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ComponentOne Readying Silverlight 1.1 Tools

ComponentOne’s ‘Sapphire’ toolset provides controls for Silverlight 1.1.

Tool vendor ComponentOne LLC is working on a set of controls targeting Silverlight 1.1, the company announced in October.

The toolset, dubbed "Sapphire," will be released alongside the final version of Silverlight 1.1, which is now in alpha. The final bits of the cross-platform browser plug-in are expected to land next summer.

ComponentOne's Director of Business Development, Todd Schick, says the controls will be familiar to developers working with Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Forms and other common .NET technologies.

They include basic controls, such as list, textbox, panel and slider controls, as well as more complex grid and chart controls. Users can also skin and incorporate animations into the controls with Expression Blend, Microsoft's toolset for designers, which like Silverlight uses the XAML markup language as an underlying technology.

ComponentOne, like Infragistics Inc. and other vendors, didn't bother working on any controls for Silverlight 1.0, which employs a JavaScript-based programming model but is largely meant for manipulating streaming media and video. "We're skipping it. There are some pretty important technologies in Silverlight 1.1 that make it more exploitable for controls," Schick says.

Silverlight 1.1 delivers a subset of the .NET Framework and caters to developers familiar with Visual Studio and managed code.

Microsoft has yet to release much tooling for either incarnation of Silverlight. "Microsoft is providing some basic controls in 1.1," Schick says. "What we're looking to do is to fill in those gaps in the 1.1 release, and add some controls that really exploit the platform and go above and beyond."

Despite its capabilities, a question often raised about Silverlight is its uphill battle against the near-ubiquitous Flash. "Our suite -- and those of other third-party vendors -- combined with Silverlight is going to provide a development platform that very quickly is going to rival Flash and Flex," Schick says, adding, "We're not looking at this as a revenue generator yet. ... This is really an interest builder for us, a buzz builder."

ComponentOne has set up a Web site to promote the new tools at http://labs.componentone.com/sapphire.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.

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