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Previously I made note of things about the release of Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 with regard to Silverlight development.  I’ve gotten a few questions about if people should start using it for Silverlight development.  Perhaps I can help provide you with the best information I can to make that decision…so here it goes.

Go-live support

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 both have “go-live” support as indicated in the license terms (which are available on the VS2010 download).  If you have never bothered yourself with previous go-live products at Microsoft you may not understand what that means.

In short, “go-live” means we grant permission for you to use the product (in this case tools and framework) in a production environment.  It also means that it is a supported product at that point as well.  For Visual Studio, if you plan on using Visual Studio 2010 for go-live use, email [email protected] so you will be sure to get access to that support.  You should also read the go-live license terms clearly and back-up your project data before upgrading.  More information about go-live support can be found at Jeff Beehler’s blog post.

As with any software, pre-release or not, you should be aware of caveats and gotchas.  I’ve found a few that you should be a ware of and am listing them below.

Installer errors if you have Silverlight RTW (40624) on your machine

If you are a developer and have already downloaded Silverlight 3 when it released, you probably have installed the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 already.  Now, if you never updated your tools to the later GDR (service packs) release, then you will encounter an error when installing VS2010 beta 2.  This is because the most recent Silverlight 3 release (3.040818) SDK does not install on top of the initial release (3.040624) SDK.  We know this and this should be remedied by VS2010 official release.

In the short-term, you need to perform a manual step to accommodate.  You can do one of two things:

  • Upgrade your Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 to the latest SDK and developer runtime.
  • Uninstall the Silverlight 3 SDK and developer runtime.

The second is probably the easiest if you’ve already downloaded the Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 bits.  Simply go to the Add/Remove Control Panel applet in Windows and remove the listings of Microsoft Silverlight 3 and Microsoft Silverlight 3 SDK.  Then run the Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 installer.

What about Expression Blend?

Here is one thing that will be a gotcha.  If you choose the Edit in Expression Blend action while in VS2010, and have Blend 3 installed, you will see that Blend will start but with this message:

Blend Warning 1

Despite what the message says, when you decide to go ahead and open the unsupported project file you will be greeted with:

Blend Warning 2

So there would be your first major caveat.  Your VS2010 project files wouldn’t be able to be opened by Expression Blend 3.  Now, I say this with caution because I’ve had some BASIC projects that have, and others that have not.  Essentially it isn’t ‘supported’ but this will be one of those areas where your mileage may vary.  This may cause you some slight discomfort when needing to tweak visual states or animations, among other things you may use Blend for (resource design, etc.).

Can it co-exist with Visual Studio 2008?

Yes, Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 can be installed side-by-side with Visual Studio 2008 SP1.  This is how I’m running it now and they isolate well.

What about my VS2008 Silverlight project files?

If you open an existing VS2008 Silverlight project/solution, VS2010 will prompt you to upgrade the project file.  Note that when you do so, VS2008 can no longer access that project file.  So this means that you can’t have VS2008 and VS2010 working on the same project/solution files for your Silverlight projects.

This can be a bit of a snag in larger team developments where you have eager developers to want to get started on VS2010, but some still using VS2008 on the same project.  Take caution here.  You can try some of the same methods used in VS2005/2008 days in creating separate project/solution files for the products, but it’s a risky move if the project properties aren’t right.

So what about Silverlight 2 development?

You mean Sivlerlight ‘classic’? :-)  Visual Studio 2010 does not support Silverlight 2 development.  Yes I know in a previous post I showed multi-targeting with Silverlight 2 and 3.  As it stands now though SL2 will not be a target for VS2010 development.

At this point any Silverlight 2 installed client should have been upgraded to Silverlight 3 if they were enabled for auto-update.  Silverlight 3 provides so many more improvements over Silverlight 2 that you should really encourage moving even existing applications to the latest runtime to take advantage of some features.

So can I use it for Silverlight 3 development then?

Works on my machine logoGiven the above known’s (and in general, the known issues with VS2010 beta 2 which are documented in the readme), yes you can use VS2010 beta 2 for Silverlight 3 development.  As noted in my previous post, .NET RIA Services is not yet supported in VS2010).  Again, the above issues might prevent you in your particular project, but I can say that VS2010 works well with Silverlight 3 development. 

Of course your mileage may vary depending on the types of projects, dependencies, frameworks, etc.  But I can confidently say “works on my machine.” :-)

Hope this helps.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

10/22/2009 5:03 PM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Following up on my post the other evening about the SL3 SDK issues:

If you have already installed VS2010 Beta 2 and seen the Silverlight SDK failure message, all you have to do is uninstall the SL3 3.040624 (RTM) SDK and then manually install the SL3 3.040818 SDK using silverlight_sdk.msi in the \WCU\Silverlight directory on the VS2010 Beta 2 DVD image - you don't need to remove/re-install VS2010 Beta 2.

I hope this saves a few people some time...
10/22/2009 5:15 PM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
What about Silverlight development for Windows CE? It was announced that CE will have Silverlight 2 support. Will Windows CE and Mobile also get Silverlight 3? It seems logical when Visual Studio 2010 doesn't support Silverlight 2.
10/23/2009 3:09 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Where can I read the "go-live license terms"?
10/23/2009 6:40 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Having some problems with the Properties/Web/Use Local IIS Web Server when trying to use IIS instead of Cassini - error says
'Unable to create the virtual directory. ASP.NET 2.0 has not been registered on the Web server'
I am obviously working in a Framework 4.0 environment!
10/23/2009 6:52 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Christian -- they are in the product installer (before it installs).

Jonathan -- Unfortunately I have not seen that before :-(
10/23/2009 6:54 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Also another error shows when trying to manually start from IIS
Line number: 139
Error:Unrecognized element 'folderlevelBuildProviders'
Can you shed any light on these errors
10/23/2009 7:17 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Jonathan -- it sounds like some install issues. Consider trying a re-install? Or work in a virtual environment to isolate the issue.
10/23/2009 3:57 PM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Hi Tim, just an info.
In the final release of VS2010, will be "edit in Expression Blend 3" supported?
10/23/2009 3:58 PM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Frank -- when VS2010 releases there will be an integration to a version of Blend just like there is now in VS2008 and Blend 3. As to if it is Blend 3 with a service pack or whatever, I don't know just yet.
10/23/2009 11:50 PM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
We have a team running VS2008, and some of the developers where interested to try out VS2010. Luckly we were using TFS and a simple branching + merging helped us to use both of these tools simultaneously.
10/24/2009 2:17 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Thanks Tim - a total reinstall fixed all my problems - I really like the intuitive real estate usage and the ability to use IIS instead of Cassini - things just get better with VS
10/26/2009 3:15 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Tim, it seems you can't use Code Analysis on Silverlight projects in 2010 beta 2 - can you confirm this will be possible for the release? We'd like to use beta 2 now for our development of our SL3 projects, given the go live license, but without Code Analysis it's going to be tricky, we rely on Code Analysis a lot to make sure we catch potential bugs early in the cycle.
10/26/2009 2:15 PM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Greg -- I'm not sure about that one. I've sent some questions to the VS team and hope to get an answer to post back here.
10/27/2009 1:06 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
just installed vs2010 beta2 and the silverlight3 web template is gone? when I do "new"->"Web site.." "Silverlight1.0 Web Site" template is on the template list but no silverlight3, any idea what's going on?btw no error reported during the installation
10/27/2009 8:04 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Jason - Silverlight 3 was never in the New Web Site dialogs. Choose New Project and you'll see the options there under the Silverlight category.
10/27/2009 9:56 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
I don't see the Business Application (LOB) project template in VS 2010. Was this left out on purpose? I tried copying the .zip file from VS2008 to the templates folder in VS2010 but didn't have any luck getting it to work.
10/27/2009 10:00 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Jon - the bizapp template is a part of .NET RIA Services. Right now, .NET RIA Services won't work with VS2010 as noted above. An update for RIA Services will be coming in the month.
3/1/2010 6:36 PM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
Hi Tim,

i'm having a problem to start developing silverlight 4. i have installed silverlight 4 beta sdk + visual studio 2010 Ultimate RC + Blend Preview for .NET 4. But theres no tools for silverlight 4 to develop on vs 2010 ultimate. only for beta 2. i cannot start my first silverlight 4 hello world application at all. my Blend cannot create new silverlight 4 project at all. please help me on this
10/5/2010 4:03 AM | # re: Using Visual Studio 2010 for Silverlight development
i am using vs 2008.i want silver light tool kit for vs 2008, my os is windows 7
but i am download silver light ,it is not working
pls solves this problem

Please add 7 and 8 and type the answer here:


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