Microsoft today is releasing the second beta of LightSwitch,
a software tool aimed at developers who want to build business applications that
run as both native and Web applications.

(Credit: Microsoft)

The new version, which becomes available MSDN subscribers today, and
everyone else on Thursday, adds a handful of new features from the previous
beta, all aimed at increasing what can be done with the software.

The first is support for publishing applications to directly to Windows
Azure, Microsoft’s cloud services platform. This is joined by a tool for Visual
Studio Professional (or higher) that lets users make LightSwitch application
extensions. Examples of these include things like data sources, screen
templates, and themes, all of which can be thrown in to speed up application
development.

Besides the new features, Microsoft has also announced language support for
German, which joins English. When the final version of the software hits later
this year, Microsoft says, it will be available in an additional eight
languages, matching the 10 that are supported in Visual Studio.

Since the release of the first LightSwitch beta back in August, the software
had been downloaded more than 100,000 times, according to Microsoft. LightSwitch
continues to play a larger part in the company’s initiative to let businesses
and developers get a taste of the full Visual Studio experience, offering them a
chance to bring projects to the more feature-fulled development platform if they
outgrow the original intent. A full breakdown of the differences between
LightSwitch and Visual Studio Pro can
be found here
.

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