"Browser makers, grappling with outmoded technology and a vision torebuild the Web as a foundation for applications, have begun convergingon a seemingly basic by very important element of cloud computing. Thatability is called local storage, and the new mechanism is calledIndexed DB. Indexed DB, proposed by Oracle and initially calledWebSimpleDB, is largely just a prototype at this stage, not somethingWeb programmers can use yet. But already it's won endorsements fromMicrosoft, Mozilla, and Google, and together, Internet Explorer, Firefox,and Chrome account for more than 90 percent of the usage on the Net today.
Standardization could come: advocates have worked Indexed DB into theconsiderations of the W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium thatstandardizes HTML and other Web technologies. In the W3C discussions,Indexed DB got a warm reception from Opera, the fifth-ranked browser.
It may sound perverse, but the ability to store data locally on a computerturns out to be a very important part of the Web application era that'sreally just getting under way. The whole idea behind cloud computing isto put applications on the network, liberating them from being tied toa particular computer, but it turns out that the computer still matters,because the network is neither fast nor ubiquitous. Local storage letsWeb programmers save data onto computers where it's convenient forprocessors to access. That can mean, for example, that some aspects ofGmail and Google Docs can work while you're disconnected from thenetwork. It also lets data be cached on the computer for quick accesslater. The overall state of the Web application is maintained on theserver, but stashing data locally can make cloud computing faster andmore reliable..."
An editor's draft of the W3C specification "Indexed Database API" isavailable online: " User agents need to store large numbers of objectslocally in order to satisfy off-line data requirements of Web applications.'Webs Storage' [10-September-2009 WD] is useful for storing pairs ofkeys and their corresponding values. However, it does not provide in-orderretrieval of keys, efficient searching over values, or storage ofduplicate values for a key. This specification provides a concrete APIto perform advanced key-value data management that is at the heart ofmost sophisticated query processors. It does so by using transactionaldatabases to store keys and their corresponding values (one or moreper key), and providing a means of traversing keys in a deterministicorder. This is often implemented through the use of persistent B-treedata structures that are considered efficient for insertion and deletionas well as in-order traversal of very large numbers of data records.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000376-264.htmlSee also the latest editor's version for Indexed Database API: http://dev.w3.org/2006/webapi/WebSimpleDB/