Getting Started With Silverlight

Odds are if you are on this site you are probably interested in building Silverlight applications. Here’s the rundown of what you need to get up and running.

What You Will Need

You will need either Visual Studio 2008, or the Expression Blend 2.5 Preview.

(For now, you will need Visual Studio 2008 Standard or above. Unfortunately it looks like the Express versions cannot author Silverlight content just yet.)

What Else You Will Need

(All of these are at the very bottom of

If you encounter any problems, Bradley Bartz has some great troubleshooting tips here:

Starting Your First Project

Once you have all of those pieces installed you should be ready to create Silverlight 2 applications. Just Open Visual Studio 2008 and choose File -> New Project. Choose the Silverlight node and choose Silverlight Application. Give it a better name than SilverlightApplication1 and hit OK.


Once you do that there is one last question to answer, do you want to add a web site to host your Silverlight control, or do you want to have this page "automagically" generated each time you run your application.


Pick the Web Site option if:

  • You want to work with Web Services
  • You want to perform cross domain calls
  • You want to reference images that are not part of your application

Pick the Test Page option if:

  • You just want to write a quick sample that only works with local data and resources
  • You plan on adding this application to an existing Web Site


Now that you are up and running you can start playing around with Silverlight.  If this is your first time with Silverlight and WPF, Scott Guthrie has a great introductory walk through, or if you are interested in doing things with the Silverlight DataGrid check out these posts.