Userware announces the release of OpenSilver 1.0, a modern open source rimplmentation of Silverlight As support for Microsoft Silverlight ends

What is OpenSilver?

OpenSilver is a modern, open source rimplmentation of Silverlight, without plug-ins and capable of supporting the migration of large and complex applications, as well as the creation of new applications in C # and XAML.

Many developers have devoted considerable effort to creating Silverlight applications over the past 15 years. OpenSilver offers an alternative to their rewriting these applications. It allows existing code to run on every browser, so developers can take advantage of their .NET skills and focus on implementing new enhancements rather than rewriting the application.

The project is publicly hosted on GitHub and is actively developed by a large team of full-time developers, funded by Userware and companies of all sizes investing in technology to maintain their business applications.

Why OpenSilver?

The development of OpenSilver was driven by the firm belief that developers should not be forced to rewrite existing applications due to a change in the technical foundation. The thousands of Silverlight applications still in production bear witness to this. Silverlight’s end of life was announced in 2011, when a technical obstacle appeared on the horizon: browsers would one day stop using plugins. Yet many developers stuck with what they saw as a valid development platform for more than ten years because it worked very well for their needs. OpenSilver has worked to correct the faults in Silverlight and improve the underlying technology.

Giovanni Albani, PDG de Userware, dclare: OpenSilver is now mature enough to run complex business applications. We can now offer a modern and improved version of Silverlight and expand the possibilities of .NET developers when it comes to web applications.

How did it work?

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OpenSilver works like Silverlight, but without a plugin.

Instead of using plugins, OpenSilver leverages the WebAssembly standard to run applications directly and securely in the browser sandbox. WebAssembly (.wasm) files are part of a W3C standard and are natively recognized by all modern browsers, just like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

No knowledge of JavaScript, HTML or CSS is required to create a fully functional web application. The business part is written in C # and is executed in the browser using Microsoft Blazor. OpenSilver adds support for XAML for GUI design. All of this allows for a complete .NET development experience.

OpenSilver apps run on all modern browsers and on all platforms, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.

How is a Silverlight application migrated to OpenSilver?

Developers can migrate an existing Silverlight application of any size using the OpenSilver extension for Microsoft Visual Studio. The extension allows developers to create new projects from their existing code, replacing Silverlight API calls with their OpenSilver equivalent. The list of steps to follow is explained in the OpenSilver documentation.

As companies and developers begin to port their application, Userware can provide development services to help during the process or take over the entire migration with the help of the development team. Every feature implemented during custom development is incorporated into OpenSilver.

What are the features supported by OpenSilver?

OpenSilver fully supports the basic functionality of the Silverlight engine, including full support for C # and XAML. This allows developers to use major C # libraries such as Telerik UI, WCF RIA Services, PRISM, and MEF. The team is continuously working on improving support for Silverlight functionality.

Does OpenSilver offer any improvements over Silverlight?

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OpenSilver can take advantage of the most recent version of the C # 9.0 language and the latest version of Visual Studio. It supports .NET Standard, .NET 5, and .NET 6, in addition to Silverlight legacy code. OpenSilver is also compatible with all JavaScript libraries, combining the best of both worlds.

In addition, since OpenSilver is entirely open source standards-based and runs in the browser sandbox, it benefits from improvements and better browser compatibility, and is no longer vulnerable to plugin security issues.

Why stay in .NET instead of rewriting in a framework based on JavaScript?

With the shutdown of Silverlight, thousands of businesses are faced with the prospect of having to abandon their entire .NET-based front-end applications and start designing and developing in JavaScript / HTML / CSS all over again.

Such complete rewritings are often difficult for organizations. They have an impact on resources and costs, and have fluctuating deadlines due to unforeseen bugs, exposing the project as a whole to significant risks of delay or abandonment.

This scenario is no longer inevitable thanks to OpenSilver, as the maintenance and development of the application can continue based on existing .NET code.

According to Darshin Vyas, Commercial Director of Userware, the main benefit is the cost. Our customers estimate that a complete rewrite of a medium to large application can take a couple of years. , dclare Vyas. The collection of needs, the writing of new specifications, the recruitment and integration of a new set of skills, the understanding of the existing code and the development and deployment on a new technical base rapidly increase the cost of the project. OpenSilver helps keep costs down, compared to a rewrite. Some of our clients have been able to cut the project schedule in half or more, while spending a fraction of the rewrite cost.

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There are other reasons to stay on .NET as well, such as reducing risk by keeping existing source code, the ability to share C # code between the client and server sides, and the availability of .NET libraries such as Telerik.

What’s the next step for OpenSilver?

The team improves Silverlight API support and OpenSilver’s ability to migrate WPF applications, in addition to Silverlight applications.

Future versions of OpenSilver will also include new features, such as the ability to support applications written in VB.NET and those using the Microsoft LightSwitch component.

About the company

Userware is a software development company founded in 2007 by two Microsoft technology experts. It is based in Paris, France, and has a product portfolio with more than 25,000 customers in more than 75 countries.

Specializing in Microsoft technologies and development tools, the company is also the originator of CSHTML5, an extension for Microsoft Visual Studio capable of compiling C # and XAML code into HTML and JavaScript. Userware has continuously improved CSHTML5 over the past 7 years and now capitalizes on its source code to enrich OpenSilver, replacing JavaScript with WebAssembly for native execution and improved .NET compatibility.

Tlcharger OpenSilver 1.0

Code source

Source : Userware

And you ?

What do you think of the release of OpenSilver 1.0?
What’s your take on the end of Silverlight?

See as well :

Launch of OpenSilver: an open source rimplmentation of Silverlight that works on current browsers via WebAssembly, without the need for plugins