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Peter Tweed Exploring and explaining the mysteries of .NET

apps have the wonderful ability to be installed locally and run from the desktop.  This allows Silverlight apps to be deployed very easily over the web and allow thick client like deployment and operability.  Just with detached applications if you expect client server behavior – such as connecting to a network resource or service - you need to handle the situation when there is no network.  Also if you are running the application outside of the browser then you need to ensure you either gracefully limit any functionality dependent on the browser – e.g. using the HTML bridge for interoperation with web page DOM functionality.

 

The application that can be downloaded from here is a simple Silverlight application where the user can change the background of the page by selecting the color from a drop down list.  No rocket science here.  We are not handling the network connectivity detection issues as we are not going over the network.

 

Enabling this to run out of the browser is easy and this is what we will demonstrate with this post.

 

Silverlight will also validate when an application is run outside of the browser whether an updated version exists from the URI the application was hosted from and will download and install the updates for the user.  The developer does not need to do anything to handle the automated updates handling for the user – Silverlight provides it all for you.

 

Steps

1.    Create yourself a simple Silverlight application that does not interact with a service or interact with the HTML bridge.

2.    Open the properties for the application

3.    Select the “Enable running application out of the browser” check box on the Silverlight tab

 

 

4.    Click the “Out-of-Browser Settings…” button

 

 

5.    Configure whatever settings you deem appropriate.  Note if you don’t supply icon files then defaults will be used.

6.    Run the application

 

 

7.    Right click the application and select “Install [Application Name] onto this computer…”

 

 

I selected to install a shortcut on the desktop.

 

8.    Click OK and the application is installed and run

 

 

 

9.    Select a color and watch as the app works

 

10.  Close the application

11. Run the application from the icon installed on your desktop and select a color

 

12. Right click the application and choose the “Remove this application…” option

 

 

13. Click Yes.  The application will be removed from your computer.

 

Congratulations!!!! You have developed and deployed a Silverlight application running outside of the browser.

 

What have we done?

We have configured a Silverlight application to be able to be run outside of the browser.

We have installed the Silverlight application on our computer and run it outside of the browser.

We have removed the Silverlight application from our computer.

 

Conclusion

Silverlight has a great mechanism allowing applications to be installed on a computer and run outside of the browser.  Whether to run the application in the browser or install it and run it standalone from the browser is left to the user.  Silverlight provides the infrastructure to handle automatic updates to the application without the developer having to develop the infrastructure to manage it.  The only consideration the developer needs to handle is how to handle the disconnected scenario and any dependencies on the browser – e.g. the HTML Bridge for when the application runs in the browser interacting with the web page in which it is hosted.

Posted on Sunday, August 9, 2009 9:59 AM Silverlight | Back to top


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