Martyn Bullerwell's blog

June 2007 - Posts

Microsoft Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight is to be introduced with Visual Studio 2008, and supports C#, VB and AJAX, and will integrate with current web technologies. 

Silverlight has been compared with Flash many a time, and it seems that is likely to come down to adoption of Silverlight.  Currently flash is the obvious choice for bringing multi media experiences to the web, and applications that run on a web platform. 

What we will be looking into is the potential use of Silverlight in business applications.  We will be keeping an eye on Silverlight and its potential use within business applications.

However, given the full integration with the CLR and ability to code in C#, the usages of Silverlight could be endless.  Here are a few Items to consider:

  1. WMV Playback on PC and Mac, Supports full-screen 720p video offers seamless transitions between full-screen and windowed mode without losing your position in the video
  2. Separates markup (XAML) from code, Silverlight provides a familiar web metaphor for designers and developers.
  3. Silverlight and HTML integrate seamlessly together. overlay HTML elements on top of Silverlight content. 
  4. Embed XAML directly into your HTML pages; There are only three steps necessary to add animation or media:
    1. Include a standard JavaScript file in your HTML header;
    2. Call a function to create the Silverlight object anywhere on the screen;
    3. Add some XAML content (an animation, some media) for runtime delivery.
  5. Full runtime interactivity with Silverlight content. The contents of the XAML file can be completely server-generated, to contain information populated from a database. There's nothing that you can only create or manipulate at design-time.
  6. Silverlight is around 1MB download on a PC, it supports Windows XP and above, with Windows 2000 support to come.
  7. Silverlight is blindingly fast; you can play many videos simultaneously without stuttering or dropping frames
  8. Silverlight is both client- and server-agnostic. No need for any Microsoft software on the server - you can deliver a great Silverlight experience from an Apache / Linux server to a Mac OS 10.4 client.
  9. Silverlight is almost 100% upward compatible with WPF. Animation, 2D vector graphics, media, text - they're all present in Silverlight and the concepts you've learnt in WPF carry forward
Visual Studio - Cross Application Forms Authentication

On a recent application development for one of our clients, I was faced with having to support a preview that is available on the live site to restricted authors, that were allowed to author content.  The main issue was that the application that manages the content uses forms authentication for all users, however the front end does not require any authentication.  To allow this authentication to occur a few things must be set in both applications:

Firstly the machine key set in the WEB.Config must match on both applications, and must have the validation type set.

<machineKey validationKey="xxx" decryptionKey="xx" validation="SHA1" />

Also the Forms Autheication set up must have the same name in the Web.config.

<forms loginUrl="login.aspx" name=".ASPXFORMSAUTH"  protection="All"  path="/" timeout="30" />

Also it is advised that both applications share the same application pool. and that the user restrictions are set in the web.config to meet your specific user access requirements.

More to come on this on Monday!

Visual Studio 2008 and Javascript Intellisense

Visual Studio 2008 (Codname ORCA) has intorduced a new feature to aid with Web development, official release date has not yet been announced, however a BETA 2 is due to released later this year. 

One of the most publicied, and simplistic enhancement to the Visual Studio 2008 enviroment is the somple introduction of intellisensce with Javascript. 

You can read more about this here and here.

Visual Studio 2008 - ORCAS - Beta 1

Orcas has been officially named as Visual Studio 2008, and can be oficailly downloaded as a BETA from here:  Microsoft Download Site

This BETA is on a time trial until March 13, 2008 and available in English and Japanese.

Visual Studio 2008 will use and Updated version of C# (v3.0 and VB 9.0), as well as an updated .NET framework up to v3.5, however the CLR will remain the same as in Visual Studio 2005, CLR v2.0.

The IDE itself is no great leap from 2005, and is merely a superset of VS2005.  Integration with the forthcoming Silverlight and better integration between numerours platforms.

Keep an Eye here for further updates, news and progress with Visual Studio 2008.  

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