Zoho Viewer adds Document Expiry

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We added a new feature in Zoho Viewer last week which allows users to set an expiry time on the documents uploaded in Zoho Viewer. After the specified time, the document will automatically be deleted from our servers and the link to the document will cease to work. You can also set the document not to expire at all. Refer the image below on the choices available.

Document Expiry in Viewer

The expiry information is available via the Info link in the document page.

Info Dialog in Viewer

Other updates in the last few months include:

1) Japanese version of Zoho Viewer. If you access Zoho Viewer with your browser’s locale set as Japanese, then you will see the Japanese version. It was launched in December.

2) A new Slideshow link for ppt/pps/odp/sxi files, which enables you to run a slideshow in full screen mode.

Here is our introductory blog post on the Zoho Viewer. Do try out Zoho Viewer and let us know your feedback.

Zoho Mail & Zoho Business client-side integration gearing up

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Up until last update of Zoho Mail, most of the work on integrating Zoho Mail with Zoho Business was at the server side. Because of this, you wouldn’t have had the chance to see what we’ve been doing behind the scenes. Now, its high time for you to watch the integration happening right in front of your eyes. Yes, in the forth coming week starting from March 5, 2008, we’ve scheduled a few updates that are much of client-side. With these updates, we’ll be integrating Tasks, Notes and Links of Zoho Mail with Zoho Business.

We know most of you are using Zoho Mail everyday for your personal and official emails. To provide you an uninterrupted email service, we’ve taken appropriate measure to perform these updates without any downtime. During this period, you’ll not be able to add, edit or delete tasks, notes and links in Zoho Mail. However, you can do the same from Zoho Business. Once this update is done, you’ll find a centralized common Tasks, Notes and Links in Zoho Mail and Zoho Business.

We greatly appreciate your patience and co-operation!

Leading online college partners with Zoho

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Zoho is extremely pleased to announce our newest API integration partner; National Paralegal College.

The college is one of the leading providers of online paralegal education nationwide. NPC has pioneered the use of interactive web-conferencing in a classroom setting giving students the benefit of a traditional classroom experience over the internet. At NPC, students earn a paralegal Certificate or Associate degree entirely online.

Avi Katz, NPC President writes: “In keeping with its spirit of instructor-student interactivity, NPC has become an integration partner with ZOHO for the use of ZOHO Writer and Sheet in student submissions of assignments and homework. Instructors can easily share student submitted documents and make comments and corrections directly on the student’s submissions. This has lead to the furthering of interactivity between instructors and students in an Internet-based environment rivaling that of a traditional classroom setting.”

The integration with Zoho:

All assignments and student submissions are composed and viewed using the Zoho remote API. Students and professors have the choice of either uploading a file to Zoho or using the Zoho interface to compose their work.

Here is a detailed video demo of the integration:

npcollege.jpg

Zoho and Education:

Zoho continues to enrich the lives of students, faculty and researchers from all over the world – providing an excellent bridge between education and a broad range of easily accessible online tools for learning, collaborating and the creative process. To date, there are approximately 150,000 educational users of Zoho.

A recent appearance in DePauw University newsletter highlights the successful partnership between Zoho and the education community:

“Zoho writer and presentation allow users to import documents from Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to be edited or shared, and a plug-in is available to work with Excel as well.Like the Microsoft Office suite, all of Zoho’s tools integrate and work better together. Unlike Office, Zoho allows multiple users to share and edit documents simultaneously from any computer with Internet access.

In addition to integrating with each other, all Zoho applications can be integrated with Facebook, an increasingly helpful feature for college students, faculty and staff.”

About the API program:

Zoho is committed to providing open access to as many of its online application services as possible. Through our free API program, partners and the general Zoho community of users can embed the selected Zoho services into other applications, websites, portals and intranets. To date we have API’s for Writer, Sheet, Show, Planner and Creator. Other applications will follow.

We are interested in featuring more integration partners. If you have already done an API integration with Zoho and would like us to share it with the world, please write to us and let us know: partners@zoho.com or check out our partner pages at: ZAPP.

Zoho Writer Update: DocX Support, Thesaurus, Group Sharing & More

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After adding business friendly features like Pagination, Headers & Footers, Headnotes & Footnotes, Offline Support etc in our previous updates, we are further enhancing Zoho Writer functionalities with today’s update. The highlights include…

  • DocX Support
  • Thesaurus (in 10 languages)
  • Sharing with Groups
  • Enhanced Endnotes/Footnotes
  • Enhanced Headers/Footers


DocX Support
:

Zoho Writer now supports exporting to DocX, the new Microsoft OOXML file format for Word. Ofcourse, we already support ODF Export/Import in Zoho Writer. Currently you can export any of your documents in Zoho Writer as a DocX file. This is added in addition to the already available export options – DOC, TXT, HTML, PDF, ODF, SXW and RTF. We will soon be supporting DocX import as well.

docx.png


Thesaurus:

We now added Thesaurus option (in 10 languages). Right-click on a word, choose the ‘Thesaurus’ option from the contextual menu to view the synonyms and related words. The current version of Thesaurus is used more for lookup purposes. We plan to enhance this functionality further to replace the words with selected ones from thesaurus in the next version.

Languages supported in Thesaurus: English, Czech, German, Greek, French, Irish, Italian, Polish, Russian & Slovak. We will keep adding more language options in future updates.

thesaurus.png


Sharing with Groups:

You can now share documents with groups. This makes it a lot easier to share documents with multiple people avoiding entering of multiple email addresses each time you share a document. To share a document with a group, click on ‘Share’ and select the ‘Share with Groups’ tab. You can create new groups in your ‘My Account‘ section. These groups will be visible across all Zoho Applications.

sharegroups.png


Enhanced support for Endnotes/Footnotes:

As you may know, we recently added Endnotes & Footnotes capabilities in Zoho Writer. This updates enhances this functionality further. All your Zoho Writer documents when exported to DocX, ODF, SXW & RTF will retain the endnotes/footnotes correctly. We now also import endnotes/footnotes from DOC, ODF, SXW, RTF files.


Enhanced support for Headers/Footers:

Headers/Footers support is further enhanced in this latest update. Full support is available when you export documents to DocX, ODF, SXW & RTF.

Apart from these, there are other enhancements and bug fixes in this update. Manual page breaks are also supported in export/import as well.

Do give the latest features a try and let us know what you think.

Provide Remote Assistance with Zoho Meeting

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Many of you would have wanted to remotely assist your friends or parents over installing a software or setting right a configuration in their computer. And support personnel have the requirement of troubleshooting a problem in their customer’s premises. While this was possible by tweaking Zoho Meeting’s options (specifically, by setting the Presenter as the Customer/friend while creating a meeting), this wasn’t very intuitive, and rightly so :) Hence, we came up with a ‘Remote Assistance’ feature in Zoho Meeting specifically for this purpose – providing remote support to your friends and customers.

To use this, go to http://meeting.zoho.com and click on the Remote Assistance tab. You will see 2 options – Start and Join. Enter the email address of the person whose desktop you want to see (person whom you want to provide Remote support/assistance to), and click Start. You should see a screen like this :

startremote.JPG

And you should see a viewer opening in your PC, which will wait for the Presenter (person on the other side) to join the session. An email will be sent to the person to join the session. Otherwise, you can ask them to go to http://zohom.com (short form for Zoho Meeting :) ) over phone or IM and enter the 9 digit Session Id (that you’ll see on the web page) to join your session.

remotestarted1.JPG

Once the person joins the session, you should be able to see his/her desktop. Now, if you want to ‘take control’ of the PC and debug/trouble shoot issues, you can press the Request Control button in your toolbar, and you will gain control of the PC automatically! This should hopefully help you provide Remote Assistance in a few clicks!

remotecontrol.JPG

Do give Remote Assistance a spin and let us know your thoughts and comments. In case of issues/queries our id is support (at) zohomeeting (dot) com or srk (at) zoho (dot) com.

A Cool Mash-up & a Nice Blog on Zoho Creator

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Toucan Navigate is an easy-to-use desktop mapping software from InfoPatterns that lets you display your information over readily available detailed road maps and satellite images from Virtual Earth. Gabriel Coch from InfoPatterns has come up with a mash-up which takes the data as input from Zoho Creator & generates a neat map in Toucan. From Gabriel’s post,

I have been reviewing Zoho Creator (www.zoho.com) recently and decided to create a quick prototype to illustrate how it could be used with our Toucan mapping tool to do something useful.

Here’s a simple scenario taken from my college studies in Urban Planning – looking at the relationship between the location of Fast Food Franchises and major highways. My main objective was to accomplish this without a single line of code (no html, no javascript, no nothing) and yet provide enough functionality to answer some basic questions, hence making this potentially useful in the business world.

Specifically, I wanted to:

  1. Have more than one person enter,update or view Franchise data (i.e. collaborate)
  2. Dynamically filter the data (by Franchise or by State).
  3. Display thousands of records on a map.

In less than ten minutes I assembled this.

Gabriel’s Toucan mash-up takes the data from this Zoho Creator application.

Paisano has this to say about Zoho Creator (and Zoho DB & Reports),

Zoho Creator offers a free and extremely easy way to create your own web applications in no time at all. You can keep them private for your own use or share them with others. It is similar to Zoho DB & reports in that you can create databases with tables and queries, but Creator goes much further by providing the ability to add customizable forms as a frontend to your databases.

Here’s a sample web app I created in five minutes called My Muse. It can track all of your writing, including blog posts, ideas, publications, etc.

I’ve tried many online services that claim to offer easy database and web application creation but Zoho Creator and their DB & Reports are the best in my book. The load times and application/database performance have always been very good and the intuitive interface for designing is always excellent. I’ve never had to go to the help section with any of their products which says a lot.

Thanks to Gabriel & Paisano. Keep rocking with Zoho Creator :-)

Earthweb’s Mike Elgan on Zoho

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The Best Free Service You’ve Never Used” – that’s what Mike Elgan at Earthweb calls Zoho. From his nice article,

I’m not here to convince you to use Zoho as a replacement for Microsoft Office. I want to convince you to try Zoho goodies a la cart. Zoho is packed with so much innovation and surprising coolness, that I’m certain you’ll find a better way to do at least some small thing you’re already doing.

Better brainstorming and note-taking — Zoho Notebook enables the creation of pages where you can do just about anything — embed words, images, audio clips, video, live Web pages, URLs, RSS feeds and documents created by other Zoho applications, and just drag and drop them around on the page. Then you can share, publish or export them into what Zoho calls a “book” or into a Web page. It’s the ultimate online napkin or “back of the envelope” for capturing ideas. [Link to Zoho Notebook]

Better PowerPoint — By simply importing your PowerPoint presentations into the free Zoho Show application, you’ll be able to easily present from anybody’s computer. You should be backing up your presentation online anyway – why not back up to a site that will play it, too? If you find yourself in a restaurant and want to make your pitch, you can use the mobile version (izoho.com or mini.zoho.com) and run the presentation from your iPhone! [Try Zoho Show now]

Better project management – Most small projects are “managed” without professional grade project management tools. That’s because real project management software is expensive and complicated. Zoho offers a free and simplified version that gives you much of the power of major league applications, but without hitting your wallet or crushing you with a learning curve. [Sign-up for Zoho Projects]

I could go on and on with such examples. The takeaway here is that Zoho is packed with useful surprises. And don’t think of it as a replacement for Microsoft Office or an alternative to Google Apps. Think of it as a playground of productivity, where you can browse and pick and choose whatever you like — and ignore the rest.

Thanks, Mike! And to our readers : you can digg the above article here.