Today we are also shipping a release candidate (RC) of
Expression Blend 3 (including Sketchflow) that enables rich editing of
Silverlight 3 applications and projects.
You can download the Expression Blend 3 + Sketchflow RC here.
Expression Blend 3 is a major update and enables
dramatically richer tooling support. Some of its improvements include:
Sketchflow: SketchFlow makes it significantly easier to
create prototypes, experiment with dynamic user experiences, and incorporate
feedback from customers. If you haven’t seen or tried it yet - you
must. It really is a game changing new way to create great user centric
Intellisense: Blend 3 includes C#, VB and XAML intellisense
support. You can now write code and event handlers within Blend without
having to switch to VS.
Behaviors: Blend 3 includes behavior support which can
encapsulate complex design interactions into reusable components that can be
directly applied to a control within the design surface. This enables
designers to quickly add functionality and behavior to applications without
having to write code.
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator Import: Blend 3 now has
built-in support for importing Photoshop and Illustrator files. As part
of the import process you can view and pick individual Photoshop layers to
import, customize and regroup layers, and have Photoshop/Illustrator elements
retain their original formats within XAML: including layer positions, editable
text and font settings, and vector element conversion to XAML.
Sample Data: Blend 3 adds design-time sample data support
which makes it easy to mock up data-connected applications and see what they
look like without requiring access to live data. You can generate sample
data or import sample data from an XML file and it is available to controls on
the artboard at design-time. You can customize your sample data details, and
you can easily switch between using sample data and using live data at
TFS: Blend 3 now includes Team Foundation Server (TFS)
support – allowing you to use source control and enlist within projects.
Blend shares the same project and solution format as Visual Studio – allowing
both VS and Blend to work simultaneously on the same projects and enabling
seamless editing between them.
Other Improvements: Additional enhancements including
improved animation and easing function support, 3D transform support, visual
effects support, and an improved visual state manager designer.
Christian Schormann has a great blog post that
describes Expression Blend 3 in more detail.
The final release of Expression Studio 3 (which includes the
Blend + Sketchflow, Web, Encoder and Design products) will ship within the next
30 days. Expression Studio 3 will be included as part of the MSDN Premium
and higher subscriptions (meaning MSDN Premium customers don’t have to pay
anything extra to get all of the Expression Studio products). Expression
Studio 3 will also be available for standalone purchase for $599 (with
discounts available for upgrades from previous versions of Expression and/or