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Pro Business Applications with Silverlight 4

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  • Posted September 20, 2010

    Excellent Guide to Silverlight development for business

    In Pro Business Applications with Silverlight 4, Chris Anderson lays out from beginning to end the steps necessary to create Silverlight-based business applications that fulfill the requirements currently met by ASP.NET and other web development platforms.

    I read the book cover to cover in tutorial fashion with Visual Studio on hand to try some of the code and procedures. The process went smoothly with no backtracking or skipping ahead in the text necessary with the exception of a couple of minor problems with code and Visual Studio walkthroughs.

    Chris mentions experience with C# and Visual Studio as prerequisites for the reader in Chapter 1, but since nearly every chapter contains XAML (an XML-based markup language), the reader should also have a basic understanding of XML. I found that ASP.NET experience was a big help as well.

    There are two chapters dedicated to XAML. The first is an introduction, providing enough information for subsequent chapters. The second, later chapter covers more advanced features. The depth of information found in these chapters was more than I expected and reflects the importance of XAML expertise felt by the author.

    Chapters 6 and 7 describe how to implement common user interface elements such as lists, drill down, data entry and validation. I was glad to see that these basic elements were covered. These easily account for 90% of my user interface work. Chapter 11 covers Silverlight user controls and custom controls. That took care of the other 10%.

    Business applications require access to data stores. Several options to accomplish this are discussed, focusing mainly on WCF RIA Services. I thought that was an excellent choice as the Visual Studio code generation support for it reduces or eliminates the code that you need to write and maintain yet allows for extensive customization. Chris also presents a pretty good Visual Studio walkthrough of creating, modifying and consuming an RIA Service.

    An entire chapter is devoted to the implementation of the Model-View-Viewmodel design pattern in Silverlight. As the author points out, creating a perfect implementation of MVVM is challenging and not always achievable, but the benefits of MVVM make it a worthy goal.

    The book winds up with instruction on printing in various formats, running outside of the browser and deploying your new Silverlight application.

    I've written a fair number of ASP.NET business applications in my time, so I naturally read the book with these past projects in mind. By the time I finished, I could not think of a single project that I could not now replicate with Silverlight using my newly acquired knowledge. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in developing Silverlight applications for business.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    Without doubt the best book on Silverlight 4.0

    If you want to develop a business application Web, Silverlight 4 is the right choice. Now, if you want to learn how to develop a business application with Silverlight 4 then this book is an excellent way to get there. A business application must be cut in layers and decoupling is essential to preserve its application against future developments and Chris Anderson will guide you in this direction. This book is for C # developers who have some knowledge of development in enterprise. All book deals with the implementation of the different layers of a business application. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on MVVM model where explanations will enable more beginners to master the subject without problems. The chapter on developing a custom control is not necessarily is an important first step, but the developer will work to understand how the graphics system of Silverlight. I highly recommend this book to anyone need to develop a business application with Silverlight 4.0.

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