Silverlight 4 Tools for VS 2010 and WCF RIA Services Released
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by Scott Guthrie
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Silverlight Tooling Support

Visual Studio 2010 includes rich tooling support for building Silverlight and WPF applications.

It includes a WYSIWYG designer surface that enables you to easily use controls to construct UI – including the ability to take advantage of layout containers, and apply styles and resources:

The VS 2010 designer enables you to leverage the rich data binding support within Silverlight and WPF, and easily wire-up bindings on controls.  The Data Sources window within Silverlight projects can be used to reference POCO objects (plain old CLR objects), WCF Services, WCF RIA Services client proxies or SharePoint Lists. 

For example, let’s assume we add a “Person” class like below to our project:

image

We could then add it to the Data Source window which will cause it to show up like below in the IDE:

image

We can optionally customize the default UI control types that are associated for each property on the object.  For example, below we’ll default the BirthDate property to be represented by a “DatePicker” control:

image

And then when we drag/drop the Person type from the Data Sources onto the design-surface it will automatically create UI controls that are bound to the properties of our Person class:

VS 2010 allows you to optionally customize each UI binding further by selecting a control, and then right-click on any of its properties within the property-grid and pull up the “Apply Bindings” dialog:

This will bring up a floating data-binding dialog that enables you to easily configure things like the binding path on the data source object, specify a format convertor, specify string-format settings, specify how validation errors should be handled, etc:

image

In addition to providing WYSIWYG designer support for WPF and Silverlight applications, VS 2010 also provides rich XAML intellisense and code editing support – enabling a rich source editing environment.


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