WPF vs. ASP.NET – An Architect’s Perspective

Karl Shifflett recently published a fabulous blog post explaining why he decided to use WPF instead of ASP.NET for his company’s large software product.  It is very down to earth and unbiased.  He obviously put a lot of thought into this, so I highly recommend checking it out.  Here’s the link:


4 Responses to WPF vs. ASP.NET – An Architect’s Perspective

  1. Karl Shifflett says:

    Thanks Rock Star!!

  2. Alex Sarafian says:

    I read that also, and since we are in the process of selecting an architecture, I’m trying to convince my company to adopt WPF.

    One of the most interesting parts which Karl doesn’t mention is that Silverlight 2.0 will support all of the .NET functionality and all of the WPF controls. Also from what I have read Microsoft is preparing to expand Silverlight cross platform support into Linux (can you verify?) and that means that our application will be able to run not only in Windows and MacOS

    This means that we can create an application and just present it through internet explorer without ClickOnce. This is a concern because in Greece, where I live Application Architecture negatives/positives are not always the key factor of selecting one. Because of ignorance, the hear internet explorer for example and everything else doesn’t matter.

    But my biggest concern is whether when selling date comes, there will be an adoption of more powerfull computers by companies, and vista os which is mandatory to access all hardware acceleration layers of WPF.

    The Last is a dilema that Karl does not address, and I believe it to be the most important, especially if the new product targets companies intranet and not private computers on the web which are generally more up to date with technology. For example the relactanse of large companies to adopt Vista.

    Sorry for my english, I’m trying my best.

  3. Karl Shifflett says:


    Very good commnets here. I wish you and your comany the best on your platfrom choice.

    I left Sliverlight 2.0 out of the mix because we do not have the Q1 2008 bits available to test yet. Also, we made our decision back in June of 2007. Josh had told me to post it then, and I let it slip through the cracks.

    As far a target computers go, the application we are delivering, actually targets Win XP with a monitor running at 1024 x 768. In other words, an averagte computer that would be found on the desktop of a small city government employee. Single CPU, 17-19 monitor, no fancy graphics card. Our applications run just fine on these system, even over remoted data scenarios via the Internet and remote data over VPN.

    Best to you on your project. You are the tip of the spear!


  4. Josh Smith says:


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I disagree with several of your points, as listed below:

    1) Silverlight 2.0 will not support all .NET functionality, and will not have all of the WPF controls. Not even close.

    2) The support for Linux, called Moonlight, is being created by the same group which created Mono. That group is not part of Microsoft.

    3) Vista is not required to have hardware acceleration of WPF. You can have HW acceleration on XP, provided that you have a graphics card which supports DirectX 9.

    4) Karl did not address the issue of targeting “intranet computers” because that was not a concern in his situation. He was only explaining the issues that he had to think through when choosing between WPF and ASP.NET, not all possible issues that people might face. I agree, dealing with an unknown/unknowable deployment environment would strongly affect your decision regarding which platform to use.


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