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On April 15th, 2010 Silverlight 4 shipped. It marks the fourth release of the Silverlight platform in the last 2.5 years.
For those of you new to Silverlight, it is a free, powerful development platform, plug-in powered by .NET, for creating engaging, interactive user experiences for Web, desktop, and mobile applications when online or offline. Silverlight is compatible with multiple browsers, devices and operating systems, bringing a new level of interactivity on the web.
Building upon the huge success of it’s predecessor versions, Silverlight 4 contains a slew of new features to help you build the next generation RIA applications. New features include Local fonts, Printing, WCF RIA Services, Webcam, Microphone, Multicast Networking, and much more. To learn more about Silverlight 4 and download it go here.
In the world of rich internet applications (RIA), Flash is very well known and often compared to Silverlight. Many web developers and designers are discovering the latest cool features and benefits of Silverlight version 3, and now building RIA in Silverlight. Many are making the switch or planning to.
Jason Campbell is a User Experience Evangelist for Microsoft, and a former Flash Designer. He has a terrific blog, Silverlight | Switch, that features many topics that Flash programmers and designers are interested in as it relates to Silverlight. He also includes events, tips & tricks, and video tutorials, like this one on SketchFlow.
Check it out!
Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of innovation around technologies that make it easier for the end user of an application to interact with systems. These innovations have been a boon for the end user because it has provided them a more natural interface with systems that span the web, computer, and phone. However, this has caused the complexity of systems architecture and development to increase. The focus of this session will be on how to prepare and manage this complexity within your organization.
Facilitated by Microsoft, the premise of this event is to provide an open forum where architects can meet to discuss technologies with their peers. This forum will provide first-hand experience and best practices that will enable its members to learn from each other and transfer knowledge. Please join us for this great opportunity to learn, share and network with your peers and other company leaders.
The Value of the Client – In the past, the choice of how an end user interacts with an application has been dictated by IT and often without regards to the usage. Recently, as the population has become more tech savvy and are experiencing interactions on the web, computer, and the phone their expectations have increased tremendously. Many organizations now have to support multiple standards and technologies to accommodate their user base. We will discuss the opportunities and challenges this presents.
Creating Powerful Applications on Computers and Devices – The web has been a boon to application development and deployment, but it doesn’t always fit every scenario. There are certain classes of applications which provide a better experience when running on a device and utilizing local hardware. The ubiquity of the mobile device has also extended the expectations of users with anytime/anywhere access.
The Future of the Client – The pace of change in client technologies over the past few years has been tremendous and is expected to continue to evolve. From support of new device types such as tables and walls, to continued improvements in interactions on the web, client, and the phone the client will become more and more important from a technology perspective and more strategic to the organization.
12:15 PM Arrival
12:30 PM Lunch and announcements
01:00 PM The Value of the Client
01:45 PM The Changing Face of the Web
02:45 PM Creating Powerful Applications on Computers and Devices
03:45 PM The Future of the Client
04:15 PM Raffle and close
Senior Architect, Developer & Platform Evangelism
Joe Shirey is a Senior Architect Evangelist for Microsoft based in the Denver area. In this role, Joe works closely with customers and the community to help them understand where Microsoft technologies fit into the architecture of their solutions. Prior to joining Microsoft, Joe was a Vice President at Interlink group where he was responsible for service and delivery for Interlink’s Denver market. In the past, Joe was a Microsoft Regional Director, a member of the Microsoft Architect Advisory Board, and sat on the .NET Partner Advisory Council. Joe has more than eighteen years of hands-on technical and functional experience in project management, systems analysis, design, development, and implementation. Joe attained his Microsoft Certified Architect award in 2005.
Technology Evangelist, Developer & Platform Evangelism
Woody is a Technology Evangelist with Microsoft in Southern California. He gets to work with all kinds of people who are interested in Microsoft development technologies. He is an experienced teacher/trainer and is a part-time instructor at University of California San Diego.
Before joining Microsoft in 2005 he worked for as a Principal Engineer for a Microsoft partner, InterKnowlogy. He has been involved in software and system architecture, code, development and infrastructure reviews and analysis of several fortune 500 companies for salability, security, performance and standards & practices. He is also an accomplished author, having written Microsoft Official Curriculum and has authored several published magazine articles.
Click on the city name for details and to register
Over the past year Microsoft Silverlight has enabled developers and designers to create compelling media experiences and rich Internet applications (RIAs) on the Web via an easy-to-use, quickly installed browser plug-in. This week, with the release of Silverlight 2, Microsoft is delivering a wide range of new platform features and tooling options.
New Features in Silverlight 2
- A rich base class library. A compatible subset of the full .NET Framework gives developers the most comprehensive RIA runtime on the Web today, with unparalleled data access capabilities, local data caching and local data storage, superior input-output (IO) performance, and better threading. By leveraging the rich base class library of the .NET Framework, developers can minimize the amount of additional code they have to write for their projects.
- Powerful built-in rich controls allow developers and designers to quickly build applications through a rich set of built-in controls such as DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer and Calendar. With the rich controls built into Silverlight 2, developers don’t have to start from scratch when building the controls for their rich Internet applications.
- Advanced styling and templating support gives designers and developers complete control over the look and feel of an application to ensure the custom brand experience for their rich Internet application meets their exacting requirements.
- Rich UI Library. Silverlight 2’s UI Library, a compatible subset of the WPF user interface framework featured in the full .NET Framework, makes building rich Web applications easier. The powerful graphics and animation engine enables developers to reuse skills, code and content to build rich applications for the browser that can be rapidly ported to the desktop and devices.
- Better support for higher-level UI capabilities. The UI Framework in Silverlight contains support for higher-level UI capabilities such as layout management, data-binding, styles and template skinning.
- Comprehensive networking support enables Silverlight users to leverage the power of the .NET Framework’s Windows Communication Foundation and directly access resources on the Web by supporting cross-domain network access.
- Out-of-the-box support for calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services enables users to create Web 2.0-style applications that easily integrate with existing heterogeneous back-end systems.
- Advanced content protection features, now including Silverlight digital rights management (DRM), Powered by PlayReady. Silverlight DRM builds on Microsoft’s extensive expertise in developing DRM technologies, delivering robust protection for key Silverlight scenarios including live streaming, on-demand streaming and progressive downloads for connected experiences.
- Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. The combination of Silverlight 2 and Windows Server 2008 offers streaming video professionals industry-leading scalability and cutting-edge progressive download features. In addition, Silverlight offers superior search engine optimization capabilities and advanced in-stream advertising support through companies such as DoubleClick Inc. and EyeWonder Inc.
- Unparalleled interactivity with high-resolution content through Deep Zoom technology. The new Deep Zoom technology in Silverlight allows users to see images on the Web as never before. The smooth, in-place zooming and panning that Deep Zoom allows is a true advancement and raises the bar on what image viewing should be. It is also now possible through this feature to make super-high-resolution images easily consumable on the Web. Even better, Deep Zoom is designed in a way that will reduce Web hosting and bandwidth costs by sending to the browser exactly the right size and resolution image for the current display area.
Openness and Interoperability Support
In a commitment to openness and support for interoperability, Microsoft is funding a project to integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the open-source Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE), will publish the Silverlight Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) Vocabulary Specification, and will make the Silverlight Control Pack available as open source software. The project web site “Eclipse tools for Silverlight” is here.
The Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight Project will integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE and Eclipse Rich Client Platform.
- Silverlight Project System and Silverlight Compiler. Eclipse will contain both an advanced project system for creating Silverlight applications and media experiences and a compiler for packaging Silverlight applications for deployment.
- XAML editor and preview with code hinting and code completion. Eclipse will contain an advanced, standards-compliant XAML editor with code hinting and code completion, which helps detect and correct coding errors.
- Full compatibility with Microsoft’s development and design tools. The XAML and Silverlight projects created by Eclipse will be fully supported by both Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio tools.
- Results. See the picture below for a glimpse of a Silverlight application being created in Eclipse.
- Availability. A preview of the bits was posted today at http://www.eclipse4sl.org under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0. Customers can use the SourceForge project site to submit bugs and feedback or contribute to the project. The release candidate is scheduled to be available free for download by spring 2009.
- Road map. Although the first version of the Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight will be optimized for the Windows version of Eclipse, the project plans to offer full support for the Mac and Linux versions of Eclipse in a later release.
Also, for additional great detail on Silverlight 2, see the following blogs and pages:
ScottGu’s Blog and post on Silverlight 2 as well as other relevant posts on Silverlight.
And Microsoft Videos is showing the Digital Lifestyle: Girl from Mars. This is shown in Silverlight 2, and shows a variety of other products and services.