Silverlight in NoMicrosoft Environments

According to the term NoSQL (not only SQL), NoMicrosoft or NoMS stands for heterogeneous environments in which Microsoft technology is not the dominant platform. For instance many companies use JEE and Unix-based backends and Windows desktops to run their line of business applications.

For those wondering whether Silveright makes sense in those environments, I recommend looking at eBay. A while ago they created the eBay Simple Lister App which can be installed from eBay Garden. This app combines great user experience with a web based deployment model. It is based on Silverlight and integrates with existing Java-based eBay services via JSON/POX and REST. It makes use of unique Silverlight features such as WebCam and notification windows just to name a few.

Another good example is Facedeck, a Silverlight frontend for Facebook. If you don’t wan’t to install it, you can watch a video on YouTube.

From what I see, developers and decision makers start realizing that by using Silverlight they can create compelling user interfaces and achieve great developer productivity especially for line of business applications. Due to its standards support and interoperability features Silverlight is not limited to .NET-backends but well suited for all kinds of backends including Java/JEE.

Some features especially useful in NoMicrosoft environments are:

  • Standards based interoperability via SOAP, REST, JSON, ATOM, POX, OData, XML Schema
  • MSBuild can be fully integrated with Maven and Hudson
  • Silverlight apps can be hosted on any webserver including Tomcat and Jetty
  • Free development tools (Visual Studio Express)
  • Free automated unit testing (Silverlight Toolkit and NUnit)
  • Automated UI testing using WebAii or HP Quicktest
  • No licence cost

If you are interested to see all those feature in action please drop me a note.

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