Apr 14, 2011

Silverlight 5 Beta Development Tools

Silverlight 5 Beta was announced at MIX11 yesterday. This blog post is an overview of Silverlight 5 development tools. To get started, download following components:

Recommended Downloads


VS/VWD 2010 SP1 + SL5Tools

SL4 development requires VS2010 or VWD2010 RTM and SL4Tools, and optionally Blend 4. VS2010 SP1 has SL4 support built in, so SL4Tools is not needed if you’ve already upgraded to VS2010 SP1. SL5 development requires VS2010 or VWD2010 SP1 and SL5Tools, and optionally Blend Preview for Silverlight 5.


SL5 Beta Tools installs Silverlight 5 Beta Developer Runtime, SDK, Update to VS2010 SP1 (KB2502836), and WCF RIA Services V1.0 SP2 Preview.



Once installed, you can create SL5 projects like you used to with previous versions of SL:


SL5 projects can reference assemblies built against early versions of Silverlight. Below screenshot shows a SL5 project using SL4 SDK via Project->Add Reference…–>Browse:


And the result in .csproj file:

<Reference Include="System.Windows.Controls, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35, processorArchitecture=MSIL">
  <HintPath>..\..\..\..\..\..\..\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Silverlight\v4.0\Libraries\Client\System.Windows.Controls.dll</HintPath>

Please notice the HintPath and assembly version (Btw, SL5 increased assembly version from to

You can also upgrade existing SL4 projects to target SL5:


The upgrade changes <ProjectGuid> and <TargetFrameworkVersion> in .csproj, as well as upgrading all SDK references to SL5’s.

Binding Debugging

A popular new feature in SL5Tools is xaml binding debugging:



Blend Preview for Silverlight 5

Optionally, you can also install Blend Preview for Silverlight 5, which is basically Blend 4 with SL5 support:


And you can use both VS and Blend on the same SL5 project and switch between them:




Troubleshoot & Uninstall

VS2010 SP1, SL5Tools and Blend Preview install all take a long time, so please be patient. If you run into install issues, you may want to take a look at install logs in %temp% directory, and attach those logs when you report install issues to Microsoft:

C:\Users\ningz\AppData\Local\Temp>dir /b /o-d *silver*
Silverlight 5 Beta Tools for Visual Studio 2010 SP1_20110413_220121704.html
Silverlight 5 Beta Tools for Visual Studio 2010 SP1_20110413_220121704-MSI_RiaServices.msi.txt
Silverlight 5 Beta Tools for Visual Studio 2010 SP1_20110413_220121704-MSI_silverlight_sdk.msi.txt

To uninstall Silverlight 5 tools, use control panel to uninstall each component individually:

  • SL5 runtime, SDK, RIA Services, Blend Preview


  • And Update to VS2010 (KB2502836) (please click “View installed updates” to see below)



Enjoy developing against Silverlight 5!