Silverlight Hosting Tips – How to Increase Silverlight 5 Performance

Do you know Silverlight?? now i want to share about the silverlight hosting tips :)

Microsoft Silverlight is a powerful tool for creating and delivering rich internet applications and media experiences on the Web. Its functionality is similar to Adobe Flash, integrating multimedia, graphics, animations and interactivity into a single runtime environment. Silverlight’s initial emphasis was on providing rich media experiences; enabling designers and developers to add rich degrees of interactivity, media and animation to their websites. Later versions extended its capabilities with many new features essential for business application development. As a result there has been an increase in business applications using Silverlight.

Silverlight applications may be different from applications you’ve worked with before. For classic HTML web applications, the server does all of the processing. Additionally, the rendering of HTML requires full-page refreshes. Silverlight applications are different because content is delivered without having to reload the page. The server constantly updates the application asynchronously. For this reason, IIS server loads reveal a very different profile.

All testers know the importance of measuring transaction response times when performance testing web appli­cations. But Silverlight technology can cause significant increases in the number of browser-to-server HTTP calls made in the background. This increase in traffic can have a profound effect on per­formance. While users might not be aware of the round-trips between the browser and a distant server, they will certainly be aware of performance problems if the application is slow or throws an error due to the increased load. Knowing the scalability limitations of your deployments is crucial.

Innovative RIA technologies like Silverlight present new challenges when attempting to emulate a realistic load. If you’re developing or deploying applications in this newer technology, successfully addressing these challenges requires thinking about load testing in new ways.
there are three tips to improve application perfor­mance and enrich the user experience.

Tip 1: Make sure you can support Silverlight communication protocols

Silverlight applications can use multiple protocols to communicate with the server. Based on WCF (Windows Communication Foundation), the most common protocols are REST and SOAP with classic XML or binary XML. In order to accurately simulate users, your load testing tool must be able to support the various protocols used by Silverlight so that you can parameterize the requests, extract data from the response and validate the response. Without this capability, your tool will be unable to provide a realistic test design for your virtual users, rendering the results of the test virtually worthless.

The REST protocol

REST defines a set of architectural principles by which you can design Web services that follow some design rules. These rules imply the use of various HTTP verbs like GET, POST, PUT and DELETE. It means your load testing tool must handle all of these verbs to fully support RESTful web services. If not, some requests won’t be played back, preventing the virtual user to run successfully.

The SOAP protocol

SOAP is a simple XML-based protocol to let applications exchange information over HTTP. There are two approaches testers can take to handle applications using this protocol. The first approach is to use an XML manipulation and the second is to use a load testing tool with a dedicated SOAP support capability.

Classic XML

XML is a text based format for encoding documents in a machine-readable form. Basic XML documents are easy to handle using regular string manipulations, yet extracting data or validating data from complex documents can be a challenge. XPath is a language used to navigate through elements and attributes in an XML document. It can be used to precisely locate appropriate data within the document. A tool allowing the use of XPath ensures that you can handle any XML document, no matter how complex.

Binary XML

Binary XML (MC-NBFX) and sub protocols like binary SOAP (MC-NBFS ) encode and decode XML documents in a binary format to decrease processing time and network bandwidth.

Many load testing tools rely on data being sent over HTTP and don’t tap into binary protocols.

Therefore, they don’t go deep enough to understand what is being exchanged between client and server. Make sure your load testing tool decodes the binary XML because it’s a requirement to be able to parameterize the request, extract data from the response and validate the response.

Tip 2: Automatically process application identifiers

Silverlight applications use identifiers for internal processing. Some are application specific and others are common to all Silverlight applications. These identifiers are used as parameters of requests and respond and work together. For example, an identifier returned by the server for one request is sent as a parameter for a subsequent request.

Tip 3: Monitor the server side

If your test is running and the application has poor response times or throws errors, what is the root cause? Monitoring your servers during load testing helps find these issues in your server infrastructure.

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