Tag Archives: Mary-Jo

Silverlight 2 is ready

Microsoft has announced that Silverlight 2 is ready (and will be available to download Tuesday). Scott Guthrie made the announcement via conference call today (Monday).

Here’s the main features of Silverlight, which Microsoft claims is now on 25% (or more) of PCs worldwide:

Highlights of new Silverlight 2 features include the following:

. .NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.

. Powerful built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.

. Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.

. Deep zoom. This enables unparalleled interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.

. Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.

. Expanded .NET Framework language support. Unlike other runtimes, Silverlight 2 supports a variety of programming languages, including Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby, making it easier for developers already familiar with one of these languages to repurpose their existing skill sets.

. Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.

. Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.

. Vibrant partner ecosystem. Visual Studio Industry Partners such as ComponentOne LLC, Infragistics Inc. and Telerik Inc. are providing products that further enhance developer capabilities when creating Silverlight applications using Visual Studio.

. Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.

Source: Microsoft PressPass

That last point is interesting to note. In terms of cross platform and cross browser support, as Mary-Jo notes, Silverlight does work on the Chrome, but not on iPhone (due to Apple’s usual closed wall bullshit licensing).

We don’t think everything Microsoft does or promotes is great, but Silverlight is definitely one they are pushing big time. They will succeed, and it’s only a matter of time (although I do think Joe Wilcox has a point when he says ‘promises are cheap‘). If you are still undecided on Silverlight, then it’s time to reconsider.

Silverlight 2

The Silverlight site still sports the Beta 2 download, but it is only a matter of hours before the full version becomes available.

Understanding Dublin

Sites were awash with Dublin news today. But what is it really?

To understand Dublin you can start with Steve Martin’s post announcing the new technology, which will be (of course) covered in detail at PDC later this month. Steve’s team heads up the WCF and WF parts of the .NET Framework so he’s in a good position to explain the new Dublin codename.

In a nutshell: Dublin is about letting the next versions of WCF and WF based apps scale better whilst providing easier deployment and management functionality.

How exactly this is enabled is difficult to get a grip on from Steve, which is why we need to head over to the new Dublin site on Microsoft. Here we learn that Dublin is a server (or as Mary-Jo writes, a new distributed application server).

Actually, it’s not exactly a server, rather a ‘set of enhanced Windows Server capabilities.’ that ‘.extend Internet Information Server (IIS) to provide a standard host for applications that use workflow or communications’ (from the Microsoft Dublin site). Stephen Forte probably has the good summary we came across.

It’s getting a little clearer now, but we’re still a little unsure. Thankfully a nice little table in this Dublin Overview document provides a nice little table:

Windows Communication Foundation 4.0 Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 Windows Server "Dublin" technologies

RESTful enhancements

  • Simplifying the building of REST Singleton & Collection Services, ATOM Feed and Publishing Protocol Services, and HTTP Plain XML Services using WCF
  • WCF REST Starter Kit to be released on Codeplex to get early feedback
  • Messaging enhancements
  • Transports – UDP, MQ, Local in-process
  • Protocols – SOAP over UDP, WS-Discovery, WS-BusinessActivity, WS-I BP 1.2
  • Duplex durable messaging

Correlation enhancements

  • Content and context driven, One-way support

Declarative Workflow Services

  • Seamless integration between WF and WCF and unified XAML model
  • Build entire application in XAML, from presentation to data to services to workflow

Significant improvements in performance and scalability

  • Ten-fold improvement in performance
  • New workflow flow-control models and pre-built activities
  • Flowcharts, rules
  • Expanded built-in activities – PowerShell, database, messaging, etc.

Enhancements in workflow modeling

  • Persistence control, transaction flow, compensation support, data binding and scoping
  • Rules composable and seamlessly integrated with workflow engine

Updated visual designer

  • Easier to use by end-users
  • Easier to rehost by ISVs
  • Ability to debug XAML

Provide standard host for WF and WCF applications

Pre-built developer services

  • Message-based correlation
  • Message forwarding service
  • Content-based message routing
  • Compensation service for long-running transactions

Greater scalability and easier manageability

  • Enable scale-out of stateful workflow applications
  • Persisting and rehydrating state for high scalability
  • Enhanced management and monitoring functions
  • Tracking store for workflow events

Supports “Oslo” modeling platform

Dublin will be packaged up and made available as a download for Windows Server customers, and of course included in future Windows Server releases.

The keen eyed amongst you will notice that Oslo rears its head (see Tuesday’s post for details on that front) and if you read through the doc you’ll learn that Dublin will be the first server product ot deliver support for Oslo.

But there’s others of course – further in the doc it notes that they’ll be directly supporting BizTalk and Dublin working nicely together.

Other items: Dublin will be backwards compatible and support existing .NET 3.5 WCF and WF applications.

Microsoft are touting Dynamics AX and CRM as the first products slated to support Dublin.

Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite

This is a set of online solutions stitched together to help businesses move their IT infrastructure over to Microsoft.

From the BPOS site, here’s the summary:

The Business Productivity Online Suite is a set of Microsoft hosted messaging and collaboration solutions including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, and Microsoft Office Communications Online.

It is part of Microsoft’s Software + Services model.

Mary-Jo Foley over at Microsoft Watch notes that the service suite is expected to be released next month. However, Microsoft Online Services blog post she links to seems to have been pulled.