It’s been quite a week here in New Orleans for TechEd North America.  I’m especially glad to see Silverlight fans showing up in force, asking questions at our booth and attending breakout sessions.  On Wednesday, I had the distinct pleasure of giving a talk at this great conference, and it was a real treat getting to share some great content with you.  I’d like to thank all of you who attended for coming!  My talk – Taking Microsoft Silverlight 4 Applications Beyond the Browser – took a look at the features we’ve added for out-of-browser Silverlight applications with Silverlight 4.  I went over a fair amount of material, which I promised to make available on my blog, so I’ve provided the info below.

My talk covered a variety of features that were new to Silverlight 4 out-of-browser applications and allow you to build rich, sticky, immersive user experiences:

  • Features available to all out-of-browser applications:
    • WebBrowser control, WebBrowserBrush, and how to use these together to deliver rich experiences that incorporate HTML and other content into your out-of-browser Silverlight applications
    • Out-of-browser window customization
    • Notification Windows (a.k.a. “Toast”)
    • Offline DRM media playback
    • Silent install/uninstall
    • “Emulate” execution (for running an out-of-browser application without having to install it)
  • Features available to trusted out-of-browser applications:
    • Relaxation of sandbox speed bumps
    • File system access
    • Custom window chromes
    • Native interoperability through COM automation
    • XAP signing

Four simple applications were demonstrated during the talk:

  • A basic WebBrowser application that explored the types of content the WebBrowser control can display and showed how to allow your Silverlight and HTML content to interact with each other
  • BrowserFlow, which showed how limitations of using a “windowed” WebBrowser control can be worked around using the WebBrowserBrush
  • “TrustedApp” (ignore the name :)), which was a media application that took advantage of window customization and notification windows to provide an immersive user experience
  • An image editing application, which used a custom window chrome, file system access, and COM automation in order to provide a rich user experience that worked with local data and interoperated with PowerPoint

The source for all of these demo applications can be found here.

You can also find the PowerPoint deck here.

A big thanks to Joe Stegman and Ashish Shetty for their heavy inspiration for the content of the talk.  Make sure to check out their blogs!

Thanks again for coming out to show your interest in Silverlight out-of-browser applications!

You can see the talk by going to the link below or using the Silverlight player embedded in this post:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Resources repeated here for convencience: