D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Compression in IIS 6.0

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 3:48 AM

At my Calgary Code Camp presentation on ASP.NET, the subject of compression came up. We were talking about the benefits of using CSS adapters to reduce the amount of markup that gets sent over the pipe and someone in the audience commented that IIS compression was also something that had worked well for them.

I found this excellent post on Scott Forsyth's blog talking about how to enable it in IIS 6, and its not as trivial as simply clicking a checkbox. There's edits to the Metabase that need to happen, a temp folder for static files, etc.

Also of note is that not all browsers handle compression properly. The article talks about IE 5 (the post is from 2004), so I'm guessing that its not too much of an issue here in 2007, but still there are considerations before blindly rolling out compression...it almost seems like an option to consider when the requirements dictate.

Omar Al Zabir has a post about it here, and although the article is great the comments suggest that there are still other issues to consider when rolling out compression (i.e. why not just use Cache.VaryByCustom, Crystal Reports issues, etc.).

I'm wanting to look into this more, but in the brief bit I've looked at it I don't think its a total replacement for other performance enhancements like using CSS Adapters (or just any type of control Adapter that you roll), using caching properly, and utilizing AJAX-based features. I do think that compression should be something that web developers should definately evaluate for their own projects though and determine if it makes sense in their current environments



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