WPF XBAP

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Description

WPF XBAP? What the heck is that? Well, find out all about this WPF-based technology right here as our Channel 9 special correspondent Dr. Sneath chats with XBAP Program Managers Lauren Lavoie and Karen Corby.

Get more info on this technology here.

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WPF

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Sampy
    One of my final acts as a member of the VB team was to work in getting support for this into the next version on Visual Studio. Good to see it getting some air time.
  • User profile image
    mawcc
    XBAP and Flash (especially with the new Adobe Flex 2) seem to be competing technologies in a lot of ways. Can anyone familiar with both technologies point out the differences, dis-/advantages of the two (aside from the obvious ones like lack of platform independence of WPF - at least now - and lack of 3D capabilities of Flash).
  • User profile image
    AdityaG
    I think the biggest different is that WPF has a powerful "backend" of sorts, i.e., you program in something like C# and VB.NET instead of Actionscript. Sometimes that in itself is quite nice. I am an avid Flash user and this sort of stuff is nice to see (Flash will still probably rule because of its cross-platformness, but eh).
  • User profile image
    serishema
    Very cool. I'm excited about the possibility of doing a demo of my Jakira Studio project (a WYSYIG development environment for 3D games) as an XBAP as a way to still offer a demo but not have the problems offering a trial version download which will enivitably be cracked.

    The extensive 3D support in WPF makes it the logical UI choice for the full version of the application as well.
  • User profile image
    erik_

    Great interview, Thanks!
    Second screen of the first demo looks cool, 3d 3d Smiley

    It's great that this also works on apache, so there is no need for IIS when it is not availible.

    Is there a some sort of yes/no diagram, to see what you need? Because with all this different new things it gets kinda complicated to pick the correct one for a project without putting time into the comparing. So I can just take 5 minutes to answer yes/no questions to see what I probaly need for my project. (When do I use loose xaml, XBAP, WPF/E, ASP.NET/Atlas, just html etc. )

    Because with all this new names it gets kinda confusing if you do  not follow this on daily base. I though this was all called WPF/E, but now it seems there is a difference between them.

    I assume xbap works also in the object tag, instead of the iframe tag for usage with xhtml strict. Is this correct?

  • User profile image
    BSalita
    What are the XBAP websites?
  • User profile image
    Tim Sneath

    Hi all,

    A couple of places you can go for more information about XBAPs:

    • Karen has some nice demos of XBAPs on her blog, as you've seen. Check this post out in particular.
    • The WPF Blog has a ton of small XBAP samples.
    • My colleague Karsten posted a great entry on how to enable XBAPs for full-trust (i.e. accessing APIs outside the sandbox).
    • MSDN has a slightly dated article that introduces XBAPs (the contents are good, but it uses the obsolete term WBA to refer to a XAML Browser Application).
    • Lastly, check out this self-paced lab that walks through the creation of a XBAP.

    If you've got an XBAP to share, please post to this thread - we'd love to hear about it.

    Thanks for watching the video - we had fun making it.

    Tim

  • User profile image
    ryanstewart
    This is an awesome video, and I'm suprised that XBAP has flown under my radar for so long. Very cool stuff.

    Mawcc - I think you're right that XBAP and Flex 2 are going to be big competitors. I'd always seen WPF as a competitor to Adobe's Apollo project - http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Apollo but this is all (or most) of the benefits of WPF without having to worry about the desktop integration.

    Very interesting stuff going on.

    -Ryan
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Stewart/

  • User profile image
    lazyfish
    Hi,

    How would one create an XBAP app like Flex RTMP messaging application? Could the sandbox model allow you to execute some communication code done in WCF peer-to-peer or NetTCP channel? I'd like to know if it is possible to develop distributed simulation or MMOG (Masssive Multi-Player ON-line game ) with XBAP.

    Thank you.

  • User profile image
    Tim Sneath
    erik_, this is a different technology to WPF/e; XBAPs bring the full-power of WPF to the browser, but they require you to have .NET Framework 3.0 installed on your machine (and be running Internet Explorer, at the time of writing). WPF/e on the other hand is a subset of WPF that will be made available for multiple browsers and operating system platforms. I posted a short article on choosing between the various client technologies here - don't know if that's any help to you.

    lazyfish, unfortunately WCF doesn't support running in a partial-trust security sandbox in this release, which is something of a blocker to this scenario. You can use ASMX web services to the site of origin and from there proxy to another machine as necessary, or alternatively you can install a certificate on the end-users' machine that allows your application to run in a full-trust mode. (The latter option will of course require the end-user to be an administrator and to grant your application the right to install a certificate.)

    Hope this helps a little,

    Tim
  • User profile image
    Memnon
    Maybe I'm mistaken, but this is just .Net's version of Java's applets.

    Is that right?
  • User profile image
    Andrew Webber FX
    yes
  • User profile image
    davida242

    Am I mistaken that XBAP apps will not be indexable by search engines? Essentially you will hide any content from search when you use this technology, right?

    Loose XAML would probably a way to make it indexable, right?

    Best,
    David

  • User profile image
    figuerres
    looks like the demo on the blog is broken...


    my system:

    xp x64 with ie7 beta 3

    went to the blog and let the download of .net 3 run.

    try to view and it crashes with a long error dump.
  • User profile image
    Karen Corby [MSFT]
    Hi,

    I've currently got the demo up on both .NET 3.0 Beta2 & JuneCTP bits. 

    If you still are having issues, please feel free to leave a comment on the post w/ the exception details.

    Thanks,
    K

    http://scorbs.com/2006/06/16/woodgrove-demo/

  • User profile image
    crashnull
    Couple quick questions?

    1. Will the application be stored (exe, etc) with every user? or will you make the application available to all users, but the personal storage, or settings will be stored in the obfuscated directory?

    2. Why choose 512KB?  Will this be configurable?

    3. Along the same lines, will there eventually be a sandboxed, domain based store?  like myapp.com, could have multiple XBAPs and each it's own settings storage (the 512KB), but would also have a user defined sized storage for the domain?  I think that would be really cool, and useful, I think this would further allow the online applications to be enhanced. 

    Also, I'm glad these technologies are coming out, great work, as now if we can get the main CLR or most of it cross-compat, then this could allow offline application use (possibly with the domain storage) unlike Live Mail or GMail, or maps, etc.

    Great video, sounds like you guys are working hard on this, and can't wait to play with it myself.
  • User profile image
    laurenlavoie
    David,
    You are correct that XBAPs are not currently indexable by search engines. Loose XAML is just XML, so search engines should be able to index it.

    Thanks,
    Lauren [MS]
  • User profile image
    Karen Corby [MSFT]
    crashnull wrote:

    1. Will the application be stored (exe, etc) with every user? or will you make the application available to all users, but the personal storage, or settings will be stored in the obfuscated directory?

    XBAPs are cached on a per user basis.

    crashnull wrote:

    2. Why choose 512KB?  Will this be configurable?

    512KB is the same size as cookie. Smiley  There is not a good way for app developers to configure this today.  However, depending on why you're trying to write to IsolatedStorage, a custom caching policy for HTTP requests may make sense.  See my caching blog post.

    crashnull wrote:

    3. Along the same lines, will there eventually be a sandboxed, domain based store?  like myapp.com, could have multiple XBAPs and each it's own settings storage (the 512KB), but would also have a user defined sized storage for the domain?  I think that would be really cool, and useful, I think this would further allow the online applications to be enhanced. 

    I'm not sure what the plans are here, but I've based the feedback along to the IsolatedStorage owners.  Thanks!
  • User profile image
    Juliano_JIP
    Nice video about WPF xbap!!

    I have only one question!!

    Is that possible to program directly the Cc# language in Iinteractive Designer, or i need to throw my project to Visual Studio?

    Cheers everyone

    Juliano Wink
  • User profile image
    abhi9
    How come the link isnt working anymore? Could you fix the link to the video or post it on some other site?
  • User profile image
    writhe
    Yeah, the links are dead.  Can someone please fix the links to the video?
  • User profile image
    AntChua
    If I understand correctly, XBAP's main pro which I believe was not emphasized strongly enough would essentially be no-deployment requirement.  Just give out a URL and you basically get a full WPF/.NET app *plus* sandboxing.

    I'm not sure about installation issues though, does loading an .xbap install stuff on your machine?  (If so, how did they get Firefox to cooperate since FF will run XBAPs).

    15:10 was not a particularly good example because the capabilities described there are really easily accomplished in plain old HTML/CSS.  Furthermore, if the article copy were not delivered as pure text (e.g. if it were in BAML), it would be a big mistake to go this route since the content would be unspiderable.


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