images5cmicrosoft_silverlight-269x300 John Papa, from our Developer & Partner Evangelism team, just informed me that Microsoft has released a new free Silverlight 4 Training Kit that walks you through building business applications with Silverlight 4. You can also download the entire offline version of the kit here.  You can use the 8 modules, 25 videos, and several hands on labs online or offline from links on the Channel 9 site. I’ve included a breakdown and links to all of the content here in this post. The key to this training material is not the features it covers (though it covers a variety them) but rather that it teaches from the perspective of building a business application.

Module 1 – Introduction

John Papa and Ian Griffiths discuss the key areas that the Building Business Applications with Silverlight 4 course focuses on. This module is the overview of the course which covers many key scenarios that are faced when building business applications and how Silverlight can help address them.

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Module 2 – WCF RIA Services

In this lab, you will create a web site for managing conferences that will be the basis for the other labs in this course. (Don’t worry if you don’t manage to complete a particular lab. These lab manual instructions are accompanied by completed solutions, so you can either build your own solution from start to finish, or dive straight in at any point using the solutions provided as a starting point.) You will learn how to set up WCF RIA Services, create bindings to the domain context, filter using the domain data source, and create domain service queries.

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Videos

Module 2.1 - WCF RIA Services

clip_image008 Ian Griffiths sets up the Entity Framework and WCF RIA Services for the sample Event Manager application for the course. He covers how to set up the services, how the Domain Services work and the role that the DomainContext plays in the sample application. He also reviews the metadata classes and integrating the navigation framework.

Module 2.2 – Using WCF RIA Services to Edit Entities

clip_image010Ian Griffiths discusses how he adds the ability to edit and create individual entities with the features built into WCF RIA Services into the sample Event Manager application. He covers data binding fundamentals, IQueryable, LINQ, the DomainDataSource, navigation to a single entity using the navigation framework, and how to use the Visual Studio designer to do much of the work .

Module 2.3 – Showing Master/Details Records Using WCF RIA Services

clip_image012Ian Griffiths reviews how to display master/detail records for the sample Event Manager application using WCF RIA Services. He covers how to use the Include attribute to indicate which elements to serialize back to the client. Ian also demonstrates how to use the Data Sources window in the designer to add and bind controls to specific data elements. He wraps up by showing how to create custom services to the Domain Services.

Module 3 – Authentication, Validation, MVVM, Commands, Implicit Styles and RichTextBox

This lab demonstrates how to build a login screen, integrate ASP.NET authentication, and perform validation on data elements. Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) is introduced and used in this lab as a pattern to help separate the UI and business logic. You will also learn how to use implicit styling and the new RichTextBox control.

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Videos

Module 3.1 – Authentication

clip_image016 Ian Griffiths covers how to integrate a login screen and authentication into the sample Event Manager application. Ian shows how to use the ASP.NET authentication and integrate it into WCF RIA Services and the Silverlight presentation layer.

Module 3.2 – MVVM

clip_image018Ian Griffiths covers how to Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) patterns into the sample Event Manager application. He discusses why MVVM exists, what separated presentation means, and why it is important. He shows how to connect the View to the ViewModel, why data binding is important in this symbiosis, and how everything fits together in the overall application.

Module 3.3 –Validation

clip_image020Ian Griffiths discusses how validation of user input can be integrated into the sample Event Manager application. He demonstrates how to use the DataAnnotations, the INotifyDataErrorInfo interface, binding markup extensions, and WCF RIA Services in concert to achieve great validation in the sample application. He discusses how this technique allows for property level validation, entity level validation, and asynchronous server side validation.

Module 3.4 – Implicit Styles

clip_image022Ian Griffiths discusses how why implicit styles are important and how they can be integrated into the sample Event Manager application. He shows how implicit styles defined in a resource dictionary can be applied to all elements of a particular kind throughout the application.

Module 3.5 – RichTextBox

clip_image024 Ian Griffiths discusses how the new RichTextBox control and it can be integrated into the sample Event Manager application. He demonstrates how the RichTextBox can provide editing for the event information and how it can display the rich text for selection and copying.

Module 4 – User Profiles, Drop Targets, Webcam and Clipboard

This lab builds new features into the sample application to take the user's photo. It teaches you how to use the webcam to capture an image, use Silverlight as a drop target, and take advantage of programmatic access to the clipboard.

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Videos

Module 4.1 – Webcam

clip_image028 Ian Griffiths demonstrates how the webcam adds value to the sample Event Manager application by capturing an image of the attendee. He discusses the VideoCaptureDevice, the CaptureDviceConfiguration, and the CaptureSource classes and how they allow audio and video to be captured so you can grab an image from the capture device and save it.

Module 4.2 - Drag and Drop in Silverlight

clip_image030 Ian Griffiths demonstrates how to capture and handle the Drop in the sample Event Manager application so the user can drag a photo from a file and drop it into the application. Ian reviews the AllowDrop property, the Drop event, how to access the file that can be dropped, and the other drag related events. He also reviews how to make this work across browsers and the challenges for this.

Module 5 – Schedule Planner and Right Mouse Click

This lab builds on the application to allow grouping in the DataGrid and implement right mouse click features to add context menu support.

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Videos

Module 5.1 – Grouping and Binding

clip_image034 Ian Griffiths demonstrates how to use the grouping features for data binding in the DataGrid and how it applies to the sample Event Manager application. He reviews the role of the CollectionViewSource in grouping, customizing the templates for headers, and how to work with grouping with ItemsControls.

Module 5.2 – Layout Visual States

clip_image036Ian Griffiths demonstrates how to use the Fluid UI animation support for visual states in the ListBox control DataGrid and how it applies to the sample Event Manager application. He reviews the 3 visual states of BeforeLoaded, AfterLoaded, and BeforeUnloaded.

Module 5.3 – Right Mouse Click

clip_image038 Ian Griffiths demonstrates how to add support for handling the right mouse button click event to display a context menu for the Event Manager application. He demonstrates how to handle the event, show a custom context menu control, and integrate it into the scheduling portion of the application.

Module 6 – Printing the Schedule

This lab teaches how to use the new printing features in Silverlight 4. The lab walks through the PrintDocument class and the ViewBox control, while showing how to print multiple pages of content using them.

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Videos

Module 6.1 – Printing and the Viewbox

clip_image042 Ian Griffiths demonstrates how to add the ability to print the schedule to the sample Event Manager application. He walks through the importance of the PrintDocument class and its members. He also shows how to handle printing the visual tree and how the ViewBox control can help.

Module 6.2 – Multi Page Printing

clip_image044 Ian Griffiths expands on his printing discussion by showing how to handle printing multiple pages of content for the sample Event Manager application. He shows how to paginate the content and points out various tips to keep in mind when determining the printable area.

Module 7 – Running the Event Dashboard Out of Browser

This lab builds a dashboard for the sample application while explaining the fundamentals of the out of browser features, how to handle authentication, displaying notifications (toasts), and how to use native integration to use COM Interop with Silverlight.

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Videos

Module 7.1 – Out of Browser

clip_image048Ian Griffiths discusses the role of an Out of Browser application for administrators to manage the events and users in the sample Event Manager application. He discusses several reasons why out of browser applications may better suit your needs including custom chrome, toasts, window placement, cross domain access, and file access. He demonstrates the basic technique to take your application and make it work out of browser using the tools.

Module 7.2 – NotificationWindow (Toasts) for Elevated Trust Out of Browser Applications

clip_image050 Ian Griffiths discusses the how toasts can be used in the sample Event Manager application to show information that may require the user's attention. Ian covers how to create a toast using the NotificationWindow, security implications, and how to make the toast appear as needed.

Module 7.3 – Out of Browser Window Placement

clip_image052 Ian Griffiths discusses the how to manage the window positioning when building an out of browser application, handling the windows state, and controlling and handling activation of the window.

Module 7.4 – Out of Browser Elevated Trust Application Overview

clip_image054Ian Griffiths discusses the implications of creating trusted out of browser application for the Event Manager sample application. He reviews why you might want to use elevated trust, what features is opens to you, and how to take advantage of them. Topics Ian covers include the dynamic keyword in C# 4, the AutomationFactory class, the API to check if you are in a trusted application, and communicating with Excel.

Module 8 – Advanced Out of Browser and MEF

This hands-on lab walks through the creation of a trusted out of browser application and the new functionality that comes with that. You will learn to use COM Automation, handle the window closing event, set custom window chrome, digitally sign your Silverlight out of browser trusted application, create a silent install option, and take advantage of MEF.

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Videos

Module 8.1 – Custom Window Chrome for Elevated Trust Out of Browser Applications

clip_image058 Ian Griffiths discusses how to replace the standard operating system window chrome with customized chrome for an elevated trusted out of browser application. He covers how it is important to handle close, resize, minimize, and maximize events. Ian mentions that the tooling was not ready when he shot this video, but the good news is that the tooling now supports setting the custom chrome directly from the property page for the Silverlight application.

Module 8.2 – Window Closing Event for Out of Browser Applications

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Ian Griffiths discusses the WindowClosing event and how to handle and optionally cancel the event.

Module 8.3 – Silent Install of Out of Browser Applications

clip_image062Ian Griffiths discusses how to use the SLLauncher executable to install an out of browser application. He discusses the optional command lien switches that can be set including how the emulate switch can help you emulate the install process. Ian also shows how to setup a shortcut for the application and tell the application where it should look for future updates online.

Module 8.4 – Digitally Signing Out of Browser Application

clip_image064Ian Griffiths discusses how and why to digitally sign an out of browser application using the signtool program. He covers what trusted certificates are, the implications of signing (or not signing), and the effect on the user experience.

Module 8.5 – The Value of MEF with Silverlight

clip_image066Ian Griffiths discusses what MEF is, how your application can benefit from it, and the fundamental features it puts at your disposal. He covers the 3 step import, export and compose process as well as how to dynamically import XAP files using MEF.