HTML5 Web Database and Mobile Web Applications

The Web SQL Storage (based on SQLite) API in HTML 5 is ideal for Mobile Web applications that require a complex data storage support and that work mostly offline. The Web storage remains locally on the device, and it is persisted even after the application or browser is closed. The implementation of the data access is all done using JavaScript and the SQL script format is compliant with the SQLite specifications.

To create or open a database, the following script can be used:

var data=null; //connection handler

if (typeof (window.openDatabase) != 'undefined' && window.openDatabase) {
    var maxSize = 5 * 1024 * 1024; // in bytes = 5MB
    //name,version,displayName,maxsize to identify the app database
    data = window.openDatabase('appName', '1.0', 'appName_db', maxSize);
    if (data) {//transaction is open
       data.transaction(function (tx) {  $(tables).each(function () { tx.executeSql(this); });  });

The script above checks the openDatabase property from the windows object. If the value is true, there is Web Storage support, and we can move forward with the API calls to open the database. The openDatabase call opens the connection to the database. If the database does not currently exists, the database gets automatically created, but with no tables. The parameters to open the database uniquely identify the database and its size. Once we have a valid handle to the database, we can use a transaction object to run a SQL statement and build our tables using the executeSql method. This method is also used to execute other SQL statements on the database. The SQl statement to build the tables checks to see if the table does not exists before creating.

CRUD Methods:

To insert, update, and delete a record, we just need to use the following scripts:

Execute: function (sql, params, dataHandler, errHandler) {
   if (data) {//transaction is open
      data.transaction(function (tx) {tx.executeSql(sql, params, dataHandler, errHandler);});
ErrorHandler: function (tx, err) {
    alert('DbError: ' + err.message + ' (Code ' + err.code + ')');
   return false;
DataHandler: function (tx, data) {
  if (typeof (data) != 'undefined') {
       if (data.rows.length == 0) {
            //TODO CHECK FOR rowsAffected,insertedId FOR updates,deletes, inserts.
      else if (data.rows.length > 0) { //selects
          for (i = 0; i < data.rows.length; i++) {
              var row = data.rows.item(i);
             var data = [row['id'] ,row['notes'], row['date']] //sets value in array

The execute function executes a SQL statement by calling the transaction executeSql method. This method takes the SQL statement, a parameters array and handlers for successful or failed responses. The DataHandler manages the return recordset (data parameter) or rows affected from an update, delete and insert statement. The data.rows collection is populated when a select statement is executed. For an insert on a table with an identity column, the data.insertedId property is set to the new identity id. The DataHandler method is where the recordset can be iterated to populate the UI with the data.

The CRUD statements look as follows:

sqlIns: 'INSERT INTO mynotes(notes,date) values(?,?)',
sqlUpd: 'UPDATE mynotes SET notes=?,date=? WHERE id=?',
sqlDel: 'DELETE mynotes WHERE id=?',
sqlSel: 'SELECT * FROM mynotes WHERE id=?'

You should note the question marks. These are the parameter variables that are matched to the values in the params array of the Execute function. For example, to insert a new record, use the following:

var params = [‘my notes here’,’02/20/2011’];
Execute(sqlIns, params,DataHandler,ErrorHandler);

The browsers that support this feature have an option to allow you to see the resources which include web databases. For instance. Google Chrome (menu Tools->Developer Tools) provides the ability to see tables and data in the database. It also provides an interface with you can use to execute queries on your database.

With the ability to open a database and execute SQL statements against the database, simple data providers could be implemented to provide data support for your mobile applications. This can be handy for disconnected mode support in mobile applications.

I hope this is helpful.