Silverlight Application Library Caching
In this article you will learn about silverlight application library caching.
I was just working with one Silverlight
application that has too many 3rd party assemblies (Excel, theme, charts etc).
Also it was taking long time while downloading first time. Obviously, this
is because of a large XAP size. So, I thought to divide the entire application into multiple projects which will create multiple XAP's and then use it by on demand
But, I have used more third party dll's. In this case it is too hectic to
store them on a separate XAP and then load it on demand. Then, I came to know
about a new concept (for me) about "Application Library Caching"
So, What is Assembly caching? We all know about the on demand download of a XAP file. To do this, we need to write code for downloading the external XAP files using a WebClient. Application Library caching does the similar thing for
you very easily. Suppose, if you have a bigger application and use huge 3rd
party libraries, this easy step will help you make a separate zip file with them
which can be downloaded on demand without writing any additional code.
Step 1 : Create one Silverlight 3 or 4 application(its available
in SL 3 also). I have named it as ARVApplicationLibraryCaching
If you see in the solution-references, you will find the assemblies ,those
have been added to the project.
Once you build the app, you can find XAP file in the client bin directory.
To see the contents inside the XAP, go to the ClientBin folder. There you
will find the XAP output of your Silverlight application. Rename it with zip and
extract then, you can find as given bellow.
To see all the assembly references, open appmanifest file using notepad.
You will notice that, it has all the referenced dll information as
Assembly part, entry point and required runtime version. Assembly parts tells to
load the referred assembly directly from the XAP.
Step 2 : Adding more third party Assemblies
Go to add reference and add some third party dll's. I have added here some
dll's related to theme.
Once you build the app and unzip the XAP. Then you will find as given
You will see that all the new referenced dlls are now part of your XAP. If
you open AppManifest.xmal.
It contains all those additional dll entries as
AssemblyPart and tells to load them from the XAP itself.
This actually increases the XAP size and makes your application little
bulky. Thus increases initial loading time of your application.
Step 3 : Use application library caching
To overcome this, there is a setting project property window as shown
Now, build the project. You will find zip files as per you have been added
third party dll's.
Then, go to AppManifest file, then see
Here a single AssemblyPart pointing to your original project output and
rest of the dll references are now moved to ExternalParts. They are now pointing
to the Zip files instead of the actual dlls.
Now, when you run your application, it will only download the XAP file
which contains only the main resources. Rest of the dll ZIP will be downloaded
on demand whenever require by your application.
Enjoy the concept!!!!!