I know this is more of a legal/lawyer question, but I'm sure others have run across this at some point so any insight is helpful.
I'm looking to create a mISV which builds and sells add on tools for large enterprise applications. The products I want to work with don't have APIs for directly accessing information, but store the majority of their data in a SQL database, so it is visible without reverse-engineering formats. The companies that create these applications have partner programs, but they are only for sales channel relationships, not technical ones.
Are there issues with creating products that work with the large applications without establishing a relationship/partnership with the company first?
Microsoft doesn't seem to require any sort of partnership to create 3rd party tools for their products. Do other large companies allow the same thing (Oracle, EMC, Autonomy) or does it vary?
So yes I’m not a lawyer, so prior to making a decision suggest getting appropriate legal counsel.
So based on the legal decision on jail breaking of the iphone (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/07/apple-loses-big-in-drm-ruling-jailbreaks-are-fair-use.ars )as long as the code is owned and operated by the person you should be able to provide a way to modify what it does legally.
Things to consider:
If I understand correctly, you want to write applications that access customers' SQL data.
The providers of the software that created the customer data have no rights to that data and, thus, cannot legally interfere with your using it.
Hope this answers your Q.
Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.