You may be a bit confused with this post’s title - does it even make any sense to talk about real-time in the web? Before we answer that - what makes a real-time application? That’s quite easy - event source pushes the events towards user’s dashboard (in this case - the web browser). Doesn’t sound really “webbish”, does it? It pretty much means we should poll the web server for the events raised since last poll - it’s not very real-time and it means that magnitudes of flashing, ultra-short connections are being created and closed every second (for all the users working with the dashboard).
Real-time applications in the web
The answer to our problems is named SignalR and it can be found here: http://signalr.net/
You can find a neat example by Scott Hanselman published on his blog: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/AsynchronousScalableWebApplicationsWithRealtimePersistentLongrunningConnectionsWithSignalR.aspx
After playing a bit with this, I may say that it’s quite interesting, especially if you’re about to create something like a chat application or maybe a stock ticker.