Fun with Silverlight 4: Illustrated Guide to Rich Internet Applications

Simple, concise, instructive and informative 
This is a great book for someone looking to get a broad view of the Silverlight 4 platform. It is very simple to read/understand for anyone wanting to get started. The book is very illustrative - literally - to provide good visuals about each of the core concepts...Recommend.

- Tim Heuer, Microsoft   full review


This book illustrates more than 100 features in Silverlight using a simple problem/solution approach. It takes one feature at a time and guides you in progressive journey where you begin by using the basic components, then by creating graphics and animations. You then create rich media applications on the client and web services, and delve into calling advanced Web services like AJAX, REST and WCF services from Silverlight. Look at the book!

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In the Book

  1. Design a Rich Internet Application
  2. Extend the Control Framework
  3. Create Compelling Graphics
  4. Work with Animation
  5. Extend the Browser Programming Model
  6. Bring Data Visualization to the Web
  7. Develop with ASP.NET and Ajax
  8. Work with Web Services
  9. Create Rich Silverlight Media Applications
  10. Deliver Enhanced and Interactive Streaming Video Experiences
The book assumes the reader has a basic understanding of web technologies and .Net programming languages, and is targeted at the intermediate to advanced Silverlight developer.
The book takes an example approach for all problems and features, and illustrates with class diagrams what objects and methods are used and how the elements of a Silverlight project are created in easy to understand format.

Section 1: Develop Silverlight Applications

The first section deals with Silverlight as a client side technology. The first four chapters detail developing with Silverlight for a web page, and no server side technology is involved in these chapters. You learn how to use controls, customize controls, create reusable controls, and use vector graphics and animation in Silverlight.

The book starts with the use of common controls in Chapter One, Design a Rich Internet Application. Chapter Two teaches you how to customize them in Extend the Control Framework, where you will learn how to create User Controls and Custom Controls. We also look into the DeepZoom which comes with the Silverlight SDK. Chapter Three, Create Compelling Graphics, shows you how easy it is to create rich vector graphics in Silverlight. Chapter Four, Work with Animation, helps you create story boards which can control and define different kinds of animation. Other methods of creating and controlling animation are presented as well.

Section 2: Interact with Web

The second section teaches how Silverlight interacts with the Web. This section includes standard web technologies like HTML, DOM, JavaScript, XML and JSON as well as ASP.NET and AJAX. Additionally, we discuss how Silverlight talks with the Browser, what kind of data structures are supported, and how to use Silverlight controls inside an ASP.NET application and use it for calling web services. Included is advanced data driven applications, and how Silverlight interacts with the Windows Communication Foundation.

In Chapter Five, Extend the Browser Programming Model, we learn how to use the parameters in the Silverlight plug-ins and use Isolated Storage, and interact with the DOM. Chapter Six, Bring Data Visualization to the Web, discusses different kinds of data structures. You will learn how to use Generics, and how Silverlight consumes and parses XML and JSON data. Chapter Seven, Develop with ASP.NET and Ajax discusses Silverlight features that can be used to create complex solutions with ASP.NET and AJAX. You will learn how to create Silverlight controls in ASP.NET along with the Script Manager, and how to make asynchronous calls to web services. Chapter Eight, Work with Web Services, further solves problems related to Web services and shows examples using the SOAP and REST protocols. You also learn how Silverlight is used in a Windows Communication Foundation to leverage the use of sockets in TCP/IP and other Networking API features.

Section 3: Advance with Media

The third section is meant for advanced features in Silverlight related to rich Media applications. We start with, how to create media applications in Silverlight.

In Chapter Nine, Play with Media, we create rich Silverlight Media application, we discuss advanced topics like Adaptive Streaming, Progressive Download and Live Media Services. Chapter Ten, Fun with Advanced Media, we deliver enhanced, and interactive streaming video experience with Media services, details encoding in different formats, and how the media is delivered on the web with Progressive Download, Traditional Streaming and Smooth Streaming. You will also see how to edit media in the encoder and create several advanced Media Players customized to your needs.