Demo Site

Monday, December 15, 2008

Silverlight-A Closer Look

Hi Friends

In my last post i introduced you to Silverlight, Microsoft's latest technology which is used to create Rich Internet Applications. Today I will be talking about why silverlight is important.

Why Silverlight?

The web was invented as a system that allowed static documents to be stored on a web server and linked. The capability of HMTL tags is limited. Trying to draw a line, use animation, or play a movie with plain HTML is difficult or impossible with HTML alone. Over the years CSS and Javascript were added to basic HTML pages, but the user experience was not comparable with desktop applications. Today’s web applications require a richer user experience. SilverLight provides a means of creating Rich Internet Applications.

Silverlight Architecture

Base-Class Library (BCL) provides classes for collections, reflection, regular expressions, string handling and data access.The networking support in Silverlight can be used by Silverlight applications to communicate using HTTP, or at the lower socket level. Cross-domain communication is supported. A Python interpreter in Silverlight 2 hosted in Mozilla FirefoxSilverlight 2 includes the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) which allows dynamic compilation and execution of dynamic (scripting) languages. With the integration of .NET Framework, Silverlight also allows HTML-managed code interaction, which enables the manipulation of HTML elements from managed code, and permits JavaScript code to call managed code and use objects instantiated by managed code.

Important Components of Silverlight

Silverlight Framework consists of following components
Input – Handling input from devices like keyboard, mouse, stylus etc.
UI core – Managing rendering of bitmap images (including compressed raster images like JPEG), vector graphics, text and animations.
Media – Playback of MP3, WMA, AVI Standard, media streams.
XAML – To allow the UI layout to be created using XAML markup language.

XAML-> Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) is a markup language for declarative application programming. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) implements a Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) loader and provides Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) language support for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) types such that you can create the majority of your application UI in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) markup.

How Silverlight Works?

- A Silverlight application starts by invoking the Silverlight control from the HTML page, which then loads up a XAML file.

- The XAML file contains a Canvas object, which acts as placeholder for other elements.

- Silverlight provides various geometrical primitives like lines, ellipses and other shapes, to elements like text, images, and media etc.

- The elements are properly positioned to achieve the desired layout. Any arbitrary shape can be created as well.

- These elements can be animated using Event triggers; some animation effects are predefined, others can be created as composite of the pre-defined effects.

- Events like keyboard or mouse movements can also raise Events which can be handled by custom scripts

Silverlight - Integrating Design and Development

Generally there is a communication mismatch between different roles e.g. A designer is concerned about the look, design, appearance of an application where as a developer is concerned about the security, management, performance of an applicaton irrespective of its looks and feel.

Since XAML is a declarative application programming language which provides a Canvas which acts as a placeholder for various elements so a designer and a developer can work simultaneously and in real time aware of the interface. Hence the performance as well as the richness of the application is improved.

NIIT has come up with some new programs to provide training on Silverlight. To know more about these programs plz visit your nearest NIIT centre.


Madhu S


Post a Comment