Silverlight Tools

You can create Silverlight applications using skills that you already have and tools that you are already familiar with. This topic describes various tools that you can use when developing applications for Silverlight 5.

This topic contains the following sections.

If you are new to Silverlight 5 development, the quickest way to get started is to install Visual Web Developer 2010 Express or Visual Studio 2010, install Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1, and then install the Silverlight 5 Tools for Visual Studio 2010.

Note Note:

By default, Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 includes support for Silverlight 3 and Silverlight 4.

To install the Silverlight 5 Tools for Visual Studio 2010

  1. Install Visual Web Developer 2010 Express or Visual Studio 2010.

  2. Install Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1

  3. Install Silverlight 5 Tools for Visual Studio 2010.

    The following illustration shows an example of the Silverlight project templates.

    Silverlight Project Templates

    When you create a new Silverlight project, the option to target Silverlight 5 will appear.

    When the new Silverlight project opens in Visual Studio, you will see many of the tools and windows that you are familiar with. For more information about the designer support in Visual Studio 2010 for creating Silverlight applications, see Silverlight Designer for Visual Studio 2010.

    A Silverlight application opened in Visual Studio

Silverlight 5 Tools for Visual Studio 2010 is an add-on for Visual Web Developer 2010 Express or Visual Studio 2010 that provides several features for creating applications in Silverlight. When you install the Silverlight 5 Tools, the following components are installed.

  • Silverlight 5 developer runtime

  • Silverlight 5 SDK

  • Updates to Visual Studio to support Silverlight 5 features

Unlike the Silverlight runtime installed by end users, the developer runtime installed with the Silverlight 5 Tools has error messages that can be helpful for debugging. For more information about error messages, see Debugging, Error Handling, and Exceptions.

The Silverlight 5 Software Development Kit includes several components to help you create Silverlight applications. The Silverlight 5 SDK is included in the Silverlight 5 Tools installation. By default, the Silverlight 5 SDK is installed in the %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SDKs\Silverlight folder. The Silverlight 5 SDK contains the following items.

  • User License. The License document includes the terms for the Silverlight 5 SDK.

  • Silverlight Libraries. The Silverlight 5 SDK includes client and server libraries. The Silverlight libraries are not part of the Silverlight plug-in. The client libraries include Silverlight extensions and user controls. The server libraries include Silverlight server controls. For terms of use, review the Silverlight 5 SDK User License. For a list of the controls included in the Silverlight 5 SDK, see Controls by Function. For more information about using and deploying the libraries, see Application Structure.

  • Tools. Includes reference assemblies, build components, and tools to build and package Silverlight applications.

As you do more Silverlight development, there are other tools that you might want to utilize. The following table lists some of these tools.



Expression Blend

Expression Blend is a tool for designers (and developers) to create graphics, design animations, and produce experiences. Expression Blend uses XAML and the same project system as Visual Studio. This allows designers and developers to share the same files and collaborate.

Deep Zoom Composer

Deep Zoom Composer is a tool to prepare high-resolution images for use with the Deep Zoom feature. The new Deep Zoom technology in Silverlight allows users to perform smooth in-place zooming and panning. The Deep Zoom Composer allows the user to create Deep Zoom composition files that control the zooming experience and then export all the necessary files for deployment with Silverlight. For more information, see Deep Zoom.


Silverlight.js is a JavaScript helper file that is provided in the Silverlight SDK. You can call functions defined in this file in order to initialize Silverlight plug-in instances on a Web page. Silverlight.js also contains utility functions for determining the client's installed version of the plug-in. For more information, see Silverlight.js Reference.


This optional JavaScript helper file includes the Silverlight.supportedUserAgent function, which determines if the user's browser supports Silverlight. For more information, see Silverlight.js Reference.