Looks like Silverlight 3 is very much geared towards line of business applications. That’s great and I guess what many people were looking for, including me.
So what does one need for a typical LOB application anyway? For me there are three front end ingredients:
- editors (date, currency, etc.)
First two points are covered pretty well, and if they aren’t you can implement them by yourself or use 3rd party controls. The problem is the third point: printing.
I have yet to see a LOB application that doesn’t do any printing. Heck, even Notepad does printing. Since there is much talking about LOB acronym in conjunction with Silverlight 3 I’d assume printing will be natively supported by Silverlight 3. Now, sit down and take a deep breath: there is no printing support feature announced whatsoever! Looks like Microsoft is creating a new bread of LOB applications: green ones – they won’t pollute the earth with wasted papers. That’s good in the time of global warming. But that’s not good for LOB applications nor for Silverlight 3.
Imagine a customer asking: “The application looks great but how can I print the reports?”
Manager/whatever (selling a Silverlight 3 application): “You can’t but you can see the data in 3D using your graphic card’s GPU! Why would you need printing for?”
Silverlight 3 developer (kicking in): “Ehm, there is a PrtScn button on the keyboard.”
Looks like I am not alone in printing quest (just to name first two from what I’ve read):