Installing Xpert360 Lightning AIDE Power Tools

Xpert360 Lightning AIDE V1.0 for LightSwitch

The original and genuine Power Tools for Visual Studio LightSwitch!

Xpert360 are very proud to announce that AIDE Version 1.0 is available as of the week commencing 8th July 2013. Both trial and full commercial licensing options are available. This version supports LightSwitch V2 and V3 projects in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.

This post outlines the steps to install the software and how to find your way around the new power tools.

Xpert360 Lightning AIDE VSIX

Xpert360 Lightning AIDE VSIX

The software is supplied as a signed Visual Studio Extension that can be run by simply double-clicking on the ‘vsix’ file.

Xpert360 Lightning AIDE V1.0 in VSIX Installer

Xpert360 Lightning AIDE V1.0 in VSIX Installer

Running the VSIX installer displays product details, digital signature and license terms. You can verify that the software is available by running Visual Studio 2012 and choosing the ‘Extensions and Updates…‘ menu option on the ‘Tools‘ menu. You can follow the links to more information including quick start guide and a range of FAQ and other posts.

AIDE in VS2012 Extensions and Updates

Xpert360 Lightning AIDE in VS2012 Extensions and Updates

The AIDE extension appears as above in the list of installed extensions.

You will have been provided with a license key along with the software. The next step is to run the ‘Xpert360 AIDE Console‘ that is located in the Visual Studio ‘Tools‘ menu. The software will not operate until the license key is activated.

Xpert360 AIDE Product Licensing

Xpert360 AIDE Product Licensing

The product licensing is managed here. You must enter the email that you supplied when obtaining the license and the actual license code. If you enter a trial code then this is where to return to upgrade to a full license later.

The AIDE software is integrated into the Visual Studio IDE as standard and familiar dockable windows. Any messages from the software are written to a dedicated AIDE pane in the standard Output Window.


If there are any problems during license activation you can use the messages in the modal dialog and the output pane to diagnose the issues and provide feedback to the support team. The support forums are here.

This version provides two window views that can be accessed from the ‘View‘ menu ‘Other Windows‘ option as below.

AIDE Windows for LightSwitch - Explorer and Screen Workbench

AIDE Windows for LightSwitch – Explorer and Screen Workbench

The windows can be dragged, docked and controlled just like other Visual Studio IDE windows. You will have to experiment and feedback where you like to place the windows in the IDE. Everyone has their favourite configurations for various times of the development cycle.

ContosoMoving in AIDE windows

ContosoMoving in AIDE windows

Here the LightSwitch Explorer window is docked in the main designer area and the LightSwitch Screen Workbench below it.

The explorer window gives you access to a diverse list of views of your LightSwitch projects’ metadata. The data views cut across the project metadata allowing you to discover, review and export data that is not easily available through the standard LightSwitch designer windows.

AIDE LightSwitch Explorer Data Views

AIDE LightSwitch Explorer Data Views – View code files

The data views collate information across client, common and server tiers, supporting multiple LightSwitch clients of V2 and V3 flavors, and supporting multiple LightSwitch projects in a solution.

AIDE for LightSwitch - Screen Workbench

AIDE for LightSwitch – Screen Workbench

The Screen Workbench brings all information for a selected screen into one place. There is no need to click through several layers of menu and designer commands to view fragmented data, it is served up in a convenient and easily digestible format.

The preview of LightSwitch V4 in Visual Studio 2013 delivers a new ‘related to’ feature in designers. Why wait? It is there now in AIDE for your V2 and V3 projects.

We have saved Updating LightSwitch Metadata until the next version V1.1 as we have not completed the full cycle of testing. The much anticipated one-click Clone Screen feature did make the final cut for V1.0 and features in this workbench.

The AIDE windows support drill through contextual links to more AIDE data views, LightSwitch screen and entity designers, to code-behind file designers and editors. The one-click navigation options save you from the hassle of searching and locating items through multiple UI actions.

There are many more features in design, development and testing. This week has been busy with the Visual Studio 2013 Preview and Michael Washington’s new E-Book released and ComponentOne providing an exclusive release of the ComponentOne Studio for LightSwitch HTML to the members of the! For a member’s discount code offer you must register at LightSwitch Help Website , the main independent LightSwitch community website.

Try them, buy them, and support your LightSwitch tooling ISVs.

Also, do participate in forums and vote on your desired AIDE features. Help us to help you by prioritising the features in the product roadmap! Export/Import entities and screens, check. Entity Workbench, check. VS2013, check. How about a localization workbench? Optimization and analysis workbench? Mmm, we like that… Update which metadata fragments? That is a flavour of a few forthcoming features, we need to keep a few things secret to surprise you though!


Company information: Xpert360 Ltd, founded in 2009, is an Independent Software Vendor and Custom Solution Provider base in the UK.

Xpert360 Lightning” and “AIDE for LightSwitch” are trademarks of Xpert360 Ltd, copyright 2013.


One response to “Installing Xpert360 Lightning AIDE Power Tools

  1. Pingback: LightSwitch Community & Content Rollup– July 2013 - Beth Massi - Sharing the goodness - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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