Zoho on Tuesday launched CloudSQL, a middleware layer that gives developers access to Zoho Applications data via a SQL database call.
With the move, Zoho is playing an anti-lock-in card. One of the biggest worries about software as a service is that your data--and your business--can be locked into one provider. Under Zoho's plan, the company will allow third party applications to read and write data. In a nutshell, Zoho is allowing users to take their data via SQL.
The architecture looks like this:
Zoho's CloudSQL supports ANSI, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL and Informix. As a proof of concept Zoho has built a demo with Google's AppEngine using CloudSQL. For now, CloudSQL is free. Zoho says it will monitor usage and then figure out whether the company needs to charge.