Wednesday, June 20, 2007

* Silverlight : A 360 degree overview


  • Code named as "WPF/E" which is Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere. Published as extension to WPF framework which is a new UI representation technology based on markup language called XAML.
  • WPF has a capability of rendering high quality graphics and media.
  • WPF has been structured in such a way that designers and developers can work independently and later integrate their work seamlessly.

Objective / Mission

  • To deliver platform which can be used to render Rich Interactive Applications (RIA) on client side in browsers similar to Flash but with much more capabilities.
  • To be browser and platform independent.
  • Lightweight so that it can be downloaded quickly.
  • Use the existing technologies to develop applications for this platform.
  • Ability to deliver rich media experiences.
  • Ability to get .net code downloaded in client browser and execute it within browser space without requiring .NET CLR on desktop.

Product / Support

  • Current browsers supported are Internet Explorer (versions 6.0 and 7.0), Firefox 2.0 and Safari on Windows and Mac.
  • Currently two different versions available 1.0 beta which supports XAML rendering engine and 1.1 alpha which supports executing managed code in browser.
  • Sdk is available for both the available versions and add-in is available for Visual Studio 2008 beta.
  • Plugin sizes for windows are :  1.0 beta is approx 1.4 MB and 1.1 alpha is approx 4 MB.


  • Silverlight control is an ActiveX control for windows which includes a subset version of .NET CLR called Silverlight CLR.
  • Silverlight CLR is a subset of desktop CLR and based on Desktop CLR 2.0. It doesn't expose functionality like Remoting, File IO, CLR hosting etc.
  • While a process can host only one version of desktop CLR at one time, Silverlight CLR has been modified so that multiple CLR version can be hosted in Silverlight control.


  • Development Tools available for developing Silverlight applications are : Expression Studio and Visual Studio 2008 Beta.
  • Silverlight based application mainly consists of XAML code for UI and .NET code for client side programming like validations. Silverlight application gets downloaded to client browser before execution.
  • Expression studio can be used for designing UI and generating XAML and Visual Studio for writing functional code.
  • Silverlight control and other code on a web page can talk to each other using DOM model. Like Javascript and ASP.NET code can talk to Silverlight based code and vice-versa.
  • Silverlight code can interact with client file system only through an isolated storage and a file upload control.


1 comment:

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