The first release candidate of Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is now available for download. This package is an add-in for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and Visual Web Developer Express 2008 with SP1. The Silverlight Tools installer includes the following:
- Silverlight Tools RC0 for Visual Studio 2008 SP1
- Silverlight Tools RC0 for Visual Web Developer Express with SP1
- Silverlight 2 RC0 Developer Runtime
- Silverlight 2 RC0 Software Development Kit
This release gives Silverlight developers an opportunity to upgrade their Silverlight applications from Silverlight 2 Beta 2 to the final version of Silverlight 2 (RTW - release to web) which is due out later this fall.
For more information on updates in the Silverlight 2 runtime, check out ScottGu's blog.
Improvements to Tools
In addition to being compatible with the post-beta version of the runtime, there are some other improvements that developers can look forward to.
Silverlight Tools now supports Visual Web Developer Express 2008 with SP1. This means that all the tools you need to do Silverlight 2 development are FREE!
Installation of Silverlight Tools now merges the offline help documents into Visual Studio. This means no matter where you are doing development, if you have a question on a component of Silverlight Tools, press F1 to launch the Document Explorer to learn more. Or, if you are just interested in reading more about Silverlight, from the Help menu in Visual Studio, choose Contents, and expand the Silverlight 2 SDK section.
And, the updated version of Silverlight tools also includes improvements to the compression of XAP files.
Tips for Developers
For more tips about updating your Silverlight applications form Beta 2 to the final version, check out Mike Snow's blog. Also, take a look at the ReadMe page for Silverlight developers that has some known issue that you might encounter.
For Blend users out there, check out the release candidate of Expression Blend 2 SP.
A few notes about installing Blend with Silverlight Tools...
The beta and preview versions of Expression Blend (ie, March 2.5 preview or June 2.5 preview) are not compatible with Silverlight Tools RC0 as they contain an older version of the Silverlight SDK. The Blend 2.5 March Preview and Blend 2.5 June preview build Silverlight 2 Beta 2 applications, not Silverlight 2 RTW applications. Blend 2 SP, however, will build Silverlight 2 RTW applications.
If you do install Blend 2 SP and then decide to uninstall it, you will need to re-install the Silverlight 2 SDK by re-running the tools installation.