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🌏 The Global Version Strategy

A single global version is stored in the database and incremented on each push. Entities have a lastModifiedVersion field which is the global version the entity was last modified at.

The global version is returned as the cookie to Replicache in each pull, and sent in the request of the next pull. Using this we can find all entities that have changed since the last pull and calculate the correct patch.

While simple, the Global Version Strategy does have concurrency limits because all pushes server-wide are serialized, and it doesn't support advanced features like incremental sync and read authorization as easily as row versioning.


You may wonder why not use a timestamp for the version instead of a counter. While this would scale much better, it is not possible to implement correctly on most servers due to unreliable clocks.


The schema builds on the schema for the Reset Strategy, and adds a few things to support the global version concept.

// Tracks the current global version of the database. There is only one of
// these system-wide.
type ReplicacheSpace = {
version: number;

type ReplicacheClientGroup = {
// Same as Reset Strategy.
id: string;
userID: any;

type ReplicacheClient = {
// Same as Reset Strategy.
id: string;
clientGroupID: string;
lastMutationID: number;

// The global version this client was last modified at.
lastModifiedVersion: number;

// Each of your domain entities will have two extra fields.
type Todo = {
// ... fields needed for your application (id, title, complete, etc)

// The global version this entity was last modified at.
lastModifiedVersion: number;

// "Soft delete" for marking whether this entity has been deleted.
deleted: boolean;


The push handler is the same as the Reset Strategy, but with changes to annotate entities with the version they were changed at.

  1. Create a new ReplicacheClientGroup if necessary.
  2. Verify that the requesting user owns the specified ReplicacheClientGroup.

Then, for each mutation described in the PushRequest:

  1. Create the ReplicacheClient if necessary.
  2. Validate that the ReplicacheClient is part of the requested ReplicacheClientGroup.
  3. Validate that the received mutation ID is the next expected mutation ID from this client.
  4. Increment the global version.
  5. Run the applicable business logic to apply the mutation.
    • For each domain entity that is changed or deleted, update its lastModifiedVersion to the current global version.
    • For each domain entity that is deleted, set its deleted field to true.
  6. Update the lastMutationID of the client to store that the mutation was processed.
  7. Update the lastModifiedVersion of the client to the current global version.

As with the Reset Strategy, it's important that each mutation is processed within a serializable transaction.


  1. Verify that requesting user owns the requested ReplicacheClientGroup.
  2. Return a PullResponse with:
    • The current global version as the cookie.
    • The lastMutatationID for each client that has changed since the requesting cookie.
    • A patch with:
      • put ops for every entity created or changed since the request cookie.
      • del ops for every entity deleted since the request cookie.


See todo-nextjs for an example of this strategy.



GlobalVersion functions as a global lock. This limits possible concurrency of your backend: if each push takes 20ms then the maximum number of pushes per second for your server is 50.

Soft Deletes

Soft Deletes are annoying to maintain. All queries to the database need to be aware of the deleted column and filter appropriately. There are other ways to implement soft deletes (see below), but they are all at least a little annoying.

Read Authorization

In many applications, users only have access to a subset of the total data. If a user gains access to an entity they didn't previously have access to, pull should reflect that change. But that won't happen using just the logic described above, because the entity itself didn't change, and therefore its lastModifiedVersion field won't change.

To correctly implement auth changes with this strategy, you also need to track those auth changes somehow — either by having those changes bump the lastModifiedVersion fields of affected docs, or else by tracking changes to the auth rules themselves with their own lastModifiedVersion fields.


Early Exit, Batch Size

Just as in the Reset strategy, you can early exit the push handler or process mutations in smaller batches.

Alternative Soft Delete

There are other ways to implement soft deletes. For example for each entity in your system you can have a separate collection of just deleted entities:

type Monster = {
// other fields ...

// note: no `deleted` here

// The version of the database this entity was last changed during.
replicacheVersion: number;

type MonsterDeleted = {
// The version of the db the monster was deleted at
replicacheVersion: number;

This makes read queries more natural (can just query Monsters collection as normal). But deletes are still weird (must upsert into the MonstersDeleted collection).