Building a Better Web
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Offline sync for progressive web apps

Bradley Holt (IBM)
3:35pm–4:15pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Author, Frameworks and Libraries
Location: 210 B/F
Secondary topics:  High-level, Technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.20, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Frontend developers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience in frontend development

What you'll learn

  • Learn how and why to build offline-first progressive web apps using service workers, Apache CouchDB, Hoodie, and PouchDB


With the introduction of progressive web apps and browser APIs such as persistent storage, payments, geolocation, and push notifications, it is now possible to build fully featured mobile apps on the web platform. One important aspect of progressive web apps is the concept of building your app to be offline first. With an offline-first approach, you design your app for the most resource-constrained environment first. This approach provides a consistent user experience whether the user’s device has no connectivity, limited connectivity, or great connectivity.

The Service Worker API can do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to storing content and assets for offline-first progressive web apps. A bigger challenge can be storing and syncing your app’s data. One of the best answers today for offline sync for progressive web apps is a combination of Apache CouchDB (an open source document database), Hoodie (an open source Node.js backend for offline-first apps), and PouchDB (an open source JavaScript database that syncs). This stack can provide you with the starting point for your own progressive web app mobile backend and frontend, and it’s entirely open source.

Bradley Holt demonstrates how service workers, Apache CouchDB, Hoodie, and PouchDB can be used to build progressive web apps using an offline-first approach in order to provide fast, zero-latency access to content and data stored directly on the device.

Photo of Bradley Holt

Bradley Holt


Bradley Holt leads a team of developer advocates at IBM who are democratizing data and AI through open source technologies. His team’s work includes helping developers integrate open source deep learning models into their applications, ensuring trustworthiness and transparency from AI systems, promoting open standards for the deployment and operationalization of AI systems, and enabling better collaboration between developers, data scientists, and data engineers.