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Microsoft® ASP.NET and AJAX: Architecting Web Applications by Dino Esposito

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The Progress Indicator Pattern

When users of any computer application start a potentially lengthy operation, the user interface should be updated to reflect that some work is in progress and that results may not be available for a while. Implementing this pattern is relatively easy in Windows applications; however, you encounter structural difficulties if you try the same thing in a Web scenario.

In Web applications, displaying static text such as "Please, wait" just before the operation begins is easy. But what if you want to provide more informative feedback, such as the estimated time to completion or the percentage of work done?

In Web applications, lengthy tasks occur on the server, and there are no built-in facilities to push state information ...

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