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Silverlight in SharePoint 2010

I haven’t seen anything that actually requires Silverlight yet, but it does make things prettier when you have it

SharePoint Archiving Journal

One misconception I have heard is that SharePoint 2010 is completely based on Silverlight.  While SharePoint does use Silverlight now in various places, I would say most of it is still based upon regular ASP.NET pages.  I haven’t seen anything that actually requires Silverlight yet, but it does make things prettier when you have it.  This is just a brief overview of some things you might see.  For example, one of my favorite new things is the Create page.  If you don’t have Silverlight installed, you get something that looks like this.

CreatePage

As you can see it looks a lot like the traditional Create page in previous versions of SharePoint.  However, one thing you might notice that’s new on this page is the Improve the Creation Experience - Install Microsoft Silverlight link.  It gives you a link to install it and the next time you go to the create page, you get a modal window, that looks like this.

CreatePageSilverlight1

As you can see the experience is much nicer.  When you hover over each time, you get an effect and all that pretty stuff.  You have various ways to filter and categorize what you can create as well.  If you are worried about your settings when creating a site, don’t worry they are neatly tucked away under the More Options button.  Here is what that looks like.

CreatePageSilverlight2

This is just one place where things have changed.  You are going to find Silverlight in other areas as well of course.  The most notable areas would be the PowerPoint preview in the FAST search results as well as in Office Web Apps.  I’m going to talk about Office Web Apps more soon, but the main thing I will point out is that they do not require Silverlight.  So if you are editing a Word Document directly in the browser, you can do that with just HTML and JavaScript.  Now if you do have Silverlight, you gain some things such as how well the document zooms, but for the most part the experience is largely the same.

The last thing to mention is that there is a Silverlight web part included now (which I am sure you have already heard about).  This is nice because it makes it easy to include your own Silverlight applications without having to rely on third party web parts or writing your own.

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More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is an independent consultant specializing in Cloud technologies such as Azure and Office 365. He also specializes in mobile development. Corey serves as the product manager for two cloud-first mobile app platforms: BrewZap and HappenZap.