This Saturday the .NET Montreal User Group presented a full day of presentation on Silverlight. The main topic of the day was “How to build a business application with Silverlight”. There was more people than we expect to have on a Saturday (more than 160 persons). Five speakers shared the stage to cover the whole presentation(Laurent Duveau, Dominic Sévigny, Guy Barrette, Pascal Groulx and me [Louis-Philippe Pinsonneault]. The real goal behind this day was to present the different tools that a developer may have to use to create a business application.
- Design a prototype with ShecthFlow. (Guy Barrette)
- Using RIA Services. (Laurent Duveau)
- Creating and calling a WCF service. (Pascal Groulx)
- Changing the look of the application with styles. (Dominic Sévigny)
- How to change the look of a button and make it shining. (Louis-Philippe Pinsonneault)
- Create a logo with Expression Designer and importing it in Expression Blend (Guy Barrette)
- Animate the logo with Blend. (Dominic Sévigny)
- Search Engine Optimization. (Laurent Duveau)
Here is a list of the tools that were used during the day:
- Visual Studio 2008 SP1
- SQL Express
- Expression Blend 3
- Expression Designer 3
- .NET RIA Services
There is effectively a real interest in Silverlight in the community. It was interesting to see that there was not only developers but also some designers who attend at the day.
I’m really happy to be part of this event and sharing with others.
If you are interested in taking some Silverlight training, look at the Silverlight Tour.
Also you can attend at the Tech Day on December 2nd to December 4th at Montreal. I will present a session on Expression Blend. Dominic Sévigny will present a session on PRISM and Laurent Duveau will present the new feature of Silverlight 3.
Some picture of the day:
The crowd before a few minutes before the presentation.
Guy Barrette talking to Christian Beauclair (from Microsoft) just before the presentation.
Guy and Etinne Tremblay presenting the event
Guy starting his presentation. We had the chance to see his designer talent
Guy building a Silverlight SketchFlow application and integrate a sample data source in his sketch flow application.
Laurent show the DomainService class base on the .NET RIA Services
An overview of the crowd.
Laurent answering some questions while Pascal Groulx prepare his presentation.
Pascal a few moment just before his 1st presentation. His presentation focus on how to build a web service using WCF.
Dominic Sévigny show us how to work with Styles in Silverlight using Visual Studio and Blend.
This is me explaining how to build custom controls in Blend. I create a button based on a rectangle, and i tried to make it shiny.
The second presentation of Guy was about Expression Designer and Expression Blend. He show us own we can integrate file made with Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop.
Dominic came to help Guy to integrate the user control containing a logo.
Dominic show us how to create animation using Expression Blend.
Laurent finish the day by presenting how to work with SEO.
Finally, Laurent answers some questions at the end of his session.
You can download the source code that we used (thanks to Laurent for the file)
Since a couple of week i was looking for way to create reports within Silverlight or generate printable version of the content of the Silverlight application. I found some solutions (with the help of Dominic Sévigny
). As a reminder, Silverlight doesn't allow us to access resources from the client machine for security reason. This is why it's not possible to print within Silverlight. As you will see, all of the controls I'll talk about use a similar technique to generate reports. They generate files like PDF, Excel, ... as container for the report which allow you to save the file locally or open it with your local viewer or editor which allow you to print the file.
Report Sharp-Shooter for Silverlight
To generate reports there is Perpetuum Software
who have a reporting tools that allow you to generate the report on the server and a report viewer for Silverlight that allow you to view and export (PDF, XLS, DOC) reports. Feature:
- Fast report uploading: every single page is loaded separately; you can view only those report pages you really need without loading the whole report
- Report preview: single page, continuous
- Export to PDF, HTML, Excel, and RTF
- Zoom of any type: percent, regional, dynamic
- Fast search
- Easy navigation
- Report panning
SmartPrint for Silverlight
To generate a printable version of the content of a Silverlight application, there is a beta software called SmartPrint for Silverlight from SmartWebControls
. This application let you generate a PDF. This is a workaround solution when you need to print, because Silvelight doesn't allow us to access to do. This control take the XAML part to render in the PDF and send it to an HTTPHandler on the server. This HTTPHandler use server side component to render the PDF and return the result PDF to the client. Feature:
- Generate printable PDF documents on the server based on Silverlight screens
- Support for letter and landscape documents
- Automatically email generated PDF documents as needed
- Generate and print a PDF document right in the browser within seconds
- Support for custom header text and page numbers
- Support for multiple pages
- Works with standard and navigation projects
- Generate reports directly from Silverlight screens
- PDF documents can be saved on your server or generated on the fly and served to clients
- Efficient compression algorithms used ensure data is transferred as quickly as possible
- SmartPrint Silverlight assembly is less than 75kb in size allowing your XAP files to stay small
- Free unlimited trial version available that runs on the "localhost" domain
- Works in Internet Explorer 6+, FireFox 2+, Chrome 2+ and Safari 4+
Those solution are good workaround for the security limitation of Silvelight. I hope in the next version of Silvelight they will integrate some native feature for printing and/or reporting.
Yesterday a new release of the AJAX Toolkit was release. What’s new in that release? There is 2 new controls:
- Seadragon - Seadragon enables you to pan, zoom, and make an image full screen. You can use it, for example, to display interactive product pictures.
- AsyncFileUpload - This new control enables you to perform file uploads without doing a postback. The control displays a throbber image during upload and raises client and server events when the upload is complete. This control was contributed by Steven Lindsay.
Finally the have implement the File Upload functionality. Like many people this was my long awaited feature.
Here is the link to download the latest release of the AJAX Toolkit:
If you want more information you can read the blog of Bertrand LeRoy, who wrote a great post on the new feature:
(via: Bertrand LeRoy