31
Jan
07

The power of WPF in the browser…

The launch of Vista is now allowing some of the great applications that have been worked on over the last few years to start to see the light of day.

The Bristish Library application simply could not be built in any other technology and delivered across the wire to a browser. Now the first thing to make clear is this is a FULL blown WPF application delivered to the browser (called a XBAP) so will work on Windows Vista (or XP SP 2 with the .Net 3 framework installed).

To deliver an amazing experience of interacting with their priceless collection of books the Bristish Library needed to harness all the power of the computer the application was running on – especially the video card – to gain access to it’s 3D power to be able to deliver simply the best in browser experience.

Tim Sneath has a great write up here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2007/01/30/great-wpf-applications-1-british-library-turning-the-pages.aspx

But to wet your appetite here are a few screen shots:

I think this is an amazing application and one of the reasons I find the new technologies from Microsoft so exciting, a complete range of solutions to address the delivery of content and applications on the web.

Later on in the year we will be launching WPF/e which provides a subset of the capabilities of WPF to different browsers and platforms, Mac OSX, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer in it’s first release. At this point we’ll really start to see the flexibility of XAML, WPF and WPF/e šŸ™‚ You can already download a preview of the technology from here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/asp.net/bb187358.aspx

In some cases though, such as this one with the British Library, you are building something that is way beyond the capabilities of normal web technologies. What you’re building would normally be considered a desktop application with full 3D, dynamic lighting, high quality audio and whole series of other more desktop like features. By utilising WPF the British Library has been able to extend the reach of an application that in previous technologies would only have been accessible from their local network, and extended the reach of that applciation across the globe, allowing more people than ever to enjoy some of the amazing books they hold for the nation.

You can try the application right here: http://www.bl.uk

Amazing job! And well done to the guys in DPE Richard Godfrey and Geoff Hughes for steering the project to this stage šŸ™‚

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