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Mastering LOB Development for Silverlight 5: A Case Study in Action

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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. JavaScript was one of the options. It had been out there for a long, time and, although 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.
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