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Apr 15

Written by: Michael Washington
4/15/2012 3:32 PM  RssIcon


Delordson has released 6 new LightSwitch Shells today:

He also offers a special where you can buy all the Shells for one low price in the LightSwitch Shell Pack.

Note: All Shells come in a LightSwitch 2010 version, and a LightSwitch in Visual Studio 2011 Beta version.

Cracking The Code In Creating LightSwitch Shells

I have covered creating LightSwitch Shells in: Creating a Minimal LightSwitch Shell, but that does not begin to handle the numerous issues required for a professional level LightSwitch Shell. For a professional level LightSwitch Shell, you must deal with showing validation and loading and switching screens (among other things).

Delordson has dedicated himself to unraveling the mysteries of the LightSwitch Shell API. It is not uncommon for he and I to exchange 5-10 emails a day discussing technical issues related to LightSwitch. I am pretty knowledgeable about many aspects of LightSwitch, but, when discussing the inner workings of LightSwitch Shells and Themes, I mostly just listen Smile.

About 2 months ago he had a breakthrough, and discovered how to tap into the LightSwitch core objects to handle validation, screen management, events, ect. (all undocumented of course) . This allows him to make high quality, rock solid Shells, that behave as good as the Default LightSwitch Shells.

He published a 28 page manual explaining how he cracked the code, and packaged it, and the source code to his version of the LightSwitch Default Shell, in his product called Default LightSwitch Shell.

My Favorite Shells

All his Shells are great, but I have my favorites:


LightSwitch Tree View Shell - One advantage of being the primary tester and sounding board for Delordson, is that I get to influence the end product. Notice how the logo in the upper left stretches across the top? That turned out to require a bit of effort on Delordson’s part, but I think my constant whining about this being my favorite Shell (“except for that one small issue…”) helped to get this important feature in.

I think that having a nested tree menu with images, makes it easy for the end-user to understand and navigate the application.


LightSwitch Default Shell Top 2012Delordson actually planned to make only 5 Shells. The reason there are 6 Shells in the LightSwitch Shell Pack, is because my other favorite Shell was the LightSwitch Default Shell 2012 (inspired by the Cosmopolitan Shell that is to be the default Shell in the next version of LightSwitch), but I hated that the Save and Refresh buttons were at the bottom of the screen.

The menu bar does not take up valuable screen space, and it still has the ever helpful icons to assist the end-user in understanding what a screen is suppose to do (and makes the application more attractive).

Tags: Shells

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