Sharepoint 2010 and Silverlight

I had a little bit of down time, no bugs to work on and no new features, so I decided to take a look at Silverlight support in Sharepoint 2010.

At first it seemed like there was a lot of videos, webcasts and walkthroughs on how to create a Silverlight web part. But after digging in to them it always seemed like there was a little something extra that was missing or added that I really didn't want to use. I finally decided to just start with a Silverlight app that just had a button that did nothing, got it working in Sharepoint then slowly added more functionality that I wanted.

The end result was I have a Silverlight version of a webpart that I created the 'normal' way that did some AD calls, some WCF calls and then displayed some user security information.

The performance perception difference is dramatic. The other webpart was taking about 8 seconds to load, and with the Silverlight it appears to pop up instantly, but even all the data loading taking the same amount of time. But when I showed it to our testers they felt like it was so much faster.

Now if I could just get permission and approval to use Silverlight in our web parts. And yes, I know that it's already used by out of the box Sharepoint, but again it's a matter of perception.