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Michael Crump Microsoft MVP, INETA Community Champion and XAML Advocate. Silverlight
Getting Started with the Silverlight 5 RC
Today the release candidate of Microsoft’s Silverlight 5 was released to the public. If you want to know “What’s new in Silverlight 5” then check out this page on Silverlight.net and continue reading the article below. Getting Started First, we are going to need to download the required tools to install the Silverlight 5 RC. Before getting started, please note that you can install the Silverlight 5 RC on top of the final release of Silverlight 4. If you have the Silverlight 5 Beta installed, then ......

Posted On Thursday, September 1, 2011 4:47 PM

Who says Silverlight can’t run on a tablet?
Introduction: One of the concerns that I keep hearing from customers is, “We can’t deploy Silverlight because it won’t run on a tablet.” I usually reply to that question stating, “What do you mean it can’t run on a tablet?” They usually looked puzzled and say, “You mean Silverlight *CAN* run on a tablet?” Yes, there are many devices that Silverlight can run on. Today we are going to take a look at the Motion CL900 Tablet. FYI: I have no affiliation with Motion Computing. Why this tablet? When I first ......

Posted On Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:47 AM

2 Good Reasons to update to the latest Mango Beta 2 Refresh Update
So, you grabbed the latest Mango Build and installed it on your phone. Now your probably thinking, Why should I update to the latest Mango Beta 2 Refresh? Well, I will give you two good reasons. New Screen Shot Tool built into the Emulator Marketplace Test Kit Screen Shot Tool You may be thinking, there are a hundred ways to take a screen shot. I personally used SnagIt, but this involved a lot of steps. Load up SnagIt. Make sure my Emulator was visible. Click the “Capture Button” in SnagIt. Resize ......

Posted On Saturday, August 13, 2011 1:04 PM

My eBook and articles series on OData for Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 is complete.
Introduction I’m proud to announce my first eBook and update to my article series on OData for Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 is complete. I have worked very hard on this series and am pleased with the work. I may be a little biased, but I believe this is the best step-by-step guide ever created for OData and Silverlight/WP7 Mango. In the series, I walk you through every step with detailed screenshot and code snippets. From creating the OData data service to consuming it in an Silverlight application ......

Posted On Thursday, July 28, 2011 6:50 AM

Communicating between two local Silverlight Applications
Introduction One of the features that I’m surprised to see hardly no one talk about is “Communication Between Local Silverlight-Based Applications”. This is not new to Silverlight as it has been around since Silverlight 3. In other words, this will allow you to have two Silverlight applications running on the same PC talk to one another without using Web Services, etc. I originally was looking into this for a pet project that I was going to use with Kinect, but found this very valuable and decided ......

Posted On Monday, July 11, 2011 6:16 AM

Getting started with SharePoint 2010 and Silverlight Web Parts – Part 1 of 2
I wanted to get familiar with SharePoint 2010 because I have noticed how the market is starting to demand it. Also, most of the SharePoint 2010 guides on the net are outdated. They show everything from registry hacks/editing xml files to installing hot fixes/service packs. My guide uses the latest bits as of 6/7/11 to create a SharePoint 2010 server inside of an Virtual Machine. This will be more than enough to begin creating Silverlight Web Parts inside of SharePoint 2010. NOTE: I did not want to ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 8, 2011 6:31 AM

The Busy Developers Guide to Mango.
You’re a busy developer and you have read article after article of “What’s new in WP7 Mango” but you are only interested in knowing “What does this mean for me as a developer ?”. This is where I step in and give you the “need to know” with a quick blog post. What is it? The Beta to Windows Phone 7.1 Developer Tools named ("Mango") was released on May 24th, 2011. This means you can download the bits right now, but as far as having Mango on your phone you are going to have to wait. Let’s hit the bullet ......

Posted On Friday, May 27, 2011 6:29 AM

A few tips for working with XAML inside of Visual Studio 2010.
If you work with XAML day in and day out then surely you will have your own tips/tricks for working inside of Visual Studio 2010. Here are mine. I hope that you find them useful. Tip #1 When Double Clicking on a .XAML File go directly to the XAML View and collapse the Design split view. I find it annoying how the design view opens up every time you double click on a .XAML file. I like to create my UI inside of Expression Blend instead of Visual Studio. For instance, I get the following screen when ......

Posted On Monday, May 23, 2011 6:05 AM

Game Changing Features in the Silverlight 5 Beta (Part 2)
Introduction In the first part of the “Game-changing Features in the Silverlight 5 Beta,” I investigated how to debug XAML in Silverlight 5. Now, it is time to explore another feature called Multiple Window Support, where I will review its abilities within a Silverlight 5 application. If you followed my previous tutorial, then you should be ready to get started. The full source code for the project is available as a separate download with this article. The full article is hosted on SSWUG and you ......

Posted On Friday, May 13, 2011 2:12 PM

Best of FREE Frameworks, Tools and Controls for Windows Phone 7.
The list provided below is my “Best-Of” FREE Frameworks, Tools and Controls for Windows Phone 7. I have used everything listed below in an my WP7 applications. Most of them are in the marketplace at this point and some are still in development. Let’s get started. If you are developing WP7 Applications, this is one that you have probably heard of already. It is Microsoft’s official set of controls that comes complete with full source code of course. Project Description: Welcome to the Silverlight ......

Posted On Monday, April 25, 2011 9:06 AM

A Silverlight Developer’s look at TFS 2010 Remote Hosting.
Full Disclaimer: Since I am on the GeeksWithBlog.NET Influencer list, I was issued a free 1-year subscription to DiscountASP.NET TFS2010 remote hosting. With that said, the thoughts/opinions located below are my own. I’ve always like Team Foundation Server. The main thing that I’ve hated about it was installing/maintaining it. I’d rather spend that time learning more about things such as Silverlight/WPF/WP7. I really didn’t know what to expect as we use another source control at work and I’ve never ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 5, 2011 9:20 AM

Adding Analytics to your Windows Phone 7 App with Preemptive Solutions
I have always been interested in learning which features of my application users are using as well as if they are using it. I have done this with other applications by using my own “home-grown” version of web services, etc. Since I have been working a lot with Windows Phone 7 lately, I decided to learn how to do this and share with the community. Before you get started you will be pleased to know that you won’t have to spend any money *at least until 2012* to do this with your existing phone apps. ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:51 AM

Profiling Silverlight Applications after installing Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1
Introduction Now that the dust has settled and everyone has downloaded and installed Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1, its time to talk about a new feature included that will help Silverlight Developers profile their applications. Let’s take a look at what the official documentation says about it: Performance Wizard for Silverlight – taken from VS2010 SP1 KB. Visual Studio 2010 SP1 enables you to tune the Silverlight application performance by profiling the code. A traditional code profiler cannot ......

Posted On Friday, March 11, 2011 8:42 AM

Attaching a Command to the WP7 Application Bar.
One of the biggest problems that I’ve seen with people creating WP7 applications is how do you bind the application bar to a Relay Command. If your using MVVM then this is particular important. Let’s examine the code that one might add to start with. <phone:PhoneApplicationP... <shell:ApplicationBar IsVisible="True" IsMenuEnabled="True"> <shell:ApplicationBarIco... x:Name="appbar_button1" IconUri="/icons/appbar.ques... Text="About"> <i:Interaction.Triggers> ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 22, 2011 7:07 AM

Having Fun with Coding4Fun’s Windows Phone 7 Controls
I’m a big believer in having a hobby project as you can probably tell from the first sentence in my “personal webpage using Silverlight” article. One of my current hobby projects is to re-do my current WP7 application in the marketplace. I knew up front that I needed a “Loading” animation and a better “About” box. After starting to develop my own, I noticed a great set of WP7 controls by Coding4Fun and decided to use them in my new application. Before I go any further they are FREE and Open-Source. ......

Posted On Monday, February 14, 2011 6:32 AM

Review of Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7
I recently acquired a Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 device from AT&T and wanted to share what I thought of it as an end-user. Before I get started, here are several of my write-ups for the Windows Phone 7. You may want to check out the second article titled: Hands-on WP7 Review of Prototype Hardware. From start to finish with the final version of Visual Studio Tools for Windows Phone 7 Hands-on : Windows Phone 7 Review on Prototype Hardware. Deploying your Windows Phone 7 Application to the actual ......

Posted On Thursday, February 3, 2011 6:28 AM

Part 4 of 4 : Tips/Tricks for Silverlight Developers.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 I wanted to create a series of blog post that gets right to the point and is aimed specifically at Silverlight Developers. The most important things I want this series to answer is : What is it? Why do I care? How do I do it? I hope that you enjoy this series. Let’s get started: Tip/Trick #16) What is it? Find out version information about Silverlight and which WebKit it is using by going to http://issilverlightinstall... Why do I care? I’ve had ......

Posted On Friday, December 24, 2010 7:59 AM

Searching for the Perfect Developer’s Laptop.
I have been in the market for a new computer for several months. I set out with a budget of around $1200. I knew up front that the machine would be used for developing applications and maybe some light gaming. I kept switching between buying a laptop or a desktop but the laptop won because: With a Laptop, I can carry it everywhere and with a desktop I can’t. I searched for about 2 weeks and narrowed it down to a list of must-have’s : i7 Processor (I wasn’t going to settle for an i5 or AMD. I wanted ......

Posted On Saturday, December 18, 2010 6:45 PM

Part 3 of 4 : Tips/Tricks for Silverlight Developers.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 I wanted to create a series of blog post that gets right to the point and is aimed specifically at Silverlight Developers. The most important things I want this series to answer is : What is it? Why do I care? How do I do it? I hope that you enjoy this series. Let’s get started: Tip/Trick #11) What is it? Underline Text in a TextBlock. Why do I care? I’ve seen people do some crazy things to get underlined text in a Silverlight Application. In case you didn’t know ......

Posted On Monday, December 13, 2010 7:14 AM

Visual Studio Async CTP for the rest of us…
Today at PDC 2010, they announced Asynchronous functions in C# and VB.NET. So what exactly does that mean? I’ll give you the definition first: Asynchronous operations are methods and other function members that may have most of their execution take place after they return. In .NET the recommended pattern for asynchronous operations is for them to return a task which represents the ongoing operation and allows waiting for its eventual outcome. You completely understand right? Me neither! I have been ......

Posted On Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:15 PM

Building a personal website using Silverlight.
I’ve always believed that as a developer you should always have a hobby project going on. I think a hobby project needs to contain at least one of following things: Something that you have never done before. Something that you are interested in. Something that you can work on in your spare time without affecting your *paying* job. I decided my hobby project would be an entire web application written in Silverlight that could be used as a self-promotion/marketing tool. This goal of the site is to ......

Posted On Thursday, January 27, 2011 5:33 AM

Does your Silverlight application really have to end in .XAP?
The answer is surprisingly no. It is time to end the myth that when hosting a Silverlight application, it has to end in .XAP. Let’s look at a sample Silverlight project first. When you create a new Silverlight Project and inspect the ClientBin folder, you will see that the filename ends in .XAP. What do you think would happen if we renamed this file to .zip and updated our hosting page to look like the following? <div id="silverlightControlHost"... <object data="data:application/x-si... ......

Posted On Friday, January 21, 2011 7:22 AM

I will be speaking at SSWUG Spring V-Conference on Silverlight.
I will be presenting several sessions on Silverlight 4 at the SSWUG V-Conference on April 20th through April 22nd. The sessions include: 15 Things I learned about Silverlight. Description: This session is great for an audience that has never worked with Silverlight. It describes my real-world experience developing for Silverlight 4. It should help the audience avoid some of the beginner mistakes with working with Silverlight. Tools and Utilities for the .NET Developer (based off of http://tools.michaelcrump.net) ......

Posted On Thursday, January 20, 2011 7:45 AM

Silverlight 4 – Coded UI Framework Video Tutorial
With the release of Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2, Microsoft included the Coded UI Test framework. With this release it is possible to create automated test with just a few mouse clicks. This is a very powerful feature that all Silverlight developers need to learn. Instead of my normal blog post, I have created a video tutorial that walks you through it starting from “File” –> New Project. I hope you enjoy and please leave feedback. Video Tutorial (short 9 minute video): Slides from the demo ......

Posted On Saturday, December 11, 2010 7:49 PM

Silverlight 5 – What’s New? (Including Screenshots & Code Snippets)
Silverlight 5 is coming next year (2011) and this blog post will tell you what you need to know before the beta ships. First, let me address people saying that it is dead after PDC 2010. I believe that it’s best to see what the market is doing, not the vendor. Below is a list of companies that are developing Silverlight 4 applications shown during the Silverlight Firestarter. Some of the companies have shipped and some haven’t. It’s just great to see the actual company names that are working on Silverlight ......

Posted On Monday, December 6, 2010 6:26 AM

Pimp my Silverlight Firestarter
So Silverlight Firestarter is over and your sitting on your couch thinking… what now? Well its time to So how exactly can you pimp the Silverlight Firestarter? Well read below and you will find out: 1) Pimp the videos: First we are going to use a program named Juice to download all of the Silverlight Firestarter videos. Go ahead and point your browser to http://juicereceiver.source... and download the application. It works on Mac, Linux and PC. After it is downloaded you are going to want ......

Posted On Friday, December 3, 2010 8:29 PM

Part 2 of 4 : Tips/Tricks for Silverlight Developers.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 I wanted to create a series of blog post that gets right to the point and is aimed specifically at Silverlight Developers. The most important things I want this series to answer is : What is it? Why do I care? How do I do it? I hope that you enjoy this series. Let’s get started: Tip/Trick #6) What is it? Create a Notification Window in a Silverlight Out Of Browser Application. Why do I care? Its a great way to alert users of something that needs their attention. ......

Posted On Monday, November 29, 2010 6:27 AM

Part 1 of 4 : Tips/Tricks for Silverlight Developers.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 I wanted to create a series of blog post that gets right to the point and is aimed specifically at Silverlight Developers. The most important things I want this series to answer is : What is it? Why do I care? How do I do it? I hope that you enjoy this series. Let’s get started: Tip/Trick #1) What is it? You can easily enable a visual Framerate counter inside your Silverlight Application. The end result looks like the image below: Why do I care? This should be used ......

Posted On Monday, November 22, 2010 6:12 AM

If I were in a Silverlight focus group, here is ten things I would say.
Silverlight is a great product right off the shelf. I use it, love it and spend a lot of time helping the community understand it. This however, doesn’t mean that I don’t think that it can get better. If I were invited to a Microsoft Focus Group about Silverlight here is 10 things I would say: We need more navigation templates. I’ve found (4) templates that Microsoft has released (Cosmo, Windows 7, Accent and JetPack). This number needs to be around 16. In order to get more people developing for ......

Posted On Monday, January 17, 2011 6:34 AM

Create Custom Speech Bubbles in Silverlight.
I had a reader email me the following question: “How do you create Speech Bubbles in Silverlight/WPF without adding any extra .dlls? Right off the bat, I know at least two ways to create the speech bubbles that look just like the ones in comic books. Using the Callout Shapes included with Blend 4. Using the free 3rd party control named FreeBubbles (I used this before Blend 4). Unfortunately, we cannot use either of these as they will both add extra .dll’s to the project. So why wouldn’t you want ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:56 AM

Prevent your Silverlight XAP file from caching in your browser.
If you work with Silverlight daily then you have run into this problem. Your XAP file has been cached in your browser and you have to empty your browser cache to resolve it. If your using Google Chrome then you typically do the following: Go to Options –> Clear Browsing History –> Empty the Cache and finally click Clear Browsing data. As you can see, this is a lot of unnecessary steps. It is even worse when you have a customer that says, “I can’t see the new features you just implemented!” ......

Posted On Thursday, January 6, 2011 9:49 AM

A better way to organize your Silverlight Code Snippets.
I hate re-writing code. I also hate it when I find a great code snippet on the web and forget to bookmark it or it gets lost in my endless sea of bookmarks. So what do you do to get around this? This is the question that I was asking myself at the end of 2010. How can I get my Silverlight code organized? My requirements for a snippet manager were: Needs to be FREE. An easy way to view XAML/C# code behind together in one “view”. I wanted the ability to store the code snippets in cloud in case my HDD ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 4, 2011 8:55 AM

What is the best book on Silverlight 4?
Silverlight/Expression 4 Books! I recently stumbled upon a post asking, “What is the best book on Silverlight 4?” In the age of the internet, it can be hard for anyone searching for a good book to actually find it. I have read a few Silverlight 4/Expression books in 2010 and decided to post the “best of” collection. Instead of reading multiple books, you can cut your list down to whatever category that you fit in. With Silverlight 5 coming soon, now is the time to get up to speed with what Silverlight ......

Posted On Monday, January 3, 2011 11:07 AM

How to Host your Silverlight application on Amazon S3 for Free
In the past people could use services like the Microsoft Silverlight Streaming to host their Silverlight applications for free. This worked well in the past but it is now closed. What are the other alternatives? You can host your .XAP on Google App Engine but the process takes time and can be confusing. You could also find one of those free HTML host, but they could die tomorrow . This is where DropBox comes into play. Let me go ahead and stop and say, you probably don’t want to do this for a production ......

Posted On Thursday, October 28, 2010 7:51 AM

15 Things I’ve discovered about Silverlight.
I love Silverlight and have written / talked about it a lot. I can’t help but notice that a lot of people are new to Silverlight or may have played with it a few times. Well this post is for you. It is a list of 15 things that I’ve discovered since I started developing for Silverlight. If you are a full-time Silverlight developer than I would hope you know most of these. I promise not to scare off anyone with talks of MVVM, Prism or MEF. 1) The line highlighted below represents the MIME type and ......

Posted On Saturday, October 23, 2010 9:10 AM

Book Review: Foundation Expression Blend 4 by Victor Gaudioso
Purchase at Amazon I wanted to talk for a minute about the author, Victor Gaudioso. I met Victor on Twitter earlier this year and ever since meeting him, I’ve seen how involved he is in the Silverlight/Blend community. He has always been willing to help or share knowledge of Blend with anyone – including me. I recently read a blog post about someone that went to one of his book signings and did not win anything. Victor found out that this person was disappointed and sent him a free year subscription ......

Posted On Saturday, October 16, 2010 11:01 AM

Customizing the Silverlight Listbox during runtime using Blend 4
I’ve seen a lot of post describing how to customize a Silverlight Listbox during design time, but sometimes we want the user to have the ability to switch “themes” while the application is running. I originally started working on this for a project that would switch themes during different times of the day and decided to share here. Go ahead and fire up Blend 4 and select Silverlight Application + Website. Give it a name and hit OK. We are going to create sample data first. This will give us a Listbox ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:43 PM

Book Review: Silverlight 4 in Action by Pete Brown
With Pete's guidance, it will feel like you have that super-smart coworker in your cubicle at all times. A new Silverlight 4 book is coming out on September 7th and I had a chance to review it before it hits shelves. After reading the book and some chapters multiple times, I can tell you that this is the best book for a developer wanting to learn Silverlight 4. If you are wondering if you should buy the book or not then let me answer that right now. YES. I would definitely recommend this book to ......

Posted On Saturday, September 4, 2010 2:12 PM

Easy way to generate sample data for your Silverlight 4 Applications
In the past when I needed to test what my application looked like with sample data. I’d create a class named Data.cs and write some code like the following: Data.cs public class Data { public string Name { get; set; } public int Age { get; set; } } Code Behind: List<Data> source = new List<Data>(); for (int i = 0; i < 50; i++) { source.Add(new Data() { Name= "MIKE" + i, Age = i, }); } dg.ItemsSource = source; This would provide me with some quick and dirty sample data, but it really ......

Posted On Friday, September 3, 2010 8:22 PM

Silverlight 4 Application Template Themes by Microsoft
I watched John Papa’s Silverlight TV Ep 42: Apply and Customize the new Silverlight Themes this morning and decided to try it out. I felt that the documentation for getting started was sparse, so I decided to write my own to help the community. First, what is is and why do I care? The themes are designed to provide a navigation template for a Silverlight Business Application. If you are not a designer then chances are you are not going to make something this pretty. =) First, you should download ......

Posted On Saturday, August 28, 2010 1:56 PM

Flashing Text (using behavior/storyboard) in Silverlight 4
I noticed a lot of confusion around flashing text in Silverlight 4/WPF and wanted to show you a simple way to pull it off using Blend 4. I’ve seen plenty of examples of people using code-behind to accomplish this, but this should really be handled in the View or the .XAML file (if you are not familiar using the term View from the MVVM pattern). If you can get a grasp of Storyboard’s and Behaviors, you can do a lot of things similar to this without cluttering your code-behind files. Full XAML is provided ......

Posted On Thursday, August 26, 2010 6:13 PM

Silverlight Spy 3.0.0.12 Review
Let me start by saying, I love looking at other people’s code. I have learned so much by reading code that I would put that in a top 5 list of things every programmer should do. If it wasn’t for tools like .NET Reflector or Snoop then I would have missed reading a lot of great code. I started working in Silverlight a few months ago and wanted a utility to browse the tree nodes like Snoop does for WPF. I found several solutions but wasn’t happy until I stumbled upon Silverlight Spy 3 by First Floor ......

Posted On Saturday, August 21, 2010 9:32 PM

“Fade in” Screen in Silverlight 4
I’ve had a couple request to create a fade in screen using Silverlight/Expression Blend 4 and decided that I would add it to my blog. The whole point of this application, is to present information to the user and once they click on the screen for it to appear in the background. This could be used in numerous ways for a business application. (click to shop, click for more info, etc). Before diving into this, I did not want multiple XAML pages and chain them together. I wanted to use some of the built ......

Posted On Saturday, August 14, 2010 7:21 PM

Book Review: Microsoft Silverlight 4 Step by Step
Microsoft Silverlight 4 Step by Step (click book logo to be taken to the Catalog Page) By: Laurence Moroney Publisher: Microsoft Press Pub. Date: June 30, 2010 Print ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-3887-7 Pages in Print Edition: 336 I decided to do my first review with the new Silverlight 4 Step by Step book from Microsoft Press. I have read the entire book and completed all of the exercises. I have found several errors in the book’s code, but they were not hard to figure out. Instead of writing a formal book ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 3, 2010 4:02 PM

Registering the MIME type for .XAP Silverlight Files
If you are trying to deploy a Silverlight 3.0 application and get the following error message: Message: Unhandled Error in Silverlight Application Code: 2104 Category: InitializeError Message: Could not download the Silverlight application. Check web server settings Then you need to update the MIME types in IIS. Below is an example of what you need to do for IIS6.0. Click MIME types first: Click New and make sure you screen looks like the following: Extension : .xap MIME type: application/x-silverlight-app ......

Posted On Monday, July 12, 2010 2:59 PM

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