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Embedded Systems

Embedded Database for Silverlight

McObject has announced that Perst, its open source, object-oriented embedded database system, has been successfully ported to Microsoft's Silverlight technology for building rich Web applications. With Perst for .NET, developers using Silverlight can now include database management system (DBMS) features in their rich Web client applications, including adding persistence to this data by storing it on local file systems.

McObject also released a new demo application, showcasing Perst in a Silverlight-based customer relationship management (CRM) system. The demo runs in the user's browser, stores records locally, and takes full advantage of Perst features such as indexes and native full text search to sort, retrieve and write records to the database. Users can launch the application from McObject's site and also download complete, commented source code and documentation.

Data stored in Perst can exceed the storage size limit initially imposed on Silverlight applications, although for security reasons, permission from the Web application user is required for this. Permitting substantial amounts of locally stored data makes Perst a logical choice for Silverlight-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) and other hosted applications that need a database to support users' work on ongoing projects.

Microsoft has also positioned Silverlight as a platform for rich Internet applications on smartphones and other mobile devices. "Perst's strengths " including its small footprint, rich data management features, successful track record in a variety of mobile applications, and freely available source code " give it an edge to become the de facto embedded database system for Silverlight client software targeting mobile devices," McObject CEO Steve Graves said.

"Now that Silverlight 3 supports installation of applications locally on the desktop, we can add the option of caching some data locally, in addition to being a locally installed visualization and interaction layer to cloud-based services, or a rich disconnected gadget. And McObject's Perst embedded database presents a really compelling solution to help with managing the data," said David Chou, an architect at Microsoft.

Released in 2007, Silverlight has rapidly gained a developer following for its ability to provide high quality graphics and multimedia, animation and audio-video playback. The technology centers on the free Silverlight Web browser plug-in. Programmers access this plug-in and create interactive Web applications using tools that are part of, or are compliant with, the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Perst for .NET enables Silverlight database-enabled applications to leverage features including transactions, a flexible and easy-to-use API, multiple database indexes, garbage collection and more. Uses of Perst with Silverlight include client-side caching of application settings and of data for tables, grids and lists in Web forms. With Perst, clients can also store data from unfinished projects that use Silverlight Web applications.

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