Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Automic Blog, Michael Kopp, AppDynamics Blog, Kaazing Blog, Steven Mandel

Related Topics: PowerBuilder, Microsoft Cloud, Silverlight

PowerBuilder: Article

Silverlight Is Dead, Long Live Silverlight

I wouldn’t recommend that Sybase give up on Silverlight targets in PowerBuilder 15

There's been a lot of discussion since Microsoft's BUILD conference on the fate of Silverlight. (Something that is an issue for us because Sybase was originally looking at supporting it for web app development in PowerBuilder 15.) Contrary to what a number of the pundits and would-be pundits have said, I don't think it's quite accurate to say that Silverlight is dead in Windows 8. I think it's more accurate to say it's evolved.

As background for those who haven't been following this closely, Microsoft announced that the Windows 8 operating system would support two kinds of applications: traditional "desktop apps" and the newer "metro style apps." What would not be available in the Internet Explorer provided with Windows 8 would be support for any plugins, either Silverlight or Flash (see Figure 1).

It's that last part (no plugins) that have raised the concern about the death of Silverlight. True enough, Silverlight apps running in a plugin within Internet Explorer will be dead. But if you look at the technologies used to develop "Metro style apps," they fall into two classes: those created with HTML and JavaScript, and those created with XAML and a .NET language. That latter category is where Silverlight lives on in a new form. As others have noted, it's fairly straightforward to migrate a Silverlight app to Metro apps [1], or to write a "cross-platform" application that supports both Silverlight and Metro app models.[2]

Primarily this means three things for PowerBuilder:

  • Silverlight (or at least Silverlight technology) is still available as a means of deploying "native" Metro applications for the Windows 8 operating system. Note that SL is also shown in the diagram as supported for Desktop App deployment under Windows 8.
  • Silverlight is no longer an adequate option for developing web applications. When Microsoft itself gives up on providing a plugin for its own browser to support Silverlight, it's over as a web deployment methodology. As I've mentioned earlier, I'm a late and reluctant convert to the use of HTML5 to generate web applications. I still believe it's an immature technology. I imagine the real test will come when Facebook releases their new HTML5-based interface (not released at the time of this writing). If there are holes in HTML5 capabilities, the folks at Facebook are going to run into them trying to support a wide variety of devices from a single code base and implementing a less than trivial interface. What will be interesting to see is if:

a. The HTML5 interface provides the same capabilities as the current native and web implementations and

b. Whether it will require a lot of browser-specific customization that is typical of current web applications. One of the points of HTML5 is to largely eliminate such customizations, but the uneven support for it now may still require it.

  • Under Windows 8, HTML5 becomes another solution for developing "native" applications. Under Windows 8, HTML/JavaScript gains an equal footing with XAML/C# for developing Metro apps. This may eventually lead to the long dreamed of goal of being able to support both web and desktop applications from the same code base. However, it won't be until Windows 8 becomes the predominant operating system before most people can make that move. It wasn't until this month that Windows 7 (released two years ago) finally slightly edged out Windows XP for the most-used operating system.[3]

I wouldn't recommend that Sybase give up on Silverlight targets in PowerBuilder 15. They probably need to abandon hope of using such a target as a primary means for web deployment though. They may need to look at using it to leverage the development of an XAML-based Metro app target as well. But it's beginning to look like HTML5 may become not only the best long-term bet for web deployment, but for desk-
top deployment as well.

References

  1. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh465136%28v=VS.85%29.aspx
  2. http://www.scottlogic.co.uk/blog/colin/tag/silverlight/
  3. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/windows-7-overtakes-windows-xp-global-share/59469

More Stories By Bruce Armstrong

Bruce Armstrong is a development lead with Integrated Data Services (www.get-integrated.com). A charter member of TeamSybase, he has been using PowerBuilder since version 1.0.B. He was a contributing author to SYS-CON's PowerBuilder 4.0 Secrets of the Masters and the editor of SAMs' PowerBuilder 9: Advanced Client/Server Development.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Chris Pollach 11/18/11 04:57:00 PM EST

Hi Bruce;

FYI ... Silverlight only runs in 32bit mode. When you try and install it in the latest version of IE on Windows7 it stops dead in its tracks and warns you it's ONLY for 32bit IE. So unless Microsoft addresses this aspect - I suspect that SL is going the way of the DoDo bird.

Regards ... Chris

@ThingsExpo Stories
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.