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Free Tool: WPF Performance Suite

I like Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) very much, especially its implementation of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern. I've also grown to appreciate XAML as a declarative (if quirky) way of building complex user interfaces that integrate with a testable code file. However, every once in a while, I end up with a WPF Window that takes a long time to render, or renders in a bizarre series of jumps. If that's happened to you, it's worthwhile to download Microsoft's WPF Performance Suite.

The suite includes two tools: Perforator and Visual Profiler. Neither will tell you what to do to fix your problem, but both will help you locate the problem.

Perforator concentrates on the low-level routines that render your XAML. The download page for the package includes some useful information about the kind of values you should see with Perforator to help you figure out where your problem is. You can also experiment with various settings to see which (if any) will help with your problem.

While Perforator looks at how WPF is rendering your XAML, Visual Profiler shows how individual controls you've included in your XAML (Buttons, Lines and so on) are being rendered. In many ways, this is more useful to the developer: once you know what your problem controls are, you can focus on what's causing them to behave badly. The best solution may be to just do without them.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 01/13/2014 at 12:42 PM


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