There were several high-level requirements that we wanted to meet when we started thinking about the product's architecture. Among the requirement list we found two of them that were especially important: flexibility and performance. We noticed that these two negatively impacted each other: increasing flexibility reduced performance and vice versa. The system should be as flexible as possible from a look & feel and customization perspective. At the same time it needs to perform as fast as the underlying infrastructure allows. So the aim was to add the minimum amount of workload possible to the SharePoint servers.
Unfortunately, this decision has an impact on performance. Files on the SharePoint Style Library do not perform as well as when they are deployed directly to the SharePoint Root. In addition, adding files to the list of elements to be downloaded by browsers (especially the old ones) heavily impacted page rendering performance.
We decided to minimize the amount and the size of files the browser needs to download from the Style Library. This way the impact on performance is reduced and at the same time it keeps the customization possibilities unchanged. In order to do so, we created scripts that merge and minimize:
a) all style sheets in one file and
So, flexibility or performance? Both! It is all about finding the right balance between the two of them. We made a great effort in optimizing the amount and size of files while maintaining the customization possibilities intact.
Just request a trial if you want to test for yourself if we succeeded in building a flexible and fast performing social tool for SharePoint.