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Publish - Deployment - Using Software by MadMojo


 as Not Reproducible Help for as Not Reproducible

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Type: Suggestion
ID: 686615
Opened: 9/1/2011 2:41:08 PM
Access Restriction: Public


I was hesitant about experimenting with Lightswitch, but once I did it really was so simple, easy-to-use, and powerful that I fell in love. It was taking me only a few hours to put together some really meaningful software that I was enjoying working with, as well as developing. Lightswitch helped me put together software and debug it so it worked amazingly well...in debugging mode.

But as soon as I try to publish on my own system, or deploy the published solution to another system the software just won't work. The error messages are confusing (if they tell you anything at all) and the solutions are even more tedious and time-consuming.

If the goal of Lightswitch (which the descriptions when I downloaded it told me it is) was to make the development and deployment of the software easier on the developer it is missing the mark. I can develop amazingly fast. I love that part! But then I can't use the software unless I open it up in Visual Studio and run it in debugging mode.

I've followed the convoluted instructions on making certain that SQL Express is installed on my dev system and on the system I tried to deploy to. I made certain to use Web Platform Installer and that the Visual Studio Lightswitch and Local Host software was installed on both system. I've published numerous versions of the software trying multiple types of settings. Half the time the publishing has an error for seemingly no reason. The other half everything seems fine but all I see are my screens taking forever to load and then popping up an error message that gives no decent instruction on how to fix the problems to get it working.

I also don't understand why when I publish and then deploy a solution to a system as a Tier-2 desktop app run locally that the install process and verification is run EVERY time you supposedly have already installed the solution. The links created to the software on the start menu continue to install the application and add another entry into the Control Panel's Remove Program listings. And sometimes they have different description information such as "localhost" on one and not on another. And the proper logo/icon displayed on one, but just the standard Lightswitch/Silverlight/blank software logo on another.

If I could actually create the software, make certain the system I'm deploying it to has necessary requirements, then install it on the deploy-system and use it...I would be in heaven.

But right now there isn't even instructions telling how many files and what data needs to be transfered along with the supposedly "One Click" install that continues to not create a working solution on my dev system or my deploy system.

Can I see testing this out on some monthly-fee server hosting package with so much more complicated installation requirements when I can't even get a local published solution to run outside of debugging? I don't think so. Please fix deployment. It shouldn't take days to get a system running the software when it works perfectly in debugging.
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Posted by Microsoft on 9/21/2011 at 8:31 AM
We closed as "not repro" because there were no comments or repro steps in the original bug [internally]. So there was nothing to comment on or act on.

For the subsequent comments, we've heard the overarching feedback, unfortunately in our bug tracking system there isn't a resolution for "we heard you".

If there are specific issues we can identify through the collective experience, let's get those logged so we can address them.
Posted by Mr Yossu on 9/13/2011 at 3:37 PM
Don't know why this was marked as not reproducible. Go to the forums and see how many people are experiencing exactly the same issues. I spend several long painful days trying to deploy my first LS app, and only managed it with the aid of Garth Henderson, who spent hours on Skype with me, watching me configure my server.

The videos and blog posts from MS folks make it look so easy BUT IT ISN'T!!! Setting up the server just right is a nightmare, and one wrong setting can throw the whole thing.

Thankfully MS have already addressed the awful mess that B2 had with requiring SQL Express on the server, but they need to address the deployment as well. Go ask around the forums and you'll find plenty of people willing to tell you what went wrong.

Not reproducible? Hardly! Please get this fixed quickly, or Lightswitch will be dead before it has chance to grow up.
Posted by Devaron Ruggiero on 9/11/2011 at 5:36 PM
I agree. I'm currently building a regular Silverlight Application (using PRISM/MEF, MVVM, RIA Services) and I stated developing our Administration Site using LS.

For our normal SL App, I use Web Deployment from Visual Studio with Web.configs (ie. Dev, Test, UAT, etc) to deploy the Web Projects. The Web.configs contains Transformations to configure the approrpiate DB ConnectionStrings and AppSettings specific to each environment. It's very easy to build and deploy. I also have to deploy to multiple Servers for each Environment, because we have Load Balancing. We're currently installing the new Web Fram Framework from Microsoft to help automate the deployments as well, but not sure this be usefully with LightSwitch. Still researching.

As for LightSwitch, it's a real pain to deploy. I have to walk a Wizard each time and change the settings. I tried to add Web.config Transformations to the ServerGenerated Project (which contains the Web.config) and when I build in the specific "Mode" (i.e. Dev, Test), the Publish Wizard ignores the transformations and still just looks at the default Web.config (not the Web.Dev.config File).

I even tried to just "Publish" from the ServerGenerated Project, which brings up the original Web Deployment Screen (which is what I want, so I can use the Web.config Transformations), but when I try to publish, I can get a publish error "The target "MSDeployPublish" does not exist in the project."

And although I can run locally, I try and deploy to our Dev environment, but I can't get the Application to run. I get a error "An error occurred while communicating with the database".

And another issue with deployment is that it requires certain DB Create/Update permissions, which I don't have. Only the DB Team has the rights to create the DB. Did the LS Team ever think that we'd use the Application over a DB that we can only "read/write" to. I don't want LightSwitch creating/update Table Schemas for this Application.

I really like the LightSwitch concept and development part of it, but unless I'm just not understanding, the deployment framework is really horrible, so much that I'm not sure I can even use the Product now.

Any ideas/help from MS would be great. I've already proved to management we can use this Product and we've already started development locally. Hopefully I can get my deployment problems resolved soon.

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