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SilverLight for SharePoint

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SharePoint is quickly becoming one of Microsoft's most important offerings. Essentially a highly customizable content management system, many companies are finding it a perfect fit for their internal websites.

A key feature of SharePoint is its support for Web Parts. Web Parts are widgets written in ASP.NET to add user customizable functionality to a web site. Architecturally, they fill the gap between controls and full pages.

Microsoft has recently released what they call the Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint. This is a set of examples and guidance for adding Silverlight-based Web Parts to SharePoint sites. The components included as examples are

Six application component samples are included in the kit to get you started:

  • A simple “hello, world” sample showing Silverlight in a Web part.
  • A Silverlight slider control as a SharePoint custom field type.
  • A navigation control.
  • A Colleague Viewer that uses lookups in Active Directory by using Windows Communication Foundation.
  • A Silverlight picture viewer from a SharePoint picture library.
  • A visual how-to center, created in Silverlight and based on a SharePoint list, for viewing videos.

Microsoft's Blueprint initiative is meant to teach developers how to properly use Microsoft technologies. Unlike the usual collections of examples, their focus is more on how one should use a given library than simply showing what is possible.

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