After my post on Continuation Server, I had some discussion about that with my friend Seema. Part of the discussion was about handling the browser’s back and refresh button in web applications. It is advised that the back and refresh button functionality in browser be not disturbed with, because it is a rudimentary part of browser in helping a user switch between pages easily. Albeit an application could behave erratically in terms of repeating a form post and thereby making the application on the server think that it is yet another transaction.
The back and refresh button issue is common in applications where data is critical and the flow is critical and cannot be repeated. Generally applications that involve handling monetary transactions will fall under this category. These applications have to handle the browser’s back and refresh buttons programmatically. As it is not possible to control the browser’s behavior it is something that needs to be handled at the application level in the server. With AJAX applications, things could look better or worse depending on where AJAX has been used in the application. But still it might be necessary to handle the browser’s back. The following sites/articles could give a head start. But effort would be required to put additional pieces to suit your needs.