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Silverlight 3.0, Expression, and SketchFlow with Brad Becker – RIA Weekly #54

While at the Silverlight 3.0 launch event last week, I had the chance to talk with Microsoft’s Brad Becker, who you might recall from a past RIA Weekly episode. We start out with a quick overview of the announcements on Silverlight 3.0 and Expression, and then get into the details of each.

Starting with the whole collection, I note that there seems to be a definite “Silverlight stack,” composed of the Silverlight runtime, VisualStudio, and then Expression. As Brad ads, IIS and Windows Media are in there as well.

These last parts of the Silverlight stack, get us into a discussion of the video features in Silverlight such as Smooth Streaming. I was curious to hear what the experience was like for getting video hooked up into Silverlight, so I asked Brad to give me an overview. Shiftly slightly to the non-video part of Silverlight, we then discuss the interactive widgets that you often see around video examples, be they ways for users to interact with MGM’s Stargate application, NBC Sports broadcasts, or with HSN to look at products being sold.

Moving onto the more application-y side of things, I ask Brad to go over the non-video functionality in Silverlight 3.0. In addition to the usual gaggle of developer-centric .Net pull-along, Brad starts out telling us about the Out-of-Browser functionality in Silverlight 3.0. In a round about way, I then ask Brad why people would want to use Out-of-Browser: what are folks using it now motivated by? Brad starts by talking about giving customers “one click access” to you application and content, throwing out one of the customer cases from that morning, Accenture’s BusinessTV. For folks delivering software, Brad says, the value is in knowing one technology base – .Net – to cover a wider gamut of deployment options: a desktop app and a web app.

Brad then goes over another customer case from the morning, Continental’s use of Silverlight to modernize one of their call center application for reservations.

I then ask Brad to go over SketchFlow, included in Expression. While it’s a very visual tool, he does a good job of going over the functionality, reasons for using it, and how it fits into the design workflow.

Having gone through all of this, I ask Brad to tell us how Microsoft has packaged it all up for purchase and use. He gives us the overview and pricing that had been covered that morning.

Disclosure: Microsoft is a client and sponsored this video.

Categories: Conferences, Development Tools, RIA, RIA Weekly.

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