Live from Redmond - Visual Studio LightSwitch Town Hall Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 8:00AM – 9:30AM (PDT, Redmond Time) RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Visual Studio LightSwitch Town Hall

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 8:00AM – 9:30AM (PDT, Redmond Time)

    Are you interested in the future of Visual Studio LightSwitch? Come see what we’ve been working on and ask questions in this live public meeting. Joe Binder and the rest of the LightSwitch Team will be here to discuss the LightSwitch roadmap and discuss the product direction. We’ll start with a demonstration of the new features in Visual Studio 2013 and then we’ll open the floor to questions.  

    If you have burning questions or topics you'd like to discuss, it would be a great help if you post them to this thread in advance so we can provide more complete answers.  Of course, you're more than welcome to ask live too.

    Join Online Meeting:


    Join by Phone:



    Find a local number: https://join.microsoft.com/dialin  

    Conference ID: 143610907

    Please note that the meeting capacity is 250 participants. If you are unable to join, a recording will be available. 

    UPDATE: Thanks all for coming! You can listen to the recording here: http://sdrv.ms/188xLQv

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:00 PM

All replies

  • Thanks for arranging this Joe.

    My immediate questions/interests are around future support for the following (in no particular order):

    1. HTML client side computed properties
    2. Occasionally connected/untethered HTML clients (I'm amazed at the demand for this: e.g. field workers visiting remote clients, shopkeepers that want POS systems to continue when their internet connection goes down, etc)
    3. How soon can we expect multiple HTML clients per LS project (thinking modular development)
    4. Multiple simultaneous units of work in the HTML client (like the individual tabs provide in the Silverlight client)
    5. Partial screen support (like Partial Views in ASP.NET MVC) and the ability to dynamically load those could be nice
    6. Support for hand-crafting screens or part screens instead of using screen designer? This could allow us to dynamically generate screens or part screens at run-time. Think about Dynamic CRM type scenarios where users can create custom entities or custom fields on entities.
    7. Copy & Paste entire Tree Nodes in screen designer
    8. Native TypeScript support for Screen and Entity code (e.g. is a TS version of msls.js coming?)
    9. Progress on allowing a fully responsive single UI across all devices incl large form factors
    10. Additional HTML Controls: Data Table/Grid, TreeView, Menu, Toolbars, Tabs, Etc
    11. Sharing scripts and other assets between multiple HTML clients (hooked up to TFS) is cumbersome today. Although not a LS-specific issue, the way I do this today is to put those in a separate web project and reference those at runtime from the other HTML client's default.htm files via "http://localhost/..." references to that web project. Is this the best way or is there something better (even in the works)? 
    12. Renaming a LS project today (with all the included nested projects) is difficult and error prone in LS2013 Preview - will this be improved?
    13. What else is coming with Office365/SP/Azure hosting/integration (I'm particularly interested in seeing where this is heading)
    14. Any performance improvements/workarounds for list/tile controls that create many HTML DOM items with large virtual scrolling lists?
    15. Shaping Data: sometimes a normalized database makes it harder to manipulate that data from the client. RIA domain services allow us to shape data in ways that make client screen development easier. With the external database datasource you can do some of this with views. If we could create "custom entities" in the LS entity designer and then write server side code to populate/manipulate those on the server side it will allow us to shape data in ways that we can only do with RIA services or views today. I understand there might be technical challenges, but it would be very powerful.
    16. Binding screen queries to Drop Down controls in the HTML client. We have a work around today to bind it to a Choice List and then to inject options from a query at runtime, but it would be nice to support that out of the box.

    I'll probably think of more before the meeting :)

    Thanks in advance

    Regards, Xander. My Blog

    • Edited by novascape Thursday, August 29, 2013 4:30 AM added more
    Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:19 AM
  • Thanks for this Joe

    I also have couple of question

    1. Improvement of LightSwitch Silverlight Client Performance.

    2. Additional default HTML Control similar like Silverlight Client.

    3. Still its difficult to develop ERP kind of application (because of more no of table and screens) using lightswitch, what are the possibilities to overcome this.

    4. Any improved lightswitch shell and theme for VS 2013.

    5. The future of Lightswitch Silverlight client.

    6. Any reporting solution for HTML Client?

    Thanks in Advance

    Rashmi Ranjan Panigrahi

    If you found this post helpful, please “Vote as Helpful”. If it answered your question, please “Mark as Answer”.
    This will help other users to find their answer quickly.

    • Edited by babloo1436 Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:51 AM
    Thursday, August 29, 2013 3:46 AM
  • Bravo Joe!

    1. Currently the HTML client builds out a single model.json file and included data.js, view.js as well as usercode.js that are loaded at the start of the application after the client application context is built.  Will there be a way to utilize some form of composition of one or more LS applications through a Lazy Loading approach such that we don't pull down nor build out related entity and screens if the user has not called out from them at run time so that application loads fast and scales well for larger modular applications. 
    2. Will there be an API to allow us to build our own Shell within the HTML client similar to the SL client, where we are provided information regarding navigation groups and related screens at run time through a series of events and which are secured through the framework. 
    3. What in the way of advancements will will see for an HTML 5 Desktop client that makes better use of screen real-estate when applications are utilized with the traditional business application accessed via mouse and keyboard yet at the same time remain responsive to tablet and phone devices.
    4. What are your plans for screen and application authorization within the HTML client?
    5. What if any plans do you have in regards to application navigation and layout extensibility within the HTML client?
    6. Currently the msls core js manages a single document interface, will there ever be a MDI option.  If not, is it possible to build a custom shell to produce a similar effect?
    7. Will there soon be solid documentation that addresses advanced interface API to help us extend the HTML client rather than us needing to post questions on the forum or getting how to information from 3rd party LightSwitch help sites which may not have full insight into how the framework all comes together.
    8. Will there be a Windows 8.1 XAML client for LightSwitch using the new XAML markup language that renders for all types of window 8 screen sizes? If so same questions (1-7) but for the Windows 8.1 XAML client.

    Johnny Larue, http://www.softlandingcanada.com

    • Edited by John Kears Thursday, September 5, 2013 4:37 PM
    Thursday, August 29, 2013 5:25 AM
  • Thanks in advance for soliciting suggestions and arranging this conference.

    Vis-a-vis the request for more HTML controls:  would it be possible to appropriate screen controls and additional code from the WinJS library, including possibly the observable and binding namespaces?  Currently the LS databinding API seems too opinionated, and for complex entities is not as easy to work with custom controls.

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 6:54 AM
  • Hi and thank's for giving us 'a voice' <g>

    Technical questions:

     LS + internationalization: Build in multiple language support via Database not via Ressource-file ?
     LS: "real" Screen Designer for LS ? Using Blend for HTML ?
     Converting MS Access and MS VB6 Screens as screen templates for using within LS ?

     HTML LS + Typescript in VS - even more focus on Typescript integration as a standard incl. debugging etc.
     Typescript should be integrated as VB or C# etc.

    TypeScript Header for msls.js available  (or better TypeScript sourcecode ?)  as it is documented anyway.

     HTML LS + ASP.NET_MVP ( http://blog.ofanitguy.com/2013/08/07/add-asp-net-mvc-to-lightswitch-2013/ ) as a standard ? 

      Reporting with LS ?
      Reporting Services to support OData directly for better LS integration ?
      HTML LS: integrating jsPDF ( http://parall.ax/products/jspdf )

     HTML LS: Education: Special integrated Course programm (Webcasts ? ) containing
       Typescript incl. Javascript
       Javascript Modules + LS integration

    German market Questions:

     MS Germany does not push Lightswitch as it looks
     No Blogs
     Found just 1 video (in words: ONE) of creating a LS HTML client
     Any changes planned ?

     Azure + Cloud is super, but not all customers can convinced (NSA etc.) so:
     Why not pushing the big Hosters (like 1und1.de - United internet) to offer Lightswitch publishing as well
     1und1 does already offer a Hosting solution called "Windows Dual xxx" which contains 99 % of the needed things for LS
     (http://hosting.1und1.de/microsoft-hosting?__reuse=1377766788008 - see under programming) -
     but NOT Lightswitch because addidtional downloads and Settings needed
     I already contacted server support, and they declined ... You as MS can push it, but not me as "mr. nobody"
     At the moment i'd have to rent my own server (what i don't want)
     Additionally: What 100% exact specification does a hoster need, if he wants to support Lightswitch ? (When NOT using automated Web download)

    best regards from Germany

    Klaus Oberdalhoff

    Klaus Oberdalhoff Germany

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:19 AM
  • Thanks for this opportunity.

    • Lightswitch reporting (from HTML client)
    • the possibility of creating a more desktop oriented HTML client (grid component, command bar layout)
    • more out-of-the-box user control/authentication (registration for new users) in HTML client
    Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:51 AM
  • I'm mostly echoing others, but the more the merrier:
    - Improved HTML shell and layout controls that can scale up to the desktop... I would like to have fairly tight control over how the application is displayed, much like the Silverlight client.

    - Extensibility... I want to be able to make custom control extensions like I did in Silverlight and drop them in on the screen designer without having to code them in manually each time.  Some tutorials like the current Silverlight LS extensibility ones on MSDN would be great.

    I'll probably not make the call due to the time, will there be a replay available online?

    Free Visual Studio LightSwitch extensions: Elyl's Extensions

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:59 PM
  • Hi Joe,

    Thank you for the opportunity to listen the community :)

    1. Using WPF for desktop applications OOB
    2. Improve Shell SilverLight Client (leave it in the same way windows forms)
    3. Improve the performance of SilverLight Client
    4. Add new features to the Grid (grouping, export to excel, etc ...)
    5. Integration with SSRS (SSRS Viewer for SilverLight Client)
    6. Modular development (several projects with the same database)
    7. HTML Client for Desktop
    8. Encourage DevExpress migrate your controls silverlight for lightswitch

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 11:24 PM
  • Hi Joe, Thanks for this. 1. It would be nice if LS html had a prebuilt function, uploading and reading office/pdf documents. /sven

    Sven Elm

    Friday, August 30, 2013 5:14 AM
  • Thanks for the town hall!

    For me, HTML 5 browser-based desktop client for business web applications.


    Saturday, August 31, 2013 3:40 AM
  • Hi Joe!

    Great to hear this initiative from you. I have following questions:

    1. Using claims based identity (e.g. Azure ACS in conjugation with Microsoft Live/Google/Facebook accounts) with lightswitch.
    2. Possibility of using all screen metadata to convert an app into Windows RT app when it is not using any third party extension or controls.


    Saturday, August 31, 2013 4:27 AM
  • Hi Joe,

    I think the Lightswitch team need to find a solution to the "Search Box" that appear in all the screens because it only search the properties of type string.

    There're situations where we need to search in columns

    • that are computed properties
    • that their type is not a string (for example a date or a number)
    • that are located in a related table but are displayed in an AutoCompleteBox, even in this case sometime is useful to search in a column in the related table but isn't displayed in the AutoCompleteBox.

    The current solution we have to this limitations is to create our own SearchBox but it creates inconsistencies with the SearchBox displayed by Lightswitch because there're two SearchBox in the same screen.

    I think that one simple solution is to let the user to override the behavior of the SearchBox. I think the answer to this question may help LightSwitch 2011- search box

    • Edited by vcRobe Thursday, September 5, 2013 1:58 PM
    Thursday, September 5, 2013 1:55 PM
  • Joe,

    I'm primarily interested in the following scenarios:

    a) HTML client model with a SharePoint backend for data services and a SharePoint app model for a frontend

    b) LS as the [MS] defacto standard middleware tool for making it very easy to create 100% OData compatible and high-performant OData servers - for broad client reach (e.g. Open Data services on a public sector public web site).

    Specific Topics/Questions

    1. Imagine a SharePoint list having different Content Types derived or extended from the same base content type.  I want to have HTML screens that are dynamic: that the fields that are displayed/available to the user are dependent on the values the user enters for one (or more) of the fields common to each content type.  This could be the form itself is dynamic or the tabs that appear across the top of the form are dynamic.  In the latter case, the main tab corresponds to the fields in the base content type and the other tabs representing groups of fields from one of the child content types.

        Related Forum Postings



    2. In the LS Server, I want an easy way to modify the data entities between after it is pulled from SP and before it is passed on to become part of the output OData stream.

    3. Server side performance the exceeds the needs of a high-volume public web site.  LS is the only MS solution for serving up SharePoint data that is 100% OData compatible (short of trying to write custom, 100% OData compatible services from scratch (aka WCF)). SP2013 own REST services are not OData compatible.

    4. Ability to create custom HTML screen layouts - re-usable across multiple VS LS solutions and projects.

    5. When the LS server support for SharePoint doesn't include a field from a content type (e.g. RecurrenceData in a Calendar Event item), I want an easy to extend the LS server to add this additional capability without having to recreate a replacement for SharePoint's listdata.svc. Sort of related to point #2 above.

        Related Forum Posting


    6. Guaranteed 100% OData compatibility for the prevailing OData clients: Excel PowerPivot, Excel Power Query, others?  I believe from an MS technology perspective, LS currents sets the "gold standard" for OData compatibility - please don't lose focus on this.

    Michael Herman (Toronto)

    Xpert Search Agents for Microsoft web sites: http://www.parallelspace.net/MicrodeX

    Sunday, September 8, 2013 3:07 AM
  • I also welcome this effort (it was probably overdue).

    I would like to see a roadmap concerning future releases. Since the Visual Studio Team switched to shorter release cycles it should be easier for the LightSwitch Team to release updates as part of an VS update. So hopefully there will be more activities in the future.

    Peter Monadjemi

    Monday, September 9, 2013 5:35 AM
  • Hi Community Supporters!

    Thanks for all of the great questions--please keep them coming.  There's certainly more content than we can cover in the amount of time we have, so we'll provide a written response for the questions we don't get to live and post them here.  Please try to attend in-person, though, because we'd really like to drill into some of the themes of feedback that surface in your questions.

    With Visual Studio 2012 RC available, we can do a few short demos to answer some of the above questions and provide some perspective on where we're headed with the HTML client.

    I hope you can make it!


    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 6:13 PM
  • When work with views in External SQL Databases allow to map stored procedures into the views in the same way of the EF designer.



    Thursday, September 12, 2013 2:06 PM
  • Hi everyone,

    Thanks for coming today!

    Joe will be following up on this thread with a recap of the big themes and more answers to your questions that we didn't have time for. Give him a couple days, there were a lot of them :-)

    If you couldn't make it, you can listen to the recording here: http://sdrv.ms/188xLQv

    Thanks again -- we hope you found this valuable.


    Senior Program Manager, Visual Studio Community http://www.bethmassi.com http://msdn.com/lightswitch http://dev.office.com

    Thursday, September 12, 2013 5:13 PM
  • The link doesn't work!!!
    Friday, September 13, 2013 5:36 AM
  • Did anyone came across blog post that summarizes Town Hall meeting conclusions?
    Sunday, September 29, 2013 7:01 AM
  • Add Parameters ByRef in the Querys


    Friday, October 11, 2013 2:13 PM