Using Silverlight in SharePoint 2007

Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications. It helps enrich your websites and make them more interactive and engaging.

Silverlight Architecture topic describes the essential architecture and components of Microsoft Silverlight. Most Silverlight-based applications are written in managed code and make use of the Silverlight application model. However, you have the option of using a simplified programming model instead using the JavaScript API for Silverlight. Refer to Application and Programming Models for more details on this.

Silverlight 3

What's New in Silverlight 3 topic introduces some of the new features in Silverlight 3. Silverlight 3 applications are no longer restricted to running in a browser. They can be run in a browser or it they can be detached from the browser and run from the desktop. These out-of-browser applications allow you to bring the richness of Silverlight 3 applications directly to the desktop without the restriction of running within a browser. Check Building An Out-of-Browser Client With Silverlight 3 article by John Papa.

The developer documentation for Silverlight 3 can be downloaded here - Microsoft Silverlight 3 Offline Documentation

How to Start?

You can start learning Silverlight by using resources given below:

There is tons of material available on Microsoft websites given above. Given below are some resources I would recommend:

Walkthrough: Creating Your First Silverlight Application - This walkthrough shows you how to get started programming in Silverlight and Visual Studio by creating a simple application

Walkthrough: Creating a Silverlight Clock by Using Expression Blend or Code - This walkthrough steps you through the creation of a simple clock using Microsoft Silverlight

Scott Guthrie's 8-part blog series - Scott's blog posts will walk you through the fundamentals of Silverlight and will help you build a sample application along the way

The Silverlight SDK Sample Browser provides access to all of the live samples used by the Silverlight documentation.

Videos – Frankly, too many of them are available :-) So, browse links below and then pick and choose the videos which you find relevant.

Development Tools Needed

Silverlight in SharePoint 2007

Silverlight does not work out-of-the-box in SharePoint 2007. Please refer to How to configure your SharePoint extended IIS Web App for working with Silverlight 2 applications post on Patrick Tisseghem's Blog for changes required in web.config file for the SharePoint IIS Web application.

Read the RIA: Light Up SharePoint With Silverlight 2 Web Parts by Steve Fox and Paul Stubbs to learn one of the way in which in Silverlight Web parts can be created for use in a SharePoint site.

You can try the MSDN Virtual Lab: Rich Internet Applications with Silverlight and SharePoint - C# to become familiar with:

  • Hosting a Silverlight 2 application in a Web Part
  • Communicating data between SharePoint and Silverlight applications
  • Consuming SharePoint Web services
  • Building custom field types with rich user interaction using Silverlight
  • Building Silverlight front-ends for lists maintained in SharePoint based on data binding features within Silverlight 2

Karine Bosch's blog  has some useful posts on Silverlight and SharePoint:

Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint

The Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint is 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. Following samples are included in the kit to get you started:

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

Useful CodePlex projects

Silverlight Toolkit: Collection of Silverlight controls, components and utilities made available outside the normal Silverlight release cycle

SmartTools.Charts: Shows Silverlight charts based on data stored in SharePoint lists or document libraries

SilverPart 2.0: a Silverlight wrapper Web Part that can be used in MOSS 2007 or WSS 3.0 to expose Silverlight 2 content


Professional SharePoint 2007 Development using Silverlight 2 by Paul Stubbs and Steve Fox.

Using Silverlight in SharePoint Online

You can also use Silverlight in SharePoint Online. Refer to Using Silverlight with SharePoint Online from Microsoft Online Services post in Microsoft Online Services Team Blog. In this post, Troy Hopwood, Program Manager II on the Microsoft Online Services Engineering team, walks through creating a basic Silverlight control that integrates with SharePoint Online via Web Services that can then be deployed to SharePoint Online.