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Last Updated Aug 2008
Intermediate Level - Creating a module package

This tutorial describes the process to create a Silverlight Desktop module package. A Silverlight Desktop module can easily be distributed and installed by non technical end users to add functionality and enhance their Silverlight Desktop installations.

The process to install a Silverlight Desktop module is covered at this link.

This tutorial will demonstrate creating a Silverlight Desktop module package for the Silverlight Notepad module (creating the Silverlight Notepad module is covered in the tutorial at this link).

Identify the module parts

After the Silverlight Notepad module is created, the highlighted files in the picture above show the files that comprise the module. These files will be placed in the module package. Note that the source files for SilverlightNotepad Silverlight project are not considered part of the module. The relevant code from the SilverlightNotepad Silverlight project is compiled in the SilverlightNotepad.xap file that is in the ClientBin directory.

Place all the files into a temporary directory

Create a temporary directory on the hard drive (outside of Visual Studio). Create folders in this directory so that the files can be placed in their proper relative position. Place the files in their proper directory.

For example, the SilverlightNotepadWebservice.cs file should be placed in the \App_Code\Webservice directory.

Create the .sql files

When the Silverlight Desktop module is installed, the Silverlight Desktop installer will look for .sql scripts that have a version number that is greater than the current version number for the module and run them in order. If the module has never been installed it's version number is 0.

Create a text file named 01.00.00.sql and place it in the root of the temporary directory with the following contents:

/****** Object: Table [dbo].[SilverlightNotepad] ******/
IF NOT EXISTS (SELECT * FROM dbo.sysobjects WHERE id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[SilverlightNotepad]') AND OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N'IsUserTable') = 1)
BEGIN
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[SilverlightNotepad](
[NoteID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
[UserName] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
[IPAddress] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
[Note] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
CONSTRAINT [PK_SilverlightNotepad] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED
(
[NoteID] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON,
ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]

END

This will create the tables the module requires in SQL server.

The Silverlight Desktop installer will also look for a file called uninstall.sql. The contents of this file will be stored in the database and it's script will be run if the module is uninstalled.

Create a text file named uninstall.sql and place it in the root of the temporary directory with the following contents:

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM dbo.sysobjects WHERE id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[SilverlightNotepad]') AND OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N'IsUserTable') = 1)
BEGIN
DROP TABLE [dbo].[SilverlightNotepad]
END

This will remove the SilverlightNotepad table if the module is uninstalled.

The module.config file

The final file that needs to be created is the module.config file.

Create a text file named module.config and place it in the root of the temporary directory with the following contents:

<SilverlightDesktop>
<configversion>1.0</configversion>
<configtype>Module</configtype>
<modulename>Silverlight Notepad</modulename>
<description>Allows users to save notes</description>
<assembly>SilverlightNotepad.xap</assembly>
<class>SilverlightNotepad.Page</class>
<icon>null</icon>
<role>Any</role>
<windowsize>50</windowsize>
<version>01.00.00</version>
<removefiles>
</removefiles>
</SilverlightDesktop>

The module.config file explained

The module.config file has the following format:

 

 

  • SilverlightDesktop - Identifies the configuration file.
  • configversion - Identifies the version of the configuration file.
  • configtype - This is important because there can be different types of configuration files for elements other than modules in the future.
  • modulename - This is the key name that other data (such as the file names and paths stored in the SilverlightDesktopModuleFiles table) will use. This is the value that determines if a module has been installed before and needs to be upgraded.
  • description - This is the description that is displayed for the module on the module configuration screen.
  • assembly - The name of the Silverlight .xap file that is in the ClientBin directory. 
  • class - Indicates the class to load in the .xap file. 
  • icon - The icon to represent the module in the Silverlight Desktop toolbar (this is not yet supported).
  • role - The default role assigned to the module. This can be changed by the Super user after the module is installed.
  • windowsize - The default size of the window surrounding the module.
  • version - This allows you to indicate a new version of the module. The installer will compare this version number to the current version if the module is already installed. It will prevent an older version from being installed. If it is a newer version it will upgrade the module.
  • removefiles - Allows you to indicate files that are no longer needed. They will be removed before the module is installed. Wrap each file to be removed in file/name tags like this example:

<removefiles>
<file>
<name>App_Code\HelloWorld1.cs</name>
</file>
<file>
<name>App_Code\HelloWorld2.cs</name>
</file>

</removefiles>

Zip up the directory

Zip up the files in the temporary directory so the .zip file resembles this:

NOT this:

The package is now complete

The .zip file can now be uploaded into a Silverlight Desktop website by the Super user. The module can be upgraded by simply changing the version number in the module.config file and uploading a newer module .zip file.

  

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