Microsoft has announced the availability of Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2, a tool intended to allow developers to build polished, user-friendly, custom business applications for the desktop, the web, and the cloud. The new product was unveiled this week by Jason Zander general manager for Visual Studio at the Microsoft Developer Tools Partner Summit in Redmond.
Building on the tool's beta 1 release, the beta 2 product now introduces a new Publish Wizard, which provides the ability to publish a LightSwitch desktop or browser application to Windows Azure — and this includes the application’s database to SQL Azure as well. Zander has said that his team is planning a detailed tutorial of this process that will be published on his department's team blog.
There are also runtime UI improvements and improved runtime and design-time performance. "Build times are 50% faster in Beta 2 and we have made the build management smarter to improve iterative F5 scenarios by up to 70%. LightSwitch Beta 2 applications will startup up to 30% faster than Beta 1. New features like static spans will include related data in a single query execution and improve the time to load data on a screen by reducing the total number of server round-trips. The middle tier data load/save pipeline has been optimized to improve throughput by up to 60%," said Microsoft's Zander.
As well as added extensibility for pro developers using Visual Studio Professional or higher to create LightSwitch application extensions, there is also expanded availability and supported languages now include English and German. Also new within the project properties UI is the ability to now allow developers to authenticate any Windows user in a LightSwitch application while still using the LightSwitch authorization subsystem for determining user permissions for specific users.