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Michael Crump Microsoft MVP, INETA Community Champion and XAML Advocate.

In the past people could use services like the Microsoft Silverlight Streaming to host their Silverlight applications for free. This worked well in the past but it is now closed. What are the other alternatives? You can host your .XAP on Google App Engine but the process takes time and can be confusing. You could also find one of those free HTML host, but they could die tomorrow . This is where DropBox comes into play.

Let me go ahead and stop and say, you probably don’t want to do this for a production app. (duh) But this is a great FREE way to demo Silverlight Applications to other people. The main reason to use DropBox is because the files are hosted using Amazon S3 and its completely free and just a matter of drag-and-drop. So, let’s get started with a sample app:

Once your Silverlight application is ready to be hosted then complete the following steps:

Click on the ASP.NET Project Solution that VS/Blend generated for you. In my case this was a project that I created in Blend and opened in VS2010 Ultimate.

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Select Build then Publish Web Site as shown below:

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Copy to the Clipboard the Target Location and hit OK.

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Paste that into explorer:

SNAGHTML57f6341

At this point, you will need an account to DropBox to continue. If you don’t have one that go to www.dropbox.com and get one.

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After you create an account, it should have created the following folder on your desktop (WIN 7) C:\Users\User Name\Documents\My Dropbox. Navigate to that folder and look for Public as shown below:

SNAGHTML584af8c

This is where you can create any file structure that you want. I set mine up like the following and dragged/dropped the files from my VS Published folder into it.

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Now you can log into Dropbox and get the URL where your Silverlight Application is hosted:

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At this point, I can give out the URL Dropbox provided and people can view my Silverlight Application for free! Click here to test the application that I created for this blog post. One quick thing to note: The .ASPX file generated by VS2010 cannot be used with DropBox. That file would need to be hosted on a web server like IIS. Thanks for reading and hopefully this helped some college student or blogger get their Silverlight Application hosted for free.

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Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 7:51 AM Silverlight | Back to top

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