Online applications jump offline

    Today, Zimbra introduced the alpha version of the offline Zimbra Desktop client . With it, you can work with your email program, text editor and other Zimbra web services through a browser, even if you are not connected to the Internet. Similar functionality will appear in Firefox 3, as well as in several other software platforms.

    Offline access to web services is a recent area of ​​increased interest. Everyone is trying to solve the problem in their own way. For example, the developers of the Firefox 3 browser promise to implement the function of offline work with websites through local temporary data stores. New startups such as Scrybe are also experimenting in this area . As you know, recently, Adobereleased the Apollo platform to solve a similar problem. Using Apollo and other similar software products, web developers can use familiar tools (Flash, Flex, HTML, Javascript) to create desktop programs that will work outside the browser and even offline.

    Most of the developments that transfer the Web 2.0 platform to offline space are not yet ready to enter the market. The same Apollo exists only in the alpha version, Scrybe - in closed testing, Firefox 3 is also still far from the final release. Zimbra decided not to wait for the release of these products (after all, the company has six million paid subscribers), and instead wrote its own software client for offline launch of the mail program, organizer, contact list and other programs from the Zimbra package.

    The Zimbra Desktop client will be cross-platform with versions for Windows, Mac and Linux, and will also work in various browsers (Firefox, IE, Safari). The web application and all user data will be stored on the client computer in the Apache Derby database. When connected to the Internet, data is synchronized in real time. The offline client works through the same Ajax interface as the server version. The only limitation of the client is the lack of drag and drop support directly in the browser, but the company promises to add this feature in future releases.

    The source codes of Zimbra Desktop, as well as the sources of all other Zimbra programs, will be published in the public domain, so third-party developers get the opportunity to study in detail how this technology is implemented.

    via TechCrunch

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