Microsoft Blazor offers two different hosting models: Blazor WebAssembly and Blazor Server. Each model has advantages and trade-offs, and the model you choose will depend on your application's requirements and priorities. In this post, we will explorer some of the differences between these hosting models and give some guidance on choosing the model best-suited for your project.
Blazor WebAssembly runs client-side directly in the web browser using WebAssembly. The .NET runtime and application code are downloaded and executed directly by the client.
- Client-side execution: With Blazor WebAssembly, the entire application runs on the client-side, providing a fast and responsive user experience.
- Offline support: Since the application runs in the browser, it can continue to function even when the user is offline or has an unstable internet connection.
- No server dependency: The application runs independently of the server, which can reduce server load and simplify deployment.
- Initial load time: The application, including the .NET runtime, must be downloaded to the client, which can result in a longer initial load time.
- Limited browser support: Blazor WebAssembly requires modern browsers with WebAssembly support, which may not be available on older devices or in restricted environments.
- Limited access to server resources: Client-side applications may have restricted access to server resources, such as databases, file systems, or certain APIs.
Blazor Server runs the application on the server, and communicates UI changes to the web browser using a SignalR connection.
- Fast initial load time: Since the application runs on the server, the initial download size is smaller, resulting in a faster initial load time.
- Broader browser support: Blazor Server works with older browsers, as it doesn't rely on WebAssembly support.
- Full access to server resources: Server-side applications can directly access server resources, such as databases, file systems, and APIs, without the need for additional web services.
- Latency: User interactions are sent to the server for processing, which can introduce latency and result in a less responsive user experience.
- Scalability: Blazor Server applications require an active connection to the server for each user, which can put more load on the server and impact scalability.
- No offline support: Blazor Server applications rely on a constant connection to the server and cannot function offline.
Choosing the Right Hosting Model
When trying to decide which hosting model to use for your project, consider these factors:
If a fast and responsive user experience is top-priority, Blazor WebAssembly may be the better choice. However, if a longer initial load time will be prohibitive, Blazor Server is a better fit.
If you need to support older browsers or environments that can't run WebAssembly, Blazor Server is the way to go. For more information about browsers supported by Blazor WebAssembly, refer to the official documentation.
Access to Server Resources
If your application needs to access server resources directly (for example, Entity Framework), consider Blazor Server. Blazor WebAssembly is still an option as long as you utilize an intermediary web service or API to support it.
Scalability and Server Load
If you expect many users and want to minimize strain on your server resources, Blazor WebAssembly might be the better option.
If your application needs to function in offline or unstable network conditions, Blazor WebAssembly is the ideal choice since it can run without a server.
For a more in-depth explanation of Blazor hosting models, refer to the official documentation.