Silverlight 3 - What we Know So Far & What We Can Predict (Part 1 of 2)
Silverlight 2 has been released a couple of months ago and just like any MS product, Microsoft has already been working on the next release :) Silverlight 3 is going to build on top of the Silverlight 2 runtime and add a lot of exciting enhancements. However, it also needs to improve on a lot of the existing shortfalls when compared to the current leading RIA technology (Flash/Flex). So what do we know is coming in Silverlight 3?
- Silverlight for Mobile Devices
- Enhanced Business Application Development
- New dataSource control, new data controls (paging, data form, etc.), validation, back button support in browser, security/login, etc.
- H.264 Support
- 3D Support & Hardware Acceleration
- Visual Studio Design Time Enhacements
- Expression Blend 3.x for SL 3 & Enhacements
- Fit Client
- More Controls
Silverlight for Mobile Devices
- What is it? Silverlight on the Mobile devices! What is really cool is that there will be no required changes to your existing SL code for it to work on the mobile device...really nice! So it has a one up on Flash where there is no "lite" version.
- Source of info: PDC 2008 - Microsoft Silverlight 2 for Mobile Devices
- What devices will be supported? Obviously, Windows Mobile will be supported. Symbian and Blackberry are probably other OS candidates that will include Silverlight mobile support. iPhone....if it's not getting Flash, no way is it going to get Silverlight :)
- Even though it is stated as Silverlight 2, I doubt that will remain. I think the version for mobile will match Silverlight 3 (This actually gives developers motivation to go to SL3) and this allows Microsoft to create tooling support/emulators. This would be harder for the existing Blend/Design/VS/Silerlight 2 Tools. What's more likely is this being added for Silverlight 3.
- There are some minor things like video brush that will not be available in Silverlight Mobile. However, the question is, what else "minor" will be missing?
Silverlight on a mobile device!
Enhanced Business Application Development
New data paging, data form, validation...
Forms Authentication with ASP.NET
- What is it? Silverlight 3 will include a business framework for creating rich LOB applications. This will make creating/maintaining LOB really easy (less plumbing and focusing on design)
- The framework includes:
- Data Source support for busines objects (ASP.NET)
- Paging for the data source
- Data Source events (on load data, etc.)
- Data form control
- Back button support for the browser
- Validation of business objects
- Custom validation on DAL automatically transferred to the UI stack (client side)
- Attribute based validation
- Forms authentication
- New authentication control
- Watch the video below for more demos.
- Source of info: PDC 2008 - Microsoft Silverlight Futures
- What is it? It is an update to the MPEG encoder (MPEG-4) and it adds a lot of nice features and will probably be the standard way of encoding HD streams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264). Silverlight 3 will be able to play Flash HD videos as well.
- Source of info:
3D Support and Hardware Acceleration
Visual Studio Design Time Enhacements
What is it? Visual Studio will actually aid in the design part of building Silverlight 2 applications. Visual Studio 2008 (granted, it was added before SL2 came out) has terrible design support and even the most basic changes require the designer/developer jumping to Blend 2 SP1.
Outstanding Questions: Which version of Visual Studio will it support? I have a suspicion it will most likely be Visual Studio 2010 and 2008 will not be changed for SL 3 (More on that on the bottom.)
Expression Blend 3.x for SL 3 & Enhacements
This article was authored 12/11/2008, as updates roll in before Silverlight 3 is launched I will update this page with further information. In part 2 of the series, I will look at some educated predictions for Silverlight 3 in addition to what has been announced.