Microsoft SilverLight is one of the most powerful, and in-demand, tools for creating rich web applications for dynamic user experiences. Those who are familiar with Adobe Flash will find SilverLight to be strikingly similar in its operation and functionality as its able to seamlessly integrate graphics, multimedia and animations for a singular interactive environment. While its initial release was geared toward creating dynamic media experiences, its latest releases have expanded its abilities to be used for business applications. Therefore, many businesses are now switching to SilverLight to run their critical-level applications. If you’re currently, or considering, implementing SilverLight into your website, there are several tips you should follow to ensure this application runs smoothly.
Tip #1 – Double Check SilverLight Communication Protocol Support
Because SilverLight is able to communicate with servers using multiple protocols, such as SOAP, REST and binary/classic XML, it’s important that you make sure these protocols are able to be properly tested. Without this ability, your testing and monitoring will be lacking. In order to understand what levels of monitoring you must employ, it’s essential to understand each of these protocols and their demands:
- SOAP Protocol - This simplistic XML-based protocol allows applications to communicate via HTTP requests. When testing SOAP protocols within your SilverLight application, you can either manually manipulate XML or use a testing solution capable of supporting SOAP.
- REST Protocol - If the server and/or testing tool does not support REST, certain HTTP verb requests, such as POST, PUT, DELETE and GET will not be successfully operated. Therefore, it’s essential that you test your SilverLight applications using REST protocol measurements.
- Classic/Binary XML Protocol – In the most general sense, XML is a text based format used to encode documents into a form that’s readable by servers. While classic XML codes are relatively easy to monitor using various string manipulations, extracting or validating data can be tricky. When this is the case, use XPath to locate specific data strings within the XML document of your web app. You can use any free web application monitoring tool to do this.
Tip #2 – Automatically Application Process Indentification
Unlike other types of web applications, SilverLight apps utilize various identifiers for internal processes. While some of these identifiers are specific to certain applications, others are universal across all SilverLight application platforms. In the most general form, these process identifiers are engaged by using set parameters regarding how the servers work together. To avoid having to spend hours manually configuring these ever-evolving identifiers and parameters, utilize a load testing tool capable of automatically detecting identifiers related to specific applications and providing custom-made rules to correct these parameters.