When you work in a Marketing team you get involved in videos. Marketers love making videos, case studies, promotion, training etc etc. They also like shiny new ideas, like Silverlight. So sooner or later they are going to ask about playing their “funky” videos on their internal web site using shiny new Silverlight. As the person who looks after “their” web site, I’m the one who has to figure out how to get SharePoint to play videos using Silverlight. Minor details to the Marketers.
To actually post a video on the site I had to get an understanding of what was required behind the scenes. So I picked up this interesting publication from O’Reilly: Essential Silverlight 2.0 Up to date. It’s interesting in a few ways beyond the content. Mine come with a plastic cover and a whole wad of blank pages at the end for the purpose of making notes.
I read the book over an evening and a morning, I was surprised to find it wasn’t hard going at all. It was straightforward with simple explanations and examples. Best of all it actually had a player example I could use if I wanted. I didn’t use the one from the book because the book also explained enough about the XAML that drove the player for me to take the Player sample from Expression Studio and modify it to work in a few minutes. Which was, after all, my aim.
The caveat was that the Expression Studio sample used Silverlight 1.0 and book is all about Silverlight 2.0 so there where things I couldn’t use in the Expression sample. Which turned out find as the requirement was simple to stream the video as soon as the page rendered.
A subsequent requirement came to me to have another video on the same page start with a press of a button, which the Expression Studio samples allows for and the book explains.
Back to the book, I started reading it just for the video code, but ended up understanding a lot about XAML, the book did a great job of explaining the syntax and what the elements do, with easy examples and picture. If you want to get up to speed on Silverlight 2.0 quickly this publication is worth a look.
If you are wonder how I got the video to stream in Office SharePoint Server, I was a bit of smoke and mirrors. I basically created the application in Expression studio, and posted it to an IIS server as it’s own website, from there I simply created a Web Page web part and pointed the web part at the site I created. If anyone solved this type of problem another way, I’d love to hear about it.