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Star Tech Blog

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Real-Time Web Functionality & SignalR
Real-time web functionality is something millions of people see every day when using their favourite websites, but probably without realising it. For example, your activity feeds when using Facebook and Twitter update without you having to do anything but sit and wait. It is intended to make your experience on the site less static, and more immersive.

 No Refreshing

We’ve chosen to use a technology called SignalR to bring real-time web functionality to Rezi. It’s a library that has been developed by Microsoft to help bring real-time functionality to the masses. You can use SignalR to add any sort of real-time web functionality to your application. An example used often when talking about ‘real-time’ is chat, but there’s so much more that can be done with this technology. Here are some other examples of what it could be used for:


  • Collaboration: Google already uses real-time functionality in their Drive products. If more than one person is working on a shared document, you can see in real-time what the other person is writing, formatting, deleting etc.
  • Multi-player games: Games that can handle massive amounts of players gaming together over the web are no longer limited to consoles or games installed on PCs or Macs. There are lots of popular multi-player web games that use real-time functionality to allow people from all over the world to game together.
  • Activity streams: As mentioned earlier, companies such as Facebook and Twitter already use this implementation of real-time web functionality heavily in their flagship products.
  • Live content: During big news events, sites such as BBC News will provide a live news stream dedicated to updating readers on the events unfolding. For example, during the upcoming election, many news sites will have a feed of live content.


They will combine elements such as status updates from their reporters, links to their articles as they are published and tweets that will keep you informed and engaged in their coverage

In Rezi, we take advantage of real-time web functionality in numerous places. Chat, reminders, note streams, document generation progress, and more! If you want to generate a mass mail out to 500 people, you don’t want to keep refreshing to see if it’s finished yet. Instead you can forget about it, go and make a cuppa, and we’ll let you know when it’s finished.

It’s basically a nice way of saying, “don’t call us, we’ll call you”.

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