Zoho July 9 released Zoho Plug-in for Microsoft Access, a free software add-on to let Microsoft users migrate database information housed on their desktop computers to the Internet cloud.
As the moniker suggests, Zoho Plug-in for Microsoft Access lets users import their database information from Microsoft Office Access, a database application that sits on Microsoft Windows-based desktops, to Zoho Creator, the AdventNet subsidiary's program for creating and running database applications as SAAS (software as a service).
The software add-on will also bring Microsoft Access data to Zoho Reports, the SAAS business intelligence tool for analyzing data and creating charts, dashboards and pivot tables.
With the plug-in, users who migrate their database files from Microsoft Access to Zoho Creator will see a new application created with tables and views that may be shared with multiple users for collaboration in the workplace. Users can share a whole application or just a particular form or a report.
Why would users want to migrate their database information from Microsoft Office Access to Zoho Creator? Zoho Evangelist Raju Vegnesa told eWEEK that users who want to create database-based apps must use Microsoft Office Access in conjunction with a Microsoft Visual Basic front end.
With the new plug-in, Vegnesa said "users can just import their data to Zoho Creator and we automatically create the front-end application for their database."
The ability to bring a database app online is another major reason to download the plug-in. Users may create database files using Microsoft Office Access but these files are tethered to their desktops.
As ReadWriteWeb's Steven Walling noted, these files must be ported to the Web through Microsoft SharePoint Services, MySQL or PostgreSQL. Zoho Creator apps can be shared easily because they live on the Web.
Once users port their database app to Zoho Creator, users can edit the app online and add more business data using Zoho's Deluge Script scripting language. When an app is created in Zoho Creator, it can also be deployed onto Google App Engine.
Another reason is the traditional on-premise versus SAAS argument. Users pay $15 per user per month for any number of applications and up to 3 users without buying any software or hardware or install, maintain or upgrade on a periodic basis.
The new plug-in is the continuation of a trend for Zoho, which is appealing to businesses looking to migrate their data from Microsoft desktops to the comfort of the cloud. For example, Zoho July 1 started allowing users to import their Microsoft Project projects to Zoho Projects.
Last month, Zoho released Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint, a software module that will let Zoho Office users create new documents and save them to SharePoint in Microsoft Office formats.
The trend is clear; whether it's Zoho or Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, software providers are increasingly trying to bridge the gap between Microsoft's on-premise application legacy and the Internet through SAAS.