Calling long running web server process and locking the user for a while in web applications with the typical for the HTTP request/replay way can be critical for the user expirience. Even more, possibly we don't get back the data due to problems with the network connection or browser timeouts.
Even if on top of unreliable protocol like HTTP we can provide some abstraction level to ensure we'll get the result from the web server. We could simulate the publish/subscribe pattern in ajax. Furthermore our communication with the web server is asynchronous and allows our application to respond better to the user interactions.