Silverlight, now in
its third version, is a
plug-in that allows users to view interactive
content inside their browsers. The interactive
content can range from simple animations to full
motion video to run-of-the mill business
applications. That's nothing
particularly new or interesting. We've had plug-ins
that do all of thsese that for a long time.
Why Silverlight? What is interesting is
how Silverlight does it. Silverlight is in in
many ways a subset of the WPF and .NET Framework
that many designers and developers are already
familiar with. When you take the more useful,
web-specific components out of the .NET Framework,
combine it with the media support and
designer-friendliness of WPF, and sprinkle several
dashes of Controls, Dynamic Languages, and a
high-performance Execution Engine, you have
Setting up for Silverlight Design and Development Getting started with designing and coding
Silverlight applications is pretty straightforward.
The following list contains everything you need:
Expression Blend 3 +
SketchFlow For designing and developing Silverlight and
WPF applications, the only tool you really
need is Expression Blend 3. You get a fully
interactive artboard and design surface
along with a code editor for writing your C#
or Visual Basic code
NOTE Blend 3 does not
provide you with debugging abilities. For
debugging support, you will need Visual
Studio along with the downloads listed under
Silverlight 3 To actually view Silverlight content, both
ones you create as well as what others
create, you will need the Silverlight
Silverlight and Expression Blend Tutorials Once you are setup with everything you need,
the only thing remaining is to learn how to
use Expression Blend to create great
Silverlight content. Good thing this site
has that covered!
Required for Development Using Visual Studio If you are planning
on using Expression Blend for both designing
as well as coding your applications, the
following list is optional.
After installation of either Visual
Studio or Visual Web Developer Express, install the
Service Pack 1 to ensure you are setup
for installing the Silverlight Tools.
Silverlight 3 Tools The Silverlight
Tools download is pretty much a giant bucket
of sorts containing everything you need to
get up and running for Silverlight
development. You get the developer runtime
and various patches and additions to allow
you to develop your Silverlight applications
in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 or Visual Web
Developer Express SP1.
NOTE It is very important
that your Visual Studio or Visual Web
Developer Express installation has Service
Pack 1 installed.
Deep Zoom Composer One of the cool features in Silverlight is
the ability to visualize large quantities of
image data. In order to do this, you will
need to prepare your images into the Deep
Zoom format, and Deep Zoom Composer allows
you to do just that.
Silverlight Toolkit The Silverlight Toolkit contains a lot of
controls developed by Microsoft that don't
always ship as a part of Silverlight or the
While the list seems
pretty daunting, if you are coming from a .NET or
WPF background, you probably already have most of
the prerequisites for Silverlight development
Got a question or just want to chat? Comment below or drop by our forums (they are actually the same thing!) where a bunch of the friendliest people you'll ever run into will be happy to help you out!
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