October 1st, 2009

What is Silverlight and Expression Blend

Silverlight Blend Tutorials, Working with Silverlight, by Gavin Wignall.

Silverlight enables you to create more responsive user experiences with the fastest runtime on the Web, keeping users engaged by combining animation, video, dynamic layout, vector graphics, perspective 3D, and effects with exclusive features like Deep Zoom.

When you create applications for Silverlight you’re actually creating one application that will run equally on Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari on Windows, Mac and Linux. Silverlight on different platforms and browsers has exactly the same functionality, ensuring the same experience for all your users.

Silverlight is widely regarded as having the best quality video on the web powering important events like the recent Olympic Games in China and Barack Obama’s inauguration. Using Smooth Streaming raises the quality bar to the next level and allows you to extend your viewing times further. Adjust the quality in real-time based upon the consumer’s changing bandwidth and CPU conditions and get minimal buffering and quick start-up time using HTTP adaptive streaming.

Install the Microsoft Silverlight Plugin here

Expression Blend is a powerful interaction design tool for both Silverlight and the .NET platforms.

Personalized Media

Since its introduction Expression Blend has helped remove the barriers and bottlenecks that have traditionally existed during the design and development process and Blend 3 has evolved the workflow further, enhancing the designer’s productivity while enabling maximum creativity within the time constraints designers’ work under on a daily basis.

Visual designers can continue using the efficient workflows that you’ve built around Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, once imported your assets retain their full fidelity and editability. Rapidly turn static Photoshop graphics or visual elements drawn in Expression Blend into rich data bound controls such as a custom sliders, scrollbars and listboxes.

Visual Diagnostics

Developers can build applications on top of the powerful .NET platform, delivering applications created with one tool set that run across different browsers and platforms through Silverlight and WPF.

The ability to quickly bring an application and static graphics to life is powerful. Complex interactions can be encapsulated by developers into simple reusable elements called Behaviors that a designer can easily apply via drag and drop, without writing any code.

Design and Develop

Building great applications requires both great design and great development for the application to reach its full potential. The powerful design and development workflow between Expression Blend and Visual Studio allow designers and developers to share projects, code, assets and designs for higher productivity and quality. No conversion, no recreation of graphics in code is needed, simply a silky smooth two-way workflow from designer to developer and back again.

This superior workflow is made possible through the use of XAML across Expression Blend, Visual Studio, Silverlight and WPF. XAML separates the code from the design and enables designers and developers to simultaneously iterate on both the design and code aspects of the application.

Rich Content

Powerful tools and streamlined workflows are more important today than ever. Expression Blend delivers a solution where your concepts and ideas can live through the entire project, end to the end, helping reduce wasted time and resources and deliver applications that exceed your client’s expectations for design, interactivity and usability.

This information is taken from the Microsoft Expression website.

Download and try out the full Expression suite including Expression Blend here

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