Sep 29, 2009

Silverlight Design Time: Toolkit July 2009 Release Update

I have been very busy and haven’t post for a while, so this is a quick late post on Toolkit July 2009 Release. This release is the last Toolkit release for Silverlight 2: when a new version of Silverlight RTMs, we drop support for the previous version, so each Toolkit release needs to support at most two versions of Silverlight. As for design time feature updates, there have been a lot of improvements over March 2009 Release. I will use a simple walkthrough to highlight a few noticeable new features:

  • Install Silverlight 3, Blend 3 and Toolkit from
  • Open Blend 3, create a new Silverlight 3 Application project
  • Open Asset Library, notice few improvements:
    • the new Asset Library. See Unni’s blog The Blend 3 Asset Library for more info. 
    • the nicer icons and more informative infotip

Blend 3 Asset Library

  • Add an Expander control, and set it as the new active container:
Pin Active Container
  • Add a DatePicker to the Expander, notice that both the DatePicker and its Calendar drop down are shown, even though both Expander’s IsExpanded and DatePicker’s IsDropDownOpen are false.


  • Select LayoutRoot so Expander and the nest DatePicker are no longer selected, notice that both are now collapsed.


Visual Studio ToolboxOpen the project in Visual Studio,notice that the Toolbox is populated with lots of controls from Silverlight SDK and Toolkit, with nice icons.


So far, design time features for Silverlight are mostly exposed through Blend. This will change with next beta of Visual Studio 2010, which will come out soon, according to this Visual Studio Magazine article. Stay tuned!