PARIS, France, October 16, 2023 — Userware has announced the release of OpenSilver 2.0, transcending its initial mission as a successor to Microsoft Silverlight and emerging as a leading platform for .NET and XAML web application development. While maintaining a pathway for migrating legacy Silverlight and WPF applications, OpenSilver 2.0 redefines itself as an innovative, open-source, comprehensive solution for developing vibrant and modern web applications.
“OpenSilver 2.0 is not just a tool; it’s an indispensable asset for developers who value the seamless blend of .NET and XAML to create rich, dynamic web applications, offering a pathway from legacy apps to a modern development environment,”states Giovanni Albani, CEO at Userware.
New Features Highlights
- VB.NET Support: OpenSilver now offers the possibility for XAML-based web app development, or migration of legacy applications, for the Visual Basic community.
- Frameworks integration: Compatibility with Blazor, React, and Angular.
- Design-time Live XAML Preview: Previewing UI changes without running the application.
- Business Application Project Template: Accelerating robust enterprise application creation with ready-to-use templates (RIA Services)
- Open-Source Sample CRM Application: An actionable, real-world example for developing business applications.
- Enhanced Layout System: Supporting custom layouts and third-party controls, including Telerik UI for Silverlight.
- Faster Simulator: Up to 10x speed improvement for swift development cycles and refined debugging.
- Plus, Over 100 Additional New Features and uplifted performance.
VB.NET Support in OpenSilver 2.0
OpenSilver 2.0 introduces support for VB.NET, allowing a wider range of developers to build web apps using their preferred language, Visual Basic, and XAML. This new feature offers a positive message to the Visual Basic community, giving reassurance that their preferred language holds firm ground in cutting-edge development environments. This update provides a much-needed option for those passionate about VB.NET to continue creating innovative web applications or migrate legacy applications to the modern web.
Blazor, React, and Angular integration
OpenSilver offers seamless integration with web frameworks like Angular and React for partial legacy app migrations. Furthermore, Userware has recently unveiled “XAML for Blazor”, which enables developers to integrate OpenSilver into ongoing Blazor projects without a complete rewrite. More information can be found at https://xaml-for-blazor.com
Design-time Live XAML Preview
OpenSilver 2.0 now enables real-time XAML previews at design-time, accelerating the development cycle by allowing developers to instantly visualize the result while coding. This paves the way for future enhancements, like a WYSIWYG drag-and-drop designer, made possible only with XAML’s static nature. This not only sets it apart from other web development approaches but also aims to bring back the golden days of rapid application development (RAD).
Business Application Project Template (RIA Services)
Bringing back a valued feature from the Silverlight days, OpenSilver 2.0 introduces a Business Application project template, backed by RIA Services, that allows developers to build advanced enterprise and line-of-business (LOB) apps more efficiently. RIA Services, a server-side technology, automatically creates client-side objects and offers a distinctive client-side EntityFramework experience, while streamlining all aspects of client-server solutions. It removes the need for redundant boilerplate code and enhances security, allowing developers to shift their focus more toward business logic. It handles a range of tasks, including querying, validation, client-side entity caching, change tracking, and batch updates, thereby smoothing the development process and strengthening application robustness.
Open-Source Sample CRM Application
Explore OpenSilver’s Business Application template through the open-source sample CRM application, serving as a real-world example and starting point for new projects. Available on GitHub: https://github.com/opensilver/SampleCRM
Enhanced Layout System in OpenSilver 2.0
This release brings an enhanced layout system, allowing developers to design custom layouts by inheriting from Panel and overriding the Measure and Arrange methods. It supports an array of third-party controls, including Telerik UI for Silverlight, facilitating customization and optimization while boosting performance compared to the previous CSS-based system.
The enhanced Simulator in OpenSilver 2.0 delivers up to a 10x speed increase, powered by the WebView2 control and the latest embedded Chromium control. It provides developers with powerful debugging features typical of developing desktop applications. The Simulator executes applications leveraging the capabilities of .NET Framework/Core, enabling detailed inspection like memory profiling and allowing live execution of code via the Immediate window.
Over 100 Additional New Features and Enhanced Performance of OpenSilver 2.0
OpenSilver 2.0 does not stop here. With over 100 new features and significant performance improvements, especially in Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation, applications are assured to run smoother and faster. The full changelog is accessible at: https://opensilver.net/permalinks/changelog-version-2
Focusing on the Future
The majority of original Silverlight features have now been revitalized in OpenSilver 2.0, enhancing performance along the way. Userware now focuses beyond mere feature restoration, envisioning what might have been if the original Silverlight team had perpetuated its innovative journey. New tools are on the horizon, such as a WYSIWYG XAML designer, alongside revamps in documentation, augmented support for WPF, LightSwitch, and F#, but also venturing into unexplored domains like 3D and VR/AR on the Web using .NET and XAML. A sneak peek of the preliminary 3D and AR/VR support is accessible at: https://xrsharp.io/
Availability of OpenSilver 2.0
OpenSilver is free and open-source software (FOSS). Its source code is available at: https://github.com/OpenSilver While Userware predominantly maintains it, they also provide professional support and assist with the transition from legacy Silverlight and WPF applications.
- OpenSilver 2.0 is available for download now at: https://opensilver.net
- To learn more, the full blog announcement is accessible at: https://opensilver.net/permalinks/announcing-version-2
Userware is a software company founded in 2007 by two Microsoft technology experts. With headquarters in Paris, France, the company specializes in Microsoft technology and developer tools products, serving over 25,000 customers in 75+ countries.
In 2014, Userware introduced CSHTML5, which later evolved into OpenSilver, an open-source, modern reincarnation of Microsoft Silverlight. Continuously enriched over almost a decade by a dedicated team and a dynamic community of contributors, OpenSilver emerges as a robust solution for developers navigating from legacy Silverlight applications into the future. Recognizing the vital importance of smooth migration, Userware also provides professional services to assist users in transitioning their legacy Silverlight applications to OpenSilver, catering to both C# and VB.NET-based applications.