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Prism 2.x

patterns & practices Developer Center

patterns & practices Developer Center

June 2010


Prism (Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight) is designed to help you more easily build enterprise-level Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight client applications. This guidance will help you design and build enterprise-level composite client applications—composite applications use loosely coupled, independently evolvable pieces that work together in the overall application. These enterprise applications typically feature multiple screens that integrate with multiple back-end systems, provide rich user interaction, a consistent appearance, and role-determined behavior. They are "built to last" and "built for change." Applications that do not demand these features and characteristics may not benefit from Prism.

Prism can help you develop your client application in a modular fashion. With this approach, you manage the complexity of a large application by breaking it down into smaller, simpler modules. The module can evolve independently while working together as a unified application.

This version of the Prism is designed to help you build applications in WPF and Silverlight that have a single code base.

The guidance includes a reference implementation, reusable library code (named the Composite Application Library), documentation, QuickStart tutorials, and hands-on labs.


If you are using Silverlight 4 or Visual Studio 2010, Prism 4.0 supports this scenario.

Intended Audience

This guidance is intended for software architects and developers who are building enterprise WPF or Silverlight client applications. The guidance uses a number of design patterns. Familiarity with these patterns and the WPF or Silverlight platform is important for evaluating and adopting the Composite Application Library.

System Requirements

This guidance was designed to run on the Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 operating system. WPF applications built using this guidance will require the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 to run, and Silverlight applications will require the .NET Framework for Silverlight 2.

Before you can use the Composite Application Library, the following must be installed:

You may also want to install the following:


The following table contains links to download Prism or review information about the release.


Silverlight 4 and Visual Studio 2010: Prism 4.0 – November 2010.

Silverlight 3 and Visual Studio 2008: Prism 2.1 (Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight) - October 2009. Download(includes source and documentation) | Prism 2.1 Documentation-only Download

Related Download

ManifestManagerUtility for ClickOnce

Getting Started

Evaluating the Composition Application Guidance


Stock Trader Reference Implementation


WPF Hands-On Lab: Getting Started with the Composite Application Library

Silverlight Hands-On Lab: Getting Started with the Composite Application Library

Upgrading from the Composite Application Guidance for WPF-June 2008

Community Feedback and Support

CodePlex Community Site


End User Licensing Agreement (EULA)

Assets Included with Prism



Stock Trader Reference Implementation (Stock Trader RI)

This is a sample composite application that is based on a real-world scenario. This intentionally incomplete application illustrates the Composite Application Library baseline architecture. This is a good reference to see how many of the challenges are addressed by this guidance when building composite applications.

Composite Application Library source code

Developers can use the Composite Application Library to develop WPF or Silverlight applications that are composed of independent and collaborating modules. The library includes extensions to support the integration of the Unity Application Block.


These include the source code for several small, focused applications that illustrate user interface (UI) composition, modularity, commanding, event aggregation, and multi-targeting applications between WPF and Silverlight. The Getting Started Hands-On Labs provide step-by-step instructions to create your first application using the Composite Application Library in WPF or Silverlight.


This includes the architectural overview, Stock Trader RI overview, design and technical concepts for composite applications, applied patterns, How-to topics, QuickStart overviews, and deployment topics. Much of this guidance is applicable even if you are not using the Composite Application Library, but you want to know best practices for creating composite applications.

The following figure illustrates the Stock Trader RI included with Prism.


Stock Trader RI

Feedback and Support

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? To provide feedback about this deliverable, or to get help with any problems, visit the CodePlex Community site.

Prism is designed to be reused, customized, and extended. It is not a Microsoft product. Code-based guidance is shipped "as is" and without warranties. Customers can obtain support through Microsoft Support Services for a fee, but the code is considered user-written.

Future Plans

The next release of Prism is planned for the fall of 2010. The patterns & practices team has collected customer feedback from previous releases. The development for the next release is currently underway and you can download interim drops from the community site.

To provide feedback, please create and vote on work items in the CodePlex issue tracker.

Related Titles

Authors and Contributors

Prism was produced by the following individuals:

patterns & practices Team:

Blaine Wastell, Bob Brumfield, David Hill, Erwin van der Valk, Larry Brader, Nelly Delgado, Prasad Paluri (Microsoft Corporation)Gokul Janardhanan, Manickavasagam Shanmugasundaram, Rathinayagam Velusamy, Srivisakh RajaSekar, Thiagarajan Venkatramani (Infosys Technologies Ltd)

Damian Schenkelman, Diego Marcet, Diego Poza, Ezequiel Jadib, Ezequiel Sculli, Julian Dominguez, Mariano Converti, Pablo Costantini, Paulo Arancibia (Southworks)

Tina Burden (TinaTech, Inc.)

Veronica Ruiz (CXR Design)

Contributors to the previous release of this guidance:

Francis Cheung and Glenn Block (Microsoft Corporation), Brian Noyes (iDesign), Adam Calderon (Interknowlogy LLC), Arun Subramonian Namboothiri, Padmavathy Bharathy Jambunathan, and Prashant Javiya (Infosys Technologies Ltd), Ignacio Baumann Fonay, Jonathan Cisneros, Mariano Szklanny, and Matias Woloski (Southworks).

Many thanks to the following advisors who provided invaluable assistance:

Adam Calderon (Interknowlogy LLC), Bil Simser, Bill Wilder, Brad Abrams (Microsoft Corporation), Brian Austin (IHS Inc.), Brian Noyes (iDesign), Chad Myers, Clifford Tiltman (Morgan Stanley), David S Platt (Rolling Thunder Computing, Inc.), Derek Greer, George Bolsch (Dotway), Ian Ellison-Taylor (Microsoft Corporation), Ivo Manolov (Microsoft Corporation), Jamie Rodriguez (Microsoft Corporation), Jeremy D. Miller (Dovetail Software), John Gossman (Microsoft Corporation), Josh Twist (Microsoft Corporation), Mark Feinholz (Microsoft Corporation), Mark Tucker (JDA Software Group, Inc.), Matt Smith (AltiMotion Corporation), Michael D. Brown (Software Engineering Professionals, Inc.), Mark Tucker (JDA Software Group, Inc.), Mike Kenyon (IHS, Inc.), Michael Sparks (RDA Corp), Norman Headlam, Ohad Israeli (Hewlett-Packard), Oren Eini (aka Ayende Rahien), Peter Lindes (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Rob Eisenberg (Blue Spire Consulting, Inc.), Shanku Niyogi (Microsoft Corporation), Scott Bellware, Szymon Kobalczyk (InterKnowlogy), Udi Dahan (The Software Simplist), Varghese John (UBS), Ward Bell (IdeaBlade)

Last built: May 15, 2012