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Xcelsius does not have a built-in feature that allows the storage of local data, a commonly requested piece of functionality. Up until very recently there has been no really easy way to accomplish it with simple client tools, and one way or another it required jumping through several hoops. Fortunately, HTML 5 brings us a feature called localStorage, which allows HTML pages to store data locally across browser sessions and after the closing of the browser window. This is one of many capabilities that HTML5 brings to the table, transforming the browser into a tool with much more potential for serving up fast, more powerful and lightweight applications.

 

Working as a Team

In less than a few hours, and starting with zero knowledge on the HTML 5 feature, I was able to integrate HTML 5’s localStorage feature and Xcelsius simply by using External Interface connections from Xcelsius and some JavaScript on the HTML side to bridge the gap. The result is a dashboard that can save data locally to a user’s system and then load it for use during the next browser session. Click on the screenshot below to open a new window with the .swf file.

 

 

Thoughts

The drawbacks- HTML5 is not close to being a finalized standard and most browsers in operation only support a subset of HTML 5. Has this stopped people from using it yet or gearing towards it? Not really. However, for most large organizations and developers reaching large audiences with RIA technology, it is a very significant drawback that would still have to be worked around. Cross-browser compatibility support is not a task that I ever miss or that I like to have to factor in when developing, which is why I’m a Flex developer and Flash advocate.

 

If you need high-quality offline capabilities now…

We use and highly recommend using Antivia’s XWISXWIS is an enterprise-ready comprehensive set of tools that provides users and developers alike with extremely powerful and robust offline, data manipulation and data connectivity capabilities.

 

Try the demo out

We have hosted the HTML 5 dashboard example and all of the source files if you’d like to try it out for yourself.

 

Feel free to stop by the Centigon Solutions Lab page to check out some of our other demos.

 

Evan DeLodder is CTO at Centigon Solutions, an SAP Partner focused on the development of cutting edge mapping technologies in the Business Intelligence space. To learn more about him, please visit our Gurus page

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2 Comments

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  1. Ethan Jewett
    This is a pretty neat demo. I’m impressed that this is possible!

    It’s probably worth noting that when it comes to the HTML 5 standard the finalization date (which I believe no longer exists) is not the right thing to pay attention to. All current browsers support the Web Storage draft pretty well, so you should be able to deploy this solution right now unless you have users running IE7. See http://caniuse.com/#search=local%20storage for more details.

    Cheers,
    Ethan

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  2. Evan Delodder Post author
    Thanks for the comment and for the great link. Your point is very important, if browser support is solid, it’s good to go. The outlook in the support table referenced is fantastic and those 2-version-back stragglers can’t be too far away from being forced to upgrade.
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