Silverlight is a next generation development platform for creating engaging, interactive user experiences for Web, Desktop and mobile applications when online or offline. This is an application framework for writing and executing rich internet applications, with features and purposes similar to those of Adobe Flash with some extended features like WCF support, good programming support form .net framework. The run-time environment for Silverlight is available as a plug-in for most web browsers running under MS Windows.
Silverlight provides a retained mode graphics system similar to Windows Presentation Foundation, and integrates multimedia, graphics, animations and interactivity into a single runtime environment. In Silverlight applications, user interfaces are declared in Extensible Application Mark-up Language (XAML) and programmed using a subset of the .NET Framework. XAML can be used for marking up the vector graphics and animations. Also Microsoft provides Microsoft Blend visual studio for creating design mock ups.
The key benefits of Silverlight is all logic executing in client side so that will be great benefits for performance and provide any rich UI to the client side with fastest execution. It is also a cross-browser, cross-platform implementation of the .NET Framework for building and delivering the next generation of media experiences and Rich Interactive Applications (RIA) for the web. It runs in all popular browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, and Chrome. Required plugin for run Silverlight application is very small size so anytime that can be installed.
Also in newer days Microsoft launches lightswitch with extended version of the Silverlight with inbuilt facility to generate silver light forms and required services.
Silverlight aims to compete with Adobe Flash and the presentation components of Ajax. It also competes with Sun Microsystems JavaFX, which was launched a few days after Silverlight.
Web application has some limitation with performance and rich User Interface because of the html is executing in client Browser and for major execution parts happen in server side. So the performance goes down due to this scenario. So, Microsoft has introduced a concept called Silverlight which is executing in client’s browser by automatically installing a plug in of Silverlight with providing facility of rich UI by XAML and tremendous performance. For server side data interaction they will call web services by asynchronous call.
Below are the key benefits of Silverlight applications:
- Provide excellent performance in web application because it is executing in client browser, so user can feel experience like as window application
- Rich graphical interface available along with animation
- Data is stored in server and that access by web services so there is no any security hole