsoft – we would then have had someone competent leading this organization. Where do we go from here, certainly not Microsoft – they cannot be trusted by the Business world or developers anymore and they have left us with no good product to create business software. They want us to believe that the “CLOUD” is so important now when it is just a passing “FAD” and has no real place when super hardware is becoming so cheap and powerful and keeping your data on premises is most vital today and in the future. I have seen Microsoft do this many times in the past and businesses suffer the consequence. Does anybody have a “clue” what and whose software we should develop in and be able to honestly present our solution to the business world?
    I am truly sorry to see LightSwitch “die” and Microsoft should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Many, including myself, shared that vision of what LS was and could have been. The first time I saw LS I was simply amazed, even dreamt about it. Whoever decided to shift resources away from it was not someone that had the small-medium LOB software shops in his/her mind. It’s a guess, but I’m almost certain it was a management decision, not one by the team.

  7. Hey Jan,

    A friend told me once from breakdown comes breakthru. And that’s what I’m hoping for LightSwitch. I think I passed from stage 1 to 5 just by reading this post. I was (still) in denial.

    I have always agreed with you on that if LS is the right tool for a particular problem, use it. So I will continue to, given the opportunity.

    I appreciate your commitment so in that spirit, as a valuable reader [;)], as U2 wrote back in the 80’s:

    I was on the inside
    When they pulled the four walls down
    I was looking through the window
    I was lost, I am found

    Walkaway, walkaway
    I walkaway, walkaway…I will follow
    If you walkaway, walkaway,
    I walkaway, walkaway…I will follow
    I will follow.

    Have a great year.

  8. Damn. I just got here via the LS succinctly book, only to stare at the death notice.

    Lightswitch had really lowered the entry threshold for many new programmers and developers like myself, afaik made life easier for veterans and made it possible for single devs to come up with rapidly developed business applications, even without a team.

    And to think that LS is going to die a slow death is so depressing.. Time to queue up the alternatives if any?

    Jan, what do you think about Wakanda?

    • Hey Jagan,

      sorry about the shock coming here then :S
      I have not tried Wakanda yet because I never heared about it before. Their twitter stream stands at 1.2k followers and their main website has a couple of non-professional aspects to it (like using mouse-over images instead of an icon font). That tells me that although it might be a superb platform, it’s not state-of-the-art or mainstream… yet.
      I’ll keep an eye on it though!

      Jan

  9. Nicely written. Personally I have already reached Acceptance stage, but a little part of me is still Barganing. Hence I continue to check out the LS team blog, Hoping for an “answer”.

    Thank you so much for all your have shared with the community and hope for more to come. Am excited to see what you have planned for next Monday. You should try writing a screenplay or novel after this. Your cliffhanger got me… irritated, in a good way. 🙂

  10. Nice article Jan! I’m still at anger.. since I’m self learned, LS gave me chance to enter into world of software and programming.. now my favorite toy is taken away.. the point is that I’m currently floating in between – what to do next, what to learn next, what product to take in consideration..

    my daily job is boring so I need to find some (other) kind of exhaust valve.. 😀

    • It’s the curse of the programmer. We’re mathematical artists, but usually forbidden to design anything bigger than dull screens. 😦
      LS has been an enabler. It brought many people into the world of programming, allowing them to get stuff done while learning, instead of having to learn for so many years before getting stuff done. OTOH we can consider it a step up. LS has learned us a lot, time for a new challenge 😉

  11. So sad to see indeed and like you i have hinted at this in the last six months and I now know I was simply in denial. As someone who is an old programmer and only started in Microsoft technologies about two years ago and having achieved significant solutions with Lightswitch I have also changed my life to use this product and it would appear this is now all futile. I understand Foxpro and Access went the same way. What a shame indeed.

  12. Thanks for the update Jan. I’m looking forward to the announcement. My guess is that it starts with a p… but don’t want to spoil it for other 🙂 I need to re-work some of my LS apps anyway into ‘web’ apps, and if this is all open source, and works with a PHP server/Linux server, may prove better/more cost effective anyway.

    • Surprisingly, it does not start with a p… :O What did you have in mind?
      PS: yes, web apps will be the way to go, free of server choice although personally I have a lot of Asp.NET layers that are reusable and ready for a new client to them…

  13. Jan:
    Thanks for sharing this information. LS has been also an enabler for me to enter in the world of programming. I am electrical engineer and master in physics (complex systems)and the first time I looked into Lightswitch it was like magic…but when I got a little more educated in computer science (studying for about 1 year and using LS to develop apps for my companies (www.fametal.com) ) it turned out that the complexity of our systems was growing exponentially with the number of entities. After studying about Domain Driven Design and the concepts of Bounded Contexts, Aggregates and Aggregates Roots it was for me clear that these concepts were very important to maintain the complexity of the system in check. But we fail to implement this paradigm with Lightswitch…Now our team is studying MVC which looks promising but it is much more work, we hope we can made use of MVC scaffoldings to be more productive…
    I am very curious about your announced post of next Monday.
    I wanted also to thank you for your incredible support to the LS community!

  14. For me Lightswitch is all about Sharepoint. It sidestepped the clunkiness of Sharepoint LIsts and forms, the inflexibility of BCS and External Lists, and bought together a true marriage of data and document management.
    It extended the investment in Sharepoint/Office 365 in an easy way and helped me to a builder not a coder (who wants to be coder?). Boo hoo!

    If I see one curly bracket on Monday Jan I’m heading back to denial.

  15. Jan,
    I just learned that tomorrow it’s “Blue Monday” , the most depressive day of 2015 ( see: http://www.bluemonday.org ). I truly hope that this is a pure coincidence , 😉 , and your upcoming annoucement will make 19 january 2015 a day to remember it in a positive way !!

    Waiting and counting the hours here in Holland …..

    Regards, Ruud

  16. Thanks Jan for sharing this post with us. Said to see that the LS team ran out of lights and has gone dark. Looking forward to your announcement though!

    • Hey Bas!
      Alles goed in Nederland?
      It’ll be a while before we have anything near what LS gave us. Then again, once we have it, we’ll be lightyears ahead of where we once were. Hang in there buddy!

      Jan

  17. Our company has developed a digital library applications using Lightswitch in 2013 was just Lunching….www.dodreamsys.com
    But disappointment may have to give up do not have continuous technical development support for Lightswitch have is anxiety.
    Does our company to do next ?

  18. Okay, so what was the announcement? I’m a power-user who does minimal coding but found LightSwitch to be the perfect fit… so what is the alternative you were mentioning?

  19. Hi Jan, There IS the best RAD-Tool… it is called Navision, or Microsoft Business Solutions NAV. But M$ like to kill it a little bit more every release, so Lightswitch was my hope… I searched and searched for progress, but this blog entry here gave me the final decision: I am right: Lightswitch is dead… if even a guy with a lot of reputations like you decide it. OK, get it to the grave before it was borne …. for me. So, wipe away the tears, now i will look for your new love Aurelia. If you or Rob are interested in a view for a real real good RAD-Tool i like to show you Navision from the developer side of view, maybe there are ideas for you or Rob. Netherlands are OK, but US might be a little bit expensive for me 😦 So enough of wiping tears, lets go to Aurelia! I will tell if i also fall in love…

  20. Hi and thanks for your post.
    It’s like a Deja Vu. Just remind yourself with this post you wrote: http://janvanderhaegen.com/2012/06/07/silverlight-is-dead-long-live-lightswitch.
    Looks like MSFT isn’t bothered at all with introducing new technologies and eliminating them quickly.
    I love C#+XAML, but have seriously abandoned it since the death of SL.
    It’s a pity MS doesn’t invest in a Silverlight-like cross-platform, and especially web alternative.
    Because HTML5-CSS3-JS will never replace C# XAML.
    I pull my hair trying to figure out why they’re kissing CSS and JS abandoning XAML.

    • Hey Shimmy!

      I’ve been making the jump to HTML&CSS&JS and I must say I do miss my MSFT client technology days sometimes. OTOH everything is so much bigger, there are so many more people involved, frameworks available, and everything being open source helps with the confidence. IMHO MSFT makes 3-4 year swings between being a ‘thought leader’, and thinking ‘wow this is not what developers want, we should just be facilitating the existing good stuff’. By my watch, we got 1-3 years to go before we see some new MSFT innovation 😉

      • Although not directly an innovation of MS’s per-say but the Cordova Multi-Device Hybrid Application project template within VS is where I have been currently focusing my time with Mobile based applications. I am utilizing IONIC which is built on top of Angular 1.x and using TypeScript to round out the core project technologies and have a pretty nice set of development capabilities within VS 2015. I like that I can build one application that targets all major platforms, should make it far easier to maintain. The newly fostered relationship between the Angular 2 project team using TypeScript should realize support from UI frameworks such as IONIC, Kendo etc.
        The entire MVVM and solution experience in TypeScript feels a lot like the old days of SL but with a much broader suite of frameworks, plugin’s etc.
        Whatever client/server side stack you choose to roll with, building HTML and JS (TypeScript-based) based mobile solutions is highly prescriptive these days and actually something that I am coming to enjoy, as much as working with pure .Net Client based solutions.

      • That is a very surprising development. I have never heard of ‘Fayde’ but I found it here: http://fayde.io The obvious question is: If Silverlight can be made to work on “Evergreen Browsers” why didn’t Microsoft do it? The next question is: Could Fayde work with LightSwitch?

        Scott Hanselman tells us about the Flash replacement Shumway and then mentions Fayde here: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/JavaScriptHasWonRunFlashWithMozillaShumwayAndDevelopSilverlightInJSWithFayde.aspx He says: “Fayde transforms Silverlight into HTML5 Canvas and JavaScript! It’s an implementation of a XAML engine in JS.”
        I can confirm that the ‘Fantasy Football app’ runs in Chrome on my nexus 7! That’s a first. Hanselman goes on to say: “It’s not a Silverlight Emulator, it’s a Silverlight-like implementation and app development pattern for HTML5. . . .Fayde may be the Silverlight migration strategy you’ve been looking for.” BTW Fayde uses TypeScript and seems not to be an exact alternative to Silverlight because there no C# support. So I think the answer to my second question is ‘No’ Fayde won’t work with LightSwitch. You’d need to rewrite all your C# code at the very least. There are also questions about when Fayde will be fully functional and if it will be commercialised apparently. So Fayde is not so much a Silverlight replacement as a Silverlight-like replacement as Scott says.

    • Do you have inside info on that? Has Microsoft even told Jan that they are not continuing with the LightSwitch approach in Visual Studio? Is the power off or is that little red light just indicating stand-by.

      Will LightSwitch be back on the agenda some time in Q3 2015? I have no reason to believe it won’t at this stage because it seems inconceivable that Microsoft would turn their back on such a great flexible and open approach to developing web-apps using their Server & Cloud databases and services. Would they walk away from the amazing developer community that has formed around this product? It would make more sense for them to re-engage with the community and continue building an even better developer tool that can take advantage of the next wave of products and tech associated with Windows 10.

      • Yes, It’s a great product and does everything we need at our international manufacturing company. We use it extensively along with MS SQL Server, SSRS and the Cloud. Of course, they haven’t said it is dead yet but neither have they said it is still alive. From my understanding, it still hasn’t shown up in any Windows 10 blurbs or the next version of Visual Studio (haven’t followed recent MS articles and their may be some news there). It appears to be MS usual way to just let things die, which is especially alarming to all of us LightSwitch users and dedicated companies. With a little more added updates, it could be a sensational product. I would especially like “drag and drop” or at least the capability of having some kind if “Spacer” control property added like VB and C# have (add the left, top, right and bottom properties for both desktop and HTML LightSwitch versions). The Column capability is great but can be nerve racking to make work sometimes. It would be nice to know if MS ever did anything with the survey they conducted a while back asking for our “wish list”! Again, you hear nothing and quite disappointing.
        Hopefully, we will see the “resurrection” of a new update soon. If not, MS has surely let us all down and the new president is talking out of both sides of his mouth – CLOUD, CLOUD, CLOUD but what about development needed to put these products in the CLOUD!! Hope that is not true as he seems to be sincere and truthful…

  21. Reports of LightSwitch being turned off have been greatly exaggerated. I’ve just installed the Visual Studio 2015 RC and there it is, in all its glory. There’s even rumours of it being released as some kind of addon for the community edition. Lightswitch will be with us untill VS 2015 is no longer relevant.

    • Unfortunately that’s not quite true Stuart. Jan called it pretty accurately. If LightSwitch wasn’t dead it was, at best, in a coma. It is now dead because Microsoft has said so. Listen to ‘The evolution of the .Net core’ with Jay Schmelzer’: http://www.dotnetrocks.com/default.aspx?showNum=1140 . . . just past the preliminaries when he gets straight into how the LightSwitch HTML Client was placed in the ‘too hard’ bin last year and they are now looking at deploying ‘LightSwitch like technologies’ to mainstream Visual Studio developers. No matter how you slice or dice that he seems to be saying that they do not see a future for LightSwitch as an evolving part of their tools strategy. The LightSwitch coffin will stay in Visual Studio for the foreseeable future and that’s what you’re seeing.

      I had been taking them at the word and expecting that in mid-2015 they would re-engage with the community to continue working on improving the LightSwitch developer experience. What they are now saying is that they want input from the community, but not to improve LightSwitch. They want ideas that they can incorporate into their mainstream tooling. IOW they’ve kept us dangling so that we don’t jump ship and now they’re expecting the community to swallow their new ‘NOT LightSwitch’ developer experience. I’m not sure if the community will be delighted with that outcome but we will supposedly be getting more detail, very shortly, in a formal Visual Studio blog. Personally I’m taking Jan’s advice and looking more closely at Aurelia to see what sort of a developer and deployment experience I get.

      RIP LightSwitch.

      • Thanks Lloyd, that’s good intel. I listened to Jay talk about it and I agree with everything he said too. It will be good to see what comes next.

        Practically speaking though, VS2013 supports Windows 7 and 8 which will be with us in Corporates untill 2020 and 2023 (at the very least). VS2015 supports Windows 10. As a tool for building LOB applications within Corporates by Subject Matter Expert type folks, it still has quite a bit of runway.

        So Lightswitch wont be with us forever. OK, that’s probably the case for most tools.

        Lightswitch may be dying but untill the replacement makes its way into the Corporate world, it still seems useful…

      • Totally agree that it’s useful. The problem for us as developers is: how do you pitch developing a solution with a tool that’s at end-of-life? The tool was only an effective developer tool for around 2 years before it was killed off. This hardly inspires confidence in whatever follows. I agree that the focus will be on Win 10 development and Universal Apps but that might not be where some of us want to head. There could be too much lock-in or limitations like Store or Office App deployment only. What LightSwitch offered was the flexibility to target a Windows Server Web role (IIS), Azure or SharePoint (Office 365). For the Silverlight Client you could even deploy to the Desktop.

        Will they retain these capabilities? I suspect that deployment options will be limited to better suit the ‘New’ Microsoft strategies, Browser & service offerings.

    • Or early 2021 when it reaches end of support. It goes end of mainstream support in early 2017, barely a year and a half away. That means no new features, no compatibility fixes, just critical security fixes.

  22. Pingback: Microsoft Lightswitch ade | MS Excel | Power Pivot | DAX

  23. The EXACT SAME ignorance we have seen since 2013 with AccessApps. Evolution? FORGET IT! Access 2016 beta is almost identical to Access 2013. There were a few small O365 Updates, but that’s it! MS builds REALLY promising products, but LS and AccessApps are only half ready products. And YES, they are dead because MS doesn’t build roads anymore. LS should have had by now AT LEAST the functionality of Access-Desktop (MDI, reporting, .accdb support, etc.). There are MILLIONS of Access-Desktop projects out there to find a new home, because VBA is a zombie since .Net was introduced in 2002. This will be a 14 year zombie walk and it will end only if Surface will replace Windows. So just keep screaming at MS!

  24. I can’t believe how poorly Microsoft decided to handle this project. They came a long way and got everything up to the point where you could really develop with it. One problem was, you pretty much needed to buy ComponentOne to do the heavy-lifting that many apps need.

    But the biggest problem was 2 things: Their marketing of what it was, and their presentation on how it was supposed to be used.

    The development made sense, but it was marketed as a way for ‘non-developers’ to be able to quickly make an app that works with (mostly) internal data. The problem with that is that you needed to program to do some things in silverlight, and you definitely needed to code with the HTML/JS client. The new client was spot on with what LS should be, with some additions to beef up the functionality of it. However, it required programming against a framework already there, which does some heavy duty implementations of your data, but at the same time did not cater enough to a developer.

    It ended up being an in-between. Something that a developer wouldn’t be able to have enough features for, and not easy enough for a non-developer. It was so close! All that was needed was some more work with the drag-and-drop implementation because lets face it, you do that with access as well.

    Hopefully a new product will come out to resurrect the work that was done that will allow generic internal applications to be made with ease. I was hoping that the MS team would recognize the uses of what LS was, and stop listening to the people trying to show off what LS could do that it shouldn’t be used for and take it at face-value.

    It turns out that non-developers still use MS Access to do their internal applications even if it may be a little less intuitive. But it gets them to where they want to be.

    Lightswitch was almost at the point of overtaking simple apps used for internal purposes that could be less complicated and more streamlined than MS Access, if only the implementation of the new client was made simpler, the focus was made clearer, and if it is marketed as a streamlined application tool that requires some development but saves a hellofa lot of development time.

    Hope you read this Microsoft!

  25. As a professional Access developer I couldn’t agree more! As from January this year I’ve stopped all my efforts in trying to make LS a part of my business and since then I’ve waited to see what will happen. To all of you who commented on Jan’s article I would like to point out that, within commercial and non-commercial companies, in my experience there’s definately a need for the functionality of Access, but it should meet up to today’s modern needs.
    To you Jan, I would suggest the following: with your contacts within Microsoft, could you make a transcript of all these comments on this article and make sure that the LightSwitch Developers Team and maybe a few influencial people over there will get these to read?
    Maybe it will help…………

    • Many organisations have build hundreds of Access Apps over the years and many have grown to become mission critical. Because of the poor performance of .Net & WPF the Office Team was never able to merge with the ‘Professional Tools’ offerings and VBA was eventually orphaned. Developing Access web-apps using JS generating macros was a truly horrible experience compared to developing Access desktop apps.

      Sadly, Microsoft have become a very stupid company IMO. I guess that is the result of having a moron like Steve Ballmer running the company for so long. The marketing that came with the first version of LightSwitch doomed it. Serious developers were put off by what was presented as a ‘citizen developer’ tool but it was never really that sort of tool. You needed to write C# or at best VB code inside Visual Studio! Not a trivial exercise. So after the misguided marketing strategy failed, it was bundled in with Visual Studio properly and was no longer available as a stand alone product, It then had zero attraction to any ‘citizen developers’ out there. The damage had already been done and even though Microsoft pressed on and created the HTML Client, and Beth Massi evangelised like crazy, it lacked solid documentation and required developer community luminaries to carry the word and turn it into a practical tool. Having fostered a super-keen developer community Microsoft then turned it’s back on LightSwitch and the community in what was a most callously cynical way. It and we were pretty much dropped overnight without warning or any proper consideration then or since.

      LightSwitch has a stake through it’s heart now and it doesn’t matter what anyone says to Microsoft. They have been deaf to the screams of the dying community for over a year now. We all have to take stock and consider what tools we need to build the web-apps our customers need wherever we find them. It’s all over now baby blue!

      • Even though the development in JS was not very good, it still is the right direction. I was skeptical of LS at first, but the cross compatibility on the framework was fast, easier, and more compatible with any device you want. Desktop apps are less managable than server-hosted ones. If they made the right marketing choices people probably would have understood where its place was in the ecosystem, as a quick and easy way for a developer to make a tool for people to use quickly and in simple ways.

        I hope MS will rebrand and touch up the LS project. Maybe it will have a better name than “Lightswitch” next time!

      • Did you know the initial ‘working name’ of LS was “Project KittyHawk”? 😀

        Agreed, LS had a great idea. In the HTML client, they messed up the MVVM separation instead of improving it. It went downhill from there and doesn’t look like they’ll actually be engaging with us to take it to the top 😦

    • Heya Ruud!

      I remember you jumped on the LS wagon at the very start as well, so I can imagine your pain is as big as mine too. I did just today send another mail to the “lightswitch insiders” team. There IS communication in that group. Although I can’t share what sort of communication, I would say don’t get too many hopes up… 😦

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