Pro Business Applications with Silverlight 4 / Edition 1

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Silverlight 4 has the potential to revolutionize the way we build business applications. With its flexibility, web deployment, cross-platform capabilities, rich .NET language support on the client, rich user interface control set, small runtime, and more, it comes close to the perfect platform in which to build business applications. It’s a very powerful technology, and despite its youth, it’s moving forward at a rapid pace and is gaining widespread adoption.

This book will guide you through the process of designing and developing enterprise-strength business applications in Silverlight 4 and C#. You will learn how to take advantage of the power of Silverlight to develop rich and robust business applications, from getting started to deployment, and everything in between.

In particular, this book will serve developers who want to learn how to design business applications, and introduce the patterns to use, the issues that you’ll face, and how to resolve them. Chris Anderson, who has been building line-of-business applications for years, demonstrates his experience through a candid presentation of how to tackle real-life issues, rather than just avoid them. Developers will benefit from his hard-won expertise through business application design patterns that he shares throughout the book.

With this book in hand, you will

  • Create a fully functional business application in Silverlight
  • Discover how to satisfy all of the general requirements that most business applications need
  • Develop a business application framework

What you’ll learn

  • How to structure your project to ensure a robust and maintainable application
  • How to create user interfaces with XAML and bind controls to data
  • How to communicate securely between the server and the client
  • How to view and maintain data within a Silverlight user interface
  • How to design unique user experiences and use advanced styling techniques
  • How to implement standard business application paradigms in Silverlight

Who this book is for

This book is for developers experienced in other .NET technologies, such as WinForms or ASP.NET, looking to translate their existing skills to developing business applications with Silverlight. Patterns and methodologies associated with building robust applications will be introduced and are not prerequisite knowledge.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Getting Started with Silverlight
  3. An Introduction to XAML
  4. The Navigation Framework
  5. Exposing Data from the Server: Using WCF RIA Services
  6. Implementing Summary Lists
  7. Building Data Entry Forms
  8. Securing Your Application
  9. Styling Your Application
  10. Advanced XAML and Data Binding
  11. Creating Custom Controls
  12. The Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) Design Pattern
  13. Printing and Reporting
  14. Out of Browser Mode, and Interacting with the Operating System
  15. Application Deployment

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430272076
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 8/25/2010
  • Edition description: 2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Anderson has been a professional developer for more than 10 years, specializing in building desktop, web, and mobile business applications using Microsoft technologies for industries as wide-ranging as accounting, property valuation, mining, the fresh produce industry, pet cremations, logistics, field services, sales, and construction. Now running his own business, he has turned to Silverlight as the ideal new technology for developing and deploying business applications. Chris currently resides in Sydney, Australia.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • 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 September 18, 2010

    Good read on business applications for Silverlight

    Silverlight is a neat platform and business applications is one of the areas where it can be used. The author points out correctly that Silverlight offers sandboxed environment which is much more than HTML but less than rich desktop applications. The book stays true to its title. It is a good reference to have if you are building simple business applications. The topics which has good coverage are data forms, views, data binding, navigation and security for a simple business application. If you want a book on multimedia or phone programming than you may not benefit a lot. But the book covers the basics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good book for intermediate Silverlight programmer

    I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to go advanced in Silverlight.

    This book starts with an Introduction to Silverlight versions and then dives into XAML in the next 2 chapters.
    This is followed by WCF RIA Services. The author covers the WCF RIA Services in a good manner - though I would
    have loved the book if he had also covered other services like OData or the basic WCF Services.

    The author also covers MVVM - but not in depth. It is more of an introduction.

    The author does a good job in covering topics like: writing a custom control, templates, animations, styles etc.

    Though the book is intended as a business development book, it covers the needed basics and does not dive deep into
    business aspects. In short this book can be used by intermediate Silverlight programmers to further advance their

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    Perfect for migrating from WinForms to Silverlight

    Of all the Silverlight books I've read, this is the only one that explained the nuances of Silverlight in a style that a seasoned WinForms developer could easily comprehend.
    I loved the logical flow and completeness of the material presented. Unlike other books on Silverlight, I didn't feel the need to flip back and forth to understand the current topic. The style and focus of the material helped me to understanding the underlying technology rather than just the tools used in development.

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