Over 1,000 commits, 5,422 file changes, 70,000 words of documentation, and many months of work, and we’re now ready to unveil LightSpeed 4.0 to the world! There is so much packed into LightSpeed 4 that this blog post won’t cover it all but we’ll dig deeper over the coming weeks.
Lets start by looking at the highlights!
Distributed Data – LightSpeed everywhere
One of the design goals of LightSpeed 4 was that LightSpeed should be the center of your data access world. While LightSpeed is much much more than just data access, this called for looking at how we could build a Distributed Unit Of Work to help shuttle data around between rich clients, phones, internet applications and more. Distributed data is the big feature of LightSpeed 4 and the feedback we’ve received to date has been great. You can now write your client side code and have LightSpeed automatically and transparently operate over the wire as if you were working locally. You can read more about these capabilities in an earlier blog post where I hinted at what was to come.
Moving beyond data – Web Application support
LightSpeed 4 makes it easier than ever to integrate your entities into your Web applications. Whether you’re using Web Forms or ASP.NET MVC, LightSpeed now includes a bunch of helper classes and extensions for web developers. Included are binding helpers, a base controller for further encapsulating your unit of work handling and support for enabling DataAnnotation based validation from your LightSpeed model
We’ve built these not only to make LightSpeed integration scenarios easier, but also to help you build better web solutions. One very cool addition is Mindscape’s contract based routing enhancements for ASP.NET MVC which allows you to specify routes on controller interfaces and have the web application generate the routes for your automatically at run time. We have used this internally on various projects and presented it at Tech Ed and found it a massive boost over the default routing configuration.
Power programming with LightSpeed metadata
With its simple and intuitive API and powerful RAD designer workflow, LightSpeed is well known for being super easy for newcomers to pick up and start running with. The challenge was that experienced LightSpeed users wanted to dig around in the internals and really start getting all meta with their database entities. To avoid making the default LightSpeed API surface large and scary to new users we’re shipping Mindscape.LightSpeed.MetaData.dll. This assembly exposes internal data about entities, properties and fields to developers. I covered some of the possibilities of what developers could achieve with the new meta data extensions in an earlier post.
LightSpeed now includes a light weight auditing solution to help track who created, updated and deleted your entities – not just when. Auditing is already in use with serveral of our early adopter customers. Ivan wrote about adding this feature to nightly builds at the time.
New samples and documentation
This is a big one for existing customers and new users! LightSpeed now ships with a 336 page user guide in PDF form to help developers get the most out of LightSpeed. There’s the API CHM and a smaller tighter ‘Getting Started’ guide but we felt it would be beneficial to provide a great user guide to developers as well.
LightSpeed 4 ships with 7 samples for a mixture of Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010. Covering ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web Forms, WCF, WPF, RIA Services and much more you’ll be sure to find a sample that gives some you the examples you need to start getting the most from LightSpeed. Each sample also includes a walk through guide to explain certain aspects of the solution which help highlight some of the useful aspects of LightSpeed.
And so very very much more
A more complete change log can be found in the Upgrade Guide included with LightSpeed, but here’s an overview of other enhancements:
A huge thank you
We had amazing feedback from so many customers who took up the beta opportunity. The feedback directly impacted the product and was absolutely beyond what we expected. Thank you for supporting Mindscape and the LightSpeed product.
This has been a huge project for Mindscape and we cannot wait to see how developers use LightSpeed 4. The feedback we receive really is what makes the whole team enjoy working on creating the very best developer tools.
Where to get it
Customers can immediately download LightSpeed 4 from their account pages. Folks who haven’t yet taken the leap to LightSpeed can download the free edition (limited only by number of entity class definitions) and see what all the fuss is about!
While you are downloading, check out the trailer!