Don’t Reinvent the Wheel (Part 1) - Controls for Silverlight Developers

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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel (Part 1) - Controls for Silverlight Developers

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Welcome to Part 1 of the Don’t Reinvent the Wheel series on .NET Zone. In this series, I will highlight components, frameworks and add-ons available to developers, exploring both retail and free/open source options. Here are some future topics under consideration. If you have more ideas for areas to explore, please leave a comment.

  • Reporting and Charting Components
  • Unit Test Frameworks
  • WPF/Silverlight Project Frameworks
  • Web Project Frameworks
  • WPF Controls
  • JavaScript Frameworks
  • Continuous Integration Tools
  • Code Generation Tools
  • MVC Frameworks
  • ASP.NET MVC View Engines
  • Silverlight Styles & Themes

Let’s get started. Writing a home-grown, robust Silverlight control, like a data grid, is not going to provide a good ROI to your company (unless your company happens to sell Silverlight controls). There are so many third-party options available in this space, ranging from open source bundles to individual retail controls to full control suites. Here are some of the more well-known controls.

Silverlight ToolkitSilverlight Toolkit - TimePicker

Available for Silverlight 3 and Silverlight 4 Beta (Open Source)

Controls include: DockPanel, WrapPanel, NumericUpDown, Accordion, Rating, TimePicker, HeaderedContentControl, DataForm

Other benefits: 11 Themes, VS unit test framework & templates, code coverage, drag & drop support

Silverlight ContribSilverlight Contrb - Color Picker

Available for Silverlight 2 (Open Source)

Controls include: Color Picker, Gauge, Group Box, Star Selector

Other benefits: zip compression, IE clipboard helper, PngDecoder, Animation Extension MethodsTelerik - OutlookBar

Telerik RadControls for Silverlight

Available for Silverlight 3 (Retail)

Controls include: CoverFlow, OutlookBar, Layout Panels, Expander, Book, Map, RibbonBar, ToolBar

Other benefits: Expression Blend support, ASP.NET AJAX interop, WCF RIA Services support

ComponentArt Web.UI for SilverlightComponentArt - BreadCrumb

Available for Silverlight 2 (Retail)

Controls include: BreadCrumb, DataGrid, MaskedInput, Upload, TabStrip, NavBar, ItemFlow

Other benefits: WCF RIA Services support, built-in validation with input controls

ComponentOne Studio for SilverlightComponentOne - Cube

Available for Silverlight 3 (Retail)

Controls include: Accordion, Book, ColorPicker, Cube, FilePicker, HtmlHost, MediaPlayer, PDF

Other benefits: Zip, DragDropManager, optional XAP Optimizer available

Infragistics Silverlight ControlsInfragistics - TagCloud

Available for Silverlight 3 (Retail)

Controls include: MaskedEditor, Excel, HtmlViewer, OutlookBar, Slider, TagCloud, Ribbon

Other benefits: Zip, persistence framework, drag/drop framework

DevExpress Silverlight ControlsDevExpress - Transition Animator

Available for Silverlight 3 (Retail)

Controls include: Data Grid, Rich Text Editor, Transition Animator, Book Control, Menu-Toolbar

Other benefits: Theme support, enhanced navigation


Go check them out and see if any of these could save you time and test effort in your development cycle.


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