Last updated: October 8, 2009

While it is impossible to create an extensive list of all resources available out there for creating Silverlight applications, this page gives you links to the most interesting resources I have come across.

Getting started with Silverlight 3 development

Silverlight Getting started page on http://silverlight.net/, here are the main links to the development tools.

  1. Developer: Visual Studio 2008 SP1- if you don't have the full version you can still develop Silverlight 2 using the free Visual Web Developer Express edition.
  2. Developer: Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1- this are the tools to enable Silverlight project development on VS.
  3. Designer/Integrator: Install Microsoft Expression Blend 3 + SketchFlow RC
  4. Download Silverlight Toolkit
  5. Optional:
    1. Deep Zoom Composer - RC: free tool to generate Deep Zoom collections. This tool also creates the basic Silverlight project if you choose to do so.
    2. .NET RIA Services

Silverlight 2 development

  1. Developer: Visual Studio 2008 SP1- if you don't have the full version you can still develop Silverlight 2 using the free Visual Web Developer Express edition.
  2. Developer: Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1- this are the tools to enable Silverlight project development on VS.
  3. Designer/Integrator: Expression Blend 2 - trial version here
    To design your Silverlight 2 applications you will need to download and apply SP1 to Expression Blend. Download here. Expression Blend is a commercial product that you need to install before applying Service Pack 1. SP1 for Blend is itself a free update.
  4. Optional:
    1. Deep Zoom Composer: free tool to generate Deep Zoom collections. This tool also creates the basic Silverlight project if you choose to do so.
    2. Expression Design 2: you will need this product to import Illustrator work, and create new designs for Silverlight.

Resources for designers/integrators

For a designer/integrator profile these are some of the resources I recommend:

Project "Rosetta Stone" Tutorials

From Flash to Silverlight.
Project Rosetta Stone got an upgrade in Sept 2009 with new tutorials and a tour of Blend. It's new home is now at the visitmix.com site: http://visitmix.com/labs/rosetta/ 

Archive at http://channel9.msdn.com/continuum/tutorials/
This website is part of Channel9 and offers a set of tutorials on design/development in Silverlight, mainly coming from a Flash background. Tutorials include Procedural Animation , Masking & Clipping, Image Sequencing , etc.

Silverzine - Resources for Designers

This site focuses on delivering articles and great resources specifically for designers.
http://silverzine.com/

Developer/designer workflow

Microsoft has focused a lot on easing the workflow between designers/integrators and developers working on web projects, and more specifically Silverlight projects. Proof of this are the Expression Studio and Visual Studio suites each targeted towards a specific role. Project Rosetta also contains a great document  detailing this new workflow entitled The New Iteration.

Nibbles Tutorials

http://www.nibblestutorials.net/
Created by Celso Gomez this website contains step-by-step tutorials on creating Silverlight 2 and Silverlight 3 applications as well as some amazing samples. Also includes some WPF samples.

Expression Community Site

http://expression.microsoft.com/
Microsoft's Community site around Expression products, with forums and lots of articles around Silverlight and web development and design.

Great designer/integrator blogs:

Toolkits, open source projects to jumpstart your development

Silverlight Toolkit - on CodePlex - http://www.codeplex.com/silverlight/

This toolkit contains an extensive set of controls that you can use in your Silverlight applications:

  • Treeview, WrapPanel, DockPanel, etc
  • Charting controls
  • Themes

Blacklight - Silverlight and WPF controls for designers - http://www.codeplex.com/blacklight

Set of skinned controls for Silverlight and WPF.

Jellyfish Deep Zoom - http://www.codeplex.com/jellyfishDZ

Framework for creating Deep Zoom applications like Hard Rock Memorabilia.

Developer Tools

Kaxaml - http://kaxaml.com/

Kaxaml is a lightweight XAML editor that gives you a "split view" so you can see both your XAML and your rendered content, developed by Robby Ingebretsen as a hobby but really a must.

XAML Power Toys  - http://karlshifflett.wordpress.com/xaml-power-toys/

From the site: XAML Power Toys is a Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Multi-AppDomain Add-In that empowers WPF & Silverlight developers while working in the XAML editor.  Its Line of Business form generation tools, Grid tools,  DataGrid and ListView generation really shorten the XAML page layout time.

Illustrator to XAML Plug-in

Mike Swanson has updated his Illustrator to XAML export tool to support WPF and Silverlight.

Newsletters

Express Yourself Newsletter (Belgium), English only - http://www.microsoft.com/belux/interactive/

Expression Newsletter (US) - English only - http://www.microsoft.com/expression/news-press/newsletter/Default.aspx