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Silverlight: Learning Resources

Silverlight: Learning Resources

September 15, 2009
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This blog is not intended to be a tutorial for creating a basic Silverlight application. However, this blog will give you a roadmap and important elements you should focus on for learning Silverlight. This blog has links to the useful sites which are helpful for learning Silverlight basics.

Displaying Data

To master Silverlight, the first item we need to conquer is to learn XAML. XAML is a new language to produce a rich user interface. It looks similar to ASP.NET but the rendering engine is different. You must have some grasp of XAML before you can start developing XAML applications. Here are the few links which can help you to learn XAML quickly:

  1. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc163404.aspx
  2. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc189036%28VS.95%29.aspx

Binding Data

Databinding is an important part of any application (be it desktop or web). Silverlight offers a new way of databinding your usercontrols that is very powerful. I have found the following articles to be very helpful in learning the databinding concepts for Silverlight. Do focus on datatemplates as they make development a lot easier.

  1. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc278072%28VS.95%29.aspx
  2. http://www.odetocode.com/articles/740.aspx

Styles

Styles ensure a uniform look and feel for your Silverlight application and can be reused. They also enhance the maintainability of your code. Take a look at the following blog to get a better insight on styling:

http://www.silverlightshow.net/Tips/StylesAndTemplates.aspx

Toolkit

When time is of the essence, it makes sense to reuse elements than to create them yourself. Take a look at the controls offered by Silverlight toolkit at:

http://www.codeplex.com/Silverlight

This toolkit offers a lot of controls which may fit your application needs. Also, you may modify the source code and create custom controls yourself.

Another free-to-use library is Visifire which is for charting controls. This library offers lot of charting controls to meet your charting needs.

http://visifire.com/silverlight_charts_gallery.php

Application Architecture

Model-view-view model is the design pattern of choice for creating a Silverlight application. A nice article about this pattern can be found at:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd458800.aspx

This blog gives some resources which you can look at before building professional Silverlight applications. I hope you find this post helpful.