In my previous post - Using Silverlight in SharePoint 2007 I covered the Silverlight technology and how it can be integrated and used within SharePoint sites. If you have an Internet website with lot of rich media like videos, a better approach would be use the “Silverlight Streaming” service available from Microsoft instead of hosting them on your infrastructure.

What is Silverlight Streaming?

Microsoft Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live is a companion service for Silverlight that makes it easier for developers and designers to deliver and scale rich media as part of their Silverlight applications. The service offers web designers and developers a free and convenient solution for hosting and streaming cross-platform, cross-browser media experiences and rich interactive applications that run on Windows and Mac.

Silverlight Streaming is designed to host two types of content:

  1. Rich interactive applications - Application developers can develop solutions using one of many supported programming languages together with tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio and the .NET Framework and the Microsoft Expression suite of tools. Developers can take advantage of Silverlight Streaming API to manage Silverlight Streaming applications programmatically
  2. Media - Web designers and content publishers wanting to integrate media (such as video, audio, and images) into their sites can take advantage of the Silverlight Streaming Content Delivery Network. Content publishers can use Microsoft Expression Encoder or other media encoding tools to quickly and easily package content for upload to Silverlight Streaming. Silverlight Streaming supports all media file formats supported by Silverlight

Don’t miss the fine print :-)

  • Streaming service is currently in Beta
  • Storage is free up to 10 GB and Streaming is free up to 5 TB of aggregated bandwidth per user account per month
  • Videos may not exceed ten minutes and have a maximum bit rate of 1.4 Mbps
  • As the service moves into release, unlimited streaming will also be available free with advertising, or with payment of a nominal fee for use of the service without advertising

The Architecture

The Silverlight Streaming Architecture article describes the two key aspects of the Silverlight Streaming architecture.

  • Content playback - steps involved in the processing of a request for content hosted in Silverlight Streaming, and
  • Management via the API - how a custom application built with the Silverlight Streaming API can be used to manage content hosted in Silverlight Streaming

Getting Started

That’s it :-)

Tools you need

All the tools you would need to create the Silverlight application and

  • Silverlight Streaming SDK – developer and admin help needed to create, host and manage applications on Silverlight Streaming service
  • Expression Encoder - quickly and easily package content for upload to Silverlight Streaming. Before uploading media assets to Silverlight Streaming, you must ensure that all media files you upload as part of your Silverlight application are in the correct format.

Preparing Applications for Silverlight Streaming

Before you can upload your Silverlight application to the Silverlight Streaming environment, you must take certain steps to prepare it to be hosted on Silverlight Streaming. These steps are described in the Preparing Applications for Silverlight Streaming topic in the SDK.

Silverlight Streaming Samples

The sample applications page in the Silverlight Streaming software development kit (SDK) provides hands-on instruction for converting Silverlight applications for use with Silverlight Streaming. For each sample application, the source code has been separated into two downloadable parts:

  • The completed sample application package, ready for upload to the Silverlight Streaming administration site.
  • Web pages for invoking the sample application from your local computer once it is hosted on Silverlight Streaming

For example, Hello World 2.0 for Silverlight Streaming sample demonstrates creating the Silverlight Hello World 2.0 project in Visual Studio and then uploading the application to the Silverlight Streaming server.

Integrating Silverlight Streaming in SharePoint

The Using Media Streaming Services to Integrate Silverlight with SharePoint post by Steve Fox gives the steps clearly. I have copy-pasted them below:

To complete this integration requires four main steps:

  1. Create the SL app
  2. Add the SL app to your Media Streaming Services site;
  3. Configure the app and grab the <iframe> code; and
  4. Use the Content Editor Web Part to integrate the SL app with SP

Read Steve’s post for complete details.

Also check out the Use SharePoint Designer and Silverlight to create a video blog by Rod Stagg for a very innovative use of streaming within the SharePoint blog site template.