Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What is Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™ 2011

Today I am going to write about the newest development tool which has introduced by Microsoft. Microsoft is known as a company for delivering great development tools. To develop data driven applications, for  a long time Microsoft has been offering two main development tools targeting two these audiences,
  1. Microsoft Visual Studio for wide range of developers from students and hobbyists, to enterprise developers and architects.
  2. Microsoft Access (included in Microsoft Office package) for basic level developers.

Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™ 2011

As a member of the Visual Studio family, Visual Studio LightSwitch is the newest development tool. Microsoft introduced this product especially to support rapid application development (RAD) techniques in line-of-business (LOB) application development. LightSwitch is combined with the simplicity of Microsoft Access and the Flexibility of Microsoft Visual Studio. How Microsoft describes their newest development tool is "The simplest way to create business applications for the desktop or the cloud.".

Visual Studio LightSwitch in RAD tool like Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, and Delphi. It's audience is mainly not only the developers but also the business analysts, consultants, and IT experts working on business projects.

Installing Visual Studio LightSwitch

Visual Studio LightSwitch uses integrated shell mode. So that means LightSwitch can be integrated into the shell of an existing Visual Studio 2010 installation or If you do not have a previous installation of Visual Studio 2010, the set-up process will install Visual Studio shell to your machine with all of the LightSwitch features.

LightSwitch Applicability

In terms of LightSwitch applicability, development with LightSwitch is available on Visual Basic and Visual C# programming language under the following three groups or zones which describe the degree to which this new member of the Visual Studio family can be applied in a Line Of Business project,
  1. White zone - LightSwitch would be a great tool for these kinds of projects.
  2. Black zone - LightSwitch cannot be used as the main tool for projects in this zone.
  3. Grey zone - Certain parts (or phases) of your LOB project can be implemented with LightSwitch, but you definitely need other tools to complete it.
Take a look at the following image. It contains a full explanation of above three zones.

Applicability of Visual Studio LightSwitch.

What you can do with Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™ 2011

Using LightSwitch, it's like Microsoft has made the developer's life so easy. I would list down some of the most important things that is available with Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™ 2011.
  • Rapid Application Development.
  • Already designed UI templates.
  • Ability to connect to an existing SQL Server and retrieve and update data from the provided UI screens in the double.
  • Ability to connect to SharePoint lists and retrieve and update data.
  • Ability to deploy applications to the Windows Azure platform.
  • Microsoft Office Integration.
  • Authentication and Access Control.
  • Code is fully customizable.

Hope you all got a basic understanding about what Microsoft® Visual Studio® LightSwitch™ 2011 is and what you can do with this great tool. Appreciate your kind feedback.

Happy Coding.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

ASP.NET Menu control's submenu hides behind Silverlight

When developing ASP.NET web sites, have you ever faced to this problem where your ASP.NET Menu control's submenu hides behind Silverlight slide show or some Silverlight application you have integrated into your site and it's right below the Menu control.

Well I faced that problem and since I know that a lot developers might face this problem, thought to share the answer. The answer is pretty simple. I am writing down the code below.

<div id="silverlightControlHost">
     <object data="data:application/x-silverlight-2," type="application/x-silverlight-2" width="100%" height="100%">
          <param name="source" value="ClientBin/ImageSlideShow.xap"/>
          <param name="onError" value="onSilverlightError" />
          <param name="minRuntimeVersion" value="4.0.50826.0" />
          <param name="autoUpgrade" value="true" />
          <param name="background" value="transparent" />
          <param name="windowless" value="true" />
          <a href="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=149156&v=4.0.50826.0" style="text-decoration:none">
               <img src="http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=161376" alt="Get Microsoft Silverlight" style="border-style:none"/>
     </object><iframe id="_sl_historyFrame" style="visibility:hidden;height:0px;width:0px;border:0px:;"></iframe>

Just make sure to add the highlighted lines. Hope it helps. Appreciating your feedback.

Happy Coding.