Aug 20

Written by: Michael Washington
8/20/2010 9:18 PM  RssIcon

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8:40 pm – I downloaded LightSwitch and it’s installing. I downloaded the .iso image and mounted it with PowerISO. This is a Beta and the first one at that. All I hope to see is “idiot Proof”. I already know how to program full scale Silverlight application.

This is not for me. It’s for “you” and “them”. The people who will hopefully have a tool that allows them to build useful applications… that will need professionals like me when they are ready to take to the next level.

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Ok let’s do this…

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Hmm that wasn’t what I was expecting to see next… (I don’t know what I expected actually…)

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Ok now I’m wandering aimlessly… I hope this is what I’m suppose to do next…

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Whew! Ok I think I’m back on track…

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Yes! We have already achieved the start of Idiot Proof! (Must buy more MSFT stock…)

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I spend 1 minute making a table that I call Messages.

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I click on the Screen button.

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Ok all this seems obvious. I am doing this as it happens so at this point I do not know if this will actually work…

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Hmm… now what am I looking at? Must stare at this screen for a bit…

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Ok I couldn’t resist, I had to click the Write Code button. Hmm I like what I see you are actually suppose to be able to write code if you need to.

But, I want to see what you can do if you don’t know how to write code.

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Ok one small detour, If I click on the “Save bar”…

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I see additional places to write code :)

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But, I have to admit I am totally lost. When in doubt, hit F5

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Nooooooo

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(sigh)

Ok I cannot resist a small rant. This is not ok, it must work, period. If this were Microsoft Access it would work. period. This kind of thing is also the problem I have with WCF. It is is hard to deploy. The fact that it is so great means nothing if it doesn’t work. Things must work, period. Ok rant over.

In case you didn’t notice, I am no longer wearing my “happy face”. However, this is a Beta software, and consider the rant above my “early feedback”. At this point a “Popup Wizard” should open up and guide me through solving the connection problem.

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Ok now I have my “professional programmer” hat on and I’m gonna try to figure this one out. I double-click on MessagesSet in the Solution Explorer

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Click on Attach to External Data Source

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Umm let’s click Database and then Next…

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Ok I am connecting to one of my existing databases because I don’t know what else to do…

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Ok I am connecting to the database used in this tutorial: RIATasks: A Simple Silverlight CRUD Example

I point that out because while that tutorial is easy, it is still a LOT for a person to go through to create an application. My hope is that LightSwitch will make things like that easy.

Now that it looks like I wont have a connection problem connecting to my existing data source, let’s try to build an application with my existing Tasks table…

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Ok fine, the smile is starting to return…

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However, the Solution Explorer now looks like the image above. I am going to delete MessagesSet and CreateNewMessages screen…

 

Second Try: Application 2

Ok when I tried to build the project after deleting that stuff, it still wanted to connect to SQL Server Express (I have it installed and I know what the problem is (it is turned off!), but that’s not the point).

 

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I create a new project. Click Attach to external database…

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Connect to my existing database…

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Create a Screen

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Let’s keep it simple…

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Hold breath and hit F5

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(sigh)

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9:40 pm - ok I’m off to bed…

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No wait! I wont sleep tonight with this bugging me! I go into my Sql Server Configuration and right-click on SQL Server Express and turn it on (I had a good reason for having it turned off!).

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I hit F5 and the application now works.

In Conclusion

Right now this is Beta. You have to expect “issues”. So far I am happy with these things:

  • There is a “path” for a non-programmer to get something working
  • There are PLENTY of places to drop in code
  • The overall design and concept seem correct to me

Tags: Beginner
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6 comment(s) so far...


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Re: The First Hour With Lightswitch –BETA-

Great article! I replied to your tweet about the video. That helped jumpstart me to using User Controls with LightSwitch. Would like to talk with you about the Reporting/Printing angle. Pete Brown put together a a nice starting point here: 10rem.net/blog/2010/05/09/creating-a-simple-report-writer-in-silverlight-4.

By Bob Baker on   8/21/2010 1:15 PM
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Re: The First Hour With Lightswitch –BETA-

I hope to have a simple printing control posted to this site in a week or so. First I just want people to be able to put a control on the page that will print the current record.

For full printing (paging, ect), we would need Pete's code to do it correctly.

By Michael Washington on   8/21/2010 1:18 PM
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Re: The First Hour With Lightswitch –BETA-

I'll see if I can't grab the Codeplex project he and David Poll put together and play with it something this coming week. But, after all the pooh-pooh's from the sidelines over the last few weeks, I have been pleasantly surprised with how much you can do with Beta 1.

By Bob Baker on   8/21/2010 8:02 PM
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Re: The First Hour With Lightswitch –BETA-

@Bob Baker - Sounds good. I am going to proceed with my simplistic printing example because I am also trying to cover some additional subjects at the same time.

Also, I have looked at the David Poll code and it is not a simple thing.

By Michael Washington on   8/21/2010 8:07 PM
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Re: The First Hour With Lightswitch –BETA-

Cool site. And nice formatting - are you using LiveWriter or Scribefire, etc, w/ DNN?

FYI - you might like the free Virtual CloneDrive as a replacement for PowerISO.

By David on   8/22/2010 3:30 PM
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Re: The First Hour With Lightswitch –BETA-

@David - Thanks I am using Windows LiveWriter. Also, I already paid for Power ISO so it's too late to save any money :)

By Michael Washington on   8/22/2010 3:31 PM

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