Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Nick Basinger, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , Silverlight

Microsoft Cloud: Book Review

Book Review: Designing Silverlight Business Applications

Best Practices for Using Silverlight Effectively in the Enterprise

If I could change one decision Microsoft has made, it would be the one they made to drop Silverlight. Silverlight is the prefect line of business application platform for the enterprise, and this book shows us how to take full advantage of it.

Although the author does an excellent job of building a case for using Silverlight over HTML5 in many scenarios, the key ingredient missing that would allow me to build Silverlight applications for my customers is support from Microsoft.

Why read this book then? Because XAML is here to stay and I don't want to skip a release. I want to stay completely current even if there is no chance of building Silverlight applications with my current customers. Microsoft not saying it is dead, is not enough for them. They need to hear it will be supported before they use it again. Since that isn't happening anytime soon, neither will a Silverlight project.

All that said, this book was a pure pleasure to read and shows us why Silverlight is absolutely, hands down, the best technology available today for enterprise LOB applications.

This book doesn't contain any fluff. After the awesome introduction there is a Getting Started chapter. I planned on skimming this but as I started skimming I found myself repeatedly pulled into the topics. I ended up reading the entire thing.

The complete list of chapters is Silverlight, Getting Started, Extensible Application Markup Language (Xaml), Advanced Xaml, The Visual State Manager, Data-Binding, Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM), The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF), Testing, Navigation, The Service Layer, Persistence and State Management, Out of Browser Applications, Line of Business Features, and Debugging and Performance Optimization.

One of the things I really like about this book is the down to earth attitude the author has. A perfect example is his chapter on MVVM. Most books I have read take the approach of over complicating MVVM. In this book the author simplifies and does a great job of explaining the pattern.

One thing I didn't like was that some of the sample code didn't run right off the bat, and some I just gave up on. Chapter 10 Manual Navigation was an interesting chapter, but the way the application with the sample code was put together the application didn't load and could not be easily debugged. Some of the other samples included dlls from the feature pack 2 which requires Visual Studio Premium or Ultimate, so not everyone will be able to run them. A lot of them also require IIS Express. Most of the samples worked and they would all probably work if you want to take the time to get them working. I didn't get any of the To-Do samples to work which made up 12 of the 40 samples. Spent way too much time trying to.

One chapter that began with cracking me up was Line of Business Features. The author starts off with a description of a miserable picture of what the word "enterprise" paints in the eyes of the development community. He then paints a much better picture of what an enterprise line of business development environment can look like throughout the rest of the chapter. I have seen plenty of both and the picture the author paints of how it could be is absolutely achievable. Although, most enterprises I have seen don't come close to achieving it.

Developing LOB with Silverlight provides us with the opportunity to do development right. Technology absolutely plays a big part in an enterprises development environment. Where it really counts is in maintenance and enhancements. HTML (ASP.NET), CSS, and JavaScript have always produced spaghetti code nightmares in every shop I have seen use it. I know it is necessary for reach, but when you own the environments, which most enterprises do, Silverlight is the way to go. After Silverlight WPF. Microsoft is missing a huge opportunity to own the enterprise development world. They are forcing us back to two choices again, Browser spaghetti code or perceived thick client deployment headaches. Yes, the world still fears thick client deployment. They threw the baby out with the bath water when they dropped Silverlight.

So my advice? Read this book. The author does a great job of showing us what we should be doing today with LOB application architecture and development. He also brings us up to speed on the latest inner workings of XAML based development. The asynchronous model will be there in Windows 8 XAML development, so learning how to use it and other features now will help you later. The author does a great job of walk us through a the most power features Silverlight has to offer and puts them into a line of business application context.

Designing Silverlight Business Applications: Best Practices for Using Silverlight Effectively in the Enterprise

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture was Octoblu, a cross-protocol Internet of Things (IoT) mesh network platform, acquired by Citrix. Prior to co-founding Octoblu, Chris was founder of Nodester, an open-source Node.JS PaaS which was acquired by AppFog and ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...