.NET Performance Blog

May 14, 2009

Web Sites vs Web Applications – build times

Filed under: General — Eric P @ 10:01 am

The enterprise-level application I am currently working on has several web projects built using “ASP.NET Web Site” model.
For a while now, I have been thinking of converting one of them to “Web Application” and see if it improves my compilation/build times. I took one of the smaller projects consisting of about 500 web pages and converted it to Web Application.

Results are as follows (using VS2008, cleaned solution before each build)

Web Site: 1 minute 20 seconds
Web Application: 2 secs

That’s a 60 times improvement. AMAZING.

There are definitely some drawbacks to switching to Web Application:
1. Not sure how to deal with namespaces. By default when you convert to “Web Application” – the code behind classes and classes in App_Code stay the same as before – no namespaces are added. But any new classes will have the namespaces. This type of inconsistency can be a bit confusing.
2. Namespaces introduce some naming conflicts, since some of my directory names match class name. For ex.
The namespace will be “…UserControls.Order.UCViewOrder” which will conflict with my domain’s “Order” class.
Need to come up with some convention for this one.

These issues seem pretty small compared to SIXTY TIMES speed up in compilation time.


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