Silverlight 3 beta & RIA services beta links

A week ago Microsoft demonstrated the first beta of Silverlight 3 and the new RIA Services framework on the MIX09 conference in Vegas. A lot of shortcomings from Silverlight 2 are solved and many new interesting features have been added. Following weeks and months I will try to examine all the new Silverlight features and explore some approaches to integrate the RIA services. In this post I will try to give a roundup of all interesting articles and blog posts.

Downloads

  • The Get Started page from the Silverlight website provides links to all setups you need to install Silverlight 3 beta, the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio, the SDK, the RIA Services and a trial version of Expression Blend 3.

Silverlight 3

  • The same Get Started page also describes all the new features of Silverlight 3 (new controls, data binding improvements, data validation, WCF improvements, higher quality video and audio, 3D support, skinning, new effects and animations, search engine optimization and deep linking, out of the browser capabilities, save file dialog, …).
  • Following link is an interesting e-book (PDF) from Laurence Moroney who takes a first look at Silverlight 3.
  • Tim Heuer also posted an interesting overview of all the new features.
  • And Mike Taulty’s blog contains several posts with a lot of source code and screenshots about some new cool things.

WCF

  • Yavor Georgiev from the Silverlight Web Services Team posted an overview of the WCF improvements in Silverlight 3 (binary encoding, faults support, duplex serivces, credentials transport, …)
  • And Jimmy Lewis describes how to fix a problem with Silverlight enabled-webservices when Silverlight 2 SDK is installed.

SEO

  • Following blog contains some posts about the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features of Silverlight 3.

Application Extensibility

  • Andrea Boschin describes in his blogpost the new IApplicationService interface which can be used to build client side services.

Graphics & 3D

  • Pete Brown’ blog contains a lot of posts about 3D transforms, Bitmap API, Pixel Shader, …
  • Also Andy Beaulieu posted a lot about Pixel Shaders, GPU acceleration, Bitmap caching, …
  • Andrea Boshin demonstrates his TileEffect with the Pixel Shader.
  • Jeff Prosise shows how to use the Pixel Shader and the High-Level Shading Language (HLSL) to create fancy effects like his WateryEffect.
  • Jaime Rodriguez announces that more than 20 effects from the WPF Effects Library have been converted to Silverlight 3.

Out of the browser

  • Mike Taulty has a blogpost which shows how to run a Silverlight application outside the browser.
  • Also Andrea Boshin demonstrates these features.

Controls & Silverlight Toolkit

  • Yifung Lin provides a quick overview of the new features in the DataGrid.
  • A lot of controls from the previous CodePlex Silverlight Toolkit release have been moved to the new Silverlight release. The Toolkit itself has been updated and the march 2009 release contains new controls (Accordion, DomainUpDown, ChildWindow, …) and a lot of improvements. The package can be downloaded via following link. The Wiki page describes all the changes in this latest release.
  • Ning Zhang posted an article with a lot of screenshots which demonstrates the new design time features.
  • Ruurd Boeke’s blog contains detailed posts about several new controls like DomainUpDown, Accordion, …
  • And the following blog post describes the performance improvements in the charting controls.
  • Jef Wilcox has already updated and improved his AutoCompleteBox Highlighting controls.

RIA Services

The new RIA Services is a framework to simplify building n-tier Line of Business (LoB) applications. This framework provides patterns, components and tools to build services, query data, handle CRUD operations, resolve concurrency, manage data validation, … It looks promising so you should at least take a look at the current documentation.

  • Microsoft published an interesting PDF document which gives a full overview of all its features.
  • Several sample applications can be found at the MSDN code gallery.
  • Nikhil Kothari explains the architectural concepts behind RIA Services.

Tools

  • Koen Zwikstra already released an update for this great Silverlight Spy tool which now supports Silverlight 3 and IE8.

Videos

All sessions from MIX09 have been recorded and these video files are available on the internet. Following page gives an overview of the 24 Silverlight related videos. Of course a lot of these sessions were interesting but in my opinion following ones are the most fascinating.

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