Client-Side Data Storage: Keeping It Local

Client-Side Storage in NativeScript Applications
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IndexedDB excels at searching large data sets and can speed up Web app performance by moving structured data to the client side wherever possible. It's approaching W3C Recommendation status and is usable in every browser — albeit with some differences between implementations and, as noted, only through a polyfill in Safari.

The Application Cache isn't like other client-side data storage APIs listed here, but it's worth mentioning, as it's an important component in enabling offline client-side Web apps. The Application Cache uses a cache manifest. This is a simple text document listing resources that should and shouldn't be cached, to tell the browser to download certain files, hold onto them and use the cached version rather than make a request to the server. Every major Web browser supports the Application Cache.


This post has no tag. Nevertheless, for apps that want to incorporate local-first ideas, a good starting point is to offer an export feature that produces a widely-supported file format e. This will make it easier to deal with. It is a key-value store with syncing, good offline capabilities, and it has the added benefit of being built into the platform thereby sidestepping the clumsiness of users having to create an account and log in. At the time of writing, Safari was still busy implementing it, but it should be there soon.

To use the Application Cache , save a text file with the extension. Application Cache is a handy tool with almost no downsides if used correctly. If you simply cache everything on your site, you and your site visitors will soon be wondering why the content never changes. If you cache only resources that don't change very often, or are diligent about keeping your cache manifest up to date and releasing a new version when you update files, then Application Cache will make your application work offline as well as be much more responsive in online mode.

Local browser storage has undergone a major upgrade in the last few years. The variety and similar names of the different implemented APIs and recommendations have led to quite a bit of confusion over what's OK to use now versus what should be left alone. The bottom line is that different ways of storing data in the browser are available — and each has its own place. The days of developers trying to use cookies for more than sending very simple and very small name-value pairs to the server, however, are over.

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Storage in NativeScript

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Mobile App Data Storage Tutorial

Latest Insider. Check out the latest Insider stories here. More from the IDG Network. Related: Firefox Wants to Eat Obnoxious Third-Party Cookies With so many negatives attached to using cookies for local storage, it's no wonder that various competing proposals have emerged to get this job done right. That said, Web SQL works in a cool way, so let's look at some sample code.

Web Storage is persistent. Once a value is stored, it doesn't disappear or expire until it's explicitly removed by the application or the user. Web Storage can handle large amounts of data. Current browsers limit total size per storage area to 5MB.

Show Me the Code

Client-Side Data Storage: Keeping It Local [Raymond Camden] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. One of the most useful features of today's. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Raymond Camden is a developer advocate for IBM. Client-Side Data Storage: Keeping It Local 1st Edition, Kindle Edition. by Raymond Camden (Author).

Web Storage doesn't depend on the server and sends no data to the server. The aim is the same reason regular relational databases use transactions: To ensure the integrity of the database.

Transactions prevent "race conditions", a phenomenon where two sequences of operations are applied to the database at the same time, leading to results that are both unpredictable and a database whose state is of dubious accuracy. Most of the storage formats all support synchronous and asynchronous modes.

Synchronous mode is blocking, meaning that the storage operation will be executed to completion before the next line of JavaScript is executed. Asynchronous mode will cause the next lines of JavaScript to be executed before the storage operation completes. The storage operation will be performed in the background and the application will be notified when the operation is finished by way of a callback function being called, a function which must be specified when the call is made. Synchronous mode should be avoided at all costs, it may seem like a simpler API, but it blocks rendering on the page while the operation completes, and in some cases freezes the whole browser.

You've probably noticed when sites and even apps do this, you click on a button and everything freezes, you wonder whether it's crashed, then it springs back to life. Some APIs don't have an async mode, such as localStorage , you should carefully performance monitor your use of these APIs, and be prepared to switch to one of the async APIs if it becomes an issue. Web Storage is basically a single persistent object called localStorage. You can set values using localStorage. There's also a second object called sessionStorage available, which works the same way, but clears when the window is closed.

Indexed Database sits somewhere between the two. It has free-form key-value pairs, like Web Storage, but also the capability to index fields from those values, so searching is much faster. Indexed Database has arisen from experiences with both of those earlier APIs, and can be seen as an attempt to combine their strengths without incurring their weaknesses. An Indexed Database is a collection of "object stores" which you can just drop objects into. The stores are something like SQL tables, but in this case, there's no constraints on the object structure and so no need to define anything upfront.

So this is similar to Web Storage, with the advantage that you can have as many databases as you like, and as many stores within each database. But unlike Web Storage, there are important performance benefits: An asynchronous API, and you can create indexes on stores to improve search speed. The previous formats are all suitable for text and structured data, but when it comes to large files and binary content, we need something else.

Table of Contents

It gives each domain a full hierarchical filesystem, and in Chrome at least, these are real files sitting on the user's hard drive. This section compares how the various APIs tackle the same problem. The example is a "geo-mood" check-in system, where you can track your mood across time and place. The interface lets you switch between database types. Of course, this is slightly contrived as in real world situations, one database type will always make more sense than the rest, and FileSystem API is not suited to this kind of application at all!

But for demonstration purposes, it's helpful indeed if we can see the different means we can use to achieve the same end. Note too that some of the code snippets have been refactored for readability. To make the demo interesting, we'll isolate the data storage aspects using standard object-oriented design techniques. The UI logic will only know there is a "store"; it won't need to know how the store is implemented, because each store has exactly the same methods on it.

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So the UI code can just call store. In reality, there are four implementations of the store, one for each storage type. When the app starts up, it inspects the URL and instantiates the right store. To keep the API consistent, the methods are asynchronous, i. This is even true for the Web Storage implementation, where the underlying implementation is local. In the walkthroughs below, we'll skip the UI and geolocation logic to focus on the storage techniques.

For localStorage , we do a simple check to see if the store exists. If not, we'll create a new array and store it against the localStorage "checkins" key. We use JSON to convert the structure to a string first, since, in most browsers, localStorage only stores strings. We increasingly rely on these applications, many of them becoming a part of our daily lives. One area in which Web application development has been lacking is the ability to store data on the client-side.

That is, until now.

Web Storage is a W3C specification that provides functionality for storing data on the client side until the end of a session Session Storage , or beyond Local Storage. It is much more powerful than traditional cookies, and easier to work with. In this article we will look at why this is, and how to use it. Other less popular alternatives to cookies include techniques involving query strings, hidden form fields, flash based local shared objects, etc.

Each with their own set of problems related to security, ease of use, size restrictions etc. We need a better way, which is where Web Storage comes in. The W3C Web Storage specification was designed as a better way of storing data on the client-side. It has two different types of storage: Session Storage and Local Storage. Both Session and Local Storage will typically be able to store around 5 MB of data per domain, which is significantly more than cookies.

Session Storage has one purpose: to remember all the data in your session, and forget it as soon you close the tab or window you are working in. It just converts the number 1 in a string '1' and uses that as key, it does not put that key value pair in the first position as such.