Introducing Forever

Personal Cloud Application Architectures

Phillip J. Windley, Ph.D.
Founder & Chief Technology Officer

May 2013

Executive Summary

Forever is an evergreen address book. Imagine an address book where the contact information was always in sync. No matter how often your friend changes their profile, your address book is always up-to-date. That's the promise of Forever.

Forever is an unhosted app, meaning it does not have a database to store user data. Forever succeeds because it is based on a brand-new architecture and programming model that doesn't store any user data in the app itself.

Forever accesses data about its users by linking to their personal clouds. Rather than storing user data in the app, Forever makes use of data and links that are stored in the user's personal cloud. Personal clouds are user-controlled, online systems that can connect to other personal clouds, forming a peer-to-peer network.

Forever is DNS for people. Whenever Forever needs profile information about one of your contacts, it pulls that information directly from their personal cloud. This may sound inefficient, but it's exactly how the domain name service (DNS) works. The difference is that in this case, Forever applies that architecture to a network of people, rather than a network of machines.

Forever is easier to build because it uses personal clouds. The lack of a back-end database makes Forever and apps like it easier for developers to build and maintain. Personal clouds provide a convenient platform for developers and their applications.

Forever's architecture provides significant benefits to people. Forever's architecture provides timely, up-to-date contact information to users. In addition, Forever's architecture supports what's called privacy by design, giving users more control over their data and how it's used.

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This whitepaper is part of the Live Web series. The Live Web Series sets forth a vision for the future of the Internet and our interactions on it.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 01-May-2013 19:18:58 UTC