Way to use the spread sheet with out the database backend

I would like to use the functionality of the spread sheet, but want to handle the storing and retrieving of the data, we are not using a relational db. How could I do this?

a) if you are using php - you can just replace part of server side code which works with DB with custom code

b) if you are using non-php server side, you can implement a custom backend. Which will provide data as json in specific format

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