Working on my favorite to do list & time tracker app Super Productivity I have spent quite some researching alternative approaches on how to share, synchronize and persist user data on the web. Beyond hosting your own REST or GraphQL backend API on your own server or using a cloud solution like firebase there are other less known avenues one can take. Let's explore some of them!
Claim: "Re-decentralizing the web"
Description: "Solid (derived from "social linked data") is a proposed set of conventions and tools for building decentralized social applications based on Linked Data principles. Solid is modular and extensible and it relies as much as possible on existing W3C standards and protocols."
- project led by Prof. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
- own your own data
- allows sharing data between different apps
- feels a bit overengineered and complicated
- not really clear what the status of the project is
- the information for developers could be much better and much better organized
- can I get this running now?
- if so, is this half stable?
- how complicated will using this be for my users?
Claim: "An open protocol for per-user storage on the Web"
Description: "remoteStorage is the first open protocol to enable truly unhosted web apps. That means users are in full control of their precious data and where it is stored, while app developers are freed of the burden of hosting, maintaining and protecting a central database."
Disclaimer: I recently became a member of the organization on Github to help with the Typescript migration.
- own your own data
- seems to be pretty stable
- Dropbox or Google Drive as backend (how cool is that?)
- (theoretically) allows sharing data between apps
- supports file upload as well
- syntax feels a bit dated
- I were unable to get the real world apps that I tested to work
- how does it fare with larger datasets
- syncing and conflict resolution
- how to do user to user interaction (is this even possible?)
Claim: "A realtime, decentralized, offline-first, graph protocol to sync the web."
- fancy & somehow sexy
- pretty fast
- cool community & super nice lead dev
- real time user to user interaction build in
- might not be the best fit for non- social apps?
- can I get this running with my existing non GraphQL, offline first, single user first model?
- why does it appear to be so sexy? Is it just good marketing or what tickles my fancy? :)
Well, of course there is none yet (sorry) and this is a mere teaser and encouragement to experiment. I am pretty curious myself how well using those options will work out. I'll try to keep you posted on the details during the next weeks!
To be continued...