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Silverlight on WinForm

Posted on 2010-01-07
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I have a VB .NET WinForm mapping (GIS) app which uses ESRI's MapObjects ActiveX control. I'm trying to replace this control with a .NET component as the ActiveX control is slow (it's in a .NET wrapper which slows it down a lot), outdated, expensive, and doesn't work on Windows Vista (and probably Win 7). I've been looking around on the net, and haven't found too much I must say... I was thinking about perhaps somehow being able to use Google Maps or Bing Maps (Microsoft) in my app. I see Bing Maps has a Silverlight control. I've never used Silverlight before - I know it is basically Microsoft's answer to Flash. I want to know, can I put a Silverlight control on my WinForm app? I'm using Visual Basic 2008. If I can't, how would I go about developing a Silverlight app? Can I do so from Visual Studio 2008? Or do I need to use MS Expression or something like that? Can I still use the VB programming language? Or do I have to program in Java? The other problem is that the app would require access to the serial port (it communicates with a GPS/Data Logger) - would this be a problem? Would the Silverlight app have to run in a web browser? Or could it run "stand-alone"? I'm really very new to Silverlight. Any help.info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Question by:SETP
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VBRocks earned 600 total points
ID: 26200571
Silverlight is a subset of the WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) classes.  Silverlight is very easy to use, and very easy to get started with.  Once you install Silverlight, you will be able to go into Visual Studio 2008 like normal, and create a Silverlight Application (instead of a Windows project or ASP.NET application).

Take a look at this website for getting started with Silverlight 3:

    http://www.codeproject.com/KB/vb/XmlDbDemo.aspx


You can use Visual Basic with Silverlight, but you will also learn to use XAML as well, which is basically XML.

Silverlight doesn't run stand-alone, it runs in a web browser.  You can create WPF applications, instead of Silverlight, for a stand-alone desktop application.  
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by:VBRocks
ID: 26200578
Oops, sorry...  that is the wrong link.  Here's the link:

    Get Started:  The Official Microsoft Silverlight Site
    http://silverlight.net/getstarted/

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by:VBRocks
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Also, check out Scott Guthrie's 8 part example of creating a Silverlight Application:

    http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/pages/silverlight-2-end-to-end-tutorial-building-a-digg-search-client.aspx

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by:VBRocks
ID: 26200625
Also, here's a link to Tim Heuer's blog on getting started with Silverlight:

   http://timheuer.com/blog/articles/getting-started-with-silverlight-development.aspx

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by:VBRocks
ID: 26200731
Oh, take a look at this article, looks ideal for your scenario:

    using bing maps in wpf (vb can be used instead of c#)
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd221354.aspx


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by:SETP
ID: 26207398
Thanks a lot VBRocks, I will look at those links now. Quick question, you say I can use WPF to create stand-alone desktop applications - will I be able to use a Silverlight control on my WPF application?
Thanks
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by:SETP
ID: 26207437
And this is probably a silly question, but is it possible to use WinForm controls in a WPF application? Because my current WinForm app uses the SerialPort component and I was wondering if I'd be able to use it in a WPF app? Or I should be able to reference the SerialPort.dll from the WPF app and communicate with the serial port like that right?
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by:vb_student
vb_student earned 400 total points
ID: 26274475
most silverlight controls can run in a stand alone wpf form but that is not a gaurentee as stated silverlight is a subset of wpf so it should work. also vb controls can run in wpf. componets run easy with little extra work needed but ui controls are diffrent. but the code behind is done exactly the same in wpf so as long as you have the corect refrences in your projec it should work. note there is a wpf control used to run custom VB controls and it works the other way around. you can add custom wpf controls to your vb form.
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by:SETP
ID: 31673972
Thanks guys!
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