Microsoft Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight is an extension for web browsers that allows you to run rich internet applications. It is also used as a framework for apps for Windows Phone 7. Silverlight is available as a proprietary programmable plug-in for Windows and Apple Macintosh and is available for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari. For Linux was offered by Novell with the consent and support of Microsoft Moonlight. It was no longer developed for Silverlight 5. Silverlight is based on a reduced version of the. NET framework.

In addition to the open W3C web platform ( inter alia Ajax) competes Silverlight with OpenLaszlo, Adobe Flash / Adobe Flex and JavaFX.

  • 3.1 Operating Systems and Web Browsers
  • 5.1 Videos and Tutorials


Silverlight applications can be downloaded from the web server and typically runs on the client browser. The communication of the application to the Web server by means of HTTP GET. For programming means. NET are, among others, the ADO.NET Data Services, databases can deploy as a Web Service for a Silverlight-based RIA client automatically.

Silverlight is derived in terms of its UI presentation layer of the Windows Presentation Foundation. WPF was introduced with the. NET Framework 3.x ( 3.0/3.5 ). Main component of the vector-based graphic representation and the design of graphical user interfaces is a universal and text-based XML format XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language). While WPF has been developed for the graphical display and animation of Windows desktop applications, under the code name WPF / E ( E for Everywhere) a web-enabled version was developed, which is equipped with a reduced order elements and functions XAML.


Silverlight 1

Silverlight 1 is equipped with a JavaScript API and can evolve with JavaScript, but also with other scripting languages ​​such as Python and Ruby. Silverlight 1 comprises the core of the presentation framework, which is responsible for the UI ( User Interface), interactivity and user input, basic controls, graphics and animation, media playback, Digital rights management (DRM ), and DOM integration. It is divided into the following components:

A Silverlight application starts by invoking the Silverlight controller of the HTML page, which then loads a XAML file. The XAML file contains a Canvas object that serves as a placeholder for other objects. Silverlight provides various geometrical basic forms available, but also elements such as text, images and other media. The elements can be precisely positioned to achieve the desired layout. These elements can be animated by so-called event triggers are used. Some effects are predefined, and others can be designed as composition of this. Keyboard and mouse events can also be processed by ordinary scripts.

Silverlight 2

Silverlight 2 includes a variety of well known from WPF applications XAML Controls. In addition to the canvas, which was to be available in version 1.1 is the only layout panel, more layout controls the StackPanel and Grid that serve as containers for other controls and facilitate the positioning and sizing of the elements are now supported. Even complex functionalities, such as data binding, the use of templates (templates), custom controls, and controls for data manipulation and data visualization ( ListBox, DataGrid ) have been added. Silverlight 2 also supports classes for Internet communication via REST, POX, RSS, and WS, and cross-domain network access. The Windows Communication Foundation ( WCF), Ajax and LINQ are integrated.

Silverlight includes a media player that supports the formats Windows Media Video ( WMV ), VC-1 video standard, HDV, Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MP3.

Silverlight applications are typically developed with Microsoft Expression Blend and Visual Studio. It is planned to publish Silverlight for mobile devices with eg Windows Mobile. The platform supports a Deep zooming technology for high-resolution images, and with the Microsoft Streaming Server it is possible to offer video and Silverlight applications as streams.

Silverlight 3

Since early July 2009, Microsoft Silverlight 3 for Windows and Mac OS on to download. New is support for hardware acceleration for videos and the ability to develop applications for the desktop and for the web.

  • Silverlight 3 enables so-called " rich media sites " with "Full HD Smooth Streaming ( 1080p) ", which among other things, the quality of the video can be changed during the intuition. It also has 3D capabilities and support for input devices with multi-touch.
  • Silverlight 3 is suitable to develop " rich internet " applications for the browser and the local computer. For Silverlight applications can be executed directly on the computer - with ( "online") and without ( " offline " ) Internet connection. This method is called " out-of- browser ( OOB) " technique.

Silverlight 4

On April 13, 2010 Microsoft Silverlight 4 was presented at the Microsoft developer conference. New features include a printing system with print preview. New are also the WCF RIA Services, include the network functions to create multi-tier applications. Support for webcams and microphones, and thus the local recording of audio and video was also integrated. Silverlight 4 will be faster by a factor of 3 than its predecessor.

In July 2010, Microsoft announced itself a distribution ratio of the Silverlight plug-in of 60 %, with a jump of the spreading rate of 45 % to 60 % in just four months. To see observers reached the "critical mass " that Silverlight expects to "full " competitor of Adobe's Flash probably make faster than generally expected.

Silverlight 5

On 9 December 2011, version 5 has been released. The execution speed has been improved. As a new 64- bit support as well as the full representation of H.264 data using the GPU was announced. In addition, the network functions are outsourced to a separate thread, which is to prevent the stagnation of applications. The integration of foreign Web content via HTML5 with Silverlight 5 also easier. In addition, Microsoft's " Trusted Application" model was introduced, making it possible with a certificate provided applications to perform certain actions directly from the browser. Next to the certificate requirement is a matching entry in the registry. In addition, Silverlight 5 provides hardware accelerated 3D support. The support was promised by 2021.


Operating systems and web browsers

  • Although Opera is not officially supported, Silverlight now works there as well with restrictions, animations are not displayed, for example.
  • For Linux and FreeBSD Silverlight functionality is provided by the free Moonlight project. The Moonlight project was officially discontinued in 2012.
  • For Linux and FreeBSD has been around since 2013, the " Pipelight " plugin to support Silverlight in Linux-based ( "native" ) browsers. These Pipelight creates a connection between Silverlight in Wine and browser.
  • To promote the porting of Silverlight on Intel Moblin, Microsoft is working with Intel.
  • " Silverlight for Mobile" is used to view Silverlight content on mobile and portable devices such as mobile phones or PDAs. Although the software was already expected in the second quarter of 2008, there is still no official version. Silverlight for Mobile will support initially Silverlight version 2 and. NET languages ​​.
  • Silverlight requires at least an x86 processor with SSE support. Supported processors include Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon XP and higher and higher. The newer AMD Duron Series is also supported.

" Silverlight will continue to be a cross-platform solution, working on a variety of operating system / browser platforms, going forward, he said. " But HTML is the only true crossplatform solution for everything, including (Apple 's) iOS platform, " Muglia said. "


Microsoft developing Silverlight has been criticized for concentrating on its Windows operating system. Although Microsoft works with Apple and Novell as part of the Mono project, which also includes the alternative Silverlight implementation Moonlight, were from Flash developers Adobe Microsoft's efforts to offer Silverlight platform independent, questioned.

Moreover, there are reservations against Microsoft in terms of compliance and use of web standards, because Silverlight example does not use the recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium standard SVG for vector graphics. Microsoft has preferred to incorporate a separate, structurally related to SVG compatible implementation in XAML. However, according to statements by a Microsoft MVPs, it was not possible to use SVG, SVG otherwise Microsoft would first extended to GUI elements, and thus it would not have been SVG.

In Silverlight 4.0, there are in addition to the controlled execution in a sandbox option is the possibility of an explicit local installation (which is available only for out- of-browser version). If the user accepts this installation, the limitations of the sandbox be reduced, and it will be possible to use COM objects - such as for integration with desktop applications. The affected parts of such locally installed Silverlight applications would no longer be platform independent.