Visual-studio – What exactly is Microsoft Expression Studio and how does it integrate with Visual Studio


My university is part of MSDNAA, so I downloaded it a while back, but I just got around to installing it. I guess part of it replaces FrontPage for web editing, and there appears to be a video editor and a vector graphics editor, but I don't think I've even scratched the surface of what it is and what it can do. Could someone enlighten me, especially since I haven't found an "Expression Studio for Dummies" type website.

Best Solution

Expression Studio is basically a design studio. It consists of a bunch of design software that Microsoft has bought for the most part. The audience is designers, not developers. The gist of the software is that Expression Blend enables designers and programmers to work seamlessly together in letting the designer create the graphical user interface.

In a normal workflow, the designer would deliver a mockup which the developer would have to implement. Using Expression Blend in combination with WPF, this is no longer necessary. The graphical UI made by the designer is functional. All the developer has to do is write the code for the function behind the design.

This in itself is great because developers invariably fail to implement the design as thought out by the designer. Technical limitations, lack of communication … whatever the reason. UIs never look like them mockup done up front.

Expression Design is basically a vector drawing program that can be used to design smaller components that are then used within Expression Blend as parts of the UI. For example, graphical buttons could be designed that way. It can also be used as a vanilla drawing program. I did the graphics in my thesis using Expression Design.