Alik Levin's

Clarity, Technology, and Solving Problems | 

January, 2008

  • Alik Levin's

    Basic Sample - How To Keep ASP.NET ViewState On The Server


    During recent few engagements with my customers I've noticed  VIewState is extensively [unintentionally] used. ViewState is on by default. The result is heavy weight Html that round trips on the network. This causes slow response time and high network utilization that affects another applications using the same network.

    How to remove ViewState from the network completely while taking an advantage if its functionality at same time?

    This post walks through basic steps of creating ASP.NET Base Page that implements functionality allowing saving ViewState on the server. The approach reduces dramatically network utilization.

    Summary of steps

    • Step 1 - Create Visual Studio Solution. 
    • Step 2 - Implement Base Page
    • Step 3 - Inherit Each ASPX page from Custom Base Page
    • Step 4 - Test The Solution

    The following section describes each step in details.


  • Step 1 - Create Visual Studio Solution.  Open Visual Studio 2008 and create empty solution, found under "Visual Studio Solutions". Name it BasePageSample. In Solution explorer right click the solution and add new project. Choose "ASP.NET Web Application" under Web node in "Add new Project" dialog. Name it SampleWebToUseExternalBasePage. Right click the solution in Solution Explorer and add new project. Choose "Class Library" under Windows node. Name it MyBasePage. In MyBasePage project add reference to System.Web assembly. Right click MyBasePage project and add new class, name it LeaveViewStateOnTheServer.cs.


  • Step 2 - Implement Base Page.  While in LeaveViewStateOnTheServer class add using declarations and inherit from Page type:
    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Text;
    using System.IO;
    using System.Web.UI;
    using System.Web;
    namespace MyBasePage
        class LeaveViewStateOnTheServer : Page
    Override two relevant methods that handle Loading and Saving of ViewState:
    protected override object LoadPageStateFromPersistenceMedium()
        object viewStateBag;
        string m_viewState = (string)Session["ViewState"];
        LosFormatter m_formatter = new LosFormatter();
            viewStateBag = m_formatter.Deserialize(m_viewState);
            throw new HttpException("The View State is invalid.");
        return viewStateBag;
    protected override void SavePageStateToPersistenceMedium(object viewState)
        MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
        LosFormatter m_formatter = new LosFormatter();
        m_formatter.Serialize(ms, viewState);
        ms.Position = 0;
        StreamReader sr = new StreamReader(ms);
        string viewStateString = sr.ReadToEnd();
        Session["ViewState"] = viewStateString;
    This is a basic code that can be adopted and adapted to specific needs. The code mostly based on Dino Esposito's code.

  • Step 3 - Inherit Each ASPX page from Custom Base Page. Right click SampleWebToUseExternalBasePage project and reference to MyBasePage project. Right click SampleWebToUseExternalBasePage project and add new ASPX page, name it default.aspx. Open default.aspx.cs code behind and inherit the page from custom Base Page:
    using MyBasePage;
    namespace SampleWebToUseExternalBasePage
        public partial class _Default : LeaveViewStateOnTheServer

  • Step 4 - Test The Solution. Add any control to the page from the toolbox. GridView uses ViewState the most. Here is how rendered Html For GridView looks with default ViewState behavior:


    And here is how it looks without:



    My Related Posts

    Related Resources

    Download Sample Visual Studio 2008 solution from my SkyDrive:

  • Alik Levin's

    How To Keep ASP.NET ViewState On The Server – Revised


    This is a follow up post to Basic Sample - How To Keep ASP.NET ViewState On The Server

    ASP.NET 2.0 offers much easier built-in mechanism to save ViewState on the server in Session using SessionPageStatePersister. Thanks to Russ who pointed me to this feature available in ASP.NET 2.0 via comments in the previous post.

    The details can be found here ASP.NET 2.0 Page State Persister [thanks go to Eddie from our own ACE team for the pointer].

    Short analysis. Using SessionPageStatePersister to store VIewState is very convenient as there is no code needed, almost. The down side is that this approach allows storing ViewState only in Session while the approach described in previous post allows routing ViewState to any storage of your choice – Session, Cache, DB, Web Services – up to your imagination. This can be important when considering scalability aspects of the solution that kazlak pointed out in the comments for the previous post.

    To commentators. Big-thank-you for leaving your insightful comments. Sharing your insights helps me to improve and I am sure it also enriches this blog readers experience – THANKS! Please comment more and leave your web sites/blogs so I can link back to you and give you full credit to your insights.

  • Alik Levin's

    Performance Code Review Tool – Practices Checker


    Care about performance? Do you write your code with performance in mind? Want little help to spot performance bottlenecks automatically?

    Practices Checker to the rescue.

    The goal of the tool is

    “Help you perform a manual code inspection by analyzing your application for potential coding and configuration settings that do not adhere to the patterns & practices ASP.NET Performance Checklist.”

    The tool is available as free download here. Download, install, point to your web application solution folder and hit “Analyze” button. You will get the report for potential performance issues and recommendations on how to fix. I am sure you will be surprised by few findings.

    Performance rules:

    Case Study

    I used Practices Checker with one of my recent engagements . The tool spotted in no time web pages where there were 30 loops, enormous amount of serialization issues, and few more.

    My related posts

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