Chapter 1

Prototyping and Rapid Application Development


  • Coping with the main challenges of line-of-business software development
  • Understanding how application prototyping can help you cope with those challenges
  • Understanding rapid application development, and how it is related to Visual Studio LightSwitch

Microsoft is known as a company delivering great development tools. To create data-centric applications, for a long time, Microsoft has been offering only two tools that target separate audiences:

  • Visual Studio is to be used by a wide range of developers from students and hobbyists, to enterprise developers and architects.
  • Microsoft Access (a part of the Office Plus bundle) provides an easy-to-use approach to create data-centric applications for users with very basic development skills.

With Visual Studio, a wide range of applications can be created from the smallest console utilities to highly scalable web applications. The price of this freedom and scalability is that developers must invest a relatively high amount of work to create their applications. Although Visual Studio provides a number of productivity enhancement functions to create data-centric applications, using them requires advanced programming knowledge.

In contrast to Visual Studio, Microsoft Access requires only basic development skills. The simplicity of Access allows users without strong development backgrounds to create their database tables, forms, and reports. However, ...

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