Microsoft introduced Rich Internet Application with the introduction of Silverlight which is a very lightweight and a client-side application.
Scope of article
The scope of article is just to elaborate "What is Silverlight?" The advance topics like implementation details, etc is not covered or in the scope of this article.
In simple words, Silverlight is a client-framework having cross-browser, cross-platform ability developed by Microsoft, which provides Designers and developers to develop Rich Internet Applications [RIA] to embed into web applications.
Silverlight Framework is a combination of following three very different architectures,
It provides the necessary interaction with the browser enabling the same Silverlight application to run on multiple platforms The plug-in must be installed by the user before Silverlight applications can be viewed in the browser.
- Presentation framework
- .Net Framework
These provide Silverlight to bridge the gap between UI and interactive language.
As Silverlight applications are run as Client-Side applications so there is no need to refresh the page /UI. Using Silverlight's implementation of the .NET framework, developers can easily integrate existing libraries and code into Silverlight applications.
Presentation of Silverlight is a sub-set of Windows Presentation Foundation [WPF] which is based on the eXtensible Application Markup Language (XAML) programming language. The XAML language is simply based on the XML language with application elements that map to objects and properties in the .NET framework. Because it is based on the XML language format it can be easily parsed and integrated with many technologies.
Silverlight's implementation of WPF provides a rich set of controls such as buttons, calendars, text boxes, scroll viewers, a data grid, and much more. These controls are easy to implement in the XAML language as well as easy to access from .NET managed code.
Silverlight's media pipeline makes it simple to stream media such as WMV, MP3, and JPEG files to your application UI. This allows you to add rich UI elements that can give users a true Web experience.
Importance or why we use Silverlight?
- It's a cross-browser and cross-platform technology so, its provide enrich experience at client-side.
- Plug-ins are installed in few seconds.
- Its run as a client-side application so there is no need to refresh UI
- Empowering of rich videos, and audios.
There are many code breaking changes since the first release of Silverlight so, I advice to visit,
Code Breaking Changes - Silverligh for further enhancement.
Architectural View of Silverlight Framework
The Silverlight framework allows applications to access Web services, databases,
Following is the architectural view of Framework.
In sum up, now we have idea about the Silverlight and its architecture. Read my next article - Silverlight: Start building applications with a tweak to set up and start building Silverlight application.