Open RIA Services User Support Today is A Good Day for this Silverlight developer, thanks to Colin Blair and all with Open RIA Services  Viewed 29495 time(s), 5 post(s)., 4/25/2014 4:36:09 PM - by reswat

reswat 4/25/2014 4:36:10 PM

I have a large and complex app that I've developed in Silverlight.  Over the past year or two, I've have considerable angst and uncertainty as I've watch Silverlight slip out of favor at Microsoft.  A few days ago, I've found this link to a new guide from Microsoft:

Here are my takeaways from that guide:

1) It's nice to have some clear guidance from Microsoft, and they give some clear guidance on the path forward for Silverlight apps in Appendix A.  So, even though this guidance confirms the eventually demise of Silverlight, it also gives a path forward.

2) There's no rush, since Silverlight will be supported for 10 years.  I'll want to convert before then, of course, and I'll eventually just need to transition to either WPF or something like KnockoutJS (yuk)

After considering what this guide said, it seemed most likely that I would want to transition to WPF.  My first thoughts were this:  the XAML/C# should translate fairly easily, but what about all of the auto-generated code on the client?  Would I have to re-write that when I converted to WPF?  That would be a real pain.  I wondered if it would be possible to structure a WPF app to use RIA Services in the same way as Silverlight, but it didn't seem likely.  So, I had begun to resign myself to that likelihood that I would need rewrite a significant chunk of my client code to convert from Silverlight to WPF.

But then today, I remembered this:  Isn't Colin Blair moving RIA Services forward?   I came to this site and, sure enough, the roadmap includes a version of RIA Services that will be usable with WPF.   So, I am rejoicing today and thanking all of you involved.

But just to be clear that I'm not rejoicing in vain, can someone confirm my understanding of what the roadmap means.  My understanding is that the auto-generated objects and the CRUD code that is currently generated for me automatically in Silverlight will be automatically generated in WPF as well.  If that is true, then about the only conversions I will need to make will be relatively minor fixes required from moving from the Silverlight dlls to the WPF dlls.


Reese Watt

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ColinBlair 4/25/2014 4:58:08 PM

Yes, in fact the code to do that is checked into GIT now. I just need to figure out how to configure the NuGet packages and I will get it released into the beta version.

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reswat 4/25/2014 5:07:54 PM

That's awesome.  I'm in the middle of adding new features & installing clients, so I'm not sure when I'll actually get around to converting my app, but it is a huge relief to know that there is relatively easy path forward.

You know, it's always tough to learn new technologies, but it's even tougher if you believe the new stuff is not as good as the old stuff.   The combined tools of XAML/RIA Services/Entity Framework/SQL Server is just a wonderful set of tools and allows for very powerful and elegant applications.  Having learned that tool set, and come to appreciate all of their benefits, it was just painful when I thought that I might eventually have to set them aside for some other set of technologies that wasn't nearly as elegant.

So, thanks again and keep up the good work.

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bengutt 4/28/2014 8:50:05 AM

I have to echo what Reswat is saying.

I feel really let down by Microsoft with regard to Silverlight. This mess has left a lasting bitterness between them and a large swathe of development teams. I keep wondering why they don't build Silverlight into the browser and just be done with it.

Then I come to realise, they want to push Windows 8 which has Xaml apps at it's core. Hopefully we will be able to leverage this with LOB applications and create the exact same experience as we were doing with the browser based Silverlight. We may be able to create an even better experience for our customers than we currently can

This of course depends on being able to use the Entity Framework and RIA services. Microsoft have open sourced the code and enabled Colin Blair to swoop in and clean up their mess! I really do hope that the career saving work he is doing for the community gets recognised. I am really appreciative for it and I am looking forward to being able to use this in our LOB applications going forward.

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cbgreely 1/29/2016 8:11:55 PM

Hello all...this is my first post here. I am here because we have a Silverlight LOB application that uses WCF RIA Services fact it relies on it. I am looking into porting it to WPF since Microsoft has chosen to kill Silverlight (eventually). It looks like I may be in luck according to this post. Can someone tell me what to install to get the version of Open RIA Services that will auto generate client side entities for WPF, just as I do for Silverlight? I am new to NuGet also and am a bit confused about what I see there for available packages.

Thanks for keeping this up. Frankly I find RIA Services to be an awesome technology that is a huge time saver for our product . I have come to rely on it and would rather not change to a new technology to do what we do.

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