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David Berlind of ZDNet sees the light

Posted by davidvc on May 1, 2006 at 4:17 PM PDT

The lightbulb effect continues to grow around the potential for
Java DB to act as an offline web cache for web-based applications
(e.g. those using AJAX to provide rich browser-side functionality).
David Berlind of ZDNet
just posted a great blog
about his “aha” experience
around this. I love how he waxes poetic about using it in an
airplane with your USB stick. I’m going to do a demo showing
how you can run the DerbyTax demo off a USB stick during my JavaOne
talk. I haven’t tested it yet, so pray for me :)


I noticed some complaints about having to download the JRE for
this to work. I’m curious, how many of you think this is a
real issue? I know at least with Firefox it has become so easy to
install plugins, but I can also see the point that if a click is
required, the click may not happen.


On that note, I actually see Java DB in the browser having great
value in corporate settings. Imagine providing a web-based app where
users can store their own personal data (like legal forms, or expense
records) their machine -- fast local database access, secure storage
of sensitive personal information, the ability to run offline, but
the application itself is centrally deployed and managed. It’s
like the best of both worlds! And in the corporate world, it’s
easier to require a one-click download of the JRE.


But even in the consumer market, if the application has enough
value, people will download the plugin. I also like David’s
argument that Java gives ubiquity – you can build the same app
and have it run on a laptop, a PDA, and (some day) on a cell phone.
You don’t have to retool your app for each platform –
JavaDB is a portable lightweight persistence framework.


What I’d love to get back into Derby is the synchronization
mechanism that automatically synchronizes between your local Derby
database and some centralized store. This would make the offline
model even more compelling. Is anyone game? Let’s talk...