Database in the cloud

In January this year (2010), I blogged about how nice it would be to have database in the cloud. That blog entry was inspired by what Marc Benioff was doing at Salesforce.com. Apparently, he was loads of miles ahead of my thought. Salesforce.com has released Database.com.

Database.com is a database running solely off the cloud. There is no hardware to manage, or software to install and configuration. Just create and run. From available information, basic access is free  you get 100,000 records and 50,000 transactions a month and maybe unlimited number of tables and other objects (they didn’t talk about that). With your web applications (PHP and the rest of the gang) you can connect to a database with REST and SOAP while authenticating with oAuth2 and SAML.

However, I have some unanswered questions.

  1. Apart from REST, JPA and SOAP, what happens to JDBC, ODBC, .NET and other connectivity layers? I might want to change my database while I keep my Jurassic Park applications running just the way it is. Anyway, I guess some script kiddie will come along and write another layer to slap on
  2. Some guys love to write crazy convoluted (I mean pretty bad queries that run forever) queries; is that allowed? You know one of the issues we faced with early shared internet hosting was your "web" neighbor doing crazy stuff which drags everyone down. Those were the dark ages
  3. What flavor of SQL do we write? Oracle has its dialect, same for MySQL, MS SQL (even between versions) and loads of other nutcase GPL forks.
  4. Will I get to connect my Toad (Quest is good!)?

If this model becomes successful, it could be the end of the road for the likes of Oracle, DB2 and Microsoft (Don’t even mention Sybase, they got to the end of the road years ago). Why? Because today, the portion of the total cost of ownership that goes to tuning and maintenance of database often dwarfs the cost getting the software initially. And if Google should throw its BigTable database into the fray with maybe free 1,000,000 rows and other freebies then you can size up the impact of the impending Armageddon. And mind you, some folks are already successful on the cloud business thingy. Amazon’s EC2 is the king of the park. Google apps has even signed up US government. Seems the cloud is here to stay.

Ok, maybe I am getting dramatic but sincerely, can you remember the days when Hotmail and Yahoo used to give just a measly 2mb as email and when floppy disks were the king of data back up? Think again.

Meanwhile, we have to wait till 2011 to try Database.com out and considering that it is just some 24 days away, it isn’t a long time to wait, is it?

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