Skip to main content

WP7Contrib: Why we use SilverlightSerializer instead of DataContractSerializer

Like all applications developed for WP7 devices we (WP7Contrib) want to get the best performance possible from any libraries or patterns we use and this applies to how we serialize and deserialize data inside the WP7Contrib. In several of the libraries which make up the WP7Contrib we require binary serialization support, specifically we use binary serialization for the isolated storage cache provider and the storage service in the services project.

Simply after testing we found SilverightSerializer gave better performance, shown below the results of serializing a collection of 1000 items compared to the DataContractSerializer.

It shows the tick count, the equivalent time in milliseconds and the size of the generated byte array . So you can see the SilverlightSerializer gives better performance from both a time and size perspective. These results were generated using the StopWatch class.

The only downside I can see from using the SilverlightSerializer is the support for generic types used with custom collection types - you have to explicitly implement a serialization helper class for each type, you'll see this in the test application I created I had to create a class ProductCollectionSerializer to support serialization of the type ObservableCollection.

The test application 'SerializationPerformance' is available in the Spikes directory of the WP7Contrib code base.

That's it for now, I'll be back with the post about RESTful communication in WP7Contrib.


  1. New version of SilverlightSerializer available with much better performance and compatibility with previous versions.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

WPF tips & tricks: Dispatcher thread performance

Not blogged for an age, and I received an email last week which provoked me back to life. It was a job spec for a WPF contract where they want help sorting out the performance of their app especially around grids and tabular data. I thought I'd shared some tips & tricks I've picked up along the way, these aren't probably going to solve any issues you might be having directly, but they might point you in the right direction when trying to find and resolve performance issues with a WPF app. First off, performance is something you shouldn't try and improve without evidence, and this means having evidence proving you've improved the performance - before & after metrics for example. Without this you're basically pissing into the wind, which can be fun from a developer point of view but bad for a project :) So, what do I mean by ' Dispatcher thread performance '? The 'dispatcher thread' or the 'UI thread' is probably the most

Showing a message box from a ViewModel in MVVM

I was doing a code review with a client last week for a WPF app using MVVM and they asked ' How can I show a message from the ViewModel? '. What follows is how I would (and have) solved the problem in the past. When I hear the words ' show a message... ' I instantly think you mean show a transient modal message box that requires the user input before continuing ' with something else ' - once the user has interacted with the message box it will disappear. The following solution only applies to this scenario. The first solution is the easiest but is very wrong from a separation perspective. It violates the ideas behind the Model-View-Controller pattern because it places View concerns inside the ViewModel - the ViewModel now knows about the type of the View and specifically it knows how to show a message box window: The second approach addresses this concern by introducing the idea of messaging\events between the ViewModel and the View. In the example below

Implementing a busy indicator using a visual overlay in MVVM

This is a technique we use at work to lock the UI whilst some long running process is happening - preventing the user clicking on stuff whilst it's retrieving or rendering data. Now we could have done this by launching a child dialog window but that feels rather out of date and clumsy, we wanted a more modern pattern similar to the way <div> overlays are done on the web. Imagine we have the following simple WPF app and when 'Click' is pressed a busy waiting overlay is shown for the duration entered into the text box. What I'm interested in here is not the actual UI element of the busy indicator but how I go about getting this to show & hide from when using MVVM. The actual UI elements are the standard Busy Indicator coming from the WPF Toolkit : The XAML behind this window is very simple, the important part is the ViewHost. As you can see the ViewHost uses a ContentPresenter element which is bound to the view model, IMainViewModel, it contains 3 child v