Microsoft adds HTML5 output support to its LightSwitch tool

Microsoft is adding HTML output support to its Visual Studio LightSwitch tool, the latest version of which is available to testers.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is enabling its LightSwitch tool to render HTML5, company officials announced during the Day 1 keynote at its TechEd North America conference.

LightSwitch, codenamed “KittyHawk,” is a rapid-application-development (RAD) tool targeted at fledgling coders interested in building business applications. Microsoft has positioned LightSwitch as a way to build business applications for the desktop, the Web and the cloud. It’s a tool that relies on pre-built templates to make building applications easier for non-professional programmers. (It’s so easy, it’s like flipping a switch, the Softies have said when explaining the choice of final name for the product.)

As  Blue Badge Insights founder Andrew Brust noted in a guest post on my blog last month, since LightSwitch’s public release last summer, LightSwitch's traction so far has been lackluster. Productivity programmers don’t seem to have much awareness of LightSwitch and enterprise developers have been dismissive of it.

The second version of LightSwitch is in beta, along with the rest of Visual Studio 2012. When Microsoft officials made the Beta of VS 2012 available in late February, I noted that officials were hinting at that time that Microsoft was planning to integrate HTML5 support into Visual Studio so that HTML output would be supported  in some way. On June 11, Microsoft revealed that this capability is coming via LightSwitch.

Microsoft officials also announced at TechEd today that there's now a public preview test build available of Team Foundation Service, a version of TFS that is hosted on Windows Azure. The preview of Team Foundation Service is available to interested testers at tfspreview.com.

The Redmondians also said that the second Community Technology Preview (CTP) for System Center 2012 Service Pack (SP) 1 will be available for download by next week. SP1 is designed to improve the management of customers' private cloud datacenters that are integrated with hosted and public clouds, Microsoft officials have said.

Update: As a result of the HTML announcement, LightSwitch is now also targeting is mobile devices with browsers supporting HTML5 (in case that wasn't clear).

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