LightSpeed 3.1 released

We’re pleased to announce the release of LightSpeed 3.1, a major update to our LightSpeed domain modelling tool and object-relational mapper. LightSpeed 3.1 rolls up an number of bug fixes and minor enhancements, and adds a number of major new features.

Visual Studio 2010 designer integration

Well, there’s not a lot to say about this — it does exactly what it says on the tin! You can now use the LightSpeed designer in Visual Studio 2010, with all your favourite features like database synchronisation, migrations, validation and so on just as they were in Visual Studio 2008. Since there’s not much to say, we’ll let the screenshot do the talking.

Breaking large models into multiple files

Large models are the bane of visual designers: as a model gets very large and complicated, the design surface gets crowded and sprawling, and it becomes hard to focus on the detail of a particular section. LightSpeed now offers the ability to break a model across multiple files using a feature we call linked models. If you use the same model name for models in multiple files, LightSpeed will merge them into a single runtime model. You can create associations that span files, and you’ll be able to use those associations at runtime just as you can use ‘normal’ associations between entities within a single model file.

By the way, if you’re one of the people who’s pressed us for this feature at a conference or user group or in the forums, you may have heard us saying that it was going to require support that was only in Visual Studio 2010. That would have been annoying, so we figured out a way to do it in 2008 as well. Good times!

Saved views in the designer

What if your model is large but doesn’t split nicely into linked files? LightSpeed 3.0 supported a number of filtering options whereby you could choose to view only a subset of your model — a particular aggregate, for example, or a set of entities related by a tag. However, you had to re-enter the filter each time you wanted to apply it. No more! LightSpeed 3.1 allows you to save these filters and access them from a handy menu. This new Quick View feature makes it easy to set up common views and convenient to jump between them according to the task at hand.

Class table inheritance

LightSpeed 3.0 supported polymorphic inheritance via single table inheritance, also known as table per hierarchy, where the data for all the entities in the hierarchy was combined into a single table representing the entire hierarchy. If derived classes have a lot of fields, that STI table starts to look a bit messy. Class table inheritance addresses this by having a separate table for each class in the hierarchy, each table storing only the fields introduced by the corresponding class. This makes the database design tighter at the expense of more complicated queries (because the tables need to be joined at runtime). LightSpeed 3.1 supports class table inheritance both at runtime and in the designer, so you can easily create CTI database schemas from a LightSpeed model.

Other highlights

LightSpeed 3.1 also includes a bunch of smaller features — too many to list here, but here are a few favourites:

  • Support for invoking SQLCLR server-side methods via LINQ. This means you can now do SQL Server 2008 spatial queries using LightSpeed!
  • Reminder notes in the designer so you can include comments and links on the design surface.
  • A T4 directive processor so that you can write your own T4 templates against LightSpeed designer models.
  • Lots of improvements to group and join support.

Check out the change log for a full list of enhancements and fixes.

Check it out!

LightSpeed 3.1 is available in the store now, and it’s a free upgrade for existing LightSpeed 3.0 users. Or grab the free Express edition from the Downloads page. LightSpeed 3.1 is a major upgrade: take it for a spin today!

kick it on

7 Responses to “LightSpeed 3.1 released”

  • Hello,

    is this normal that I have 4 links in Downloads section?

    LightSpeed 3.x Professional
    LightSpeed 3.1 – 1 Developer Install (12MB)
    LightSpeed 3.1 – 1 Developer Install (12MB)
    LightSpeed 3.1 – 1 Developer Install (12MB)
    LightSpeed 3.1 – 1 Developer Install (11MB)

    and they all point to…./LightSpeed30Professional.msi

    (Shouldn’t it be LightSpeed31Professional.msi?)

  • Great release – thank you very much!

  • Thank you very much for another excellent release.

  • @Johan & @ Sörnt: Thanks! Let us know if you find any issues, or if you have any features you’d like to see in the next version.

    @Webio: The links have been fixed. I’ll look into why it’s coming up 4 times (it should only be once). We recently tweaked how the downloads were stored which has lead to this. Thank you for drawing our attention to it.

  • I just installed 3.1 express but it doesn’t integrate with VS 2010? I’ve used it with VS 2008 but if I go to Add > New Item I do not see Light Speed model.. am I missing something here? Please help.

  • I figured out what the solution was for the above issue.

    I seem to be getting this problem only in Windows 7, where the integration failed with both VS 2010 and 2008.

    To work around this issue I simply turned of UAC (User Access Control) in Windows 7 and the installation seems to work now.

  • […] Migrations for .NET. The only major .NET ORMs that also support migrations (to my knowledge) are Lightspeed ORM and […]

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