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European Silverlight Hosting - :: Storing Files in SQL Server using WCF RIA Services and Silverlight

clock November 24, 2016 05:32 by author Scott

We have worked on several Silverlight Line of Business applications that require storing documents and files in a secure environment. There are several ways to accomplish this but one approach that has been successful for us is to store the documents using FILESTREAM Storage in SQL Server 2008. 

This is the first of three articles which will describe how you can create a Silverlight LOB application that stores and displays documents using FILESTREAM Storage in SQL Server 2008. 

1. Configuring FILESTREAM in your database and WCF RIA Services setup. 
2. Uploading and Saving files to the database from a Silverlight LOB application. 
3. Viewing files stored in the FILESTREAM from a Silverlight LOB application. 

Configuring FILESTREAM in you database

The first thing I would recommend is to read about FILESTREAM. Here is a tutorial which describes FILESTREAM. 

Okay, now that you read the entire white paper we are ready to roll! 

Setting up your database

Your database needs to enable FILESTREAM on the instance of the SQL Server Database Engine. 

Now that the FILESTREAM is enabled for the server you need to configure your database.

The basic steps include: 

1. Create a Filegroup of type Filestream

2. Create a File for the new Filestream Group

Now that your  database can handle FILESTREAM, the next is to create the SQL Tables that will store documents using the FILESTREAM. In this example I will be using three tables:

- File - storage for the document via the FILESTREAM
- Document - metadata about the File
- Folder - Virtual folder for the document

File table script


One thing we have found is that you only want to access the File table when you are ready to display the document. If you include this table in RIA Service Domain Service it will really slow things down—a lot. That is why we separated the metadata from the FILESTREAM into two tables - File and Document. 

Document table

You can add as many columns for metadata as needed for your project.  

A few things to notice:

1. This table contains a description and some metadata about the file. We use this table to bind a list of documents in a treeview or gridview control.
2. The guid field is used to create a second unique field. More to come on this in part 3.
3. Path will store the actual file name (e.g. MyDocument.pdf). We need this field so we can determine the type of file that is stored in the database (more on this in part 3).
4. FolderID points to a Folder table (see below). We use this table to organize documents in Folders.

Folder table

We use the ParentFolderID to enable nested folders.  

Okay, now our database is configured for FILESTREAM and we have the necessary tables to store documents. We are creating a Silverlight LOB application using WCF RIA Services, so assuming we already have our Silverlight project created our next steps will be:

1. Add/Update Entity Framework Entity Data Model (*.edmx) in the project. Include the File, Document, and Folder tables.
2. Add/Update Domain Service class and metadata for the three tables.

Tip - I like to include two methods when returning a Document. One that includes the File (i.e. Heavy version) and one that does not include the File (i.e. Lightweight version). This gives me flexibility on the client side. 

public Document GetDocumentById(int documentId) { return this.ObjectContext.Documents.Where(d => d.DocumentID == documentId).FirstOrDefault(); } public Document GetDocumentWithFileById(int documentId) { return this.ObjectContext.Documents.Include("File") .Where(d => d.DocumentID == documentId).FirstOrDefault(); }

To get a list of documents for a folder I use the following query. This can be bound to a gridview control. 

public IQueryable GetDocumentsByFolderId(int folderId) { return this.ObjectContext.Folders .Include("Document") .Where(f => f.FolderID == folderId).OrderByDescending(com => com.Document.CreatedDate); } 

European Silverlight 5 Hosting - :: How to Implement AutoComplete Text in Silverlight

clock October 5, 2016 23:59 by author Scott


Silverlight is evolving with a lot of new features in each and every version release. The AutoComplete text feature is one such example. In this article I will demonstrate the implementation of the AutoComplete text feature in a Silverlight application. I will also create a sample Silverlight application to help explain the code. I have used Silverlight 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 for developing the sample application.

AutoComplete Functionality

AutoComplete text functionality is not only a fancy effect but it's also a pretty useful feature from a user prospective and this feature is available in most of the latest applications. As the user enters text in a text box, a list of values gets populated and are listed in a similar fashion to that of a drop down based on the entered text. So the user is able to see the possible suggestions and can select a value from them or they also have the freedom to enter their own text as the base control is a textbox.

Some popular websites implementing the auto complete functionality are,, etc.,

Silverlight AutoCompleteBox Control

Implementing the autocomplete functionality in a Silverlight application is pretty straight forward because of the availability of the AutoCompleteBox control. This control is available in Silverlight 3.0 and higher versions. The developer only needs to set the ItemSource property of the AutoCompleteBox control with the value collection that is to be listed. The rest will be taken care by the control itself. 

Below are some of the useful settings that can be leveraged from the AutoCompleteBox control.

  1. FilterMode – Specifies the filter mode to display the data (StartsWith, Contains, Equals, etc.,)
  2. MinimumPrefixLength – Minimum prefix length for the auto complete feature to be triggered
  3. MaxDropDownHeight – Maximum height of the dropdown
  4. IsTextCompletionEnabled – If set to true then the first match found during the filtering process will be populated in the TextBox


Silverlight AutoCompleteBox Implementation

In this section we will create a sample Silverlight window implementing the autocomplete text feature. In the MainWindow.xaml add an AutoCompleteBox control and set the basic properties. Below is the code:

<UserControl xmlns:sdk=""  
    d:DesignHeight="300" d:DesignWidth="400">

    <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="White">
            <sdk:Label Content="Enter the city: " Margin="46,76,264,198" />
            <sdk:AutoCompleteBox Height="28" H
orizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="142,77,0,0" FilterMode="StartsWith"
MinimumPrefixLength="1" MaxDropDownHeight="80" Name="autoCompleteBox1" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="120"
Canvas.Left="-6" Canvas.Top="-5" />

namespace AutoCompleteBoxSample
    public partial class MainPage : UserControl
        List<string> _cities;

        public MainPage()
            autoCompleteBox1.ItemsSource = PopulateCities();

        private IEnumerable PopulateCities()
            _cities = new List<string>();
            return _cities;

Run the application and you will see the figure below:



Using a DomainDataSource

In the above case we had the data directly in the application and it was hence hard-coded. In case if the data lies in the database, then the WCF RIA service and the DomainDataSource comes into play. Create a WCF RIA service and hook up the service to expose the data in the table through a generated data context method. Use a DomainDataSource to act as an ItemSource for the AutoCompleteBox control.

Below is the XAML code:

     <riaControls:DomainDataSource AutoLoad="True"
                    <web:MyDatabaseContext />
     <sdk:Label Content="Enter the city: " Margin="46,76,264,198" />
<sdk:AutoCompleteBox Height="28" ItemsSource="{Binding Data, ElementName=CityDataSource}"
HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="142,77,0,0" FilterMode="StartsWith" MinimumPrefixLength="1" MaxDropDownHeight="80"
Name="autoCompleteBox1" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="120" Canvas.Left="-6" Canvas.Top="-5" />

European Silverlight 5 Hosting - Amsterdam :: How to Convert Silverlight 4 to Silverlight 5

clock August 9, 2013 08:09 by author Scott

When we open Silverlight 4 application in Silverlight 5 we get following errors

1) error  : Unable to read the project file 'Silverlight4App.csproj'.

2) Silverlight4App.csproj(137,3): The imported project "C:\Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\Silverlight\v4.0\Microsoft.Silverlight.CSharp.targets" was not found. Confirm that the path in the declaration is correct, and that the file exists on disk.

This error occurs as the application was earlier built using Silverlight-4 Reference. So while opening this in Silverlight-5, the Visual studio looks for the Silverlight 5 reference files but it cannot find it.

To resolve this error you will have to follow following steps:

1) Open the project in Visual studio.

2) Go to solution explorer

3) Right click on the project that is not loaded and click on edit the CSPROJ file

4) And then change the Target Frame Work version to 5.0

5) Save and close this file and again right click on the project which is not loaded and click on Reload project.

6) Now the project will be reloaded successfully.

By following above steps your Silverlight 4 application will be converted to Silverlight 5 application.

If in case you again want to go back to Silverlight 4 then just repeat the above steps and set the Target Framework version to “v4.0”.

Hope this helps!!

European Silverlight 5 Hosting - Amsterdam :: Silverlight Sorting and Grouping Feature

clock June 28, 2013 07:56 by author Scott

Using Silverlight and XAML, you can bind to a collection of data. Once that is done, you can then sort, filter, or group the data using a collection view. A collection view is similar to a layer on a binding source collection. It enables you to navigate and display the source collection based on queries to sort, filter, and group data, without having to change the underlying source collection itself. If a source collection implements the INotifyCollectionChanged interface, the changes raised by the CollectionChanged event are transmitted to the views. A single source collection can have multiple views associated with it.


I will show brief tutorial about sorting and grouping functionally through the PagedCollectionView class. Consider an example that demonstrates how to sort and group bound data in a collection using an
PagedCollectionView object.

Create a Silverlight application named CollectionsDemo.

Add the following markup to MainPage.xaml.

<UserControl xmlns:sdk=""
d:DesignHeight="300" d:DesignWidth="400"

<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot">
    <sdk:DataGrid Name="dgridMovies" ItemsSource="{Binding}" >
                <Style TargetType="sdk:DataGridRowGroupHeader">
                    <Setter Property="PropertyNameVisibility" Value="Collapsed" />
                    <Setter Property="Background" Value="PaleGreen"/>
                    <Setter Property="SublevelIndent" Value="25" />

The above markup creates a DataGrid and sets its ItemsSource property. The markup also sets style for the DataGrid rows.

Add the following code to MainPage.xaml.cs to create the Movies and Movie classes:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Documents;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Animation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
using System.Windows.Data;
using System.ComponentModel;

namespace CollectionsDemo
    public partial class MainPage : UserControl
        public MainPage()
            Movies movies = new Movies();

            // For sorting
            PagedCollectionView pg = new PagedCollectionView(movies);
            pg.SortDescriptions.Add(new SortDescription("Title", ListSortDirection.Ascending));
            dgridMovies.DataContext = pg;

            // For grouping
            pg.GroupDescriptions.Add(new PropertyGroupDescription("Year"));
            dgridMovies.DataContext = pg;

    // Represents a collection of movies
    public class Movies : ObservableCollection<Movie>
        public Movies()
            : base()
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "Sherlock Holmes - Game of Shadows", Year = "2011" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "ParaNormal Activity", Year = "2010" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "Michael Clayton", Year = "2010" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "A Separation", Year = "2011" });
         Add(new Movie() { Title = "Lost", Year = "2009" });

// Represents a Movie entity having two properties, Title and Year
    public class Movie
        public string Title { get; set; }
        public string Year { get; set; }

You will first create a PropertyGroupDescription object and pass the name of the property based on which sorting or grouping will take place. Then, add the PropertyGroupDescription to the SortDescriptions or GroupDescriptions collection of PagedCollectionView depending on which operation is to be performed.

These actions are done using the above code.

On executing, the output will be similar to Figure below. As you can see, the movie details are grouped by year and sorted according to title.


European Silverlight Hosting - Amsterdam :: Silverlight Watermark TextBox Behavior

clock April 29, 2013 10:48 by author Scott

Maybe there is a working solution for this already out there, but I created my own Silverlight Behavior for a basic TextBox Watermark which might be useful.

I wanted to use it like this in my XAML (look at the behaviors tag):

<TextBlock Margin="5">Watermarked textbox:</TextBlock>
<TextBox Margin="5">
        <local:Watermark Text="Watermark" Foreground="LightGray" />

The result should be something like this:

To create a Behavior for Silverlight, you must get hold of the System.Windows.Interactivity assembly which ships with Expression Blend. In my system it’s located at:

c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Expression\Blend\Silverlight\v4.0\Libraries\System.Windows.Interactivity.dll

And the code for the Behavior:

public class Watermark : Behavior<TextBox>
    private bool _hasWatermark;
    private Brush _textBoxForeground;
    public String Text { get; set; }
    public Brush Foreground { get; set; }
    protected override void OnAttached()
        _textBoxForeground = AssociatedObject.Foreground;
        if (Text != null)
        AssociatedObject.GotFocus += GotFocus;
        AssociatedObject.LostFocus += LostFocus;
    private void LostFocus(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        if (AssociatedObject.Text.Length == 0)
            if (Text != null)
    private void GotFocus(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        if (_hasWatermark)
    private void RemoveWatermarkText()
        AssociatedObject.Foreground = _textBoxForeground;
        AssociatedObject.Text = "";
        _hasWatermark = false;
    private void SetWatermarkText()
        AssociatedObject.Foreground = Foreground;
        AssociatedObject.Text = Text;
        _hasWatermark = true;
    protected override void OnDetaching()
        AssociatedObject.GotFocus -= GotFocus;
        AssociatedObject.LostFocus -= LostFocus;

Like so many Watermark-solutions out there I’m hooking into the GotFocus/LostFocus events and to the work there. Works for me.


European Silverlight Hosting - Amsterdam :: Silverlight BlurEffect Example

clock March 11, 2013 07:12 by author Scott

In this article we will be seeing how to create Silverlight BlurEffect using Visual studio 2010.

Pixel shader effects in Silverlight allows you to add effects, such as gray scale, red eye removal, pixel brightness, and shadows, to rendered objects. There are two types of Pixel Shader effects in Silverlight. They are BlurEffect and DropShadowEffect. In this we will be seeing about BlurEffect and its properties.

Namespace: System.Windows.Media. Effects

Assembly: System.Windows


BlurEffect is used to represent an effect that we can apply to an object that simulates looking at the object through an out-of-focus lens. It is defined by the Radius property.


This property is used to specify the amount of blur to apply to an object.

Without BlurEffect:

<Canvas Height="200" Width="200" Background="white">
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="Orange" Canvas.Left="25" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="White" Canvas.Left="75" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="Green" Canvas.Left="125" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>

With BlurEffect:

<Canvas Height="200" Width="200" Background="white">
            <BlurEffect Radius="120"></BlurEffect>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="Orange" Canvas.Left="25" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="White" Canvas.Left="75" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="Green" Canvas.Left="125" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>

Steps Involved:

Creating a Silverlight Application:

Open Visual Studio 2010. 
Go to File => New => Project. 
Select Silverlight from the Installed templates and choose the Silverlight Application template. 
Enter the Name and choose the location. 
Click OK. 
In the New Silverlight Application wizard check the "Host the Silverlight Application in a new Web site". 
Click OK.

Creating the UI:

Open MainPage.xaml file and replace the code with the following.

<UserControl x:Class="SilverlightBlurEffect.MainPage"
    d:DesignHeight="300" d:DesignWidth="400">
    <Canvas Height="200" Width="200" Background="white">
            <BlurEffect Radius="120"></BlurEffect>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="Orange" Canvas.Left="25" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="White" Canvas.Left="75" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>
        <Rectangle Height="50" Width="50" Fill="Green" Canvas.Left="125" Canvas.Top="75"></Rectangle>

To test it, please just build the solution and hit CTRL+F5


European Silverlight Hosting - Amsterdam :: Working with Isolated Storage in Silverlight

clock November 29, 2012 07:46 by author Scott

Isolated storage gives you access to a small segment of hard-disk space, with certain limitations. For example we don't know exactly where our files are being stored. We also can't read the files left by another Silverlight application or recorded for another user. In essence, isolated storage provides carefully restricted, tamperproof file access for applications that need to store permanent information in the local PC, so that information can be retrieved the next time the user runs the application.

How it works:

Isolated storage provides a virtual file system that lets you write data to a small, user-specific and application-specific slot of space. There's no way to know beforehand exactly where the data will be written, and the default space limit is a mere 1 MB (although you can request that the user grant you more).

Is it similar to browser Cookie?

  1. Essentially, isolated storage is the Silverlight equivalent of persistent cookies in an ordinary web page. It allows small bits of information to be stored in a dedicated location that has specific controls in place to prevent malicious attacks.
  2. Isolated storage is persistent–unlike the browser cache, it never expires, and it's not removed if the user chooses to explicitly delete temporary Internet files.
  3. Isolated storage isn't a good storage place for important documents, because they're never backed up, are easily deleted, and can be even more easily lost.
  4. Isolated storage is intended to be a limited-size storage location for data, not a handcrafted replacement for HTTP Caching.

Scope of Isolated Storage:

With isolated storage, a unique storage location is created for every combination of user and application. In other words, the same computer can have multiple isolated storage locations for the same application, assuming each one is for a different user. Similarly, the same user can have multiple isolated storage locations, one for each Silverlight application. Isolated storage isn't affected by browser, so a Windows user switching from Internet Explorer to Firefox will get the same isolated storage location in both browsers.

What all can we store in an Isolated Storage: Good choices include user-specific details, user preferences, and information about recent user actions. Isolated storage is also great temporary storage.

So now we are ready to create a application which will demonstrate how it works.

Step 1: Create a Silverlight Application project and name it IsolatedStorage.

Step 2: Now we will try to understand how to write data and read data from these storages Medias. We will also see if we want to increase the space on the handdisk; how can we do that as well.

So we created a simple xmal like this:

<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot"  Margin="10"  Background="WhiteSmoke" Width="340" Height="200" HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Center">
            <RowDefinition Height="Auto"></RowDefinition>
            <RowDefinition Height="Auto"></RowDefinition>         


            <ColumnDefinition Width="Auto" ></ColumnDefinition>
            <ColumnDefinition Width="Auto" ></ColumnDefinition>           


            <TextBlock Text="Enter Your Name" Margin="3" Padding="5" HorizontalAlignment="Left" 
                       VerticalAlignment="Center" Grid.Row="0" Grid.Column="0">               

            <TextBox x:Name="txtname" Margin="3" Padding="5"
                        HorizontalAlignment="Left" VerticalAlignment="Center"
                        Grid.Row="0" Grid.Column="1" Height="30" Width="200" ></TextBox>          

            <Grid Grid.Column="1" Grid.Row="1"  Margin="5" >
                    <RowDefinition Height="50" ></RowDefinition>
                    <RowDefinition ></RowDefinition>
                    <RowDefinition ></RowDefinition>

                    <ColumnDefinition ></ColumnDefinition>
                    <ColumnDefinition ></ColumnDefinition>

            <Button x:Name="btnWrite"  Margin="5" Padding="5" Width="90" Height="30"
                    Content="Click to Write" HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Top"

            <Button x:Name="btnRead"  Margin="5" Padding="5" Width="90" Height="30"
                    Content="Click to Read"
                    HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Top" Click="btnRead_Click"
                    Grid.Row="0" Grid.Column="1">

            <Button x:Name="btnSize"  Padding="5" Width="180" Height="30"
                    Content="Click to Increase Disk Storage Space"
                     HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Top"
                    Click="btnSize_Click" Grid.Row="1" Grid.Column="0" Grid.ColumnSpan="2">

            <TextBlock x:Name="lblData" Margin="5"  HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Top"                       
                    Grid.Row="2" Grid.Column="0" Grid.ColumnSpan="2"></TextBlock>


Step 3: Now come to Code Behind and write handler for btnWrite_Click.

Also add this Isolated storage namespace.

using System.IO.IsolatedStorage;

private void btnWrite_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            // Write to isolated storage.
                //this gives you exactly what you want: an application-specific, user-specific
                //location where you can store data.

               IsolatedStorageFile store = IsolatedStorageFile.GetUserStoreForApplication();

                 //If we would have used
                //IsolatedStorageFile.GetUserStoreForSite ,
                //then a storage site that's accessible to all the Silverlight applications on the same website domain.
                using (IsolatedStorageFileStream fs = store.CreateFile("data.txt"))
                    StreamWriter sw = new StreamWriter(fs);                  
                txtname.Text = string.Empty;



Let us concentrate on this line.

store = IsolatedStorageFile.GetUserStoreForApplication();

Silverlight creates isolated stores automatically. To interact with an isolated store, you use the IsolatedStorageFile class. You get the IsolatedStorageFile object for the current user and application by calling the static IsolatedStorageFile.GetUserStoreForApplication() method, as shown here:

Step 4: Press F5 and test write and read buttons.

Step 5: Now let's concentrate on how disk storage works. Initially, each Silverlight application gets 1 MB of space in it's isolated store. You can examine the IsolatedStorageFile.AvailableFreeSpace property to find out how much free space remains. If your application needs more space, you can use an option: the IsolatedStorageFile IncreaseQuotaTo() method.

We must request a value that's higher than the current quota. Otherwise, you'll receive an exception. That means you can't use the IncreaseQuotaTo() method to ensure that there's a certain level of free space.

If everything goes well, you will be presented with something such as shown in the figure below.


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