Giorgio Sardo Blog

Senior Director of Windows, Windows Phone & XBOX Technical Evangelism & Development at Microsoft Corporation

IE8 Web Slice and Silverlight (e.g. Imagine Cup)

IE8 Web Slice and Silverlight (e.g. Imagine Cup)

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7/21/09 - UPDATE: Added  Source Code (see bottom)

clip_image001With Internet Explorer 8 it’s easy to build Silverlight Web Slices; great examples of this are the OneRiot Today’s Hottest Video or MIX 09 Web Slice.

But…how does it work?

Let’s have a look to the “Imagine Cup Web Slice”,  just uploaded to the IE Gallery. The slice has been written by Sergei Golubev, one of the most brilliant (ex-) Microsoft Student Partner around the world!

You can install it here.

I think the architecture is very interesting, as it include a lot of best practices.

image (Click on the image for high res)

  • The Web Slice aggregates several data sources: the IC RSS Feed, the IC Twitter tweets and the tagged images from Flickr.

SYNC (ICSlice.aspx):

  • It use the Alternative Update Source to show updates in the Title. If the content changes, the title of the Web Slice will go bold and flash for a few seconds.
  • The content of the Alternative Update Source is just the date of the last update of the data sources. This way we reduce the bandwidth needed for each sync.
  • The back-end logic use a .NET Web Service, with an internal caching layer. This allow to avoid the common Twitter limit.
  • The TTL is set to 15 minutes; this is how often IE will do a sync and check for updates.

VIEW (ICView.aspx):

  • Client UI and logic written in Silverlight, using the Alternative Display Source.
  • In case Silverlight is not installed on the machine, a graceful message will appear.

OTHER:

  • The Bookmark link has been set to the Imagine Cup homepage.
  • All the links in the Web Slice will open in a new tab (target = "_Blank”)
  • The entire project is hosted on Windows Azure. Free, cool, easy. Just awesome.

Check out this blog for the source code! Coming soon…

The full source code is now available here!

Attachment: ImagineCupWebSlice.zip
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