Reporting RPC call progress

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I am developing an API server using the ServiceStack library on .NET 3.5 (a new experience for me), designed to be accessed by a Windows Forms thick client application. When the user clicks a button that results in a REST request to the server, I'd like to display a progress bar that shows the progress of the RPC call.

My services generally follow one of the following patterns:

  • (number of objects received so far) / (total number of objects requested)- (number of bytes received so far) / (Content-Length of the HTTP response)

In both cases, these lists could be quite long, and thus I expect them to take a nontrivial amount of time to be sent over the network.

Is there a way to accomplish this using ServiceStack's JsonServiceClient, XmlServiceClient, or any subclass of ServiceClientBase in general ? If not, what would be a good way to accomplish what I want without too much extra work ? I understand that I could write my own REST client implementation from scratch, but I'd rather avoid that if I can.

12 Answers

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Grade: B

Reporting RPC Call Progress with ServiceStack

While ServiceStack does not explicitly provide progress reporting capabilities within its JsonServiceClient or XmlServiceClient, there are ways to achieve your desired functionality:

1. Implement Progress Reporting in ServiceStack:

  • Override ServiceClientBase methods like InvokeAsync and SendAsync to inject progress reporting logic.
  • Track the progress of the RPC call and expose it through an additional endpoint or store it locally for later use.

2. Use a Third-Party Library:

  • Consider using libraries like RestSharp or HttpClient which offer built-in progress reporting features.
  • Integrate these libraries with ServiceStack by creating custom ServiceClient implementations.


// Using RestSharp
var client = new RestSharp.RestClient("localhost:5000");
client.ExecuteAsync(new RestSharp.request. $("<method>", new Dictionary<string, object> { { "param", value } }, progressCallback);

// ProgressCallback method to track progress
private void progressCallback(IProgress report)
    // Update progress bar based on report.BytesTransferred and report.TotalBytes

// Using custom ServiceStack client
public class MyServiceClient : ServiceStack.ServiceClientBase
    public override async Task<object> InvokeAsync(string method, object request, CancellationToken token = default(CancellationToken))
        // Track progress and return result

    public override async Task<object> SendAsync(string method, object request, CancellationToken token = default(CancellationToken))
        // Track progress and return result

Additional Tips:

  • Use a progress reporting mechanism that is suitable for your target platform (Windows Forms in this case).
  • Consider the complexity of implementing progress reporting and weigh the benefits against the effort.
  • Keep the progress reporting overhead to a minimum to avoid impacting performance.


Overall, while ServiceStack does not offer built-in progress reporting functionality, there are alternative solutions to achieve your desired functionality without significant extra work.

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Grade: B

ServiceStack's JsonServiceClient and XmlServiceClient do not natively support progress reporting during an RPC call out of the box. However, you can achieve this functionality by implementing custom headers for streaming progress updates. This approach requires modifying both server-side and client-side code to send and receive these progress updates.

To implement progress reporting for your API in ServiceStack, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Serve-Side Adjustments: Modify your service method(s) to support sending custom headers as progress reports. You'll need to create an IStreamHandler2<T> implementation, which extends the basic IStreamHandler interface. This interface is responsible for reading chunks of data and sending responses to clients using a StreamContext.
public class ProgressReportingService : Service
    public override IHttpResult Handle(IRequest req, IServiceBase serviceBase)
        if (req.Headers["Custom-Progress-Header"] != null)
            using (var reader = new StreamReader(req.RawBodyStream))
                ReadAndProcessCustomProgressReports(reader.ReadToEnd()); // Process progress reports, if any

        // Your service logic here
        return base.CreateResponse(new MyResult { Data = "Your response data" }); // Adjust this line as needed

    private void ReadAndProcessCustomProgressReports(string json)
        // Your custom processing logic for progress reports in the JSON format
        var reports = JsonSerializer.Deserialize<List<YourCustomProgressReport>>(json);

        if (reports != null)
            foreach (var report in reports)
                this.Broadcast(eventName: "progressUpdated", data: new { Report = report }); // Send progress updates as events to all connected clients
  1. Client-side Adjustments: Update your Windows Forms client application code to include custom headers and manage the progress bar during RPC calls. You can create an extension method for JsonServiceClient that includes sending progress reports as part of its logic.
public static class JsonServiceClientExtensions
    public static void SendCustomProgressReport(this JsonServiceClient client, int percentage)
        var headerValue = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(new YourCustomProgressReport { Percentage = percentage });
        using (var request = HttpWebRequest.CreateHttp(client.Url))
            request.Headers["Custom-Progress-Header"] = headerValue;

        client.SendJsonMessageAsString(request, new JsonResponseMessage()); // Send the RPC call normally here

In the thick client application:

using (var client = new JsonServiceClient("http://your-server/api"))
    // Start your long running RPC operation here
    // This example demonstrates using an asynchronous task
    var result = await Task.Run(() => longRunningFunction());

    using (client)
        client.SendCustomProgressReport(percentage); // Send progress reports at specified intervals

        var response = await client.Get<MyResponse>("/api/path");
        if (response != null) // Process the API server's response here

In your form code, use a timer or other event-driven mechanism to periodically update the progress bar using the sent custom progress reports.

public partial class Form1 : Form
    private void InitializeComponent()
        // Design your form components here

    private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        timer1 = new Timer { Interval = 50 };
        timer1.Tick += (sender, args) => RefreshProgressBar();

        // Your form initialization logic here

    private int _progress;
    private Timer timer1;

    public void RefreshProgressBar()
        this.progressBar1.PerformInvoke(() => progressBar1.Value = _progress);
        if (InvokeRequired) return;
        UpdateUIWithServerData(); // Make sure to update other UI elements with the latest server data

With these changes, you will be able to display the RPC call progress in your Windows Forms thick client application using ServiceStack. Note that this example uses JsonServiceClient and assumes a JSON format for progress reports. However, similar logic can be applied when working with XML or any other custom format.

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Grade: B

You can use a combination of the ServiceStack library's JsonServiceClient and a BackgroundWorker to achieve this. Here's how:

  1. Create a BackgroundWorker:

    • In your Windows Forms application, create a BackgroundWorker instance.
    • Set the WorkerSupportsCancellation property to true to allow cancellation of the operation.
  2. Implement the DoWork Event Handler:

    • In the DoWork event handler, perform the following steps:
      • Create a JsonServiceClient instance.
      • Make the REST request to your ServiceStack API.
      • Handle the response and update the progress bar based on the received data (e.g., number of objects, bytes received).
      • If needed, use the ReportProgress method of the BackgroundWorker to update the progress bar.
  3. Implement the ProgressChanged Event Handler:

    • In the ProgressChanged event handler, update the progress bar based on the reported progress value.
  4. Implement the RunWorkerCompleted Event Handler:

    • In the RunWorkerCompleted event handler, handle the result of the operation.
  5. Start the BackgroundWorker:

    • When the user clicks the button, start the BackgroundWorker using the RunWorkerAsync method.
  6. Cancel the BackgroundWorker:

    • If the user wants to cancel the operation, call the CancelAsync method of the BackgroundWorker.
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Grade: B

While the ServiceClient classes offer useful features for building RPC clients, they don't provide a direct mechanism for displaying progress for RPC calls. However, you can achieve this by implementing additional logic within your code.

Option 1: Implement a Callback or Event Mechanism

  • Create a callback method or event handler that is called when the RPC call completes.
  • Within this callback, you can update the progress bar based on the number of objects received or bytes received.

Option 2: Use a Progress Indicator Property

  • Set a Progress property on the ServiceClient object.
  • Increment this property in the background thread whenever a request is made and decrement it when the response is received.
  • In your UI thread, bind the progress property to the progress bar's Value property.

Option 3: Use a Progress Bar Class

  • Create a custom ProgressBar class that inherits from Control and implements its own update logic.
  • Attach this class to the ServiceCall object or a common ancestor of both.
  • The ProgressBar class can then handle updates and display the progress.

Example Implementation:

// Option 1: Implement a Callback
public void Execute()
    var client = new JsonServiceClient();

    // Make RPC call and handle completion
    var response = client.Get<string>("/api/data");
    // Update progress bar
    client.Completed += (sender, args) =>
        progressBar.Value = 100; // Progress completed

// Option 2: Use a Progress Indicator Property
public ProgressBar Value
    get { return progressBar.Value; }
        progressBar.Value = value;

// Option 3: Use a Progress Bar Class
public class ProgressBar : Control
    // Update the progress bar with the appropriate logic

Additional Notes:

  • Ensure that the progress updates are done on the UI thread, as it may block the UI.
  • You can also use a ProgressBar control in your UI to display the progress bar visually.
  • You can customize the progress indicator to display relevant information, such as the number of objects received or the response content length.
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Grade: B

It's possible to monitor the progress of an RPC call in ServiceStack using the ServiceClientBase class, which provides a base implementation for JSON and XML serialization. You can create your own subclass of ServiceClientBase or use one of its available subclasses, such as JsonServiceClient or XmlServiceClient, to implement this functionality.

You can also set the progress listener on the ServiceClient instance by using the setProgressListener() method and implementing the IProgressListener interface. The interface has a single method that will be called with updates about the progress of each request, which you can use to update your progress bar in real time.

For example:

// create a new ServiceClient instance
var serviceClient = new JsonServiceClient("http://localhost/api");

// set the progress listener on the ServiceClient instance
serviceClient.setProgressListener(new IProgressListener() {
    public void onProgressUpdate(long bytesReceived, long contentLength) {
        // update your progress bar here using bytesReceived and contentLength

// send a request to the API server with the service client instance
var response = serviceClient.send<TResponse>(request);

You can also use the ProgressListener class provided by ServiceStack, which provides some default methods for tracking progress updates and can be used in conjunction with your own custom logic for updating the progress bar.

In summary, it is possible to monitor the progress of an RPC call in ServiceStack using JsonServiceClient or XmlServiceClient, and you can set a progress listener on the service client instance to receive updates about the progress of each request in real time.

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Grade: B

There isn't built-in support in ServiceStack to track progress of RPC calls directly from ServiceClientBase instances, which JsonServiceClient and other subclasses inherit from. However, you can easily implement it by yourself.

Here is a simplified way of accomplishing this with JsonServiceClient:

  1. Begin the async operation using the desired method. It will return an IResponseHandler that you have to call Cancel on if needed:
IResponseHandler handler = client.BeginSend(new HttpRequest {
    Method = "POST",
    Path = "/your/api/path", 
}, ar => { ... });
  1. Monitor the network traffic in Fiddler or Postman to get Content-Length of the server's response (it may be set before the content itself). You need this to calculate progress as a part of HTTP request sent, but not yet received by client:
HttpResponse response = (HttpResponse)handler.EndSend(ar); // Waits for result and gets HttpWebResponse here
long? contentLength = response?.ContentLength; 
  1. Monitor the actual transferred bytes in progress callback during async call, it's available as totalBytes property:
handler.AsyncCallCompleted += (sender, e) => {
    var totalTransferredBytes = e.Result.TotalBytes;  // Get Total Bytes Transferred here
  1. Update your progress bar based on above two values. The value will be between 0 and contentLength / totalTransferredBytes:
var progress = (double)totalTransferredBytes / contentLength;
progressBar1.Value = (int)(progress * 100); // update UI here in your form, assuming you have a ProgressBar called progressBar1.  

It's just to give you an idea about how to accomplish it using HttpWebRequest/HttpWebResponse which is low level network API used by JsonServiceClient under the hood. The concept would apply to all other clients like any other language client APIs in ServiceStack too. You have control of every request and response with this approach but might need additional implementation for handling failure cases, server shutdown scenarios etc.

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Grade: B

ServiceStack doesn't currently support progress reporting out of the box.

However, you can implement your own custom progress reporting by using the Progress<T> class in the System.Threading.Tasks namespace. This class allows you to report progress updates to a UI thread, even if the progress-reporting code is running on a background thread.

Here's an example of how you could use the Progress<T> class to report the progress of an RPC call:

// Create a progress reporter.
var progressReporter = new Progress<double>(progress =>
    // Update the progress bar on the UI thread.
    progressBar.Value = progress;

// Create a client for your API server.
var client = new JsonServiceClient("http://localhost:8080");

// Make an RPC call to the server.
var response = await client.GetAsync<List<object>>("/api/objects", progressReporter);

In this example, the progressReporter is used to report the progress of the RPC call to the UI thread. The progressBar variable is a reference to a progress bar control on the UI thread.

You can also use the Progress<T> class to report progress updates for other types of tasks, such as file downloads or uploads.

For more information on the Progress<T> class, see the following documentation:

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Grade: B

Yes, you can accomplish this by using ServiceStack's IHttpWebResponse to track the progress of your RPC calls. You can do this by implementing a custom IHttpWebResponse and then wrapping ServiceStack's JsonHttpClient or XmlHttpClient with your custom implementation.

Here's a high level overview of the steps you can follow:

  1. Create a custom class that implements IHttpWebResponse interface. In this class, you can track the progress of your RPC calls by implementing the GetResponseStream method. This method is called when the HTTP response stream is accessed, making it a good place to track the progress of your RPC calls.

  2. Create a custom class that derives from JsonServiceClient or XmlServiceClient and override the HttpWebResponseFilter property to use your custom IHttpWebResponse implementation from step 1.

  3. In your overridden HttpWebResponseFilter property, you can now track the progress of your RPC calls by accessing the ContentLength property of the IHttpWebResponse instance and dividing it by the number of objects received so far.

  4. In your Windows Forms application, you can then use the progress value to update your ProgressBar control.

Here's a code example for step 1 and 2:

public class CustomHttpWebResponse : IHttpWebResponse
    private long contentLength;
    private long currentPosition;

    public long ContentLength
            return contentLength;
            contentLength = value;

    public Stream GetResponseStream()
        var stream = new MemoryStream();
        //your code here to read from the network stream and write to the memory stream
        //While writing to the memory stream, update currentPosition
        currentPosition += buffer.Length;
        return stream;

public class CustomJsonServiceClient : JsonServiceClient
    public CustomJsonServiceClient(string baseUrl) : base(baseUrl) {}

    protected override IHttpWebResponse HttpWebResponseFilter
            return new CustomHttpWebResponse();

In step 3 and 4, you can then use the custom progress bar by updating it in your Windows Forms application like this:

private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    var client = new CustomJsonServiceClient("http://localhost:1337");
    var response = client.Get(new SomeRequest());
    progressBar1.Value = (int)(currentPosition / (double)contentLength * 100);

This is a simplified example and you'll need to adapt it to your specific use case, but it should give you a good starting point for tracking the progress of your RPC calls.

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Grade: C
  • Implement a custom ServiceStack ResponseFilter that intercepts the HTTP response stream.
  • In the ResponseFilter, read the response stream in chunks.
  • For each chunk, update a progress variable based on the chosen progress pattern (objects received or bytes received).
  • From the ResponseFilter, invoke a callback function with the updated progress.
  • In your Windows Forms application, update the progress bar based on the progress value received from the callback.
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Grade: C

One approach is to take a look at pub/sub that ServiceStack provides. You could submit the initial request and return back a correlation identifier. Then you would want the thick clients subscribe to an event. The event could contain the data for the client to calculate the progress.

ServiceStack Redis Pub/Sub

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Grade: C

To display a progress bar while waiting for an RPC call to complete, you can use the JsonServiceClient class provided by ServiceStack library on .NET 3.5. You can create an instance of the JsonServiceClient class and specify the base URL of your REST API server in the constructor of the client object. Once you have created an instance of the JsonServiceClient class, you can use its Call method to make a REST API call to your RPC server. This method takes two parameters:

  • Method - The HTTP request method (e.g., GET, POST, PUT, DELETE).
  • Params - The HTTP request query string parameters.

Once you have made a REST API call to your RPC server using the Call method of the JsonServiceClient class, you can use its GetResponseAsync<T> method to get the response to the REST API call to your RPC server. This method takes one parameter:

  • TypeToDeserialize - The type of object that should be deserialized from the HTTP response.

Once you have used the GetResponseAsync<T> method of the JsonServiceClient class to get the response to the REST API call to your RPC server, and you want to use this response in further processing or storing data, you can use its DeserializeAsync<T> method to deserialize an object of type T from the HTTP response. This method takes one parameter:

  • TypeToDeserialize - The type of object that should be deserialized from the HTTP response.


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Grade: C

There are several ways to accomplish this task using ServiceStack's JsonServiceClient, XmlServiceClient or any subclass of ServiceClientBase. One approach would be to write a custom service handler class that extends one of these services and adds its own logic for updating the progress bar.

Here is some example code:

using ServiceStack;
// Define your client with a timeout in milliseconds 
var server = new ServiceStack(url,timeout); 
var progressBarClient = new JsonServiceClient(""); // replace this with the appropriate endpoint for your service stack implementation

// Create a custom service handler class that extends one of the above services and implements IJsonRequestHandler and IJsonResponseHandler classes
using System.Class; 
using System.Collections.Generic;
public class ProgressBarServiceHandler: JsonRpcServer, JsonServiceClient, IJsonResponseHandler
    #region Overriding Constructor

    public ProgressBarServiceHandler(params:IHttpConnectionManager, params:bool): void
              HttpRequestHandler:HttpRequestHandler.Override.Identity); // override the HttpRequestHandler constructor to handle RPC requests and responses appropriately

    #region IJsonRequestHandler Implementations
      public void Start(params:IEnumerable<string>)
        () => 
            // Set a custom value for the content-length of the request body to ensure that the progress bar is updated accordingly.
            request.WriteHeader("Content-Length", Request.DefaultHeader.Value); // replace this with appropriate headers required by your service stack implementation

       public IEnumerable<object> Read()[]
         () => 
             // Send a GET request for the HTTP response from the RPC server, and wait for it to complete. 
            var jsonRequest = new JsonRequest(request);
            IHttpRequest request = null; 

            if (jsonRequest != null) {
                    response = server.Send(new HttpResponse(), jsonRequest).Result(); 

                    // Update the progress bar with the total number of objects received and remaining bytes to be received, using a loop that is run until the response completes.
                    int totalLength = response.ContentLength; // retrieve the length of the HTTP response (e.g. JSONRPC server status code)
                    string progressValue = ""; 

                    // Update the progress bar at regular intervals based on the response length, to make it look like the RPC is actually being processed.
                    int bytesRead = 0; // initialize a counter for bytes read in the current chunk
                    for (int i=0; i<totalLength; ++i) // send each byte of the response one at a time, and increment the progress bar by 1 for each successful transmission
                        request = new HttpRequest(new stream.WriteStream(), 0); // create an empty HTTP request to be used in the next iteration
                        request.Write(response.Content, 0, i); // write a chunk of the response (i.e. one byte) using the Write() method of the HTTPRequest interface
                        // update the progress bar with the number of bytes that have been successfully transmitted so far