Where next for a Silverlight app?

8 posts, 0 answers
  1. James
    James avatar
    117 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2009

    Posted 03 Oct 2013 Link to this post

    Hi,

    Like many users of Telerik Silverlight controls, we have a (great!) Silverlight app which is used by many people inside and outside our organisation. The combination of Silverlight with the Telerik controls means that we have an app that is easily deployed over the web - with updates happening 'automatically' - to windows and mac clients. It's been a pleasure developing this app. But...

    Microsoft has parked Silverlight.
    There's no knowing how long it will work on macs for.
    There are all these iPads etc out there...

    I've seen Xamarin, which looks like one option for cross platform development, but I assume the Telerik controls won't work there, so we're still looking at reducing functionality because there are no controls in HTML-land that enable us to do what we can in Silverlight - and especially not when you consider the nightmare of getting things working consistently across browsers.

    My question is: do we really have to throw out functionality and rewrite a much poorer application using Javascript?? Or is there an alternative?

    Thanks for any advice!

    James.
  2. Hristo
    Admin
    Hristo avatar
    408 posts

    Posted 08 Oct 2013 Link to this post

    Hello James,

    Thank you for the nice words and I am very happy that you are so pleased with our Silverlight offering.

    This is a question which was discussed with numerous of our clients and this is why our CEO – Vassil Terziev wrote a dedicated blog post on our position after the official announcement that Microsoft shift their strategy for Silverlight. I hope you’ll find all needed information in our Telerik Platform Guidance.

    On the other hand Microsoft promised support for Silverlight in IE till 2023 and we are still investing heavily in our RadControls for Silverlight. My personal opinion is that any Silverlight app built yesterday or tomorrow will have its productive life cycle till the people needs change for another platform.


    Regards,
    Hristo
    Telerik
    TRY TELERIK'S NEWEST PRODUCT - EQATEC APPLICATION ANALYTICS for SILVERLIGHT.
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  4. James
    James avatar
    117 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2009

    Posted 08 Oct 2013 Link to this post

    Hi Hristo,

    Thanks for your answer and those links - they were useful. I notice though, that Silverlight isn't recommended anywhere in the platform guidance as the 'ideal platform', and only mentioned as a possible substitute for desktop applications. I wonder whether Telerik would consider giving some guidance on how to decide when the right time to migrate is?

    Our scenario is this. We have a Silverlight application which works well for us because it has given us sufficient cross-platform support (i.e. windows and macs) for our user base and huge advantages in terms of updates, installation issues and user-friendliness. We can be so much more effective in terms of our interface, functionality and interactivity when compared with the old asp.net version of this application.

    The only real problem is the growth of tablets (smaller mobile devices are less important). We have two questions:

    - We assume the question is "when" we have to re-write in HTML 5, not "if" if we need to support tablets: is this a reasonable assumption? and
    - We are not sure "when" we will need to do this. Do you have any advice on this?

    My assessment is that our lack of tablet support, and insistence on an increasingly old plugin will cause us increasing problems; and it's not a good idea to suppose that Silverlight will still work in, e.g. macs, in 5 years - even if it still works on PCs. I also think that moving to HTML5 now is premature in terms of the maturity of the platform and tools, and that development time / costs are substantially higher here (due to the need to support multiple browsers) than Silverlight currently is.

    Can you / Telerik offer any advice to Silverlighters like ourselves, who remember the nightmare that was x-browser support in the asp.net age, and don't want to sink our time into solving browser problems when we could be adding useful new functions? i.e. are HTML5 tools mature enough now, or should we wait? And if wait, is there a point when you think they will approach Silverlight in terms of productivity?

    Thanks very much, James.
  5. Carey
    Carey avatar
    2 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2011

    Posted 10 Oct 2013 Link to this post

    James,

    It seems like you and your users are quite pleased with your current Silverlight application. Silverlight will be supported for many years to come, and Telerik is also heavily invested in this technology. So there is definitely no reason to rush out and replace an application that you and your users love.
     
    I also understand your concern over the growing tablet market. What I would recommend for you is to see what functionality is most popular in your Silverlight application (you can use a product like Telerik's EQATEC to discover this), and slowly expose functionality bit-by-bit as required or requested from your user base to HTML5 (this can be done with the help of RadControls for ASP.Net Ajax as well as Kendo UI - both of these are solid products and are ready for prime-time). What is also nice about this approach is that you will be able to reuse your existing business logic code.

    I hope this recommendation helps you!

    Carey Payette
    Developer Evangelist, Telerik
  6. James
    James avatar
    117 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2009

    Posted 11 Oct 2013 Link to this post

    Hi Carey,

    That's helpful - thanks. I'm certainly more reassured that we can stick with Silverlight for a good while yet - and that's good news! We can begin the process of putting things into HTML5 as you suggest, but will retain Silverlight as the main platform for the time being.

    One of the controls it might be most difficult to know what to do with is the Telerik pdf control, which while relatively new, we make heavy use of. Do you think there will be an equivalent for use in HTML5 applications at some point?

    Thanks for your input, James.
  7. Dimitrina
    Admin
    Dimitrina avatar
    3769 posts

    Posted 16 Oct 2013 Link to this post

    Hello James,


    I would suggest to submit your idea at Kendo UI UserVoice here so other members of the community can evaluate, comment on and vote for it. Please note that most voted ideas are included in next KendoUI releases.

    You can also check some js libraries suggesting a pdf support.

    Regards,
    Didie
    Telerik
    TRY TELERIK'S NEWEST PRODUCT - EQATEC APPLICATION ANALYTICS for SILVERLIGHT.
    Learn what features your users use (or don't use) in your application. Know your audience. Target it better. Develop wisely.
    Sign up for Free application insights >>
  8. James
    James avatar
    117 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2009

    Posted 16 Oct 2013 Link to this post

    Thanks - have seen that someone else has already suggested this, so added my vote. James.
  9. James
    James avatar
    117 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2009

    Posted 07 Apr 2014 Link to this post

    Hi,

    Since I originally posted this, the Telerik Platform has launched. I assume this would now be your suggestion re the above? ;-)

    Is there a migration path for Silverlight -> Telerik Platform that we can look at? We have a relatively large and complex app to consider, but would like to get it multi-platform without a huge amount of additional coding for each additional platform..

    Thanks for your help, James.
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