XAML is more than just a UI definition language.  For example, the markup language for Workflow is based on the same XML schemas (called XOML in this case).  However, when providing the high-level overview, it’s easier to note that XAML is the UI definition language.

 If user experience matters, design matters.
If design matters, designers matter.
If designers matter, we need to make designers first class citizens of the traditional software development process.

Let’s talk about how Microsoft is unlocking Developer and Designer collaboration and is empowering them to create successful UX software applications.

One of the big benefits of XAML is how it enables designers and developers to use independent tools and work better together…

The old way:

         Traditionally designers simply “mockup” the graphic design for a software application.  Then by any means possible designers would deliver these “looks” to the developer… they would use JPG images, PNGs, PSDs or even Powerpoint presentations to express the designer intention. 

         Then the developer would receive this “static images” and would try to convert that into reality.  If the designer created some “non standard” controls, the developer was forced to code in GDI+ or other complex technologies to create the control raising the time and budget to such level that it was simply better to take the decision of making the UI more “standard”.  The developer trying to recreate the idea of the designer would deliver something like what is shown on the right side of the screen. As you can see it represents only a tiny bit of the original vision.

The new way with XAML:

         In order to enable the collaboration between developers and designers, Microsoft has created XAML.  XAML is the format which integrates the development process and is the way for both developers and designers to access the functionalities of WPF.

         As you can see we have no “middle man” anymore.  XAML is generated by the designer, XAML is consumed by the developer. Furthermore, the flow is now two-way meaning that the development process can also start from the developer side who creates XAML and then delivers this XAML to the designer which can take it and style it or completely redesign its appearance.

Tool support:

         On the Developer side we have Visual Studio.

         On the designer side we have a new suite of tools called Microsoft Expression