XAP optimization

I created a very simple example which have two grids, one is master grid and another one is total grid. Total gird, totals any field which has decimal field in it. Nothing complicated. As any developer, I was adding code if I miss any namespace I add them. Some time, I add some system references that I might not even use later as I progress but forget to remove from the solution. So with that all in mind, after building the solution and run as I expected it to run and deploy it. Some time you night get a complain that it takes for ever to load. If you ever hear or if you see that yourself when you start testing, take a look at the size of the XAP file in ClientBin folder. Chances are your XAP is big.

Going back to the sample I was talking about, with out any code changes, the XAP file size is 880KB. Next we are going to see how we can reduce the size of the file and user experience is better. I attempted that with couple of ways.

1. Using Component One XAP optimizer:

I got a license for Component One XAP optimizer and thought of give a world and see how much size reduction happens. I pass the current XAP as the input and it can generate new XAP file or override the existing one. Here is the result of the XAP optimization.


The new file size is 336KB, more than 50% size reduction. In this approach the files are still in single XAP file and there are no external files to download. What I attempted was a very simple solution, it seems it has lot more features that you could use for more complex projects.

2. Using Visual Studio XAP optimization using application library caching:

From SL3 and forward,  there is a way we can optimize the XAP files by removing the system and third party controls from the required elements of XAP. You can read more about how it is done in Tim’s blog. Using that approach I was able to get the XAP file size reduced to 229KB. All the required dlls are separated out to its on ZIP files.


[Following was incorrect. As of now, following combination broke the Silverlight application. Once I know why it is not working, I will update here.]

3. Using Component One Optimization on top Visual Studio optimization:

As you have guessed, we should be able apply C1 optimization and get a better initial performance. With the optimization applied the XAP file size reduced to 166KB.

I am really happy with the overall size reduction from 880KB to 166KB. If any of you have any other better way of doing optimization, would love to hear it.


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