Home > 4.0 framework, Entity framework, Linq to sql, ORM, RIA, WCF > Silverlight and RIA services

Silverlight and RIA services

Silverlight 4.0 release is ships with a new WCF RIA framework,

In context of silverlight application, as they span across client machines and from there they calls service to provide data to user. So we can come up with architecture which is something like below,



(Gap between Client and server side)

On the left side it is Silverlight client application and data access on the right hand side.

Between this two is “the central gap”(Question mark) which has to be cover by some kind of distributed technology and we have several possibilities in silverlight such as the following listed in order they are layered on each other,

1]Via Sockets

2]Via HTTP : This can be possible by passing backward and forward xml.

3]Via Windows communication foundation: There are two ways to communicate with silverlight first is via HTTP and another is Via TCP.

Silverlight is a one possible client for WCF Data Services and the client library does offer some higher level abilities than basic CRUD over entity sets with capabilities such as;

  • Can turn LINQ formed queries into URI based syntax compatible withOData
  • Auto tracking of changes made to entities ( and entity sets ) returned from WCF Data Services to make for automatic submission of changes
  • Can deal with concurrent updates and the errors/retries that are needed to deal with those situations
  • batching of queries/modifications to the server

but the still level of “linking” between client and services is still low.

Consequently, in RIA Services application there is the tooling and framework support for sharing a richer set of objects between the client and the service than you’d see with a solution built around something lower level like a pure WCF solution allowing for a lot less friction in terms of;

  • Ability of server database entity available on client side.
  • Flexibilty for Searialized queries development on client side which will be then available on server for execution purpose.
  • Provives automatic trailing of entity changes on client side.
  • Built in validation mechanism.
  • You can add your any arbitary code on server side for business logic.
  • It provides buiit in asp.net services like membership, roles, profile with a Silverlight client.

Note: “ RIA not only support silverlight application but can also work with AJAX applications too.”

There is a nice video on WCF RIA service implementation which you can view from here,
Reference article for getting started:  Getting started

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