PostboxWeb – An Offline-Capable Framework for Web Data Storage and Sync for Shared Devices


In recent years, mobile devices in developing countries have seen a great increase in the number of users. Many telecommunication companies are competing for a place in the growing market by providing useful services to end users.

The number of the mobile device users is growing so quickly that some defend that these countries will note experience a personal computer (PC) era, but rather they satisfy all their needs through smartphones and like devices. Many people have adopted mobile phones for daily tasks, ranging from basic communication with relatives to small family business support, either for communicating with clients or receiving service requests. The fact is that, despite this “mobile boom”in developing countries, there are many locations where there is no network coverage and therefore users do not benefit from the services offered in the cloud. In an attempt to mitigate this situation, this master’s thesis project has the purpose of designing and implementing a base version application programming interface (API) to enable data-heavy Internet services in disconnected areas. The solution consists in creating a multi user capable Android mobile device.

Each user’s data is stored in an encrypted manner on the device using a ciphering key. The user may interact normally with applications that require internet connection, with the exception that all the requested and posted information will be synchronized as soon as there is a network connection available. The framework to be developed should be data independent considering that it aims at developing an end user application connected to almost any type of service, as long as it complies with Representational State Transfer (REST) design principles. This solution should allow wider access to information among the developing world population.

During the analysis of Android system, we concluded that this solution is feasible. A base version of the solution that was developed and which is described in this thesis ensures the intended functionality. Tests were carried out according to different evaluation parameters and the results revealed small overhead when compared to a custom implementation for a specific application. We therefore conclude that our solution design is feasible and can be applied in a real scenario. The possibilities of integrating the solution in wider projects to support a better information distribution model are also considered and analysed as a part of future development goals for this project.


Author: Oleksandr Kruk

Type: MSc thesis

Partner: Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

Year: 2012