Key issues for data portability are Contractual arrangements, Access limits and speed restrictions, Availability of suitable interfaces and tools for exporting data, Scope and completeness of the exportable data and metadata, Structure and format of the exported data. Previously we published another article on Data Portability in the Cloud on the point Customer Loyalty vs. Trust. As from this small introduction, in this article we will discuss the key issues for data portability.
Data Portability : Publication of data in standard formats
Politics and economics are trying in different ways, with the concept of data portability to improve consumer confidence in cloud services. Thus, the currently discussed Protection Regulation provides a place for a kind of “right to data portability“, which requires providers to disclose data in standardized formats. Individual actors go here already in advance. Google for instance, combines with the “Data Liberation Front” with their tools to export data from Google services. At a broader level, the Data Portability Project also involved in the compilation of open data formats and the development of best practices. The initiative has also connected many companies – these are in addition to Google include Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Twitter.
How far is the way for a free flow of data is still seen in the example of groupware solutions in the cloud. At the technical level, cloud offerings such as hosted Microsoft Exchange solutions are initially characterized by a lack of hardware and administration access. Thus, many existing tools and scripts for data migration can not be used. There remain existing export and API interfaces of the respective solutions, however, has not released any provider. For some providers, free email inboxes, but also sometimes used in business Hosted Exchange accounts, such as the e-mail retrieval with the current standard IMAP is disabled.
Key Issues for Data Portability : Pessimism is not appropriate
Furthermore, interfaces often allow access only to a subset of data. While so many groupware solutions offer the import and export of contacts and calendar entries in the standard formats such as iCalendar and vCard – but this important information can be lost, such as calendar sharing. In addition, individual data fields in a mapping is required at the semantic level, particularly when data is to be exchanged between different systems.
But even if these obstacles overcame, a smooth switching among providers is not guaranteed. Just for Google, when exporting data as claimed; portrayed the lead, it is difficult for the acquisition of larger quantities of data limitations. Users who want to copy more than two gigabytes per day from their Gmail account, risking a 24-hour lock. This indicates that the user should note in addition to the technical requirements for data portability and contractual agreements and additional costs may be incurred.
The above examples show how diverse are the challenges in data acquisition in the cloud. Requirements increase, the more demanding area can be the applications. This applies, for solutions that work with complex data as an e-mail and contacts, as well as mobile apps that restrict access to data often even further. A comprehensive access to your data is a key consideration for users’ confidence and is directly related to the cloud services, about which any vendor should be aware of. Users should take a critical turn when choosing a provider, whether an adequate level of data portability is guaranteed.