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InfoQ Homepage News Visual Studio LightSwitch Adds HTML5/JavaScript Support

Visual Studio LightSwitch Adds HTML5/JavaScript Support

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At this week's TechEd conference, Microsoft announced that they are adding HTML5 support to Visual Studio LightSwitch, the tool intended to simplify the development of custom database-driven business applications.

LightSwitch currently produces Silverlight applications. Adding code generation for HTML5 and JavaScript means that LightSwitch apps can now run on any platform with a supported browser, including Android, iOS, and Windows 8.

This is another step towards cross-platform standardization for LightSwitch. The beta release of Visual Studio 2012 included an update for LightSwitch that makes it possible to add OData services, so that data can be consumed by non-LightSwitch applications. As for the introduction of the HTML5/JavaScript-based client, the LightSwitch Team states:

With many employees bringing their own devices to the workplace, building a native client for every device and deploying each implementation to separate app stores is rarely feasible. Standards-compliant HTML5 and JavaScript was a natural technology choice given its growing support and vibrant development community.

The Silverlight client will remain the default target for LightSwitch applications. Microsoft says that the current primary focus for HTML5 applications is mobile optimization and touch functionality. A likely scenario would be a full-featured desktop client running on Silverlight, with an HTML5 mobile companion application. LightSwitch allows for these to be built side-by-side in one project.

The LightSwitch HTML5 client is not yet available, but it's expected soon. It will be available for download from the LightSwitch Developer Center.

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