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Our friends at Salesforce have written a detailed tutorial showing how to create an offline-enabled Salesforce application using Google Gears. Along the way they demonstrate Google Gears, Google Web Toolkit, and the use of Apache Axis to access Salesforce.com through its remote Web services API. Full source code for the application is available, as well as screencast showing it in action, below:
The application itself views a set of relevant accounts, and then allows you to get detailed information about a particular entry.
The architecture that they chose looks like this:
The GWT UI logic talks to a data switch which is responsible for knowing if you are online or offline (via an explicit action) and gets data from the appropriate location depending on the status. If you are online, it will call out to the service data layer which understands how to get data from Salesforce via their APIs. If you are offline, the data will be retrieved locally.
Read the full tutorial to get the step by step walkthrough of the code, including how to use the GWT Gears library that bridges the worlds nicely.
We are looking forward to seeing your Salesforce applications work offline!