Understanding XAML Browser Applications (XBAP)Jul 15, 2015
In Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), you can have applications that fall under two distinct categories: standalone WPF applications and XAML browser applications (XBAPs). XBAPs can be used to create rich Internet applications (RIAs) that are hosted within a web browser. These applications combine the features of both web applications and rich-client applications. They can be published to a web server like web applications, then launched from the web browser. Like the rich-client applications, XBAPs can leverage the power of WPF. While windows applications are normally compiled to an .exe file, browser applications are compiled to an extension .xbap and can be run inside Internet Explorer.
Both XBAP and Silverlight applications are used for creating RIAs, and both execute inside the context of a web browser. However, there are subtle differences between the two. Running an XBAP requires .NET Framework 3.0 and later to be installed on the system. Silverlight supports only a subset of XAML and is Microsoft's equivalent of Flash Player. Note that Silverlight is actually a browser component a browser plug-in. It is cross-platform and doesn't need .NET Framework 3.0 or later to be installed for it to work. Silverlight applications can be embedded in any browser and on any platform and rendered in the web browser using a Silverlight plug-in, whereas XBAPs can be executed on Windows platforms only.
You can very easily create XBAPs by using Visual Studio 2008 and higher version. XBAPs is a great alternative for Silverlight applications for the developers who have a good command on XAML.