Latest technologies offered to Web developers, such as ASP.NET AJAX and Microsoft Silverlight, offer UI improvements and amazing interactive experiences for Web-based applications.
Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web, visit microsoft.com/silverlight.
Fortunately, you can integrate Silverlight to different Office products and technologies.
Silverlight + SharePoint
Not sure if you have seen this, but you can integrate Silverlight to SharePoint sites. Silverlight user interface elements can help you integrate rich interactive functionality in SharePoint sites. You can create Web parts, document libraries, picture libraries, navigation, and custom field types that provide Silverlight support on SharePoint sites.
The Microsoft Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint provides source code and guidance for developers describing how to use Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies together in business applications and Internet Web sites. This capability enables a fresh look at data exposed through SharePoint Products and Technologies using the modern graphics capability in Silverlight.
Here's a very cool video of the Office Visual How-To Center with Silverlight.
You can find additional info related to the Silverlight BluePrint for SharePoint on MSDN.
Silverlight + Open XML
Want to see Word .docx files using a Silverlight viewer? I've seen many cool applications built using the Open XML Formats, but this one is a quite creative one :).
Check out the TextGlow Silverlight application. The Open XML format is an ECMA-ratified standard, and having a web-based runtime with the power Silverlight makes it possible to accomplish something that I don't think you could do easily with any other technology. TextGlow downloads Word documents asynchronously, opens them as ZIP files, parses them with LINQ-to-XML and then renders them using the WPF-based text and graphics APIs. (via Tim Sneath)
Here are few interesting links and resources you can explore if you want to learn more about Silverlight:
- Windows Live Silverlight: http://silverlight.live.com/
- Silverlight Streaming SDK: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb851621.aspx
- MSDN Microsoft Silverlight Developer Center: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/asp.net/bb187358.aspx
- Joe Stegman's Silverlight Tales: http://blogs.msdn.com/jstegman/
- Paul Andrew's blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/pandrew/
- Scott Gu's blog: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/