A system includes a communications module for downloading workspace data from a remote site, an application program interface coupled to the communications module for communicating with a workspace data manager to enable manipulation of the downloaded workspace data and thereby create manipulated data, and a general synchronization module coupled to the communications module for synchronizing the manipulated data with the workspace data stored at the remote site. An instantiator requests the workspace data manager to provide an interface for enabling manipulation of the downloaded workspace data. The workspace data manager may create another instance of the interface or may provide access to its only interface to enable manipulation of the data. A data reader may translate the downloaded workspace data from the format used by the remote site to the format used by the workspace data manager. Upon logout, a de-instantiator synchronizes the data with the global server and deletes the workspace data. The system handles the situation where the data stored at the remote site has not changed and therefore includes the downloaded data, and the situation the data stored at the remote site has been modified and therefore is different than the downloaded data.