Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to improve the performance of your .NET site

Following are some suggestions on how you can improve the performance of your .NET site. 
  • Use SqlDataReader as much as possible. It’s the lightest and the fastest way to read data from the database. Avoid DataSet unless you have no choice. 
  • Do not use exceptions in the code for flow control. Catching exception is expensive in terms of resources. 
  • Use html server side controls instead of ASP.NET web controls when is possible to do so. Html server-side controls are html elements with the attribute runat=”server” and they map to a specific html element. Web server control on the other hand, which starts with asp: (asp:label, asp:panel, asp:button), are function-oriented. There is no html element called “label” for example. ASP.NET might render it as “span” on the client. This could be easily overlooked because ASP.NET controls are tempting and rich in functionality, but they generate more code on the client. In many cases html server-side controls are sufficient. 
  • Use Asp.NET grid, list box and other data bound control carefully. Those are great controls, but they tend to generate a lot of code on the client. If you don’t need the extra functionality provided by the grid for example, use asp:Repeater which is the lightest and the faster ASP.NET bound control.
  • Determine whether ASP.NET view state is needed for a page. If not, turn it off so that the page is not loaded with unnecessary extra stuff.
In addition of these .NET specific suggestions there are many generic guidelines that apply to all websites regardless of the platform on which they are built. You can "scout" the web and try to assemble a comprehensive list OR you can just go to https://developers.google.com/pagespeed and test your site. The pagespeed tool will provide specific, targeted recommendations on how you can improve your site and also point out what you have done right. Those recommendations constitute in fact a fairly comprehensive list of guidelines. Now, of course, as is always the case, you must use your judgment to determine whether a certain suggestion would be helpful for your actual scenario or not but those are recommendations are a good starting point.

Lastly, if you were interested in this article chances are you develop with .NET /SQL Server in which case you will find our database comparison and synchronization tools, xSQL Object and xSQL Data Compare, very helpful in your day to day work. The tools are free for SQL Server Express with no limitations and also free for other editions of SQL Server depending on the number of objects in the database. Download your copy from: http://www.xsql.com/download/package.aspx?packageid=10

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