Good CBS News Story: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/27/tech/real_technology/main4896328.shtml
The safety of your data is very important, not only from your files being lost, but stolen. One of the misconceptions that I have seen are the ownership rights of the database schema itself.
The schema (pronounced skee-ma) of a database system is its structure described in a formal language supported by the database management system (DBMS). In a relational database, the schema defines the tables the fields in each table, and the relationships between fields and tables.
The Content in the database is the ownership of the end-user, however the schema is the ownership of the software company who licenses its usage to the end-user. If the end-user uses it or changes it without the consent of the software company the end-user will have huge legal problems. I was at a conference where a speaker had done this, and was surprised about this when I told her (In Front of everyone). She said, "well they spoke with Oracle"…well thats like leasing a car from Avis and calling Ford to see if you can use it for another 3 years to deliver pizzas. Now the Pizzas belong to her, but she will need to move the pizzas to another car, or call Avis and see if its alright. She didn't like Avis but couldn't afford to lease another car. (Database Schema)
So the Content or Pizzas belong to the end-user, the Car or Database Schema belongs to the Software Corporation.
So lets talk about Facebook and all the Pictures we post out there. What if they (Facebook) change their end-user agreement and suddenly pictures of my Cat and Vacations belong to them? What if My data (Content) is being sold to market products to me or my friends and family. What rights do I have to have this stopped, and how can I protect my data? I have heard some news about having an End-User Bill of Rights, that the ON Demand Family of Services will be held accountable. SAS 70 Audit is a move in the right Direction: http://www.sas70.us.com/
Right now, there is no Bill Of Rights. There are End-User Agreements that you NEED to read. Now what we are doing in Beta Testing is allowing the end-user to backup up their Content from the Cloud (ON DEMAND) back to their Premise. This should be the NORM. We have been doing data conversions for years, moving the content from one relational database to another.
So here is a Future Market for another service. You get tired of one ON DEMAND system and you move your Content to another ON DEMAND system. This will require a data conversion. The CONTENT must be removed from your ex ON DEMAND system and Uploaded to your new ON DEMAND system.
The question is: Is this going to be like a Divorce…or are Agreements going to exist that make this exchange safe and a wonderful experience….we will see!