The first version of Silverlight (formerly WPF/e) was recently released and can be downloaded from Microsoft’s web site.
Contrary to what many people believe, Silverlight is not simply a rich media player for the web. Nor is it just a replacement or a competing product for Adobe Flash. Silverlight is a technology that allows developers to deliver Windows-like rich user experience to the web. This includes animations, vector graphics, music, movies, etc., but it also includes the ability to develop WinForms-like applications with grids, treeviews, toolbars, and so on and so forth.
To get started with Silverlight, checkout these videos, or see this demo by Scott Guthrie and Jason Zander on the .NET Show. If you are looking to develop a WinForms-like user experience, you may also appreciate GOA WinForms which is an implementation of standard System.Windows.Forms .NET library for both Adobe Flash and Silverlight.
If you run Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation setup from a folder that already contains a setup.exe, your old setup.exe may run giving you the illusion of installing the WWF extensions. When you open up a WF project in Visual Studio 2005, you may receive an error message stating “Project type is not supported by this installation”. To correct this problem, run the extensions setup from a folder without any other executable (or at least without any setup.exe files).
Last week Microsoft officially released .NET Framework 3.0. .NET Framework 3.0 is the latest managed code programming model for Windows. It combines the power of the .NET Framework version 2.0 with new technologies for building applications that have visually compelling user experiences, seamless communication across technology boundaries, and the ability to support a wide range of business processes. These new technologies are Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, and Windows CardSpace.
The .NET Framework 3.0 is included as part of the Windows Vista operating system. If you are using Windows XP or Windows 2003, you can download the latest framework from Microsoft at:
Since .NET 3.0 is going to ship with a first class workflow designer and run-time engine, someone asked me whether they should still be investing in BizTalk Server 2004 / 2006.
The answer really depends upon what they plan to use BizTalk for. If their primary use of BizTalk is to design simple workflows / orchestrations, then they might get that kind of functionality for free in .NET 3.0 Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF).
WWF is however just a framework, so-to-speak, not a complete product such as BizTalk. WWF, for example, does not have features such as pipelines or adapters, and there are no administration tools such as HAT or BAM that come with it. These functionalities can definitely be custom developed as required, but for large solutions (e.g. B2B or integration of desperate systems) it might be best to just invest in BizTalk and leverage all the tried and tested tools and technologies that come with it out of the box. For other solutions such as a program’s internal workflow, WWF will prove to be an invaluable tool.