This chapter covers much about the core tools that are available for SharePoint development. Of course, you’ll come across many other niche tools in addition to the main ones — some of which can be proprietary to your organization. Two of these lesser known tools are quite helpful in the right situation: Expression Blend, which is for design, especially when you’re building out Silverlight-based applications, and Fiddler, for debugging.
Visual Studio, SharePoint Designer, and Napa are your core developer tools for SharePoint, so you won’t see as much coverage here for Expression Blend as you did for the aforementioned tools. However, getting at least an introduction to Expression is important, because it provides a great suite of applications offering Web, design, and encoding features.
One of the main reasons to introduce Expression Blend here is that it offers a great way to design Silverlight-based and Deep Zoom applications. Silverlight is a great way to create rich media and dynamic applications — and this dynamic user experience begins with the use of Expression Blend. Furthermore, Deep Zoom can also provide some interesting media experiences with images. For example, the Hard Rock Memorabilia site (http://memorabilia.hardrock.com) leverages the Deep Zoom capabilities within a Silverlight application embedded within an HTML page — see Figure 3-32.