UpdatePanel, UpdateProgress Controls and Overlays (Wait Messages)

Scenario: While a partial page postback is occurring disable all form fields and give the user a pleasant please wait message that can be used consistently across your application.  We need to create an overlay that works in conjunction with the updatepanel as well as direct from JavaScript.

Problem: Design the update progress html and css so that the entire page is overlaid with gray background.  This works pretty good until scrolling on the page is involved.  When the page is tall enough that the browser scrolls the overlay must by sized dynamically with each post.  If you fail to do this, you will end up with odd visual with the overlay only covering a portion of the page.

The problem above is resolved in the solution described within this post.  It covers the, html, css and JavaScript code to accomplish the above in re-usable fashion.

I was using the UpdatePanel control which enables you to build rich, client-centric web applications.  By using the UpdatePanel controls you can refresh selected parts of the page instead of refreshing the whole page with a postback.  While the partial page post back occurs an UpdateProgress control is available to provide the user with a friendly ‘please wait’ message.  This all works seamlessly out of the box. 

In my scenario I needed to overlay and disable all controls (make unavailable) for the user while the partial page update happens.  The application allows for file uploads (which cannot participate in partial page updates).  A full post back must occur for this to work correctly. 

My ASPX page has the following structure with typical UpdatePanel, ContentTemplate, Triggers and UpdateProgress controls.  The trigger designates that the btnSubmitAdmin will perform a full postback.  I want the full postback user interaction to look similar as the partial page updates.  As a result, I will be using the same updateprogress visual for both partial and full postbacks.

<body onload="fncOnLoad()">
<form id="form1" runat="server">
    <asp:ScriptManager ID="Scriptmanager1" runat="server" EnablePartialRendering="true"></asp:ScriptManager>
    <asp:UpdatePanel ID="updatePanel1" runat="server"  UpdateMode="Conditional" >
        <!-- Content Goes Here -->                
            <asp:PostBackTrigger ControlID="btnSubmitAdmin" />            
   <asp:UpdateProgress ID="UpdateProgress1" runat="server" AssociatedUpdatePanelID="updatePanel1" DynamicLayout="true" DisplayAfter="1000">
        <ProgressTemplate >
             <uc1:WaitPanel ID="WaitPanel1" runat="server" />

As you can see above the updateprogress has a user control WaitPanel.  It is this html/css that will be shown when the user performs a postback.  The WaitPanel is registered at the top of the page.

<%@ Control Language="VB" AutoEventWireup="false" CodeFile="WaitPanel.ascx.vb" Inherits="Uc_WaitPanel" %>
        <div id="OuterTableCellOverlay">
            <div id="InnerTableCellOverlay">
                <b>... Please Wait ...</b>
                <br />
                <asp:Image runat="server" ImageUrl="~/Images/indicator_waitanim.gif" />                

I wanted this solution to be easily applied to other pages as well as other projects.  As a result, I created both wait.css and wait.js files that can be copied across projects.  These files functional aspects of the wait.  The user control in the page load registers both the style sheet (css) and includes the JavaScript library.

Partial Class Uc_WaitPanel
    Inherits System.Web.UI.UserControl
    Protected Sub Uc_WaitPanel_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
        Dim css As New HtmlLink()
        With css
            .Href = ResolveClientUrl("~/Style/Wait.css")
            .Attributes("rel") = "stylesheet"
            .Attributes("type") = "text/css"
            .Attributes("media") = "all"
        End With
        Dim url As String = ResolveClientUrl("~/Scripts/Wait.js")
        Page.ClientScript.RegisterClientScriptInclude("wait", url)
    End Sub
End Class

So far I have shown the aspx code and the code that displays the please wait message.  When this is displayed I am using CSS to overlay a gray and place ‘please wait..’ in the forefront.

/* updateprogress css */
        background-color: white;  
        z-index: 999;
        width: 100%;
        height: 100%;
        position: absolute;
        top: 0;
        left: 0;                        
        border: 1px solid black;
        padding: 10px;
        background-color: #eee;
        z-index: 998;
        background-color: #eee;
        position: absolute;
        top: 0pt;
        left: 0pt;            
        text-align: center;        

As it stands right now when a partial page update is performed the ‘please wait’ message will be shown in the forefront with gray background on the complete page.
I now want the following… 1.)  to show this same image when performing full postbacks 2.) I want to be able to use this from JavaScript without the update panel.  In order to use from JavaScript (after the user selects submit) I attach a function via

<asp:Button ID="btnSubmitAdmin" runat="server" CssClass="btn" style="width:100px;" 
          OnClientClick="return fncValidateSubmit('Ready to Submit?');" Text="Save" 
          ToolTip="Save" Visible="false" />
//validate before submitting signature authority            
    function fncValidateSubmit(msg) {
        //perform some client side validation checks here...
        if (valid == true) {
            var answer = confirm(msg);                    
            if (answer) {
                return answer;
        } else {
            return false;

Here you will notice a call to ShowWait(‘UpdateProgress1’);  This function is within the Wait.js file that was included with the user control.

function ShowWait(progressControlId) {
    document.getElementById(progressControlId).style.display = 'block';

So all very cool that accomplishes 1.) above showing the same update progress message when performing a full postback.  If I want to show this message at any time I can simply call ShowWait and pass in the id of the container for the Wait message.  At this point, the code that is needed is simply the user control, the style sheet and the wait JavaScript library.

The big issue that remains is to have the overlay cover the entire browser window independent of any scrolling.  This was an problem.  Without this adjustment after the user scrolled down half the page and performed any sort of postback the gray overlay was only shown on a portion of the page leaving a very ugly user interface.

The solution: involved calling a JavaScript function upon body load.  Upon page load loadAjaxHandlers() is called.   This function is necessary to intercept between the user clicking the button and the partial post occurring.  This enables us to run some JavaScript to size the overlay and center the wait message properly.  Below you can see that I am calling SetWaitDimensions before the post.  This function determines the browser window as well as the scroll dimensions and determines the size of the required overlay and also how to center the wait message.

////call the following from <body onload="load()">
////required so that background blur is dimensioned correctly (with respect to scroll issues with browser)
////enable js to be called after ajax postback
function loadAjaxHandlers() {
    //will process during the initialization of the postback
                    function() {

The following is my complete Wait.js file which you can see sizes the overlay and positions the wait message.

////call the following from <body onload="load()">
////required so that background blur is dimensioned correctly (with respect to scroll issues with browser)
////enable js to be called after ajax postback
function loadAjaxHandlers() {
    //will process during the initialization of the postback
                    function() {
function ShowWait(progressControlId) {
    document.getElementById(progressControlId).style.display = 'block';
//set dimensions of blur element, positions progress box
function SetWaitDimensions() {
    if (document.getElementById) {
        var blur = document.getElementById('OuterTableCellOverlay');
        var progress = document.getElementById('InnerTableCellOverlay');
 = '444px'; = '100px';
        var vp = getViewport();
        var dm = getElementDimensions(document.body);
        var sp = getScrollPosition();
        if (vp.height > dm.height)
   = vp.height + 'px';
   = dm.height + 'px'; = '100%';
 = (sp.y + ((vp.height - dm.height) / 3)) + 'px'; = (sp.x + ((vp.width - dm.width) / 2)) + 'px';
 = document.documentElement.clientHeight / 3 -'px', '') / 2 + 'px'; = document.body.offsetWidth / 2 -'px', '') / 2 + 'px';
//returns view port dimensions
function getViewport() {
    var v = { width: 0, height: 0 };
    if (window.innerHeight) {
        v.height = window.innerHeight;
        v.width = window.innerWidth;
    } else if (document.documentElement.clientHeight) {
        v.height = document.documentElement.clientHeight;
        v.width = document.documentElement.clientWidth;
    } else {
        v.height = document.body.clientHeight;
        v.width = document.body.clientWidth;
    return v;
//returns dimensions of element
function getElementDimensions(el) {
    var dim = { width: 0, height: 0 };
    dim.width = el.offsetWidth;
    dim.height = el.offsetHeight;
    return dim;
//returns window scroll position
function getScrollPosition() {
    var pos = { x: 0, y: 0 };
    pos.x = window.pageXOffset ? window.pageXOffset : document.documentElement.scrollLeft;
    pos.y = window.pageYOffset ? window.pageYOffset : document.documentElement.scrollTop;
    return pos;

While writing this post, I recognized that there was a nice feature that I would like to include.  Currently, the gray overlay covers the entire browser window.  I would like modify so that I can pass in the container object.  By doing this I could use in smaller portions on the page quite easily. 

This is quite easily moved between projects which was one of my goals with this solution. If you have any comments or improvements please let me know.



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