In SharePoint 2010, we can now set up asynchronous updates on lists, libraries and other data views. Basically, this means that instead of users having to refresh the browser to see any changes to data on the screen, asynchronous updates can be used to either display a refresh button right on the list, or set it up to refresh automatically at an interval.
There are a couple of different ways to set up asynchronous updates:
- From within the browser
- From within SharePoint Designer 2010
From Within the Browser
It’s all about the web part properties. Go to the web part properties of a list view web part, and expand the AJAX Options section.
See in this screenshot that you can enable the asynchronous update. If you’d like end users to be able to click a button to refresh the data, choose “Show Manual Refresh Button”. There is also an option to automatically refresh the data in the web part at a certain interval. This means that if a user navigates to the web page and leaves it up in the browser all day, they will continue to see live data without having to use F5 to refresh the site.
When “Show manual refresh button” or “enable asynchronous automatic refresh” options are checked, the first option to “Enable asynchronous update” will automatically be selected when the web part properties are saved.
Enable Asynchronous Load can be selected independently of the Asynchronous update. With this option, data is requested from the server and loaded in the background without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page. The resulting behavior? When navigating to the page in SharePoint, everything else on the page will load, but it won’t wait for this web part. There will be a second or two (depending on network speeds and the amount of data) that you will see this GIF that indicates that the data is loading.
Since these are all web part properties, they can be set on any of your list view web parts, and remember that ALL regular views of lists are also web part pages. Here’s how to change the web part settings on a list view… it’s not going to be in the “Modify View” settings.
- Navigate to your list or library’s default view by clicking the name of it in the quick launch (such as AllItems.aspx).
- At the top left, choose <Site Actions> and choose <Edit Page>.
- At the top right of the web part, in this case “Shared Documents”, click the drop-down and choose Edit Web Part.
- Then that’s where you then expand the AJAX Options section as shown above.
From Within SharePoint Designer 2010
Asynchronous update can also be configured on any data view web part from within SharePoint Designer. When you open your list view or data view page and click to put your cursor anywhere inside the data view part of the page, the contextual ribbon will then display 4 tabs in a “List View Tools” section. On the Options tab, there’s a section with all of the settings you’ll need. Check the box next to “Asynchronous Update” in order to make the other two options enabled.
Note that each time you set up asynchronous update on web parts, there will be hits to the server each time the refresh is done. Just something to consider in planning… don’t go crazy with this feature.