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Deploying and Configuring Silverlight 4 and WCF RIA Services

I really enjoy building applications using Silverlight 4 and WCF RIA Services. Working locally works great and usually there are few issues. Deployment to our servers, however, is a different story. I have learned more than I care to know about IIS, handlers, and other server stuff while trying to get my Silverlight w/RIA applications running on our servers.  Here are some tips and lessons learned from my deployment.

Setup your server for Silverlight 4 and WCF RIA Services

  • Download and install the Web Platform Installer.
  • Use the installer to install the .NET 4 Framework.  Reboot the server after this completes.
  • Download and install WCF RIA Services.
    • I used the "download WCF RIA Services RC 2 directly" link and saved the RiaServices.msi file on my local machine (e.g. c:temp).
    • Open up a command window (I used "Run as Administrator").  Go to the folder with the MSI file (e.g. c:temp) and type the following command to launch the install of WCF RIA Services:  msiexec /i RiaServices.msi SERVER=TRUE
That should be enough to get your server configured to handle Silverlight 4 and WCF RIA Services. My first attempt at deployment worked like a charm. I was working with IIS6 and everything went smoothly. My next attempt did not go so well. The server runs IIS7 and I was having some major difficulties. Here are some links to tips on deployment and troubleshooting that I found to be most helpful for my problem.
My Error: Could not load type 'System.ServiceModel.Activation.HttpHandler' from assembly 'System.ServiceModel, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089'. Resolution: Using the Configuring WCF on IIS7 document, I opened up the applicationHost.config file and removed all entries that pointed to the ServiceModel version  After doing this my application started working.
Now that our server is running Silverlight 4 and WCF RIA Services, there is no stopping us now. Keep coding my friends.