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Silverlight 4 Unleashed 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0672333361
ISBN-10: 0672333368
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Printed entirely in color, with helpful figures and syntax coloring to make code samples appear as they do in Visual Studio and Expression Blend!


Using Silverlight 4, you can build richer and more powerful applications than ever before, and deploy them seamlessly in browsers, on desktop computers, and even on Windows Phone 7. In Silverlight 4 Unleashed, Microsoft Silverlight MVP Laurent Bugnion covers everything you need to do all this, and much more.


The only full-color, example-rich guide to Silverlight 4 for experienced Microsoft developers, Silverlight 4 Unleashed illuminates the entire development process: from installing Silverlight tools to building great user experiences, managing data to optimizing application performance.


You’ll master core Silverlight features such as controls and properties; communicating with web services; efficiently creating data-oriented line-of-business applications; working with external frameworks, and more. Bugnion concludes by showing how to use advanced features such as 3D-like effects and multitouch to deliver an even smoother, richer experience.


  • Install and use Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio
  • Extend Silverlight applications with user and custom controls
  • Group, sort, filter, page, bind, and validate data
  • Take full advantage of the Model-View-ViewModel Pattern in Silverlight
  • Access Web resources and services
  • Control the application’s appearance with resources, styles, templates, and Expression Blend
  • Sketch user experience and build iterative prototypes by easily getting feedback from end users
  • Create data-oriented applications more easily with the WCF RIA Services framework
  • Adapt Silverlight desktop applications for Windows Phone 7
  • Integrate effects and media into your applications
  • Use Unity, MEF, and the MVVM Light Toolkit to write more maintainable, extensible software
  • Optimize performance by reducing download size and memory footprint, and increasing execution speed

About the Author

Laurent Bugnion works as a senior user-experience integrator for IdentityMine, one of the leading companies committed to redefining the user experience and a Microsoft Gold Partner dedicated to easing the adoption and optimal use of Microsoft presentation technologies, including Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Surface, and Windows 7.


Originally an electronics engineer, Laurent achieved postgrad credentials in software engineering in 1999. Before IdentityMine, he worked for Siemens for 13 years, introducing WPF and other .NET 3.5 technologies worldwide. His responsibilities involved developing with the previously mentioned technologies, training and coaching his colleagues, coordinating and integrating the graphic-design work, and fostering relationships with Microsoft. Before that, he wrote embedded C/C++, and then moved to desktop computers in Java, JavaScript, and eventually .NET (desktop and ASP.NET).


Privately, he codes in Silverlight, WPF, and ASP.NET. He blogs on http://blog.galasoft.ch and writes on http://www.galasoft.ch, where he publishes articles, prototypes, and demos related to the previously mentioned technologies. In 2008, he earned an MCTS for WPF. (In October of that same year, his book Silverlight 2 Unleashed was published.) This year, 2010, is his fourth year as a Microsoft MVP (Silverlight), and he was selected this year as Silverlight MVP of the year.


Laurent is based in Zurich, Switzerland, where he lives with his wife, Chi Meei, and his two daughters, Alise and Laeticia.


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Product Details

  • Series: Unleashed
  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (October 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672333368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672333361
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,010,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Roh on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Silverlight 4 Unleashed is a top quality book which I feel is more intermediate level. The book does provide enough information for an experienced .NET developer (e.g. C#) to get the examples up and running; however, it probably requires some experience with Expression Blend and the Model-View-ViewModel architecture to appreciate the books content. This book does use the Silverlight Toolkit.

Laurent is a very experienced, very capable Silverlight/Expression Blend developer/designer who has been doing Silverlight from the beginning - no I don't know Laurent personally, I have just read his blog for a long time.

There are two very important areas that Laurent is noted for:
His work in making a Silverlight architecture that is blendable (i.e. works well in Expression Blend)
His Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) library called "MVVM Light Toolkit" which is open source

When I develop with Silverlight I usually have Visual Studio open on one screen and Expression Blend open on another screen for the same project. There are many different ways of implementing Silverlight that Expression Blend cannot display - Laurent has has spent a lot of effort developing a MVVM architecture that works well in Expression Blend.

This is a top quality, full color, high print quality book that I highly recommend which will probably be more appreciated by intermediate to advanced Silverlight/Expression Blend architect developers/designers.

I was not a technical reviewer.
I do own both the PDF and hardcopy versions of the book.
I have been a Silverlight developer for over three years.
This is a honest review.
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Format: Paperback
==> "Silverlight 4 Unleashed" and "Pro Silverlight 4"

I've read almost all of the Silverlight 4 Books. I found that Laurent's "Silverlight 4 Unleashed" complements Matthew MacDonald's "Pro Silverlight 4" VERY well. If you are not an experienced Silverlight developer, purchasing this book or the ebook version entitles you to a free pdf copy of "Silverlight 2 Unleashed" which should serve as a good introductory book, but Matt MacDonald's book serves as a fairly thorough introduction - if you read that followed by "Silverlight 4 Unleashed," I think you're in for a treat. Matthew MacDonald's book is very thorough and serves as an excellent reference. "Silverlight 4 Unleashed," Laurent Bugnion's book, builds on examples across chapters. It reinforces and adds structure to what you learned in "Pro Silverlight 4". As a bonus, it's one of the only notable Silverlight books I've found to have decent coverage on the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) as well as several other topics. "Silverlight 4 Unleashed" also has great coverage on MVVM as does "Pro Business Applications with Silverlight 4" which Matt MacDonald will recommend - one of his Apress brothers, but I feel the recommendation is well deserved.

Other Silverlight 4 books I would recommend are, as just mentioned, "Pro Business Applications with Silverlight 4," by Chris Anderson - the style has a really nice flow to it...it really holds your attention and working with the Business Application template gives you a great feel for MVVM design (you may really benefit from this book if you first watch Ian Griffith's 8 part series, found here: [...]).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Microsoft has ceased development of future Silverlight editions, it continues to be used by numerous website developers and it still exists as a project type in Visual Studio. The development of Silverlight stopped with version 4.5, but the "Unleashed" book series gives it the best explanation that I have ever read.on Silverlight.

If you are serious about knowing how to produce elegant websites then this book should be on your bookshelf.
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Format: Paperback
This is generally a great book. The only problem with it is that the author repeatedly refers you to older editions of the book - like for a discussion of XAML you're referred to "Silverlight 2 Unleashed".
Ummm...I don't have that book, I have THIS one.
That is super irritating.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful guide to Silverlight 4, well written and with a good flow of explanation and example. However, in many cases the author does not go into detail on the basics, instead referring back to chapters in his previous book on Silverlight 2. I found it valueable to get that book and start there before continuing with this one.
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Format: Paperback
This book is labeled as intermediate to advanced. I would agree with that listing. You won't find an overview of XAML in the book. The publisher has made Silverlight 2 Unleashed available for download and the book refers you to it for the basics. That is where you will find the XAML overview. The author did do a good job of outlining the Silverlight 2 Unleashed chapters in the beginning of book, and pointing you to it where appropriate.

Personally I would have preferred to have the chapters still considered relevant to have been updated and included. This would have made the book a beginners to advanced book. I have however seen complaints in reviews of other books that argue for the opposite. The other reviewers don't want material carried forward. I disagree and like everything in one place. This is just my personal opinion and I won't ding the book for it.

The book starts off with a high level history of Silverlight and an overviews of alternatives. It also gives some good examples of current Silverlight projects out there. There is then a short chapter on setting up your Visual Studio and Blend environments. After that the book gets down to business with a great chapter on user controls, custom controls, and templating a control. There is also more detailed information on templating a control later in the book.

The book is packed with great advice on how to build Silverlight applications correctly. It is an easy to read book, and will also make a great reference.
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