March 15, 2010, 11:39 AM — Microsoft at its Mix10 conference on Monday will introduce a framework enabling Web analytics to be performed for Silverlight rich media applications.
The open source Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework will debut in a beta form at the conference in Las Vegas, said Michael Scherotter, Microsoft media experience evangelist. The framework, which will be released on the company's CodePlex site for open source projects, will work with third-party analytics services from companies such as Preemptive Solutions.
[ Last month, InfoWorld reported on Microsoft's release candidate for Visual Studio 2010. ]
"[The idea] is to enable rich analytics like you have on the Web in Silverlight applications," Scherotter said.
"The importance is to understand how people are using your application," via analytics, said Scherotter.
Using the framework, which calls natively to Web services exposed by different analytics vendors, applications can track details about how applications are being used, providing details on such factors as usability and video quality. Also, details can be furnished, such as when volume is decreased in a video, when a video is paused, and even when there are buffer issues. The framework lets designers using the Microsoft Expression Blend tool track application events, via a visual mechanism. Additionally, the framework can work offline and resynchronize with analytics services later.
In conjunction with the framework, Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 IDE next month will feature Runtime Intelligence Services from Preemptive Solutions, technology enabling developers to track application analytics.
"The idea is to be able to track functionality, you don't have to write any code. You just merely select the things you want to track," said Gabriel Torok, president of Preemptive. Runtime Intelligence Services is based on the company's Dotfuscator product for protecting, measuring and managing applications.
Other partners also will be working with Microsoft on the analytics effort; they will be revealed at Mix10, Scherotter said.
Also at Mix10, Microsoft will talk about the planned release of Silverlight 4, which adds printing support and the ability to connect to webcams and microphones. A trusted security capability is offered for accessing videos and pictures.
The company also will talk about developer technologies for the Windows Phone 7 series of planned phones. The phones will leverage Silverlight as a development platform, Scherotter said.