Nov 26

WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) is a new API for creating graphical user interfaces for the Windows platform. It provides a consistent programming model for building applications and provides a clear separation between the user interface and the business logic. WPF employs the use of 2D and 3D drawing, fixed and adaptive documents, advanced typography, vector graphics, raster graphics, animation, data binding, audio and video A standalone WPF application is one that is compiled into an EXE and placed on the users computer via any of the standard installation techniques. If installed to the local hard drive it has the default security settings of Full Trust.
XBAP (XAML Browser Application) is a new windows technology used for creating rich internet applications. While windows applications are normally compiled to an .exe file, browser applications are compiled to an extension .xbap and can be run inside the browser. XBAP applications are run within a security sandbox to prevent untrusted applications from controlling local system resources. (E.g. deleting local files)

XBAP’s application are full-blown WPF applications, however there are some key differences listed below


 Standalone WPF application is installed on user’s computer while XBAP applications are not installed on the client’s computer.
 Standalone WPF applications appears in start menu and in add/remove programs but XBAP application doesn’t appears in start menu and in add/remove programs since these are not installed on the user’s computer.
 Standalone WPF application can be installed using standard installation techniques but XBAP applications are called Click-Zero deployment because the user is not prompted to ‘install’ the application, user runs the application by going to a specific URL on the Web.
 Standalone WPF application has the default security settings of full trust but there is a huge security risk involved with allowing applications to install and run from the Web. Therefore all XBAPs are run in a restrictive security sandbox under partial trust.
 There is offline access for standalone WPF application but we cannot run XBAP application unless user has the access to the XBAP URL.

References: WPF in C# 2008  by Matthew MacDonald

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