1Password 6 Local Vault Feature Development Info

I'm glad to hear that work is underway to incorporate support for writing information to local vaults in 1Password 6. I know your developers are hard at work on new features and bug fixes, including local vault support.

For those of us waiting patiently for this specific feature it would be great to hear what issues and challenges you are encountering along the way. How does your approach to managing local vaults differ between 1Password 6 and 1Password 4? Are there uniquely Windows problems that you have encountered? What makes a 1Password 6 local vault different from a vault stored in a 1Password account?

I am aware that development takes time and am not interested in an ETA. It appears that while the Mac OS X development community often writes in detail about the challenges and difficulties they face when developing new features, the Windows development community is often more reticent to share those details. With Agilebits rich history of developing for the Mac, it would be great to hear your perspective on the development challenges that you have faced with this specific feature and platform.


1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided


  • MikeTMikeT Agile Samurai

    Team Member
    edited February 2017

    Hi @overcookedTOFU,

    Thanks for writing in.

    You might want to read this comment from Dave on our blog: https://blog.agilebits.com/2016/06/02/1password-6-beta-for-windows-opens-the-door-to-1password-families-and-1password-teams/comment-page-2/#comment-7322

    I could write a book on answering your questions but we do have a lot of work ahead of us and so, I hope you don't mind me just summarizing as much as I can without going into too much details. We do plan to have more details in a blog post like what Dave wrote.

    First, we're not entirely focusing on local vaults only, our main focus is completing 1Password 6 with the features that users need now. The thing is, the way we implement features is not limited to 1Password.com, they work for both 1Password.com accounts and local vaults. 1Password sees the same data for both types, it just cannot write/modify to local vaults because it is radically more complex to maintain compared to 1Password.com where we have the central servers abstracting most of the stuff for us.

    For an example, we don't have to deal with the data templates, we pull it from the servers directly. Unlike local vaults, which has to be included in the application files from the get-go and manually updated in each application update if we make some changes. That also means if we want to do a new feature, the templates have to be manually updated first and we have to wait across all platforms to be updated as well. With the 1Password.com servers, it's abstracted and made available for all 1Password apps at the same time. We can ship features faster and allow the apps to catch up, rather than holding back features until all apps are ready first.

    How does your approach to managing local vaults differ between 1Password 6 and 1Password 4?

    1Password 6 uses an internal database structure (SQLite) to store the content from all 1Password.com accounts and local vaults that you add to 1Password. 1Password 4 was a single document application, it simply read/writes to the vault folder itself. The biggest benefit of the internal database is that you can switch between vaults without having to unlock it manually, something that 1Password 4 can't do. It is also more scalable with the larger vaults, which is important when you're sharing a lot of data between family members, teammates, guests and so on. Rather than parsing all local vault files, we just run smarter and more efficient database queries.

    1Password 6 implements newer encryption protocols that older Agile Keychain/ OPVault formats differ from like the account keys, so it has to convert between not only the data structure but the encryption as well. Not to mention, two separate local vault formats with nearly a decade worth of internal changes that we have to accommodate.

    Are there uniquely Windows problems that you have encountered?

    Mainly the UI, we constantly switch between components trying to find that works with the features we need. 1Password mini is the biggest example of this, the way we have it built on macOS is something Apple has already included for us but this design is something that is rarely used on Windows. We can't use a menu-based interface with hover interactions because menus are not meant to be used full time on Windows. Windows also have a long list of restrictions on how to focus a window from a background process, this is to avoid spamming and stealing your focus all over the place. Like I said, we could write a book on this.

    The short answer is trying to find a UX (user experience) design that may have slightly different UI (user interface) from other platforms, a consistent UX is important but the UIs can be slightly different. We want a native Windows app that feels like it is a part of Windows while at the same time, offer the same consistent 1Password experience across all platforms.

    the Windows development community is often more reticent to share those details.

    For us, it is not because we don't want to share the details, it's just that we don't have much to say right now until we figure out a solution. What we have now, doesn't mean it'll be the case in a month from now. We're constantly iterating and overhauling parts of 1Password, what you see now in 1Password 6 is barely the same app 6 months ago.

  • Thanks for your reply. It is good to hear (briefly) what problems you are facing and how you go about addressing them. I look forward reading to a blog post more directly addressing your plans for the 1password standalone features soon. Thanks!

  • MikeTMikeT Agile Samurai

    Team Member

    You're welcome!

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