Sunday, August 8, 2010

Introduction to Silverlight


Silverlight is Microsoft’s implementation of a cross-browser, cross-platform client framework that allows designers and developers to deliver Rich Internet Applications (RIA) embedded in Web pages OR Silverlight is Microsoft's new browser-based plug-in for delivering richer interactive applications to users over the web.

Silverlight applications are implemented as embedded objects in Web pages. When the browser encounters a Silverlight object in the Web page, the plug-in downloads an XAP package from the Web server that contains the binaries and resources for the Silverlight application and then begins code execution inside the Web page.

The Silverlight framework allows applications to access Web services, databases, Web servers, and other data sources to acquire data that is displayed in the UI. It also allows the application to integrate with the Web page DOM as well as AJAX and JavaScript to enhance the functionality of the Web page.

Comparing Silverlight 1.0 and Silverlight 2.0

The difference between Silverlight 1.0 and 2 is very significant. The biggest change is the implementation of the .NET framework. If you are familiar with Silverlight 1.0 then you will be used to coding the application functionality in JavaScript. You still can implement functionality using JavaScript; however, you can now also implement functionality using C#, Visual Basic, Python, Ruby, and managed JavaScript.

Another major change is the introduction of the XAP package. In Silverlight 1.0, the XAML code was referenced directly by the Silverlight object embedded in the browser. In Silverlight 2, however, the embedded object references an XAP package that contains the XAP file, assemblies, and resources necessary to run the Silverlight application.

Silverlight applications are built from two code bases — XAML and managed code. The managed code can be written in C#, Visual Basic, JavaScript, or any of the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) languages. The common code in all Silverlight applications is XAML. You use XAML code in Silverlight to create the visual elements that make up the UI. XAML provides a robust set of controls that allow you to create rich, professional-looking UI very rapidly

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