Data Zoom: Bridging the Gap Between MSQL Databases and SharePoint

SharePoint Solutions (news, site) decided to make accessing and integrating Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) database information from/with SharePoint less of a chore by introducing new SharePoint Data Zoom extensions.

Connecting SQL and SharePoint

We've heard about Data Zoom Web Part from SharePoint Solutions before. Having recently integrated SharePoint with Salesforce, SharePoint Solutions goes one better by tying together the information held within your company's SQL repositories and the many SharePoint systems that companies run.

The SharePoint Data Zoom Web Part is a free tool, while the SharePoint Data Zoom Extensions for Microsoft SQL Server Context cost US$ 495 per front-end server. The first element allows users to deliver data-driven content dynamically on any page, the SQL element allows users to query the database and extract data into SharePoint applications.

Compatible with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and MOSS 2007, the SQL package has a straightforward syntax and a complete range of query options, so users can dig for information from databases in the usual ways. Custom applications can be written to make use of the data.

Having had a look around, there are ways to deliver SQL Server reports, for example, to SharePoint, such as a Microsoft trick here. However, apart from some ad-hoc hand-coded solutions, it looks like this could be one of the few commercial solutions that could improve the usefulness of SharePoint within data heavy businesses. What do you think?