David Hill's WebLog

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  • David Hill's WebLog

    What is a Smart Client anyway?

    • 55 Comments
    And what makes it so smart? Well, the term Smart Client was coined to highlight the differences between the typical rich client applications of yesteryear and the next generation of client applications. This article looks at these differences and explains why they are key to providing the kind of client applications that users are demanding. It also looks at the business case for smart clients and discusses why client applications are moving away from the thin client to the smart client model....
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism and MEF

    • 22 Comments
    One of the most highly anticipated of the new technologies coming in .NET 4.0 and Silverlight 4.0 is the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF). Folks that are familiar with Prism and that have been looking at MEF have been wondering how Prism and MEF...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism Template Pack for Visual Studio 2010

    • 16 Comments
    Now that we have Release Candidate versions of Visual Studio 2010, as well as WPF and Silverlight 4.0, I’ve updated the Prism Templates so that you can more easily develop Prism applications that target these latest releases. The templates themselves...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism 4.0 Template Pack Now Available

    • 16 Comments
    The updated version of the Prism Template Pack for Prism 4.0 is now available here ! The Prism 4.0 Template Pack contains Prism shell and module project templates and a quick-start solution template which creates a multi-project solution with a shell...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism Quick Start Kit

    • 16 Comments
    Building applications from scratch starting from a blank page or screen in Visual Studio is a frustrating, time consuming and intimidating task. Instead, most developers like to start with a working application that they can modify, tweak and extend to...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Silverlight Navigation Part 3

    • 11 Comments
    Welcome to the third post in my series on navigation in Silverlight! The goal of this series of posts is to provide a simple to use framework (called Helix) for building Silverlight applications that are based on a flexible navigation mechanism and the...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    The ViewModel Pattern

    • 11 Comments
    The ViewModel pattern (more formally called the Model-View-ViewModel pattern, but that’s way too long winded and I’m lazy) is an increasingly popular pattern with WPF and Silverlight developers. This is largely due to its simplicity and flexibility...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism Template Pack 1.4: Now with MEF Support!

    • 11 Comments
    Quite a few folks have asked for MEF versions of the Prism templates. I’m happy to announce that the Prism Template Pack has now been updated to include MEF (as well as Unity) templates.You can download the latest version of the template pack (version...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Hello Prism 2.0!

    • 11 Comments
    For the last couple of weeks we've been busy prototyping & spiking, talking to customers and partners and generally gearing up for Prism 2.0. Yesterday we held our internal Vision/Scope kick-off meeting and so I'm happy to report that the Prism 2...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Introducing Acropolis...

    • 10 Comments
    Well, it's been over a year since I last blogged about client application development on the .NET Framework. I haven't been idle though - I've been busily working on an exciting project code named " Acropolis ", and I'm very happy to report that we just...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Composite Smart Clients

    • 10 Comments
    The composite smart client pattern is an important pattern that allows powerful smart client solutions to be developed, deployed and managed in a very agile way. The pattern is a simple one - a shell or host environment provides the overall UI structure and access to a number of smart client services, and then modules, which provide specific business logic, plug into it. They integrate with the user interface and communicate with each other to form a fully coherent smart client solution......
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Closable Tabbed Views in Prism

    • 10 Comments
    Prism regions make it easy to change the layout of views within an application. A region is a logical placeholder associated with a specific layout control. Displaying a view in a region causes the view to be added to the layout control. But because the...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Updated Prism Template Pack for Visual Studio 2010 RTM

    • 10 Comments
    Well it took longer than I thought it would, but I’ve finally managed to update the Prism Template Pack for Visual Studio 2010 RTM!!! To install the templates, download the template pack from here , rename the file extension from .zip to .vsix , then...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism 4.0 – Have Your Say!

    • 8 Comments
    We are just about to officially kick off the Prism 4.0 project. As we’ve done for previous Prism projects, we’ve put together a short survey to try and get community input on the focus and direction of the project. You can find the survey here . One of...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    UI Composition Patterns

    • 8 Comments
    Figuring out the right name for something is one of the hardest things in software development. There is a lot to a name – the name conveys the concept; get the wrong name and you convey the wrong concept, leading to much confusion, developer irritation...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Offline Application Block

    • 8 Comments
    The Smart Client Offline Application Block is now live on MSDN. http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnpag/html/offline.asp This block has re-usable code and samples which show how you can build smart client...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Silverlight Navigation - Part 1

    • 7 Comments
    This is the first in a short series of articles on navigation in Silverlight. Navigation is an often neglected but critical part of an application’s design. From a usability perspective, structuring the application so that the user can easily and...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Smart Client Architecture Guide

    • 6 Comments
    As I mentioned the other day, we are working on a Smart Client Architecture Guide to be published under the PAG umbrella. The guide covers the following topics... Chapter 1 - Introduction Definition of a Smart client. Types of Smart Clients. How to...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Smart Client Architecture Guide Update

    • 6 Comments
    The Smart Client Architecture Guide is nearing completion. It's been an interesting journey; writing stuff down always focuses the mind. One of the problems with writing an architecture guide is the need to try and give concrete advice without getting...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism Quick Start Kit Update

    • 6 Comments
    As promised, I have updated the Prism Quick Start Kit and added a WPF quick-start solution and WPF project templates. You can download the latest release here . In the zip you’ll find four project templates (Shell and Module templates for WPF and Silverlight...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism & WCF RIA Services

    • 6 Comments
    Back in August I did a post that described how you could use .NET RIA Services and Prism together. That post, and the associated sample app, was based on the .NET RIA Services July CTP. .NRS –> WRS A couple of weeks ago at PDC those terribly nice RIA...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism And .Net RIA Services

    • 5 Comments
    For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a sample that shows how you can use Prism and .Net RIA Services (I’m going to call it .NRS for short) together. In this post I’m going to walk you through the sample and show how you can structure a Prism...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Prism 2.0 - First Drop

    • 5 Comments
    Woo Hoo! We just released the first drop of Prism 2.0 on our CodePlex site here . For this first iteration we've focused solely on the "multi-targeting" aspects of Prism (UI composition and modularity support will follow soon though). By multi...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    RPC Over HTTP Woes...

    • 5 Comments
    I spent the last two weeks in Europe, first at TechEd Europe in Amsterdam and then back home in the UK. To stay in touch with the goings-on back in Redmond, I used Outlook’s “RPC over HTTP” feature (side rant: I don’t know what...
  • David Hill's WebLog

    Making a Rich Client Smart : Going Offline

    • 5 Comments
    In my Smart Client Architecture Principles session at TechEd I did a very simple demo which took a simple rich client application and made it work offline. I have received a number of requests for this code but the TechEd folks don’t seem to allow demo and sample code to be made available on the conference DVD. So, as a next best measure, I put together this article which walks through the code and the rationale behind the design....
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