Composite Application Guidance Assets

The Composite Application Guidance consists of the following:

  • Composite Application Library source code. Developers can use the Composite Application Library to develop multi-targeted applications in WPF and Silverlight that are composed of independent and collaborating modules.
  • Unity Extensions for Composite Application Library source code. This provides components to use the Unity Application Block with the Composite Application Library.
  • Unity Application Block binaries. The Composite Application Library itself is not container-specific; however, the Stock Trader Reference Implementation uses the Unity Application Block as the container.
  • Stock Trader Reference Implementation (Stock Trader RI). This is a composite application that is based on a real-world scenario. This intentionally incomplete application illustrates the composite application baseline architecture. This is a good reference to see how many of the challenges when building composite applications are addressed by this guidance.
  • QuickStarts. This includes the source code for several small, focused applications that illustrate user interface (UI) composition, modularity, commanding, event aggregation, and a multi-targeted application.
  • Documentation. This includes the architectural overview, Stock Trader RI overview, design and technical concepts for composite applications, applied patterns, getting started hands-on labs, How-to topics, QuickStarts overviews, and deployment topics. Much of this guidance is applicable even if you are not using the Composite Application Library, but you just want to know best practices for creating composite applications.

Exploring the Documentation

The Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight documentation spans a wide range of topics from the conceptual drivers for composite applications to step-by-step instructions for using pieces of the Composite Application Library. The documentation is intended to appeal to a broad technical audience to help you understand composite scenarios, evaluate the Composite Application Library, and use the Composite Application Library. Figure 1 maps the types of documentation available.

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Figure 1

Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight documentation

As illustrated in Figure 1, the documentation includes the following types of guidance:

  • Design Concepts. These topics introduce the key challenges in building composite applications and guidance on the solutions designed to solve these challenges. These topics primarily target architects and developers seeking a deeper understanding of the drivers for the Composite Application Library.
  • Patterns. These topics describe the software design patterns applied in the Composite Application Library and Stock Trader Reference Implementation. These topics primarily target architects and developers wanting to familiarize themselves with the patterns used to address the challenges in building composite applications.
  • Composite Application Library. This topic describes the goals, benefits, development activities, and customization activities of the library. It also introduces a candidate composite architecture that you can use to create your own baseline architecture. This topic primarily targets architects and developers interested in using the library and seeking a starting point for their composite applications.
  • Technical Concepts. These topics introduce individual technical implementation details of the Composite Application Library. This documentation primarily targets architects and developers seeking in-depth information on a particular aspect of the library.
  • How-to topics. These topics are step-by-step instructions to accomplish a particular task with the Composite Application Library. These topics range from usage to customization of the library. These topics primarily target developers seeking to accomplish specific tasks.
  • QuickStarts. These topics describe the Visual Studio projects that demonstrate particular aspects of the Composite Application Library. These topics primarily target architects and developers seeking a working example of a portion of the library.
  • WPF Hands-On Lab and Silverlight Hands-On Lab. The hands-on labs demonstrate building a simple composite application, step-by-step, in WPF and Silverlight. This topic primarily targets developers wanting to understand the basic concepts of the Composite Application Library.
  • Reference Implementation. This topic describes the Stock Trader Reference Implementation, which is an intentionally feature-incomplete application that demonstrates an implementation of the baseline architecture using the Composite Application Library. This topic primarily targets architects and developers wanting to see the library working as part of an application.
  • UI Design Guidance Overview. This topic is intended to help user interface designers understand composite applications. It provides helpful tips for designing composite user interfaces with the Composite Application Library. This topic primarily targets designers working on projects developing composite applications.

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