Our event on Microsoft Silverlight

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We are doing a live event with Microsoft’s Michael Scherotter tonight. Check the invite here for more infomration.

During the course of marketing the event, we received several of the “Flash vs. Silverlight” type emails/responses, and so we wanted to mention a couple of things. First of all Viewstream is a long standing Flash Developer — we go back to the Macromedia Director days, the first version of QuickTime, and Flash 1.0.

We make decisions about what development tool to use based on our client’s requirements and our client’s clear-target customer. Beyond that, we are completely neutral.

Our resident .NET guru emailed me with some notes for tonight, and I wanted to share them with everyone:

Silverlight is a contained development environment. It integrates into the Data access layer natively, as it is part of the .NET development. This is a very powerful feature to work with when development web 2.0 or database driven sites.

Because Silverlight is integrated in the .NET environment, there is no extra investment of time or specialized debugging methods when developing a Silverlight app in the case of a development house focused on the .NET framework. It uses Visual Studio professional and express editions. Because the Express editions are free, and provide 75% of the tools used in the Professional editions, this mean that Silverlight development, with a fantastic API can be totally free.

A myth about ASP.net over PHP is that it’s “expensive”. The only expensive portion about it is when a company hosts their own web servers, or when the host their own SQL Server licenses. However, in a shared hosting environment, it’s the exact same cost as a Linux environment, as ASP.net is always a standard feature along side PHP in said shared hosting. What this means is, you can have a “RIA” web application for a fraction of the price. Once again, take a free edition of Visual Studio, with Silverlight tools and then look at the price of shared hosting. Now take the same price of shared hosting, look at the price of either Flash or Flex development tools. Look at the process it would take having two separate development environments interact (such as PHP), and I think it starts making sense.

Anyone who is comfortable in C#, or even Java, can quickly learn to develop highly advanced Silverlight applications quickly.

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