16 Sep 2013

imageMy friend and fellow MVP Michael Washington runs THE LightSwitch website, and recently he published a book, Creating Web Pages Using the LightSwitch HTML Client in Visual Studio 2012, with and I decided to buy a physical copy to show my apparition of his great work. I thought I would take some time to write a brief review of thebook.

The question I always ask for a review, is this the book for me – the answer is YES! This book is for EVERYONE! However, let us dig into some more details on the book.

Newbies to LightSwitch

If you are new to LightSwitch, or new to the HTML client, then the book covers a lot of the things you need to think of. Each chapter covers in a very practical way how to implement what it showing and it is very visual in how it covers the material. What is great is this book doesn’t shy away from the developer aspects, and there is plenty of coverage on the JavaScript development models and how to put it together.

This is so good for newbies, that I think Michael should license this to Microsoft so they can build training material around it!

LightSwitch Professionals

I have done LightSwitch for years from the smallest projects to massive things and everything in between – and even I saw & learnt things. A lot of what I personally gain was ideas of how to put content together and ideas on JavaScript libraries. I literally went to work the next day after the book, and submitted a list of ideas inspired by the book!

Where the book is weak

The book isn’t perfect though – where it falls down is the later bits, most glaringly a section on using a WCF RIA Service with it. RIA Services, with the death zombie-ness of Silverlight (in my view) and LightSwitch does support WebAPI which is what ASP.NET is pushing & is the future (in my view) & there is no Web API material. 

The only other problem, is that the images are in grey scale. While reading it didn’t annoy me but when I closed it, and realised the final example image is the image on cover… I realised how much I lost not having colour images.


Michael Washington's picture

Thanks for covering my book, I really appreciate it. I did not have any WebAPI examples because in VS2012 you have to have code to handle the routes and to me it is extra work for the same result so I used generic file handlers. When I do examples in VS2013 I may use them more because the routing may be already set for you.

As to WCF RIA Services, when you consume them on the LightSwitch screen they require much less code when you have an updatable data source so I don't anticipate them ever removing them (they also wont be removing Silverlight). For example, if I did my Picture file manager (http://lightswitchhelpwebsite.com/Blog/tabid/61/EntryId/187/LightSwitch-...) using WebAPI, I would end up with a LOT of brittle JavaScript code, as it is now there is only a minimal amount of Javascript code :)

siraj rizvi's picture

Hi Michael
I am trying to convince my programmers that lighswitch is a great way to create the patient portal for a medical application. They are hesitant and pushing it for standard asp.net web application. Any thought if there is any reason we should not use lightswitch for that purpose, like security etc?

any comment will very helpful specially coming from an expert like you:)


Add new comment