The long burst GRB 050717 was observed simultaneously by the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) on Swift and the Konus instrument on Wind. Significant hard to soft spectral evolution was seen. Early gamma-ray and X-ray emission was detected by both BAT and the X-Ray Telescope (XRT) on Swift. The XRT continued to observe the burst for 7.1 days and detect it for 1.4 days. The X-ray light curve showed a classic decay pattern including evidence of the onset of the external shock emission at ∼ 45 s after the trigger; the afterglow was too faint for a jet break to be detected. No optical, infrared or ultraviolet counterpart was discovered despite deep searches within 14 hours of the burst. The spectral lag for GRB 050717 was determined to be 2.5 ± 2.6 ms, consistent with zero and unusually short for a long burst. This lag measurement suggests that this burst has a high intrinsic luminosity and hence is at high redshift (z > 2.7). GRB 050717 provides a good example of classic prompt and afterglow behavior for a gamma-ray burst.