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Silverlight tutorial

Silverlight is Microsoft's framework for building browser- and platform-agnostic Web apps. This resource will help developers see what Silverlight can do for them.

Silverlight is Microsoft's framework for building cross-browser and cross-platform rich Internet applications with streaming video, rich text, Ajax functionality and the like. Developers can build Web applications in familiar languages like Visual Basic and C# and in dynamic languages like IronPython and IronRuby.

Silverlight garnered much attention at the MIX07 conference, and the buzz has yet to die down. This tutorial defines Silverlight, answers some frequently asked questions, offers some basic reference material and gives you the ins and outs of Silverlight. This tutorial links to a variety of articles, news and samples that will help Web developers see what Silverlight will be able to do for them.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you have any resources that you'd like to add to this learning guide, send us a note.

What is Silverlight?

WhatIs definition: Silverlight
"Silverlight is a programming model for developing and distributing rich Internet applications and a plug-in from Microsoft for delivering media created with Silverlight."

WhatIs definition: XAML
"XAML, Extensible Application Markup Language, is Microsoft's XML-based language for creating a rich graphical user interface."

WhatIs definition: CLR
"As part of Microsoft's .NET Framework, the Common Language Runtime (CLR) is programming that manages the execution of programs written in any of several supported languages, allowing them to share common object-oriented classes written in any of the languages."

How to work with Silverlight

How to access cross domain Web services from Silverlight without a policy file
With the release of Silverlight 2 and now version 3 you are provided with rich Web service support. Silverlight provides support to access many types of Web services including POX, REST, and SOAP services.

How to develop applications targeting both Silverlight and WPF
With the release of Silverlight 2 and 3 Silverlight functionality is moving much more in line with that of WPF. Even still, many scenarios exist where WPF and Silverlight versions of an application are warranted. There are several patterns and practices you can use to develop applications targeting both Silverlight and WPF.

How to encode video markers for consumption in Silverlight and WPF
Do you want a caption to display beside a video at a certain point or for some animation to start once a video has reached an important part? Using a tool such a Microsoft's Expression Encoder you have the ability to encode time-based markers in your videos. Then using Silverlight or WPF in conjunction with Expression Encoder makes responding to those encoded markers a breeze.

How to access cross domain Web services from Silverlight without a policy file
With the release of Silverlight 2 and now version 3 you are provided with rich Web service support. Silverlight provides support to access many types of Web services including POX, REST, and SOAP services.

Silverlight 3

Microsoft announces Silverlight 3, Expression Blend 3 at MIX09
With its beta of Silverlight 3 and preview of Expression Blend 3, Microsoft has kicked off MIX09 with plenty of exciting news for RIA and Web application developers.

Microsoft launches Silverlight 3 and Expression 3
Microsoft launched Version 3 of both Microsoft Expression and Silverlight, becoming core parts of ongoing Web content creation strategy for both developers and designers.

Microsoft takes on Adobe with Silverlight 3
Microsoft continues to enhance Silverlight as it looks to compete with Adobe Flex's scope and depth. The Rich Internet Application (RIA) software is expected in Microsoft-centric organizations wishing to leverage .NET platform skills.

Silverlight 3 beta SDK download lets developers try new RIA features
Developers who want to get a head start with the upcoming Silverlight can download the beta SDK, complete with code samples and documentation. Microsoft showed off some of Silverlight 3's new features at MIX 09.

How to write an out-of-browser Silverlight 3 application in 3 steps
Learn how to write out-of-browser (OOB) Silverlight 3 applications in this quick tutorial. Starting with Silverlight 3, applications can run out of the browser, meaning you can publish your app as a standalone with only a few easy changes to your code.

Silverlight 4

Silverlight 4 overview: Ready for prime time
The Silverlight 4 beta release is available for download. Get a quick overview of the new features including Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend for .NET 4 Preview.

Trusted and sandboxed applications in Silverlight 4
Silverlight is a Web technology, or at least is deployed via a browser. To mitigate security concerns, Silverlight is constrained to run in a sandbox. This sandbox restricts what the Silverlight application can do to the local computer.

Q&A: Exploring Microsoft Azure, cloud and Silverlight futures
Software veteran Andrew Brust deals out new insights into the present scene and futurescape of Microsoft Azure, Silverlight and cloud computing. In particular, Brust -- chief of new technology at twentysix New York -- analyzes where Azure is now, whom it is for and what the adoption curve is likely to look like.

Microsoft lightens up to Eclipse for PHP, Azure related application building
Microsoft is working with open source companies Tasktop Technologies and Soyatec on interoperability projects focused on using the Eclipse platform to take advantage of the new features in Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2, and improve Java and PHP interoperability with Windows Azure and Microsoft Silverlight.

Dig Deeper on Silverlight and Expression application development