What do you think? Is "Visual Studio Lightswitch" becoming the "Oracle APEX" for SQL Server in the futrure? Are these two technologies comparable?


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I think Lightswitch is positioned similarly to APEX, although this is an outsider's view as I have not worked with either product. To me, Lightswitch seems positioned as a rapid application development platform such as MS Access, FoxPro, Delphi, and other things like that. It seems like they are trying to get it to the point where a junior developer (or gasp non-technical person) could get an initial UI set up against some data sources. But, if necessary, that UI could graduate to full-fledged customized UI that is enhanced by .NET developers.

It's an interesting idea. I'm just not sure who exactly will use this product. If you ask a .NET dev to build you an app, they won't choose Lightswitch. And if you ask a business person, they won't know about it, let alone know how to install it and get off the ground. It isn't like Access that comes installed with Word and Excel and is on every user's computer.

  • if necessary, that UI could graduate to a ... nightmare that is sworn at by developers! Remember when your boss showed you his VB or Access app he wrote over the weekend and said he'd like you to start maintaining it.. :)
    – gbjbaanb
    May 17, 2011 at 15:35
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    We have APEX apps (ok, they're mostly internal-use applications, nothing public-facing) written by developers here, simply because it's the fastest way to get a UI up in front of some queries. Sure, those developers could have written a custom web application in Java, but that would have taken much longer and been overkill. I imagine if we were on a .NET stack we might have done the same thing with Lightswitch. The non-technical users here don't build APEX (or Access when it's used). May 17, 2011 at 15:37
  • @gbjbaanb. I agree this is a possibility. The thing that makes me a bit more optimistic about Lightswitch vs. Access is that it is built upon solid .NET architectures such as Silverlight, web services, etc. It will be less messy to "graduate" than it would be from Access. May 17, 2011 at 18:46
  • I wouldn't bundle Delphi and FoxPro in with MS Access. The former are (or were) comprehensive development tools and sold as such. MS Access is part of MS Office and aimed much more at non-developers.
    – Alan B
    Mar 15, 2012 at 16:54

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