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Author's profile photo Eric Farrar

Introducing UltraLiteWeb – Taking Data Further

I am excited to announce the beta availability of a new project from Sybase, UltraLiteWeb . UltraLiteWeb is a set of enhancements to the open source Gears project that aims to provide it with additional data management and synchronization capabilities.

Gears , an open source project first started a few years ago, was originally conceived to create more powerful web applications by enhancing browsers with new features and functionality. One of its original features was the ability for web applications to create local SQLite databases that it could use to store application data. However, one of the results of having web applications that can store local data is that you end up with multiple copies of the data that need to be resolved through synchronization. Unfortunately, the lack of integrated synchronization support within SQLite, along with the lack of encryption, makes it a difficult fit in enterprise scenarios.

UltraLiteWeb was designed to address these problems.

UltraLiteWeb is a patched build of Gears that enhances it by giving developers the option of using UltraLite as an alternative to SQLite. With UltraLiteWeb, developers can take advantage of the robust synchronization logic that is already integrated into UltraLite.  By using UltraLiteWeb in conjunction with a MobiLink server, developers will be able to create robust, secure, data rich browser-based applications without needing to worry about all the complications of synchronization.

UltraLiteWeb introduces a new JavaScript API for communicating with the UltraLite databases that is unlike any of the other UltraLite APIs. This is because the UltraLiteWeb API is based off of the already existing Database API in Gears.  A sample of the JavaScript API is shown below:

// create database
var db = sybase.ultraliteweb.factory.create('beta.uldatabase');
var options = {
  case:       "Respect",  // make database case-sensitive
  page_size:  "8k",       // set 8kb page size
  date_order: "MDY"       // set date order to be Month-Day-Year
};'database-cars', options);

UltraLiteWeb is available in beta for Firefox on Windows and Linux, and Internet Explorer on Windows.  For more information, take a look at the About and FAQ pages. The UltraLiteWeb code is available under the Apache 2 license.

If you have any questions or feedback about UltraLiteWeb, please feel free to post them on the SQL Anywhere Web Development forum.


UPDATE (November 1st, 2010)

The UltraLiteWeb project was first released in beta on November 5th, 2009 as an open-source patch to the Gears project (formerly Google Gears).

On February 19th, 2010 the Gears team announced that it would, “not be investing resources in active development of new features,” and, “support will be necessarily constrained in scope.” The stated reason for the change in direction was, “because we’ve shifted our effort towards bringing all of the Gears capabilities into web standards like HTML5.”

In light of this development, we have removed the UltraLiteWeb project. Like the Gears team, we will continue to investigate ways of bringing synchronization to the browser using open web standards such as HTML5.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      [...] a very informative post today, my colleague Eric Farrar introduced a cool new component in the SQL Anywhere family: [...]
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Any support for Maemo or Android planned?
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Does it work if I have Gears already installed?  Nice work :).
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      As you probably saw, we currently are only supporting Firefox and  Internet Explorer on our Beta release. However Gears is available on a  number of other platforms (Android, Safari, IE on Windows Mobile, etc)  in addition to those. We will only be planning to support platforms  that are also supported by Gears.   I understand the problems with having to install another extension,  and the advantages of using HTML5 features that are already built into  the browser. Since this particular project is based on a database  (Ultralite) that is not available in browsers, I don't see a way that  it will be available without a browser extension in the near future.  However, we are investigating ways we can synchronize HTML5-based  databases.   The browser extension are intended to co-exist with each other. You  should be able to install UltraLiteWeb on a system that already has  Gears installed. If you run into any problems, please report it on  this forum.