While I know I’m not the first person to share the news of the Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 release with you I want to take just a few moments to mention what I see as being significant.
What I find most significant of all has nothing to do with either tool specifically. I think that with this release of Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 Microsoft is once again continuing to innovate in the user experience (UX) design and related software development areas. With new design tools like SketchFlow I think Microsoft is demonstrating their commitment to assist designers and developers alike to quickly create cost-effective prototypes to present to their customers. These prototype sketches can be quickly converted into production applications. Whether you’re a designer or developer, you have got to check out SketchFlow. It is changing the way we develop applications and immediately increasing our productivity. Check out a couple mini-tutorials here and here from Microsoft’s own Qixing Zheng.
Microsoft Expression Blend 3
So much new and significant to dive into with Blend 3 but besides SketchFlow, I think the most significant new feature is the ability to import Photoshop and Illustrator files, layers and all. That is a huge step in the right direction.
Again, so much new and significant to pick from but since we focus on developing business applications I’ll go with the introduction of the new DataForm control and it’s support for .NET RIA Services validation. Combined they make validating a user’s input on the client side AND the server side much easier.
YES, I know there are soooo many new features of both I could have picked from and I’m sure someone out there will disagree with me so let’s just agree to disagree from the beginning. :-)
This posting would be incomplete without listing the new products and where you can find them as well as a link to ScottGu’s posting about the release and the official Virtual Release website.
Silverlight 3 RTW
Microsoft® Silverlight™ 3 Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1
Microsoft Expression Blend 3 + SketchFlow RC
Deep Zoom Composer
Microsoft .NET RIA Services July 2009 Preview
Silverlight 3 Offline documentation
Themes, Add-ins, Behaviors and Tools
Get out there and get into the light, oh yeah and have a day. :-|