In the simplest words, Microsoft's Visual Studio LightSwitch is a tool used to build business applications that can be run on the desktop as well as the cloud or Internet. It provides you with a quick and easy solution to create complex business applications. No matter what your skill level is, with Visual LightSwitch, creating your business applications becomes a piece of cake.
With LightSwitch, you can easily create data-centric business applications that use data from many different data sources and databases. You can also have clients that use different types of devices. That means that the application that you create will work on many different types of devices.
A model-centric architecture is used by LightSwitch to define, build and execute the application. All applications that you build in LightSwitch will have N-tier architecture. This model-centric architecture of LightSwitch consists of different elements like the building blocks and the models. The designers can then create models based on the building blocks, the runtime environment, the application programming interfaces (or APIs) and the extensions.
A LightSwitch application normally consists of three tiers. These will be the Client Tier, the Middle Tier and the Data Source tier. The Client Tier consists of the screens and controls of the application. This is what will be seen and accessible to the user of the business application. The Middle Tier consists of all the codes and queries and data services that are required for the application to work. This tier contains the logic that runs the application. The Data Source Tier contains the databases that are worked upon.
To use LightSwitch and create an application in it, you must first have installed Microsoft Visual Studio. After that only you can install Visual Studio LightSwitch on your computer. All the components required for the proper working of LightSwitch will be installed along with the LightSwitch installation.
LightSwitch does not require you to juggle with an enormous amount of code in order to build your application. All you need is a clear idea of what you want in your application and build it using a GUI (graphical user interface). Suppose you want to create a data entry form. Here you just have to tell LightSwitch how many fields are there, the properties of those fields and database that the data entered has to be saved in. Nowhere in this whole process are you required to write any code. Even manipulating the data and organizing it is quite easy. You can even create your custom business logic and rules that suit the needs of your business and clients.