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Getting Started with Visual Studio LightSwitch

Getting Started with Visual Studio LightSwitch - Part 3: Screen Templates in LightSwitch Application

Feb 7 2013 12:00AM by Karthikeyan Anbarasan   


In this article we are going to see the different types of screen templates that are available with the Visual Studio Light Switch Application development. In our earlier article we have seen the steps to develop our first Visual Studio Light Switch application and in that we have chosen a template to manipulate the data which the user enters that should be saved to the database. In Visual Studio 2012 Light Switch Application development we have different varieties of templates that can be added as screen. Let us see one by one template and see how that can be used in our project.

Open Visual Studio 2012 IDE in Administrator mode and create a new project (Check my previous post on how to create a new Visual Studio 2012 Light Switch application step by step). On creating a new Screen we can see the below list of available screen templates as shown in the screen below.

List of Available Templates:

  • Details Screen
  • Editable Grid Screen
  • List and Details Screen
  • New Data Screen
  • Search Data Screen


Let us see in detail on each of the screen template and understand which best suits the requirement while we develop our Visual Studio Light Switch project.

Details Screen:

Details screen allows the users to edit a single row of data by clicking on the respective row and the data will be shown back to the detailed screen for that entity. This screen by default have an additional option in the Add New Screen Dialog. While we select a detailed screen template at the right side we can see the option "Use as Default Details" check box which can be checked if we want to use this template screen for all the details.

Editable Grid Screen:

Editable Grid Screen is something which we will be seen traditionally which is used to edit the Grid windows whenever we want to modify any of the records at the screen level. Basically, we can see the grid view in a tabular format which the users can make use of the change option to edit the values inline. If we choose this template we have an option to enter the data quickly into a single table easily and effectively.

List and Details Screen:

List and Details screen is used when we want to see a list of all the available data in a table and at the same time edit the values in the same screen. With this template at the left side of the screen all the available data will be listed, with which we can click on the respective data and the corresponding records will be selected and values will be shown in the right side of the screen. With this template we have the option to search and sort the data based on the functionality to find the records available if we have a huge volume of data.

New Data Screen:

New Data Screen template is used to insert rows in to the table one by one at a time, with this screen template we can save the data to the data base table and clicking on the Save button will save the data as well open the details screen to show the data to the end users.

Search Data Screen:

Search Data Screen is used when the user want to locate a single record from the pool of data that is saved in a table. The data is shown in a grid which is a readable format with a limitation of 45 records will be returned at a time by default. We have the option to search the table with a specific search string with the search box that will be available at the top right of the screen.

Now let us see how each screen look like in real time, open the project and add each of the screen with the same data table which we created in our previous article. Click on the Screen folder and select Add New Screen to add the list of screens as shown in the screen below.

add screen

Once we added all the screen templates we can see the list of screen under the screen folder with a specified names on the templates that we are used as shown in the screen below.

list of screens

Now build and execute the application by pressing F5 directly from the keyboard and we can see the application will build and execute and open the Window with the application and the different screens as shown in the screen below.

different screens

Now click on each of the screen and we can see the different screen template options which we discussed in the above topics one by one as shown in the screens below.

List and Details Screen Example:

list and details screen

New Data Screen Example:

New Data Screen

Editable Grid Screen Example:

Editable Grid Screen

Search Data Screen Example:

Search Data Screen


So in this article we have seen the different screen templates that are available and that can be used in the Visual Studio Light Switch Application based on the requirement.

Karthikeyan Anbarasan
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