A polyfill for IndexedDB using WebSql
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IndexedDB Polyfill

Use a single offline storage API across all desktop and mobile browsers and Node.js

Build Status Dependencies npm Bower License

Live Demo!



You can download the development or production (minified) script, or install it using NPM or Bower.


npm install indexeddbshim

To set up:

const setGlobalVars = require('indexeddbshim');
// This function defines `shimIndexedDB`, `indexedDB`, `IDBFactory`, etc. on
//  one of the following objects in order of precedence:
// 1. A passed in object
// 2. `window` (for Node, define `GLOBAL.window = GLOBAL;`)
// 3. A new object
GLOBAL.window = GLOBAL; // We'll allow ourselves to use `window.indexedDB` or `indexedDB` as a global


bower install IndexedDBShim

Cloning the repository

If you clone the repository to work against an unstable version, you only need to clone the repository recursively if you wish to have the W3C tests available for testing (which unfortunately loads all W3C tests into the "web-platform-tests" subdirectory rather than just the IndexedDB ones).

Using the polyfill

Add the script to your page

<script src="dist/indexeddbshim.min.js"></script>

If the browser already natively supports IndexedDB, then the script won't do anything. Otherwise, it'll add the IndexedDB API to the browser. Either way, you can use IndexedDB just like normal. Here's an example

Fixing Problems in Native IndexedDB

Even if a browser natively supports IndexedDB, you may still want to use this shim. Some native IndexedDB implemenatations are very buggy. Others are missing certain features. There are also many minor inconsistencies between different browser implementations of IndexedDB, such as how errors are handled, how transaction timing works, how records are sorted, how cursors behave, etc. Using this shim will ensure consistent behavior across all browsers.

To force IndexedDBShim to shim the browser's native IndexedDB, add this line to your script:


On browsers that support WebSQL, this line will completely replace the native IndexedDB implementation with the IndexedDBShim-to-WebSQL implementation.

On browsers that don't support WebSQL, but do support IndexedDB, this line will patch many known problems and add missing features. For example, on Internet Explorer, this will add support for compound keys.


The IndexedDB polyfill has sourcemaps enabled, so the polyfill can be debugged even if the minified file is included.

To print out detailed debug messages, add this line to your script:



Rather than using globals, a method has been provided to share state across IndexedDBShim modules.

Its signature:

shimIndexedDB.__setConfig(property, value);

The available properties are:

  • DEBUG - Boolean (equivalent to shimIndexedDB.__debug)
  • cursorPreloadPackSize - Number indicating how many records to preload for caching of (non-multiEntry) IDBCursor.continue calls. Defaults to 100.
  • win, Object on which there may be an openDatabase method (if any) for WebSQL; Defaults to window or self in the browser and for Node, it is set by default to node-websql.
  • UnicodeIDStart and UnicodeIDContinue - Invocation of createObjectStore and createIndex calls for validation of key paths. The specification technically allows all IdentifierName strings, but as this requires a very large regular expression, it is replaced by default with [$A-Z_a-z] and [$0-9A-Z_a-z], respectively. Note that these are and must be expressed as strings, not RegExp objects. You can use this configuration to change the default to match the spec or as you see fit. In the future we may allow the spec behavior via optional dynamic loading of an internal module.
  • DEFAULT_DB_SIZE - Used as estimated size argument (in bytes) to underlying WebSQL openDatabase calls. Defaults to 4 * 1024 * 1024 or 25 * 1024 * 1024 in Safari (apparently necessary due to Safari creating larger files and possibly also due to Safari not completing the storage of all records even after permission is given). Has no effect in Node (using node-websql), and its use in WebSQL-compliant browsers is implementation dependent (the browser may use this information to suggest the use of this quota to the user rather than prompting the user regularly for say incremental 5MB permissions).

Known Issues

All code has bugs, and this project is no exception. If you find a bug, please let us know about it. Or better yet, send us a fix! Please make sure someone else hasn't already reported the same bug though.

Here is a summary of known issues to resolve:

  1. Event bubbling and preventDefault; also report WebSQL QUOTA_ERR (4) as QuotaExceededError and TIMEOUT_ERR (7) probably as TransactionInactiveError (and treat accordingly) and any others as UnknownError
  2. Support rollbacks (where possible) with automated rollbacks (and AbortError calls for requests) and support upgrade transaction manual aborts
  3. close and blocked event support (reconcile with existing versionchange)
  4. eval is currently in use (in src/Sca.js)
  5. Add new Binary/ArrayBuffer/Views on buffers (TypedArray or DataView) support
  6. Certain more recent APIs are missing: IDBCursor.continuePrimaryKey, IDBIndex (getAll, getAllKeys), IDBObjectStore (getAll, getAllKeys, getKey).

There are a few bugs that are outside of our power to fix. Namely:


Due to a bug in WebKit, the window.indexedDB property is read-only and cannot be overridden by IndexedDBShim. There are two possible workarounds for this:

  1. Use window.shimIndexedDB instead of window.indexedDB
  2. Create an indexedDB variable in your closure

By creating a variable named indexedDB, all the code within that closure will use the variable instead of the window.indexedDB property. For example:

(function() {
    // This works on all browsers, and only uses IndexedDBShim as a final fallback
    var indexedDB = window.indexedDB || window.mozIndexedDB || window.webkitIndexedDB || window.msIndexedDB || window.shimIndexedDB;

    // This code will use the native IndexedDB, if it exists, or the shim otherwise
    indexedDB.open("MyDatabase", 1);

Windows Phone

IndexedDBShim works on Windows Phone via a Cordova/PhoneGap plug-in. There are two plugins available: cordova-plugin-indexedDB and cordova-plugin-indexeddb-async. Both plug-ins rely on a WebSQL-to-SQLite adapter, but there are differences in their implementations. Try them both and see which one works best for your app.


To build the project locally on your computer:

  1. Clone this repo git clone https://github.com/axemclion/IndexedDBShim.git

  2. Install dev dependencies npm install

  3. Run the build script npm start

  4. Done

The output files will be generated in the dist directory


There are currently three folders for tests, tests-qunit, tests-mocha and tests-polyfill (the latter are also Mocha-based tests, but at present only work in Node).

They can be run through a variety of means as described below.

To properly build the files (lint, browserify, and minify), use npm start or to also keep a web server, run npm run dev (or grunt dev).

The tests produce various database files. These are avoided in .gitignore and should be cleaned up if the tests pass, but if you wish to delete them all manually, run npm run clean.

Browser testing

All QUnit-based tests should pass in modern browsers.

All Mocha-based browser tests should pass except for one test having a problem in Firefox.

Automated browser unit testing

Follow all of the steps above to build the project, then run npm test or npm run sauce-qunit (or npm run phantom-qunit or grunt phantom-qunit to avoid using Saucelabs when you have credentials set up as environmental variables) to run the unit tests.

Note that when not running Saucelabs, the tests are run in PhantomJS, which is a headless WebKit browser.

The older PhantomJS version has problems with two tests, however: index.openCursor(range) and IDBObjectStore.openKeyCursor due apparently to a bug with the WebKit browser used in the older PhantomJS implementation (but the tests themselves report as having such problems).

Manual browser testing

If you want to run the tests in a normal web browser, you'll need to spin-up a local web server and then open tests-qunit/index.html?noglobals and/or tests-mocha/index.html in your browser. You can also run npm run dev and point your browser to http://localhost:9999/tests-qunit/index.html or http://localhost:9999/tests-mocha/index.html.

Note that, for the Mocha tests, you probably wish to "Switch to IndexedDBShim" when doing the testing since otherwise, it will only test the native implementation.

Node Testing

To run the Node tests, run the following:

  1. npm run node-qunit - The full test suite sometimes does not complete execution.
  2. npm run mocha
  3. npm run tests-polyfill (or its components npm run fake, npm run mock). Note that none of these are currently passing in full, however. You can run npm run good to see the ones which ought to remain passing.
  4. npm run w3c (you must first run git submodule update --init --recursive if you have not already recursively cloned the repository). Note that some of these tests may not be passing because of the test environment not being completely configured for Node. We are working on fixing this. There are some older and less complete W3C tests that can be run with npm run w3c-old, but the goal is to remove these once the new ones are configured properly.

To run a specific Mocha test (which includes the tests-polyfill tests), run npm --test=... run mocha.

Testing in a Cordova/PhoneGap app

If you want to run the tests in a Cordova or PhoneGap app, then you'll need to create a new Cordova/PhoneGap project, and add the IndexedDB plug-in. Then copy the contents of our tests directory into your project's www directory. Delete our index.html file and rename cordova.html to index.html.


Pull requests or Bug reports welcome!!