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Printable Version

With Perst, Silverlight Gains Embedded Database & Secure Local Storage

January 25, 2010 — McObject® announced it has successfully ported Perst™, its open source, object-oriented embedded database system, to Microsoft’s Silverlight technology for building rich Web applications. With Perst for .NET, developers using Silverlight can now include true database management system (DBMS) features in their rich Web client applications, including adding persistence to this data by storing it on local file systems.

McObject also released a new Silverlight database demo, at www.mcobject.com/silverlight-demo, showcasing Perst in a Silverlight-based customer relationship management (CRM) system. The demo runs in the user’s browser, stores records locally, and takes full advantage of Perst features such as indexes and native full text search to sort, retrieve and write records to the database. Users can launch the application from McObject’s site and also download complete, commented source code and documentation.

Launch the demo now!


Data stored in Perst can exceed the storage size limit initially imposed on Silverlight applications, although for security reasons, permission from the Web application user is required for this. Permitting substantial amounts of locally stored data makes Perst a logical choice for Silverlight-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) and other hosted applications that need a database to support users’ work on ongoing projects.

Microsoft has also positioned Silverlight as a platform for rich Internet applications on smartphones and other mobile devices. “Perst’s strengths – including its small footprint, rich data management features, successful track record in a variety of mobile applications, and freely available source code – give it an edge to become the de facto embedded database system for Silverlight client software targeting mobile devices,” McObject CEO Steve Graves said.

"Now that Silverlight 3 supports installation of applications locally on the desktop, we can add the option of caching some data locally, in addition to being a locally installed visualization and interaction layer to cloud-based services, or a rich disconnected gadget. And McObject’s Perst embedded database presents a really compelling solution to help with managing the data," said David Chou, an architect at Microsoft.

"This is especially important for out-of-browser and locally installed applications, as one of their primary benefits is to support off-line usage. Having a database management solution such as Perst can help increase the overall robustness of the user experience, by ensuring work continuity regardless of connection state," Chou said.

“The Perst embedded database meshes perfectly with Silverlight 3’s out-of-the-browser capability, which is a real plus in many applications. I think that anyone who needs offline data access in their Silverlight applications should be using this product!” said Tim McCarthy, a software architect and engineer, published author and expert on Microsoft .NET technologies.

Released in 2007, Silverlight has rapidly gained a developer following for its ability to provide high quality graphics and multimedia, animation and audio-video playback. The technology centers on the free Silverlight Web browser plug-in. Programmers access this plug-in and create interactive Web applications using tools that are part of, or are compliant with, the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Like many technologies that sit between Web server and client platforms, Silverlight limits Web-based applications’ access to client-side file systems, for client security. However, a feature called “isolated storage” allows trusted Silverlight applications to store data on local disks, in a restricted manner and subject to a strict quota on the amount of available disk space.

With its newly added Silverlight support, Perst for .NET allows Silverlight database-enabled applications to leverage features including transactions, a flexible and easy-to-use API, multiple database indexes, garbage collection and more. Uses of Perst with Silverlight include client-side caching of application settings and of data for tables, grids and lists in Web forms. With Perst, clients can also store data from unfinished projects that use Silverlight Web applications.

To enforce security in Silverlight-based Web clients, Perst requires explicit permission from local users before allowing data storage to exceed the size allowed under Silverlight's quota. Also for security, the isolated storage feature in Silverlight restricts the Perst-based application to using a sub-tree of the file system for database storage. Developers can also choose to use Perst for transient, memory-only storage in Silverlight applications.

Perst and Perst Lite are part of McObject’s family of powerful small footprint, high performance embedded database software products. The eXtremeDB™ in-memory embedded database from McObject is used widely in devices including MP3 players, WiMAX base stations, digital TVs, telecom/network communications equipment and military/aerospace technology. Perst is available for Java and .NET, including Java ME and .NET Compact Framework. CA’s Wily Technology credits Perst with delivering a shortened development cycle and a ten-fold performance improvement within its real-time Java application.

About McObject

Founded by embedded database and real-time systems experts, McObject offers proven data management technology that makes applications and devices smarter, more reliable and more cost-effective to develop and maintain. McObject counts among its customers industry leaders such as Chrysler, Maximizer Software, Siemens, Phillips, EADS, JVC, Tyco Thermal Controls, F5 Networks, DIRECTV, CA, Motorola and Boeing. McObject, based in Issaquah, WA, is committed to providing innovative technology and first-rate services to customers and partners. The company can be reached at +1-425-888-8505, or visit www.mcobject.com.

McObject and eXtremeDB are trademarks or registered trademarks of McObject LLC. All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.