Flash to Silverlight

You do Flash and now you want to add Silverlight to your skillset?
You've come to the right place.

Fundamentals and Tools

A brief overview of the high-level components that make up each platform. Links to download the latest tools are listed below. To find help installing the tools, check out the Get Started tutorial.


ActionScript to C# 

With similar syntax and a focus on object-oriented programming, learning C# can be pretty simple with a background in ActionScript 3. C# is a strongly typed language with a wider array of built-in types and provides a multi-threaded execution model.

Canvas myCanvas = new Canvas();
Button b = new Button();
b.Width = 100;
b.Height = 24;


XAML is the XML language used as the declarative way to define objects in Silverlight. Inline code is not supported; instead XAML files are linked to class files defined in code. XAML is supported by both Visual Studio and Expression Blend allowing development and design tasks to be executed using the same files without conversion.

<Canvas x:Name="myCanvas">
   <Button Width="100" Height="24" Content="Click Me!" />

FLA, Flex Project to .NET Project 

Project Panel

The .NET Project system is more similar to the Flex Project system than the single-file FLA format. Creating a new Silverlight Application in Visual Studio or Expression Blend will result in one Solution file containing a Silverlight Application Project and a Web Project by default. The same project system is used by both tools so there is no need to convert in between tools.


Silverlight applications are compiled to a single file called a XAP file. The file can be hosted on any type of webserver as long as it serves the file with MIME type of “application/x-silverlight-app”. Silverlight applications are then instantiated in a similar way using the XAP file as the value for the source parameter of an HTML object tag.

<object data="data:application/x-silverlight," type="application/x-silverlight-2">
   <param name="source" value="ClientBin/SilverlightApp.xap"/>

Design and Development Tools

Flash Professional to Expression Blend 

Expression Blend

With a focus on the design surface, graphics and animation; Expression Blend is very similar to Flash Professional.

Coding is possible in Blend, but doesn’t have the full functionality of Visual Studio as a code editor. Blend provides a designer-friendly interface to Silverlight and many features that can make developing applications simpler and more visual.

Flex/Flash Builder to Visual Studio 

Visual Studio 2008

Visual Studio is the Integrated Development Environment for all types of .NET development including Silverlight.

Visual Studio includes many useful features like auto-complete, design-time error checking, compile-time error checking, debugging, profiling, source code integration, and more.

* The star symbol('*') denotes a feature available in Silverlight 4 Beta

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