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Provide Lightswitch Product Roadmap - recurring Town Hall

It's been forever since the community has seen a product roadmap for LightSwitch. A year ago we saw something of a 'statement of direction', but that's not what I'm talking about. We need more information about what specific backlog items are being worked on and what to expect from both near and long term for releases.

Since the HTML Client announcement, there has been a great deal of discomfort in the LS community about the lack of information coming from MSFT regarding advancement towards a LS client for LOB application development.

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/7b92697d-ff35-4c04-8ac5-8949870c6c58/lob-html5?forum=lightswitch

Most folks believe a new HTML client having no dependency on jQuery Mobile UI which is open and extensible so that other popular frameworks & controls could be used would be a step in the right direction. However, without a roadmap, no one can say whether this is likely to happen.

Over a year ago, Joe Binder held a much appreciated, well attended Town Hall meeting, after which, no summary nor answers to questions were posted as promised. Though we were told they'd like to make this a regular occurrence, none has happened since.

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/30059347-92da-4797-90aa-67414a4d77a9/live-from-redmond-visual-studio-lightswitch-town-hall-thursday-september-12-2013-800am?forum=lightswitch

More than 6 months ago, Steve Lasker solicited interviews from the community regarding LS LOB appdev. As far as we know, nothing has become of that.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/stevelasker/archive/2014/03/12/looking-for-lob-developers.aspx

Now discomfort in the community about the future of LS is at the highest I've seen. Both in the forums and privately, everyone is discussing alternative tools and frameworks for building HTML LOB apps.

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/f59c650b-5540-41b1-b494-02559beabdb0/large-lob-application-using-the-html-client?forum=lightswitch

Meanwhile, MSFT puts out a survey which reads like 'is anyone even using lightswitch?'

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/faabe8b9-7efa-400a-b6e3-5b96542100c0/please-take-the-lightswitchcloud-business-app-developer-survey?forum=lightswitch

Can we have another Town Hall and detailed road map please?

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    joshbooker shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thank you for your suggestion on improving LightSwitch. However, Visual Studio 2015 is the last release of Visual Studio that includes the LightSwitch tooling and we recommend users not begin new application development with LightSwitch. That said, we will continue to support users with existing LightSwitch applications, including critical bug fixes and security issues as per the Microsoft Support Lifecycle. Please see the blog post for more information: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/lightswitch/2016/10/14/lightswitch-update/

    – The Visual Studio Team

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      • xx commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So Microsoft abandon LightSwitch, just like they abandoned VB6 programming. At least with VB they realized they still needed VBA programming.

      • Hansjörg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        LS is a direct thread to the Azure and SharePoint strategy. Doing an web app in LS with full referential integrity outperforms SharePoint easily and would tend to bind customers to on premise development. but the new mantra is: cloud first (and the rest is already dead regarding MS). MS simply does not want to continue to create tools and platforms that make it easy for you guys to stay on premise and maybe even connect your on premise SharePoint to SAP or SQL Server. They want customer to be forced to purchase cloud solutions and get into a permanent, lucrative dependency where they can sell every single little enhancement to a price dictated by them (as the customers have no more chanced to pass by). I doubt that this strategy will work as customers are not that dumb. They will simply exit into other platforms or use other tools. That is still the old mindset of market dictatorship. But guys: LS future is crystal clear. MS has put it on the shelve for slow decay. One day it will be so rotten-ed that you will abandon it all together and do either what MS wants you to do (buy Office365 or Azure) or go somewhere else.

      • Jordan Walker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am certain people just want to know if we can get our hands on the new unified XAML that is part of windows 10 UWP and still build rich applications targeting the desktop using LightSwitch. The implied answer is no LightSwich does what is does now and will never use the new XAML API's announced at BUILD 2015.

        Because this link
        https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/lightswitch/2014/12/05/where-we-are-and-the-road-ahead/

        says this.
        "To date, we know many of you have asked whether you should continue to use LightSwitch & Cloud Business Apps. If the support we have in Visual Studio 2015 meets the needs of your application, then you should feel confident in developing with LightSwitch or Cloud Business Apps as we build out the roadmap"

        It appears as though the answer is UWP as our primary application type if we want to move forward with MS. Win32 will remain in VS but is also not their focus.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I love Lightswitch and I have a, what might sound as a crazy idea, about how to get some info from Microsoft, my friend did this when she had a hard time (some really wierd company policy) with a public company in Sweden.
        She bought one share in the company then she filed a motion about removing this policy for the annual shareholders meeting. At least in Sweden they have to hear her out in the open since she is a shareholder (and they dont want to at that time).
        It was settled long before the general shareholder meeting, and she got hear way.
        Can someone living in the city where they have the annual general meeting and owning stock in microsoft file a motion for the annual shareholder meeting about giving us a roadmap for Lightswitch?

      • Tiernay Roland commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Tom++

        >>It’s a nightmare with Microsoft:

        You are absolutely right.

        We used VB6 programming - Microsoft abandoned it (though we are lucky that it still continues working, even on Windows 10).
        We used Silverlight - MS abandoned that too.
        We looked at LightSwitch - fortunately we didn't do much with it because we could no longer trust Microsoft.
        Than we needed to develop mobile apps. But Microsoft could only offer us Windows Phone, which they kept breaking compatibility with (Windows Mobile 6, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8) before losing out altogether.

        You just can't trust Microsoft anymore.

        https://www.facebook.com/dsobeski/posts/10153683440480008

      • Tom++ commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It’s a nightmare with Microsoft:
        - once, we used Visual FoxPro. It worked great and we got no similar productive alternative.
        – we introduced SketchFlow. It’s gone.
        – we spend a lot of time to train employees to develop Silverlight applications. No future.
        – we used LightSwitch. It *was* a great tool.

        Because Java *always* had a great future vision and they obligated to their products, we changed to Java.
        It’s really great: Knowledge is saved and our Users are happy because they no longer need Windows Licences!

        Therefore, we are much more competitive and porting to e.g. Android is a cakewalk.

        If a customer imperatively would like to use Windows – it’s no problem either.

        And the last Point: we save a lot of Money, because the great IDEs are … free. And complete. Even the UI DESIGNERS are doing a great job – and they still know how to use Colors, so that it looks great and is useful.

      • Marvin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any hope for the LS team @MSFT to give us LS devs the future to develop more apps? LS is a wonderful, fast and effective tool.

      • Calvin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Lightswitch is a fantastic tool and a major asset to the Microsoft development environment. +1

      • Kivito commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        even if you won't do new stuff for LS, at least polish problematic issues..

      • Kory commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        When I discovered LS a few years ago, it took me literally a couple of hours to develop an application that took me days to build before in MS Access, and had many more features like access control, HTML5 support, and others. I found the interface fairly intuitive and only had to resort to web searches couple of times.

        In most of my 20 years of professional life working with numerous companies, I inevitably have been asked to create small workgroup applications to enhance productivity or streamline some manual process. All of these apps had one thing in common: data. Before LS there were two choices- build from scratch using an application development language like .NET or build using MS Office. The choice always was Office because it was already installed, users were familiar with it and could maintain it, and development was usually quick. But the end product left a lot to be desired and more time was spent on the tweaking user-experience rather than the utility of the app.

        LS changed all that for me. I was a complete convert. I rewrote an Access application that took me weeks to create in about 2 hours with LS, and the users were very impressed how smoothly it installed and worked. I thought for sure MS had a found their next killer app and would find it's place in the MS Office family, pushing MS Access out of the picture eventually. I am so saddened to hear that the future of LS is still uncertain.

        I guarantee for every 1 .NET app developer out there building small applications for business, there are 10 non-developers creating MS Access applications and would kill for the ease of development of LS with all the benefits of the frameworks it is built upon.

      • Jared commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So... this might be an up-coming alternative to LightSwitch. http://www.zudy.com/

        I can't seem to get any software; trial or otherwise. Still awaiting response from their "Contact Us" form that I submitted earlier today.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft have no commitment to LightSwitch, to Silverlight, to VB6 programming, or to many other tools used by developers.

      • Jesse commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My company develops applications with LightSwitch, using both the Silverlight and the HTML clients. This platform allows for unequaled productivity, and it's the only environment I know that lets us really think in terms of business entities and rules end-to-end as we're building features, as opposed to stepping away from business aspects to dive into purely technical abstractions when building the code. Yet, LS is powerful and sophisticated enough to implement some complex custom scenarios. We're actually building a full mini-ERP for a customer using LS. Not an easy task but again, the direct link between the business and implementation makes for an powerful experience and allows domain experts (albeit tech savvy ones) to actually create functionality.
        I'm also finishing a new Pluralsight course on LightSwitch (I’m a long-time Pluralsight author) which I began working on many months ago. I am waiting for the final release of VS 2015 to complete it. LightSwitch is definitely worth creating an in-depth course on it.
        We'd like to be reassured that the platform will live on in spite of what the doomsayers are saying, be it under some other name or packaging or licencing scheme. I can't imagine why such a great product would be abandoned (though I can understand the eventual retirement of the Silverlight piece due to the way browser plugins are going). Please keep us posted.

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