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Author: Michael Washington Created: 8/20/2010 8:49 PM RssIcon
All about Microsoft Visual Studio Silverlight LightSwitch
By Michael Washington on 8/21/2011 9:35 PM

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Hierarchical data is usually used to display data in a tree. The data typically is in a single table that is self-referencing, meaning it has one property that points to other records in the same table. This is how it is able to track the parent-child relationship between records. A Tree Control is usually used to visualize hierarchical data.

Karol Zadora-Przylecki (Microsoft) created an example, and included important code required by LightSwitch when using a Silverlight Tree Control. You can see the original post here: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/lsextensibility/thread/bcdaa86f-459a-47d3-853a-3c5e56eb088a. In this article, we will follow the concepts outlined by that post.

Note: If you are new to LightSwitch, it is suggested that you start here: Online Ordering System (An End-To-End LightSwitch Example)

By Michael Washington on 8/20/2011 10:37 AM
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LightSwitch is a powerful application builder when you use WCF RIA Services and Silverlight Custom Controls (or Silverlight Control Extensions). Otherwise, it is merely just a fast and easy application builder. In order to be fast and easy, LightSwitch has it’s limitations. However,...
By Michael Washington on 8/14/2011 6:37 AM
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If you are not a Silverlight programmer, LightSwitch is still easy to use. You just need to use LightSwitch Control Extensions. It is important to note the difference between a Silverlight Custom Control, and a LightSwitch Control Extension.

Karol Zadora-Przylecki covers the difference in the article “Using Custom Controls to Enhance Your LightSwitch Application UI” (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lightswitch/archive/2011/01/13/using-custom-controls-to-enhance-lightswitch-application-ui-part-1.aspx).

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By Michael Washington on 8/6/2011 8:38 PM
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Note: You must have Visual Studio Professional (or higher) to complete this tutorial

Telerik has a differentiating LightSwitch control in their Rich Text Editor Control. It allows you to create compelling LightSwitch applications. It allows your end-users to create, import and export Microsoft Word documents. It also contains many other features.

In this example, we will build a small application that allows rich notes to be entered for people.

First, Install the Telerik controls...
By Michael Washington on 8/1/2011 9:37 AM
Note: If you are new to LightSwitch, it is suggested that you start here: Online Ordering System (An End-To-End LightSwitch Example)

Note: You must have Visual Studio Professional (or higher) to complete this tutorial

LightSwitch is a powerful application builder, but you have to get your data INTO it first. Usually this is easy, but in some cases, you need to use WCF RIA Services to get data into LightSwitch that is ALREADY IN LightSwitch.

LightSwitch operates on one Entity (table) at a time. A Custom Control will allow you to visualize data from two entities at the same time, but inside LightSwitch, each Entity is always separate. This can be a problem if you want to, for example, combine two Entities into one.

LightSwitch wont do...
By Michael Washington on 7/24/2011 8:14 AM
ComponentsOne’s OLAP For LightSwitch, is a “pivoting data analyzer” control that plugs into LightSwitch. It has been called the ‘Killer App’ for LightSwitch.

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You can download the demo at this link:

http://www.componentone.com/SuperProducts/OLAPLightSwitch/

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By Michael Washington on 7/22/2011 5:55 AM
So you have deployed your LightSwitch application and everything is running fine. Then you get an email that a user is unable to perform a function. The problem you now have is that this is a problem that you can only see in production. When you need to preform debugging of a LightSwitch application in production, you want to use Tracing.

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Getting the Most Out of the Save Pipeline in Visual Studio LightSwitch by Dan Seefeldt (http://www.code-magazine.com/articleprint.aspx?quickid=1103071), is...
By Michael Washington on 7/13/2011 8:51 PM
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It is easy to create a LightSwitch application using your own custom user interface (UI), composed entirely of Silverlight Custom Controls. The article This Is How LightSwitch Does MVVM, covers the basics of how you bind Silverlight Custom Controls to LightSwitch Properties and Collections. The article at this link,...
By Michael Washington on 6/25/2011 9:28 AM
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This article describes how you can upload files using LightSwitch, and store them on the server hard drive. This is different from uploading files and storing them in the server database.

If you want to upload files and store them in the database, see How Do I: Import and Store a Data File by Matt Sampson.

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By Michael Washington on 6/24/2011 6:08 AM

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WCF RIA Services are the “fix any data issue” solution. If the problem is getting data to your LightSwitch application, and the normal create or add table will not work, the answer is to use a WCF RIA Service.

By Michael Washington on 6/9/2011 7:30 PM

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There is no built-in reporting for LightSwitch. DevExpress provides a Free LightSwitch reporting control...

By Michael Washington on 6/4/2011 6:25 AM
One of the greatest benefits to using LightSwitch, is that it automatically manages data integrity when multiple users are updating data. It also provides a method to resolve any errors that it detects.

The first issue is very important, and with most web applications, it is not handled. Simply, the last person to save a record overwrites any other changes, even if those other changes were made after the user initially pulled up the record. The second issue, a method to resolve this situation, is priceless, because the code to create the “conflict resolution process” is considerable.

This blog post does not contain any code examples, because there is no code for you to write to get all these features!

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By Michael Washington on 5/23/2011 5:37 AM
NOTE: If you are using LightSwitch 2013 Update 2 (or higher) you must add compatibilityMode="Framework20SP1" to the "machineKey" in the LightSwitch Web.config (for example: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/webdev/archive/2012/10/23/cryptographic-improvements-in-asp-net-4-5-pt-2.aspx

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Note: You can try out this application live on this site at: http://lightswitchhelpwebsite.com/demos/calllog.aspx

Integrating...
By Michael Washington on 5/22/2011 8:53 AM
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From: Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Extensions Cookbook.doc © 2011 Microsoft Corporation NOTE: See the updated article: Creating a Minimal LightSwitch Shell A LightSwitch application runs in a “Shell”. You can create your own Shell.

The first step is to download the “Cook Book”...
By Michael Washington on 5/21/2011 6:19 AM
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Note: There is a third method covered at this link.

It is easy to create a LightSwitch application using your own custom user interface (UI), composed entirely of Silverlight Custom Controls. The article This Is How LightSwitch Does MVVM,...
By Michael Washington on 5/19/2011 5:34 AM
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The Document Toolkit for LightSwitch is a commercial LightSwitch control extension. It is one of the first to become available, and is a great example of an extension that allows you to do amazing things easily with LightSwitch.

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By Michael Washington on 5/13/2011 9:46 PM


This article, Silverlight View Model Style: An (Overly) Simplified Explanation, explains what MVVM is. Basically:

Model – The Data View Model – Collections, Properties, and Commands View – The UI (User Interface) This article, covers some of the problems in implementing MVVM, mostly that is is verbose,  time-consuming, and difficult for many developers to understand and implement. That is not to say that MVVM is not a superior pattern once you have mastered it, but using a tool such as LightSwitch greatly eases it’s use.

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By Michael Washington on 5/12/2011 5:25 AM

With LightSwitch, there is no built in Printing. Here is a method that works. This will also show you how to create a custom template to allow you to print exactly what you want, not just the current screen...
By Michael Washington on 5/12/2011 4:19 AM
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Printing in LightSwitch was previously covered here:

http://lightswitch.adefwebserver.com/Blog/tabid/61/EntryId/3/Printing-With-LightSwitch.aspx

The disadvantages of that approach are:

You have to make a custom control / You have to be a programmer to make reports Printing in Silverlight renders images that are slightly fuzzy In this article, we will demonstrate creating and printing reports in LightSwitch using Microsoft Report Viewer Control.

Note, you will need Visual Studio Professional, or higher, to use the method described here.

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Microsoft Visual Studio is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation / LightSwitch is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation