Adobe, Google cite offline access to Web apps as trend

Adobe and Google looking to make the most of this new direction

Offline access to Web applications is becoming an important trend, with Adobe and Google looking to make the most of this new direction.

Representatives of the two companies touted offline access technologies during a presentation at the Web 2.0 Expo conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. Adobe provides its Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) software for this space, while Google is working on its Google Gears technology.

"Really, what it's about is developer choice," said Ryan Stewart, Adobe platform evangelist. Previously, the Web was limited to the browser, but now it is expanding, Stewart said. He cited several examples of new trends in Web technologies, including Prism, that bring Web applications to the desktop in a similar manner to Adobe.

"The creativity for development pretty much went to the browser," because it was cross-platform and easy to develop for, Stewart said. The browser helped foster development of exciting applications.

"Adobe AIR wants to bring some of that to the desktop," said Stewart. The company wants to take the best of the Web and offer more functionality beyond browser limitations, he said.

AIR users can take advantage of resources on their local machine; also, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) applications can be built inside AIR, Stewart said. AIR applications feature an installer supported across multiple operating systems. AIR provides real desktop applications that use Web technologies, and it features Flash integration and local file access.

"You really have full control over the file system," Stewart said.

Google's Dion Almaer hailed Google Gears, a beta-phase project intended to enable more powerful Web applications. Among other capabilities, Gears allows Web applications to interact naturally with the desktop.

Gears, Almaer said, is an open source update mechanism for the Web. Possible additions to Gears include a location API, providing the ability to know where a user of a browser is; an audio API; and a notification API, which would provide alerts for users.

Google Gears features a local server cache for application resources, the SQLite database for data storage, and the ability to make Web applications more responsive through the WorkerPool capability. Resource-intensive operations are performed asynchronously via JavaScript-based WorkerPool.

Almaer cited a user site, Buxfer, which is a Web 2.0 startup that handles personal finances for students sharing resources. Some users do not want to store their banking information in Buxfer servers; with Gears they can store it locally, said Almaer.

"They're using the database not in an offline [capacity] but just as a place to store this data," he said.

Gears was described as a bleeding-edge implementation of HTML 5, the specification for which features capabilities to help Web application authors and improved interoperability for user agents, according to the World Wide Web Consortium's Web page on HTML 5.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?