Sunday, October 16, 2011

CLASS Extensions. Making of (the origins)

Did you know that the main reason I created CLASS Extensions was to make my life easier?
I had initially discarded LightSwitch from my deck of choices. At first glance (early Beta 1) I had misjudged it as poor relative of application builders that I hate altogether.
It was after watching Beth Massi’ s presentation in Tech-Ed USA 2011 regarding extensibility that made me take a second good look at it. And then…then it was love at second sight.
Although extensibility was what made me love LS, it took me quite some time to decide to write my own extension. I had custom controls I was using (the Color business type and editors is an example) and referenced libraries for a long time as I was really intimidated by the idea of creating an extension of my own. And it was only after the official release of Visual Studio LightSwitch that I even thought of doing it, as the Cookbook  and blank template approach was, to say the least, discouraging, at least for me. I knew I wasn’t the intended audience.
When I started the development of the first application, I knew I had to write the extensions. Using the custom controls required so much duplication of logic mostly and code and was so restricting (as to how to name the members of the screens etc.) that made it unattainable to use them.
Just reading the How to articles on extensibility it was obvious the path to follow was there but many things were to be discovered and solve down that path, the hard way. I mean, it’s not the most complete and well structured documentation, but a wealth of information is provided.
“Be a man” I said to myself and created my first extensibility project. Took me a lot of effort to even have this, preliminary in terms of quality and completeness, version released. But, as I said in the previous post, as soon as I replaced the first custom control with the respective extension control I knew it was all worth it…Winking smile

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