¡¡Installing!! (the development environment)

Here we will set-up the development environment for being able to develop Silverlight (and WPF Too!) applications on our machine.

After the teorical overview on the last post, we must install all the necessary in order to be able to proceed into the “hello world” usually done on new languages or environments :).

We should have already installed the runtime plug in (that is if you were curious enough on last post) but if not, we can install the 1.0 version recently released (or RTC’ed) at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/install.aspx. or the more powerful version 1.1 September Alpha Refresh at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/downloads.aspx#4_8. Have to say that this version is more oriented for developers as it is an Alpha, and also interesting to read the installing reccomendations before proceeding. Silverlight 1.1 includes 1.0 so, there will be no need to install this if we proceed with the 1.0.

Anyway, if the links aren’t working you can find almost all of the downloads of the components here and/or here.

Development, design tools & add-in’s -With the runtimes installed we should proceed to install the development and design tools. Here we should install the following: Visual Studio Orcas for the development in both managed code (1.1) or javascript 1.0. here we could just work with Visual Studio 2005 if we just want to work with the 1.0 Version. If you do that, you should install the latest Visual Studio 2005 SDK in order for the 1.0 template to be installed.

For the 1.1 (and 1.0 too) we should install (in this order, preferably):

  1. Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 à This is, to be able to develop with Silverlight 1.1 and 1.0 The URL link for downloading is  here, but I would reccomend the new download client from Microsoft that is far faster than the http method (and more secure, as Orcas it’s about 5Gb in size…) the name is Microsoft Secure Content Downloader. The link is here. This install will also install the new .Net Framework 3.5, necessary for the rest of the components.
  2. Microsoft Silverlight Tools Alpha Refresh for Visual Studio VS 2008 Beta 2 à This is the AddOn para be able to create Silverlight applications in Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2. The link is here.
  3. Expression Blend 2 September Preview à This is the main design, animation and interaction definition tool for Silverlight (and WPF too). The link is here.  
  4. As for the last point, you can install some of the Microsoft Expression Suite applications, which you can check here  as they are updating and improving their applications almost each month, so check the site before installing. You would like also to check/download Expression Media , Expression Encoder and Expression Design, the first ones are for Video encoding and presentation (in a very powerful way) and the second for designing, but almost any decent design application already does an export-to-xaml, so any design package will do.
  5. Microsoft ASP NET Futures July 2007 à This include ASP.Net controls for integrating Silverlight with ASP.NET & AJAX. the link is here.  
  6. Intellisense support – for visual Studio 2008. If you are going to work with the 1.0 Silverlight version, you have an interesting add-in that will make your life easier. Concretely it will provide full Intellisense & Debugging capebilites in Javascript for Silverlight 1.0. The link to this open source project in .Net is here: http://www.codeplex.com/intellisense

Documentation, samples & add-in’s – With all the development & design tools installed we should get the SDK’s of what we are going to get into. We should install this great resources:

  1. Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) à This has all the latest documentation, samples and refference. It is a must. You can download this here. Also be sure it is the latest version, as they also update this frequently. The link is here.
  2. Microsoft Silverlight 1.1 Alpha Software Development Kit (SDK) – September Refresh à The same but for 1.1. Please note this SDK is being checked almost each month so keep checking the www.silverlight.net website and the Silverlight developer center here. The link to download the September refresh is here.
  3. If you want to learn, reading code is a very good option, apart from articles and released source code. Lutz Roeder’s great tool, Reflector also has a new add-in. check it here (tool maker’s blog) or here (at Codeplex). It is also great to see what is going on.

Well that has been more or less all. Quite longer than I expected but quite complete too. Please leave your comments and indications abut how did you like this article.

Thanks for reading,


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