Converting Flash to Silverlight, is SilverX up to the task?

Lately there’s been quite a bit of buzz about SilverX, an application that claims to convert Flash files to Silverlight. The SilverX website does a good job of outlining the features and benefits of the application but there was little information on how it handles Actionscript.

Is this the Holy Grail for Flash developers looking to use the Adobe IDE to build Silverlight applications? We decided to put it through the paces to see what it’s all about.

Install
Installing SilverX is straightforward and it provides an uninstaller in the application folder if you decide to remove it. One thing I didn’t expect was that it inserted a splash page to Expression Blend. A nice touch, and useful as I wouldn’t have immediately known that it added items to my ‘File’ menu.

Converting a Flash file to Silverlight
For the first test I decided to load a fairly complicated Flash application that I had built as a prototype for a touch screen picture frame. The reason I chose this file was because it had no externally loaded assets, it was built as one fat .SWF with embedded images.

The Flash to Silverlight conversion process only took a few seconds

Oops, a warning that Actionscript was not supported. Not surprising.

Having a look at the output, it created a folder with 3 areas that were very well organized.

  • Preview containing the original .swf, the .xap Silverlight app and supporting HTML/JS
  • Resources containing all the placed assets in the .swf
  • Solution containing the .sln and Silverlight project files

Running the application
Upon launching the application I found that none of the Actionscript was implemented, but all of the artwork came over nicely. Below is a preview of both the original .SWF and the .XAP outputs.

Note that this is a large file (2.7mb) with no preloader as it was originally indented to be run locally.

Original Flash version | Flash converted to Silverlight with SilverX

Another test
I knew that converting such a complicated app was a lot to ask, so I ran another test with something much more basic. This is a timeline based animation of a crane unfolding that I had used for the 1000CranesOfHope.com website.

As you can see from the examples the conversion of the animation was flawless. The only thing it missed was some Actionscript that sets the visibility of my guide asset to false and a stop action at the end of the timeline.

Original Flash version | Flash converted to Silverlight with SilverX

Conclusion
Considering that I was running version 1.2 of the application I’d say it’s very solid. Is it the Holy Grail for flash developers who are looking to build Silverlight applications with the Adobe IDE? No. But SilverX never said it was. Maybe in future releases we’ll see support for Actionscript conversion, but I imagine that is a huge undertaking and in the end may not be all that useful.

The strength of SilverX is in its ability to quickly and cleanly extract assets, vector graphics and timeline based animations from .swf files. If you’re a Flash developer that needs a jump start on a Flash to Silverlight project SilverX is a must have in your application toolbox.

5 comments ↓

#1 umi on January 14th, 2010 at 10:16 am

nice post there, definitely going to try SilverX! Thanks for reviewing :)

#2 SilverX - Flash to Silverlight converter on March 10th, 2010 at 7:24 am

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#3 Anonymous on January 3rd, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Mapjects can render both visualizations simultaneously

#4 Lakesha on January 11th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

I had this free utility from Mapjects and now because of their support for html5, I think they removed the link. I can’t find the link on their site, I even talked to their IT Tier II support, while the support person was helpful, he seems new, and said its no longer supported since HTML5 has come out. Can you post the Mapjects Analytics visualization.

We’re using the Mapjects Project and workforce management portal. We have some legacy stuff from Primevera and we need to roll it over into Mapjects.

#5 Anshu on April 13th, 2014 at 2:57 am

Does anyone know if windows 8.1 is supported by Mapjects and Mapjects CloudGlue

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