One advantage to storing your data in-house, as opposed to storing the data remotely, is the ability to keep and track key metrics on this data. Visualization and reporting tools allow us to keep tabs on data storage, usage and harvest these data for analysis. For those looking at cloud computing options, what avenues for data visualization exist? Not many, which is why Google has announced new and expanded capabilities of Google Visualization API that will allow users to display data from virtually any data source connected to the Web.Before the recent announcement from Google, developers could only use Google Spreadsheets to present valuable data analysis. Companies were able to create reporting applications from the Google Visualization Gadget Gallery, but the data had to originate from a Google Spreadsheet. Now developers can pull data from various data sources, including SQL databases and Excel spreadsheets. This API will undoubtedly be embraced by application developers who want to enhance administration and monitoring of their cloud-based data stores.

Putting the Visualization API to Work

As evidence of the capabilities of the newly enhanced Visualization API, Google points out that Salesforce.com has created tools to enhance usage of the new API. With Salesforce.com's tools, developers can create reporting and analysis services that they can then sell to Salesforce customers.

Making the Cloud More Attractive

The Visualization API will bring a new level of respect to the cloud computing movement in the enterprise world. Enterprise IT and business managers demand the ability to have data reporting and analysis tools at their disposal to solve business problems and report to their key stakeholders. Being able to harvest and visualize data housed in SQL stores in the cloud will be very valuable going forward.