Silverlight – should an ISV care?


The choice of technology for delivering UX is getting wider. Three years back it would have been (in most cases) a simple choice of Windows Forms or HTML+JScript. Today ISVs are trying to pick a UX technology which will serve them well for the next 5 or 10 years. The choices include:

Not to mention UX frameworks such as:

The old days of HTML vs Windows Forms were simple enough for an ISV to navigate and make a choice. But the above list begins to show just how difficult the choice is today. Silverlight (IMHO) really does make the choice significantly more difficult.

Why? Well – I can either:

  • Rapidly build a rich, interactive, visually appealing client using Windows Forms (or WPF) which will only run on Windows XP and above and require a large install of .NET Framework. Potentially they will need to use technologies such as Terminal Services for certain customers. The client potentially can work great offline.
  • or
  • I can more slowly (for now!) build a rich, interactive, visually appealing client using Silverlight which will run on Windows XP and above and Mac OS X and Linux and require a very small client side install. They client needs to be online.

Right now building a 100+ screen LOB application in Silverlight 1.0 would take a very, very long time. Silverlight 1.1 will significantly change that. 

Hmmmmm……interesting. Definitely a technology every ISV should understand.

Comments (4)

  1. pkr says:

    Eric, just to clarify a point, re: Silverlight, “the client needs to be online”. Is that strictly true? The “behaviour” is all client side so as long as you’re not streaming media to the client, and can contain the required logic locally could you (in theory) use it offline?

    ANSWER – sorry for slow response.

    Yes – you can use it offline but with a large caveat of only 1mb of isolated storage to play with. Good post on it here http://silverlightuk.blogspot.com/2007/09/silverlight-and-offline-storage.html

  2. It is becoming increasingly common for UK ISVs to ask us about Silverlight. Which is a good thing as

  3. It is becoming increasingly common for UK ISVs to ask us about Silverlight. Which is a good thing as

  4. This impressed me so much when I first caught a glimpse of it earlier this year. I have previously posted