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Is lightswitch for my needs? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We are planning to develop a special ERP software that will run over the web and our users (around 5.000) will be able to login and work with the software.

    My question is, LightSwitch can handle a commercial web application or its mostly for Intranet with concurrent few users?

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013 3:40 PM

Answers

  • Answer : Absolutely it can handle that scenario... your next question should be Silverlight based vs. HTML 5.

    There will be many that say one or the other, You will likely need to go with HTML 5 client which does have SPA limitations that do not existing in the SL client.


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

    • Marked as answer by George Kar Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5:10 PM
    Wednesday, May 8, 2013 4:05 PM

All replies

  • Answer : Absolutely it can handle that scenario... your next question should be Silverlight based vs. HTML 5.

    There will be many that say one or the other, You will likely need to go with HTML 5 client which does have SPA limitations that do not existing in the SL client.


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

    • Marked as answer by George Kar Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5:10 PM
    Wednesday, May 8, 2013 4:05 PM
  • While it can handle such a load and might work well, you should keep in mind it was designed for complex line of business applications, to fill the gap huge gap between custom asp.net and the everyday access project. 

    An ERP System is enterprise critical and i remember MS stating LS is not intended for such a scenario. 

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013 4:07 PM
  • I was planning to do it HTML using ASP.net components (like DevExpress) with no SL at all.

    Is that a good strategy?

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5:11 PM
  • An ERP System is enterprise critical and i remember MS stating LS is not intended for such a scenario. 

     

    That may be a statement made years ago. The current HTML Client creates pages that are practically identical with what you would get if you coded SPA pages by hand (a JavaScript layer that makes calls to the server).

    Open up Fiddler and see what traffic is transmitted when a LightSwitch app is running. You will see there is very little traffic because it has optimizations and uses the SPA architecture. The performance is way faster than what I would get with ASP.NET Web Forms and still faster than a non-SPA MVC application (because LightSwitch HTML Client eliminates costly full page refresh post backs).

    If you run into any limitations with the LightSwitch screen designer, you can still create .aspx or MVC pages and talk to the LightSwitch back-end using serverContext (this will still save you a lot of time because you still fully use the LightSwitch back-end that includes data layer and the business layer).


    The Visual Studio LightSwitch Marketplace

    http://LightSwitchHelpWebsite.com

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013 6:23 PM
  • You might want to look at the posts from Garth F Henderson as he developed an entire ERP-type application suite consisting of multiple "modules" and offered in a SaaS manner using the LightSwitch Silverlight client. He has made the point a few times in posts that you need to start with a very good database design and work from that. As far as I know he connected his application directly to the database and did not use a RIA Service.

    We have developed a fairly large multi-tenanted SaaS application using the LightSwitch Silverlight client based around a single RIA data source. I liked the RIA approach as it allows you to shape your normalized database entities in ways that make UI development easy.

    If you can get away with a LightSwitch Silverlight client for now it might be a good intermediate step until the HTML client is powerful enough to replace it. Going that way means all your backend code (i.e. OData source) will be reusable in a future HTML client.

    I'm in the process of working on a DevExpress ASP.NET MVC wrappers based project and it is a lot more work (and less maintainable) than LighSwitch. I keep visiting the forum in the hope of seeing a more powerful LightSwitch HTML client release announced so I can switch back! 

    Regards


    Xander

    Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:21 AM
  •  I keep visiting the forum in the hope of seeing a more powerful LightSwitch HTML client release announced so I can switch back! 

    Regards


    Xander

    Was there anything specific that you could not do with the LightSwitch HTML Client?

    Also, with the recent update to JQuery Mobile 1.3 LightSwitch goes from "Mobile only" to "Mobile First"

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lightswitch/archive/2013/05/07/announcing-runtime-update-1-supporting-jquerymobile-1-3.aspx


    The Visual Studio LightSwitch Marketplace

    http://LightSwitchHelpWebsite.com

    Thursday, May 9, 2013 11:43 AM
  • Was there anything specific that you could not do with the LightSwitch HTML Client?

    The main one for me is the ability have multiple simultaneous units of work like we have in the Silverlight client in each Tab. My applications are such that users work on multiple items at the same time, switching forwards and backwards between those. 

    Ideally I would also like to give users the ability to open items in separate browser windows so that they can arrange them in a way that they can view and get real-time feedback on all of those at the same time. However, this actually seems to be crossing over from single page application (SPA) to multi page application (MPA).

    I'm trying to think creatively about this in the LightSwitch (SPA) way of doing things and creating multiple SPA apps where one would be utilized as the main app or dashboard and having a couple of other ones that are smaller and only allow viewing/editing of a specific entity. One could then deploy all these to a single website (assuming there is a way to rename the HTMLClient during deployment) and have anchor-type links from the main app to the other apps. 

    Real-time communication between these app instances running in local browser windows is probably doable, although not an absolute requirement for me (I think) as the main app or dashboard gets auto refreshed from the server.

    I am very much looking forward to the Wijmo support for LightSwitch announcement (probably coming on 15 May as I see they have blogged that they will be announcing new technology on that day) as support for their Grid and Tabs might push me to consider and try my creative approach mentioned above.

    Support for multiple HTML clients in one LightSwitch project would be nice if this approach is viable. In the interim I would have to create multiple LightSwitch projects using the same shared RIA data source (the RIA data source is mostly done actually and I'm successfully using that in the current DevExpress ASP.NET MVC app as well).

    Regards


    Xander

    Friday, May 10, 2013 12:36 AM
  • Ideally I would also like to give users the ability to open items in separate browser windows so that they can arrange them in a way that they can view and get real-time feedback on all of those at the same time. However, this actually seems to be crossing over from single page application (SPA) to multi page application (MPA).


    Xander

    It is actually my goal as well, because working with separate browser windows really helps when you need to compare information. It saves a lot of time as compared to jumping out and in items/details in a SPA
    Friday, May 10, 2013 3:56 AM
  • @Tony - in my case "multiple browser windows" also means "multiple browser tabs" actually. Users should be able to choose either a "new browser window" or a "new browser tab".

    What do you think of the concept of combining a number of HTML clients to achieve this?

    One downside for me (before I've even tried this) is that I need at least one fairly complicated edit/view screen shared across multiple of those HTML Client apps.


    Regards, Xander

    • Edited by novascape Friday, May 10, 2013 4:29 AM typo
    Friday, May 10, 2013 4:28 AM
  • Friday, May 10, 2013 4:59 AM
  • You are actually able to acheive this using MVC?
    Not sure I follow your comment? Yes, I can achieve the multi-tab/window app using ASP.NET MVC but would rather use LS.

    Regards, Xander

    Friday, May 10, 2013 5:04 AM
  • You are actually able to acheive this using MVC?

    Not sure I follow your comment? Yes, I can achieve the multi-tab/window app using ASP.NET MVC but would rather use LS.

    Regards, Xander

    I was wondering if you were able to achieve some sort of MPA using MVC :)

    I guess what I am trying to get to is that in my experience, only Silverlight has the true multiple workspaces. In the HTML world I have always been stuck to one-thing-at-a-time (tabs are really one-thing-at-a-time while hiding-the-other-things).

    Anyway, what I am finding with LightSwitch is that it actually allows you to open multiple windows that share a single data workspace. For example download the code for this article:

    Visual Studio LightSwitch Screen Navigation and Advanced JavaScript Examples

    Open the example that has the Copy button. Hit the button, make a change to the Product Name and hit the Copy button again. Do this several times. Now click the checkbox on each screen until you get to the save window. When you save it will have kept track of everything and saved everything correctly!

    This is amazing. This is something that is way too complex to try to do by hand in any reasonable amount of time (in LightSwitch it is 9 lines of code). The user experience is superior. There is no server communication at all until you hit the save button. For this reason, in my experience, this is faster than the Silverlight client.


    The Visual Studio LightSwitch Marketplace

    http://LightSwitchHelpWebsite.com

    Friday, May 10, 2013 5:34 AM
  • Hi Michael,

    Thank you for the interesting article. It is for copy only.

    Image you have 5000 records to be updated a week for just one field with different value. So bulk update cannot be used.

    If 20 tabs can be opened at the same time, Ctrl + Tab moving tabs would save lot of time, not mentioning other techniques

    Essentially, it is LS issue, not SPA problem. Gmail is an example, you can right click and open several tabs.

    @novascape: I think openning muli LS app at the same time can help just a bit for comparing details, but not updating records as I stated above




    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:01 AM
  • Thank you for the interesting article. It is for copy only.

    Image you have 5000 records to be updated a week for just one field with different value. So bulk update cannot be used.

    If 20 tabs can be opened at the same time, Ctrl + Tab moving tabs would save lot of time, not mentioning other techniques

    You can have multiple tabs open using the HTML Client.

    Go to the sample at: https://pictureuploader.lightswitchhelpwebsite.com/htmlclient/

    (use your LightSwitchHelpWebsite.com username and password)

    Click on the Edit My account button and it will take you to a page that has a Picture and a Profile tab. You can switch between both of them as fast as with Silverlight.


    The Visual Studio LightSwitch Marketplace

    http://LightSwitchHelpWebsite.com

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:28 PM
  • Thanks Michael, I did tried your suggestion. It actually took me a while to see your point, which is 2 tabs in a LS client app.

    However, my point is 2 tabs in any browser. I hadn't recognized that LS app does not allow right click to open new tab until I saw that topic. It is quite surprised that there is that limitation.

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:06 AM
  • However, my point is 2 tabs in any browser.


    I am unsure what you mean?

    The Visual Studio LightSwitch Marketplace

    http://LightSwitchHelpWebsite.com

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:14 AM
  • Sorry for made you confused. I mean right click on any link, and click open link new tab

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:39 AM