What’s new with Silverlight Tools Beta 2!

What’s new with Silverlight Tools Beta 2!

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A number of great improvements and changes were made for Silverlight Tools Beta 2. The following list summaries some of the major changes with details on each below.

  1. WCF templates for Silverlight Enabled.
  2. Build configurations.
  3. XAML Validation now reports build errors.
  4. Setup Improvements.
  5. Projects created in Beta 1 are prompted for conversion when opening to Beta 2.
  6. Linking a Web Site to a Silverlight Application.

1. WCF Templates for Silverlight Enabled.

WCF templates are now enabled for Silverlight. If you want to add Web Services to your Silverlight application, this is the route to go. To do this, right click on your web site node in the Solution Explorer and choose “Add New Item”.

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This will bring up the “Add New Item” dialog. Choose the template “Silverlight-enabled WCF Service”.

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In order to add a reference from your Silverlight Application to the newly created service right click on your Silverlight application node in the Solution explorer and choose “Add Service Reference”.

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From the “Add Service Reference” dialog click the “Discover” button and click the “OK” button after selecting your service.

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2. Build Configurations.

For this release we enabled the Configuration Manager for Silverlight. This controls where your output is and allows you to have multiple XAP’s on your web site for debugging purpose versus the actual release. Note that you will need to change your Test Page source to point to the correct XAP if you make modifications in this dialog.

I.e from TestPage.aspx:

<asp:Silverlight ID="Xaml1" runat="server" Source="~/ClientBin/SilverlightApplication9.xap" MinimumVersion="2.0.30523" Width="100%" Height="100%" />

You can access this dialog from the menu bar of Visual Studio 2008 via Build | Configuration Manager…

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This will invoke the following dialog:

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3. XAML Validation now reports build errors.

If your XAML has any errors we will now report them after you build.

4. Setup Improvements

Uninstalling previous versions is no longer necessary. However, if you install SP1 over Beta 2 you will need to re-install Beta 2 to update the patch. Also, our tools setup removes the Microsoft Blend March Preview. Microsoft Blend will be re-releasing around the same time as the release of our Beta 2 tools.

5. Projects created in beta 1 are prompted for conversion when opening to Beta 2.

Projects created in beta 1 are prompted for conversion when opening to Beta 2.

6. Linking a Web Site to a Silverlight Application.

For Beta 2 we removed the “Add Silverlight Link” option in favor of the following alternatives for adding a Silverlight Application to your Web Site.

Option #1: Adding a new Silverlight application to an existing Web Site.

On the web site node of your solution explorer, right click and choose “Add New Item”.

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This will bring up the “Add New Item” dialog. Choose “Silverlight Application”.

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Click the “Add” button and this will bring up the final dialog. In this dialog, choose the language, location and name of the Silverlight application you wish to create and click “Add”.

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In case you were wondering what the option for “Copy to configuration specific folders”, when checked, the output of your XAP will be copied to the configuration specific sub-folders of the target folder. This is useful if you don’t want Release and Debug builds to clobber each other. I.e.:

  • ClientBin\Debug\foo.xap
  • ClientBin\Release\foo.xap

Option #2: Adding an existing Silverlight application to an existing Web Site.

From your Solution explorer in your web site, right click and choose Add Existing Project:

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Browse to and open an existing Silverlight application that you want to in this web site:

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Now, to associate the web site with the Silverlight application you have two choices:

Choice #1: Once again right click on your web site and choose “Add New Item”

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This will bring up the “Add New Item” dialog. Choose “Silverlight Application” and click the “Add” button.

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This time you will see the option to use an existing project is enabled. Select this option and click the “Add” button.

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Choice #2: Right click on your web site and choose “Property Pages”

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This will bring up the Property Pages Dialog. From this dialog, Select “Silverlight Applications” and click the “Add” button.

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This will bring up the following “Add Silverlight Application dialog”. Chose the first option to use an existing Silverlight project, click “Add” and you are done!

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Let me know if you have any questions related to Silverlight Tooling for Beta 2.

Thank you.

Mike Snow
SDET Lead 
Visual Studio Web Tools

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