ViewState: Various ways to reduce performance overhead

In this Article, I am going to explore the Viewstate. View state is one thing that always I liked to use. It makes our life easier. As we all know that Viewstate is one way of maintaining the states in the web applications.

As we know, a web page is created every time when a page is posted to the server.It means The values that user entered in the webpage is going to be vanished after the poastback or submit. To get rid of this problem, ASP.NET framework provides a way to maintain these values by virtue of Viewstate. When we enable the viewstate of any control, the value is going to be maintained on every postbacks or server roundtrips.

But how these values get maintained? It doesn’t come free.View state uses hidden valriable that resides on the page to store the controls values. It means that if a page have lots of controls with viewstate enabled the page size would become heavy, in several of kilobytes ie it will take longer time to download.And also on every postback all the data is posted to the server i e increasing the network tarffic as well.

As in new era application, we use lots of heavy controls like gridview etc, on our page which makes page size exponetially heavy.It is always recommended to use viewsate judiciously and even some programmers try to to avoid using this cause of performace overhead.

Here , I am going to discuss how we can reduce the performance overhead caused by viewstate.

Problems with viewstate:
n our new era application, we generally have lots of rich and heavy controls on our page and also provide lots of functionality on the page with the help of few latest technology AJAX etc. To accomplish our task we use Viewstate a lot but as we know it doesn’t come free it has a performance overhead.

As we know viewstate is stored on the page in form of hidden variable. Its always advised to use viewstate as less as possible. we have also other ways to reduce the performance overhead. So we have several ways,here I am going to discuss the following ways

* By compressing decompressing the viewstate
* Aanother way to store the view state at some other server say on web server.

ViewState Compression/Decompression
We can compress the viewstate to reduce the pagesize. By compressing the viewstate we can reduce the viewstate size by more than 30%. But here the question arises, where to compress and decompress the viewstate. For that we have to dig into the Page life cycle. As we know, viewstate is used by the ASP.NET to populate the controls. So we should compress the viewstate after all the changes are done in the viewstate and saving it after compression and we have to decompress the viewstate just before it is used by to load all the controls from viewstate . So lets jump to thepage life cycle and see our we can fit our requirement.
Page Life Cycle
As we can see there are two methods,One SaveViewState that is responsible for collecting the view state information for all of the controls in its control hierarchy in this method and persist it it in __viewstate hiddenform field. The view state is serialized to the hidden form field in the SavePageStateToPersistenceMedium() method during the save view state stage, and is deserialized by the Page class’s LoadPageStateFromPersistenceMedium() method in the load view state stage. So here in these methods we can compress and decompress the viewstate. Lets take a pictorial view.
So here, we need to override the methods SavePageStateToPersistenceMedium()for compressing the viewstate and SavePageStateToPersistenceMedium() for decompressing the viewstate. Here I am going to use GZip for compression that is provided by the .NET itself.And this is available in th namespace System.IO.Compression….
Complete article has been published on CodeProject. To view Click here


2 thoughts on “ViewState: Various ways to reduce performance overhead

    • You are right. We can turn it on.

      But you must be knowing they just zip the response, not the Request. Even during postbacks, its not GZIPPed.

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