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Silverlight Architecture

Aug 17 2010 7:06AM by Dinesh Sodani   

In the previous article I attempted to explain What Silverlight is and how it is being used more and more to develop business applications. In this article I will try to explain Architecture of Silverlight in simpler manner. Silver light has borrowed lot of things from existing Microsoft technologies. We can think silver light plug-in as a combination of some technologies from core .NET framework, vector animations, media and JavaScript.

Silverlight Architecture

So we can visualize the silver light architecture as combination of some functionalities from core .NET framework , Ajax and some functionalities like animation , media etc provided by core silver light framework.

•.NET framework components: - Silver light uses some components from .NET framework. One of the main components is WPF. Many of the UI components (check box, buttons, text boxes etc), XAML parsing etc are taken from the core WPF system. It also has taken components like WCF to simplify data access. It also have CLR for memory management, safety checking and garbage collection. The base class libraries of Net are used for string manipulations, algorithms, expressions, collections and globalization.

• Presentation core: - The core presentation framework has functionalities to display vector 2d animations, images, media, DRM and handle inputs like mouse and keyboard.

• Other technologies: - Silver light interacts with other technologies like Ajax and JavaScript. So it also borrows some functionalities from there technologies.

• Hosting: - Silver light animations finally run under the browser environment. So it has a the hosting functionality which helps to host the application the browser , expose a DOM by which JavaScript can manipulate the silver light components and it also has a installer functionality which helps to install silver light application and plug-in in the browser environment.

Silverlight Architecture

The application is a typical HTML which runs under the browser. There are markups which instantiates the silver light plug-in. Now when user interacts with the silver light application it sends event to JavaScript system or the .NET system. This depends on which programming language you are using. The program code which is either in JavaScript of .NET can make calls to the silver light run-time and achieve the necessary functionalities. XAML will be read and parsed by the silver light runtime and then rendered accordingly to the browser.


See following for detailed information here:

Difference between Silverlight Runtime and Silverlight SDK

Silverlight Runtime is a plug-in for browsers to support Silverlight enabled applications. If Silverlight runtime is not installed, browsers will not be able to run Silverlight elements in the browser. You can set up your Silverlight tags such a way that your browser will automatically prompt the user to download and install the Silverlight plug in when your application is launched in the browser.
Installing the run time is a onetime operation on the client. Once installed, it will be automatically launched when any Silverlight application is loaded in the browser.

Silverlight SDK is a set of tools, documentation, samples and templates for the web developers to help them easily develop Silverlight enabled applications. The SDK is not really mandatory to develop Silverlight applications; however, SDK will make development much easier.

Tags: silverlight, brh, #DOTNET, #SILVERLIGHT, #ASP.NET, Silverlight 4.0, Silverlight Runtime and Silverlight SDK, Architecture,

Dinesh Sodani
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