Web Network Visualization in Silverlight: Information Connections Engine (ICE)

Sep 29, 2009 at 10:16 AM


Is this something that could be added to the NodeXL roadmap at all?: -


Looks pretty cool and would allow people to interact with the data more easily.

Is this something the team is considering?

Many thanks, Dave.

Sep 29, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Well, we've talked about doing a Silverlight version of NodeXL, but there are so many other tasks in the pipeline that I doubt we'll get to it any time soon.

So many neat things to do, so little time!

-- Tony

Feb 19, 2010 at 2:34 AM


I think that MSFT is putting a fair amount of emphasis on Silverlight and that, with v3 and v4, it has been giving it the roadmap it requires to establish it as a key player in the enterprise world. The advantages of this kind of powerful client with 0 install / distribution burden are huge for a large number of apps, and NodeXL has a lot to bring to the table if it did support SL.

I understand that the roadmap has a lot in it that needs to be prioritized and has so far been prioritized over SL support. But have you taken a look at how difficult it would be to create such a version? I would be curious to get at least a sense for it.


Feb 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM


The current NodeXLControl that displays the graph in our NodeXL template is built on the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and because WPF and Silverlight have much in common, a port from the WPF version to a new Silverlight version ought to be reasonably straightforward.  However, when I briefly looked at the issue last year, I ran into a potential performance problem.  NodeXLControl uses a lightweight class called DrawingVisual to draw its vertices and edges reasonably quickly, allowing it to render several thousand such objects with acceptable performance.  There is no DrawingVisual class in Silverlight.  There may be a substitute for it, but I didn't get far enough to determine what that is or whether it would perform will enough to render our graphs.  So I don't know how difficult a port would be.  A Silverlight expert could probably shed some light on this.

I agree that a Silverlight version of the NodeXLControl would be useful.

-- Tony

Feb 19, 2010 at 8:21 PM


Thank you very much for your quick reply. I had forgotten about DrawingVisual not being there in Silverlight 2 and Silverlight 3. I know that this has been pointed out to MSFT a number of times in the past - but it would seem the priority of having it added to the Silverlight roadmap is low. I will check Silverlight 4.

It's a pity. The work done by you and team is excellent, and would help me immensily. I will see whether I can find a path to use it, and will share back.