Zimbra: Derby for Offline Persistence

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Anne had exactly the same question that I did when she saw the news that Zimbra had demoed offline access to the application: how did they do it? As I’ve covered before, there are a variety of technologies that lend themselves to solving the problem of persisting information during non-connected usage scenarios. I pinged the folks at Zimbra to find out, and Zimbra’s Kevin Henrikson was kind enough to point me to a comment he posted answering the question.

So how did they do it? Derby (AKA Cloudscape, AKA JavaDB), just as Francois Orsini and Tim Bray demoed at ApacheCon last year. I’m not terribly surprised that a Java shop picked Derby, particularly since it’s been demonstrated to work in this capacity. But I look forward to hearing more about the details of how and why.

In the meantime, solutions to the Offline Problem are coming faster and faster; Scrybe preceded Zimbra in this regard, and I spoke with one vendor at Office 2.0 that has similar plans. I’d also be shocked if Google didn’t have plans in this regard. Should be fun to watch.


  1. Thanks for pursuing this; I had wondered the same thing when first reading the articles.

    Am I understanding this correctly, that local storage is handled by a clientside Java applet, and that there’s some type of synching routine with an Apache serverside module? If so, are the data structures bound to any particular form… what types of things are remembered, and synch’d? Thanks.

  2. don’t know yet, John, will try to find out.

  3. SitePen and I just announced development of the open source Dojo Offline Toolkit, which brings the same kind of capability to all developers:



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