Microsoft has released the final version of the Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010.
In a May 17 blog post, the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight Designer team announced the availability of the tools, which provide developers with new features to help them take advantage all the capabilities in Silverlight 4.
Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010 is now available for download at: http://www.silverlight.net/getstarted/.
Microsoft released both Visual Studio 2010 and Silverlight 4 in April. While Visual Studio is Microsoft's flagship toolset for application development of all types, Silverlight 4 enables developers to create a wide range of rich Internet and media applications for the Web, desktop and devices. To make development of these applications easier, the Silverlight 4 tools for Visual Studio 2010 delivers: Support for targeting Silverlight 4 in the Silverlight designer and project system; RIA Services application templates and libraries, and; support for Silverlight 4 elevated trust and out-of-browser applications, among several other new and enhanced features.
A 20-minute video on the designer features can be found here.
In addition to the Silverlight 4 tools for Visual Studio, Microsoft also on May 17 announced the 1.0 release of WCF RIA Services -- the Windows Communication Foundation rich Internet application services. In a blog post, John Papa, a senior technical evangelist for Microsoft, said the Silverlight 4 tools for Visual Studio include "several impressive, new features in the Visual Studio 2010 designer that work for both Silverlight and WPF development."
According to a Microsoft Website for WCF RIA Services: "Microsoft WCF RIA Services simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. RIA Services provides a pattern to write application logic that runs on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides end-to-end support for common tasks such as data validation, authentication and roles by integrating with Silverlight components on the client and ASP.NET on the mid-tier."
A common problem when developing an n-tier RIA solution is coordinating application logic between the middle tier and the presentation tier, Microsoft said. WCF RIA Services solves this problem by providing framework components, tools, and services that make the application logic on the server available to the RIA client without requiring the developer to manually duplicate that programming logic.