The blog helps you discover all three ASP.NET Core Blazor hosting models: Server, WebAssembly, and Hybrid. You will undergo an overview of the models’ working, benefits, and limitations. In addition, a detailed differentiation is also offered between the three in tabular form. Once you complete the details, you will know when to use which Blazor hosting model is best for performance, stability, and compatibility.
Blazor is a popular front-end development framework used by .NET professionals for curating alluring and interactive user interfaces. However, there are numerous factors on which the performance, component execution, and stability of the Blazor are dependent. And one of the factors is the hosting model.
Here, we are going to discuss all primary ASP.NET Core Blazor hosting models. It will help you understand which hosting model is perfect for which use case.
What is ASP.NET Core Blazor?
ASP.NET Core Blazor is a framework developed by Microsoft that helps develop user interfaces using the C# programming language. It supports both server and client-side rendering and shares the written logic between them.
The ASP.NET Core Blazor framework was primarily used for developing native mobile and desktop applications. But, with its advancements, it can be utilized for curating hybrid applications, working seamlessly across significant devices. Further, to host a Blazor application, you must choose a hosting model. And regardless of the nativity and hybrid functionality of the application, you can use any hosting model.
The Three Primary ASP.NET Core Blazor Hosting Models
There are three ASP.NET Core Blazor hosting models for desktop, mobile, and hybrid applications. You can use any of it for leverage .NET’s scalability, performance, stability, security, and reliability.
ASP.NET Core Blazor Web Assembly Hosting Model
The Web Assembly hosting model executes all the components and processes on the client side. It uses the end user’s browser to download the dependencies and associated razor components, which are then rendered on the screen.
A browser UI thread is generated to handle events and manage updates received from the backend or the web server. When you utilize the Web Assembly model, .NET gives you two choices for the backend. The first is a backend ASP.NET core application, and the second is a server. Any of these mechanisms behind the browser provide the static content, which is then downloaded and displayed.
Further, the app developed for client-side interactivity is called a standalone WebAssembly application until it doesn’t receive files from the backend or server side. Once the connection is established using SignalR, gRPC, or web API between the two, the application gets categorized as a hosted Blazor Web Assembly application.
While you host your application using the WebAssembly model, take care of the following factors. Otherwise, it can impact the app’s performance.
- Ensure that the duplicate and additional code are removed in the final executable file.
- Enable the application to compress HTTP responses for faster execution.
- Ensure that the browser cache is storing the .NET assemblies and runtime files.
Benefits of ASP.NET Core Web Assembly Hosting Model
- The client-side/standalone applications can run seamlessly even if the backend goes down. This functionality is only viable if all the required files are downloaded and stored in the browser’s memory.
- It uses fewer server resources, helps you save costs, and leverages a high ROI.
- It enables the deployment of apps on a CDN (Content Delivery Network), which again saves the cost of developing a backend application to provide resources. In addition, it increases app availability.
- AOT (ahead of time) is supported by Blazor, helping to improve the loading and processing speed.
- The client-side approach aids in easy scaling up, leveraging to host millions of users without interruption.
Limitations of ASP.NET Core Web Assembly Hosting Model
- The components of the application are restricted to the browser’s features and compatibility with the operating system.
- If all necessary files are not downloaded from the backend and it becomes unavailable, then the client-side app will not work.
- The limited resources at the user’s end can lower the performance, speed, and stability.
- The probability of getting compromised is increased as the source code is sent to the end-user’s browser.
- If the customer doesn’t have a compatible browser, it’ll be considered unavailability, impacting conversions and retention.
ASP.NET Core Blazor Server Hosting Model
ASP.NET Core Blazor hosting model is the most used among all three. In this architecture, all the components and processes are executed on the server and then updated on the client side/interface. To maintain the connection with the server and provide real-time information to users, SignalR functionality supported by WebSockets protocol is used.
The server connects with each client device, and this connection is known as a circuit, and millions of them can be created per the user base. These circuits are not restricted by network availability, as temporary resource unavailability can be efficiently tolerated. And it also doesn’t harm data loss.
In addition, this server hosting model works based on circuits and browser screens or tabs. For every browser tab, it creates an individual circuit, which logically uses separate processing, storage, bandwidth, and other instances. Also, if you switch from one tab to another, the circuit of only the current tab will be maintained.
However, you don’t need to fret, as the server hosting model retains the terminated circuit details for a defined time. If the tab is reopened in that time bracket, the circuit is reconnected, and the operations are continued from where you left them. There’s also a benefit of this instant circuit breaking, as the associated resources are also released immediately.
Benefits of ASP.NET Core Blazor Server Hosting Model
- The application puts less load on the user’s device, which allows the publisher to ensure performance.
- The download size is pretty low as compared to the WebAssembly-based hosting model.
- It leverages the developers to integrate .NET Core APIs for better communication and data sharing.
- The source code remains secure, as all the operations are executed on the server, protected using high-tech authentication, authorization, and access controls.
- It aids in using a cloud-based server and pays as per resource utilization for better cost savings.
- The tools available for .NET debugging and maintenance work efficiently.
- All kinds of clients, including thin clients, are impeccably supported. It leads to reaching out to an extended target audience.
Limitations of ASP.NET Core Blazor Server Hosting Model
- If the server lacks any of the resources, it will impact the entire client base.
- Compromise of the server can lead to a breach of all user data and real-time data capturing.
- The cost to maintain a server can increase with the growing customer base and app utilization.
- You cannot deploy apps on a serverless architecture, such as a content delivery network. A server configured with ASP.NET Core is required.
- The application will not run if the server crashes, and there’s a very minimal probability of recovering the current state.
- A higher latency can exist, as every client request will undergo a round-trip.
ASP.NET Core Blazor Hybrid Hosting Model
The third and last hosting approach is the ASP.NET Core Blazor hybrid model. This model lets the developers build native mobile and desktop apps that can be embedded with other .NET development frameworks. It also enables the rendering of HTML and CSS for an improved user interface with the help of a local interop channel.
Blazor provides a built-in control – “BlazorWebView,” which you can use to add components from other .NET techs, such as .NET MAUI, Windows Forms, and WPF. With the integration of all these technologies, you can create cross-platform compatible applications available for users spread across different OS and devices.
In addition, Blazor hybrid applications have the capability to reuse WebAssembly and Blazor server components. Due to it, their performance and speed increase, and time-to-market is reduced. Such hybrid applications can also use the platform capabilities and provide the advantage of the web and .NET platforms altogether.
Benefits of ASP.NET Core Blazor Hybrid Hosting Model
- Components developed for one native application can be shared for another native app. For instance, components of mobile native apps can be used for desktop native applications.
- You can use the features of other .NET technologies like .NET MAUI to enhance the functionality of your native app.
- Hybrid applications gain complete access to the device’s capabilities and enhance speed, performance, security, and stability.
- It helps to save development, deployment, and maintenance costs and time.
Limitations of ASP.NET Core Blazor Hosting Model
- You will require additional resources to maintain the functioning of native applications per their compatible device and platforms.
- It can become complicated to reuse components and align the native application with platform standards simultaneously.
- Developing hybrid model-based applications will require you to hire professionals with Razor expertise, which can increase costs to some extent.
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The Prime Difference Between ASP.NET Core Blazor Hosting Models
While choosing a hosting model, the ASP.NET development company considers numerous factors. Below is the tabular representation of all such primary elements in all three hosting models. It will help you decide which hosting model is most reliable and align with your requirements.
|Compatibility with .NET API
|Large Size as compared to Server Model
|Large Size as compared to the Server Model
|Depending on file size, cache, and network
|Depends on device and OS compatibility
|Direct Connection with Server
|Not directly, but APIs can be used.
|This is only possible with the help of APIs.
|Source Code Security
|Leverage to host Statically
|Processing offloading to clients
|Native Client Access
|Deployment on Web
Which Blazor Hosting Model You Should Use?
Now, let’s have a closer look at each of the factors defined in the previous section. It will help you understand the exact functionality, benefit, or leverage of the available feature.
Compatibility with .NET API
If you want to use all .NET APIs, then choose ASP.NET Blazor server and hybrid hosting models. If you choose the WebAssembly hosting model, it will only provide compatibility with a subset of the .NET APIs, which can limit the functionalities of your application.
Payload Size and Loading Time
For high speed and less load size, the ASP.NET Blazor server hosting model is a perfect choice. It doesn’t put additional load on the client device and executes all operations on the server itself. However, you need to ensure that the server is configured with the top-level processor, RAM, and other hardware and software modules.
Direct Connection with Server
If you want your application to constantly and directly connect with the server, then the server hosting model is a reliable choice. Under the server model, every operation is executed on the server, and results are rendered on the client device. But for the hybrid and WebAssembly models, you need to use .NET APIs to connect to the server.
Also, by using additional APIs, the app size can increase, which can impact performance, speed, and security.
Source Code Security
In the server hosting model, the security for source code is, by default, enabled. However, in the hybrid and WebAssembly models, you can access the code security functionalities with the help of additional APIs. Thus, the ASP.NET Core Blazor server hosting model is highly considered for code security purposes.
Leverage to host Statically
For hosting the website statically, the WebAssembly hosting model must be your choice. In the WebAssembly model, all the data is downloaded and rendered on the client device and doesn’t need constant server reachability. Due to this feature, you can share the site data with the use of a content delivery network and host a static site.
Processing offloading to clients
When you want to offload the processing on the client, choose the ASP.NET Core Blazor hybrid or WebAssembly hosting model. It will help you save the resources, cost, and time to configure a server and scale it dynamically per the user and their demand.
Native Client Access
When you want to access and utilize all the client capabilities, then the ASP.NET Core Blazor hybrid hosting model should be your choice. It leverages the use of other .NET frameworks and APIs that support availing of access and executing Razor components directly. Also, it enhances performance, stability, and security.
Deployment on Web
By choosing the WebAssembly and server hosting model, you can deploy the applications on the web. But, with a hybrid hosting model, you need to use a platform-specific mechanism to provide applications and updates. Mainly, an executable installer file is provided in a hybrid model through stores, such as Play Store and App Store.
The ASP.NET Core Blazor framework is used to develop user interfaces by leveraging the functionality of both server and client. To host the application, build on Blazor, .NET offers three main hosting models – Server, WebAssembly, and Hybrid. In the WebAssembly and Hybrid model, applications use the client’s resources to execute operations. In the server model, the server at the backend is responsible for providing all the files and processing requests.
All the models are utilized per the use case and requirement of the organization. Therefore, you should also undergo the differentiation between all three and their compliance with your needs to select a reliable hosting model.
Expert in Software & Web App Engineering
Parag Mehta, the CEO and Founder of Positiwise Software Pvt Ltd has extensive knowledge of the development niche. He is implementing custom strategies to craft highly-appealing and robust applications for its clients and supporting employees to grow and ace the tasks. He is a consistent learner and always provides the best-in-quality solutions, accelerating productivity.