Differences between XBAP, WPF Standalone and Silverlight

Differences between XBAP, WPF Standalone and Silverlight

WPF applications are divided into two categories.

• Standalone WPF Application
• XAML browser applications (XBAPs)

There is always a confusion between WPF, XBAP and Silverlight. Developers get confused which one to go for while designing a project. Here I will explain all the 3 technologies with the differences

Standalone WPF Application

- WPF applications are installed on end user's machine.

- Appear in Start Menu and Add/Remove Programs.

- Applications can be installed via MSI or ClickOnce.

- User can be offline and use the application. There is no need for Internet connection.

- Newer versions of the application may not be automatically installed in user's machine.

- WPF standalone applications can use WCF for communication.

- Applications run in its own window as other windows applications.

XAML Browser Application(XBAP)

- These type of applications are not installed in user's machine.

- They do not appear in the in Start Menu or Add/Remove Programs.

- Applications can be automatically deployed via ClickOnce.

- Applications are hosted in the browser process.

- Can be run only in IE and Firefox.

- Newer versions are always installed automatically into the user's machine.

- User must be online to use the application.

- XBAP is Windows only. We can run the application in Windows operating system only.

- XBAPs cannot use WCF.

- The user machine should have .NET framework 3.0 components.


- XBAP is IE and Firefox only. But Silverlight can run in any browser and platform.

- Silverlight is used for creating rich UI web application.

- User's machine don't need .NET framework.

- Can be embedded in HTML markup and rendered in any browser using the silverlight plug in.

- XABP has 99% features of WPF. But Silverlight is just a subset of WPF.


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