Line of Business applications. Think about this term for a moment—Line of
Business. Yes, Business. Business means change. Changes are happening faster
than we usually think it is possible. How can we deal with it? With the right set
of knowledge and tools, of course!
Business, nowadays, is more demanding than ever, but so are the technologies we
have in hand. We have moved away from the times when a fully-featured desktop
application was enough. Now, we want to be able to work from anywhere—from
any place on Earth, by any means—let it be our office computer (PC or Mac), our
netbook at home, our mobile, or tablet on the plane. This is how RIA applications
emerged. This book is about how to get started, with developing RIA applications
using one particular set of technologies—those in the Microsoft domain, namely,
Silverlight, WCF RIA Services, and other frameworks and tools around them.
Back in 2007, when the first pre-release bits of Silverlight were introduced, there
weren't many ways to build fully-featured and always-connected applications.
it could help you build magnificent applications, it didn't come far when talking
about robust, highly-maintainable, change-resistant, and easy to get started code.
Its support for different browsers was not a pretty story. The pre-release version of
Silverlight was rather limited, but even then people started to see big potential in it
to target media and business applications. The potential turned out to be real, when
a year and a half later, the Redmond campus released the First Official Release of the
plugin, which had .NET Framework support called Silverlight 2. Developers were
excited, and this is how things got to work. The whole community was pushing
hard; .NET developers were finally able to start writing applications that could work
everywhere. The Silverlight release cycle period is an unbelievable nine months. That
means every nine months, the community was getting a new version! Silverlight
3 came packed with lots of features enabling the development of Line of Business
applications. Everyone was wowed, as to how quickly Microsoft got their product
ready for the enterprise and some big players, such as banks, started paying attention.