Localization in Silverlight

8 Feb

It’s pretty easy to use localization in Silverlight using resoucefiles (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc838238(VS.95).aspx and http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd882554(VS.95).aspx). Instead of using resource files it’s possible to use a database and WCF RIA Services to retrieve the localized strings. The following is an example of how to do it.

The server part

First of all I have created an entity to represent my datamodel – the entity is called LocalizatoinItem and have three properties: Key (string), Value(string) and Language (string).


To retrieve the data from the database I have created a repository called LocalizationRepository. The repository retrieves and cache data on the server.


To get data in this example I have created a method to generate the it.


WCF RIA Services make it easy to get data on the client from the server. To enable this, I have created a DomainService called LocalizationService. It contain a method to retrieve an IEnumerable of LocalizatoinItems.


The client part

On the client side I have a class to maintain the state of the application – I have called it ApplicationState. It has a static property called Current that holds an instance of the class and a property called LocalizationStrings that will hold a list of the localized strings.


When the application starts up I call the GetLocalizationItems method on the server to retrieve the localized strings. When the list of strings is retrieved I set the property in the current instance of the ApplicationState and set the RootVisual.


To use the localized strings in XAML I need to use DataBinding and a ValueCOnverter called LocalizationValueConverter. The ValueConverter will retrieve a specific string from the list of localized strings based on the parameter sent to the converter.


In XAML I have made a reference to the LocalizationValueConverter.


To bind the strings to a TextBlock I use DataBinding and sent the key I wish to use as parameter to the LocalizationValueConverter.


Finally I have set the DataContext on the page to trigger the DataBinding.


It’s properly possible to make some shortcuts compared to the steps above – but it works.

Code is available here.

by xamlgeek

One Response to “Localization in Silverlight”

  1. Shemesh April 7, 2010 at 11:49 #

    nice one!
    it seems there is no “clean” solution for localizing from server.

    say… why aren’t you pushing the strings to the app’ resources?

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