Chapter 1. Getting to Know Silverlight

Silverlight is Microsoft's implementation of a cross-browser, cross-platform client framework that allows designers and developers to deliver Rich Internet Applications (RIA) embedded in Web pages. Silverlight is fitted with a flexible media pipeline that makes it extremely easy to implement media-rich controls in your Web applications.

This chapter gives you a brief introduction to the Silverlight framework. The following sections discuss what Silverlight is and why you would want to use it to develop Web-based applications. They also define the architecture behind the Silverlight framework and Silverlight applications to help you understand how Silverlight fits into the Web services picture.

What Is Silverlight?

You can look at the Silverlight framework as a combination of three very different architectures: the browser plug-in, presentation framework, and .NET framework. The culmination of these frameworks allows Silverlight to bridge the gap between presentation user interface (UI) using declarative languages and functional programming using a subset of the .NET framework.

The lightweight browser plug-in provides the necessary interaction with the browser enabling the same Silverlight application to run on multiple platforms. The plug-in must be installed by the user before Silverlight applications can be viewed in the browser.

Silverlight applications are implemented as embedded objects in Web pages. When the browser encounters a Silverlight ...

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