Microsoft just announced a new release of RIA (Data) Services. As the name implies, the new release (the first beta) now uses WCF as its underlying data transport protocol.
I posted a tutorial, Silverlight LOB Data Strategies, that compared RIA Services with IdeaBlade’s DevForce Silverlight and ADO.NET Data Services from Microsoft. In that tutorial, I compared the “size” of the data package downloaded to the client using each technology. RIA Services did not do well on this metric.
Shortly after posting the results, I heard from Deepesh Mohnani, a Product Manager on the RIA team, who let me know that his team was doing work to improve the download package size. It turns out that the incorporation of WCF was the basis of the improvement.
About a month ago I was given a preview of the new bits and ran my test again using the WCF technology. The size of the download package went from 2.2 MB with the July Preview down to 0.72 MB with the WCF technology. My download package included some binary images and WCF handles this type of data much better.
With the incorporation of WCF as the data transport technology, RIA Services moved from producing the largest package size to producing the smallest package size (0.72 MB versus 1.01 MB for DevForce Silverlight and 1.2 MB for ADO.NET Data Services).
I’ll be experimenting with the new beta release and likely post a video or two talking about the improvements.