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
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
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...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
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, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"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...
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...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"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...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...