Zoho Creator’s Lead Architect, Answers…

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Sriram - Zoho Creator's Lead Arcitect

Sriram, Zoho Creator’s Lead Architect has given an interesting interview (well I shouldn’t say… go check it out for yourself) and a nice peek into Zoho Creator’s Infrastructure, Security and more…

Here are some interesting tidbits from the interview:

ZohoCreator is completely based on relational model and Deluge was a natural fit. Gradually when we integrated Deluge, ZohoCreator transformed from a simple Form Builder to a complete Online Database Application creator.

Migrating ZohoCreator to the Grid Environment was a huge effort. Some part of the data model for the ZohoCreator had to be modified. Especially with regards to sharing. With a standalone service, there is only one database and all the users data resides in one database. Whereas in a database cluster the user information is distributed across the clusters.

The performance aspect of ZohoCreator is bit unique among all other Zoho services. ZohoCreator hits the database more than any other application. There are more write operations compared to other services and hence the database is heavily loaded. These database queries are very dynamic in nature.

We are preparing to host and replicate the data in multiple data centers across the world, so that our customers are not affected by any catastrophic database failures or prolonged network outage. This way even if one of the data center is affected, the others would work fine.

We have developed both REST API’s and XML-RPC/CSV-RPC. So stay tuned for the API release

Here is full length interview of Sriram by Pete Thomas at Land of ZC.

Charles Zoho Creator’s Chief Engineer will be interviewed next by Pete. Watch out this space for an announcement soon.

Previous Interview at Land of ZC: Suganya about Deluge Script

How are you using Zoho Viewer?

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Like with all other Zoho services, Zoho Viewer got a very good welcome among our users too. Peter and Chris, from comments at Solo Technology :

This is a great tool for sharing docs. I despise the proliferation of Word documents in the office that inevitably results in various versions that require manual merging. In my opinion, giving an online view will encourage group collaboration rather than someone making edits in a silo. Oh yeah, the embedded mode rocks too!

 

I’d say I agree 100% with you Peter.

I had a chance to use this at work today. Works great!

Oh, and my dad had a ppt presentation he wanted to look at. He doesn’t have powerpoint installed, but it was easy enough to upload it at Viewer and he watched it that way.

From a commenter in TechCrunch :

This might be helpful for people wishing to send formatted, attractive resumes to companies that warn they will not open attachments.It might also be a convenient way to keep an online version of a resume or other info that one might want to access remotely

Upendra’s comment at VentureWoods :

Take their latest app Viewer for example. It’s promoted as a tool to send attachments of any format without having to send huge attachments there by clogging inboxes of the recipient.

But the real killer is that you can upload attachment in upto 15 formats which can then be viewed in cool formats like PDF, xls etc.

You can use it a like simple PDF converter :) Upload any file in any format and download it as PDF.

And this is what some of the bloggers had to say :

Gary Price, Resource Shelf : “Notice how easy it is to download, print, and get the code to embed. Another useful feature, short URL’s.

Mike Arrington, TechCrunch : “Zoho isn’t looking to create a community around documents like Scribd does. All documents are private and you must know the URL to view them. They are not listed in any directory or searchable. So it is useful primarily to quickly upload email attachments and other documents you want to share with a few people but not the whole world. Viewers can also quickly download the document in its original format.

Gina Trapani, lifehacker : “No more Gmailing yourself entire files for viewing on the go necessary!

Zoli Erdos, Zoli’s Blog : “Forget attachments, the version control nightmare, software incompatibility issues, storage requirements: share documents by URL. Essentially it’s a TinyURL, SnipURL ..etc for documents, with additional options, like embedding the URL, tracking the number of views, or even editing your uploaded doc’s with the relevant Zoho programs.

Podium blog, “This is surely incredibly useful“.

Ioannus de Verani : “I was surprised at how painlessly and perfectly Zoho Viewer rendered the documents that I threw at it “.

More quotes here. Hope this helps in how you plan to use Zoho Viewer. If you have other uses for it, please mention it in the comments below.

Enhanced Collaboration and Export option in Zoho Notebook

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We rolled out an update to Zoho Notebook with some good enhancements in Collaborative Editing along with Export functionality.

Enhanced Collaborative Editing

We made several enhancements in collaborative editing. Here are some of them

  • Collaborative editing now works more smoothly than ever
  • In collaborative editing mode, if you reorder the pages, the pages will also be reordered for all the users working on the book immediately
  • Also, if any user adds a new page and saves the book, all users working on the notebook will be notified about the page addition and will see the changes immediately at their end

Page Export

We added our first version of Export functionality in Notebook. You can now export Notebook Pages and Books in MHTML format (works in IE only). We have plans to support other export formats as well.

export1.png

You’ll notice that the current export functionality is supported for Text, Images and drawing objects. We don’t include other types of content as these are web specific functions.

Apart from these two key enhancements, we also added several minor enhancements like a ‘Switch to’ option on the top to help easily navigate to other Zoho applications.

switch.png

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

Zoho Wallpapers for your Mobile Phones

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Do you love ZOHO? Do you love mobile phone wallpapers? Here are some ZOHO wallpapers for your mobile phones. Two Three standard sizes are available now.

1. 128×128 – Suitable for generic mobile phones

Zoho Mobile Phone Wallpaper 4
To download this wallpaper : http://tinyurl.com/2w8yml

Zoho Mobile Phone Wallpaper 5
To download this wallpaper : http://tinyurl.com/2cp7nh

2. 240×320 – Suitable for Smartphones and PDAs

Zoho Mobile Phone Wallpaper 1
To download this wallpaper : http://tinyurl.com/3asxfu

Zoho Mobile Phone Wallpaper 2
To download this image : http://tinyurl.com/2ngu87

Zoho Mobile Phone Wallpaper 3
To download this image : http://tinyurl.com/3dgz4x

3. 176×200 – Suitable for most Motorola Phones

Zoho Mobile Wallpaper for Motorola Phones
To download this image : http://tinyurl.com/2ufqdx

Zoho Mobile Wallpaper for Motorola Phones
To download this image : http://tinyurl.com/yuakdc

Zoho Mobile Wallpaper for Motorola Phones
To download this image : http://tinyurl.com/33x5cv
Download notes : If your mobile phone supports PC connectivity (Cable, IR, USB or Bluetooth), then save these images to your PC and transfer using Phone software. If your phone supports Internet access, use the Tiny URLs to download the images directly to your mobile phone. (Thanks to tjp600033 for tinyrul idea, and thanks to Al Briggs for Motorola wallpaper dimensions).

Enjoy!

Zoho powers Entrepreneur Assist

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As Ian Wenig mentioned in the previous post, Zoho now powers Entrepreneur Assist. I am excited about this as its a great integration between Office 2.0 applications and traditional content providers and I am certainly looking forward for more such integrations.

Here is a quick video demo highlighting the core functionalities of Entrepreneur Assist. You’ll notice many Zoho Apps including Writer, Sheet, Show Planner and others available under the same umbrella.

Last week I spent some time with David Pomije from Entrepreneur discussing about this integration. Below is the video.

I personally like the ‘Forms & Templates’ section in Entrepreneur Assist as it brings together hundreds of useful templates from different industries and makes these available for immediate use with Zoho applications…and ofcourse, I like the fact that all these Zoho apps are available within the same user interface.

We’d love to hear your views on this. Please let us know what you think.

Zoho Partners with Entrepreneur.com

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Zoho is very pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Entrepreneur.com. The alliance combines Zoho’s suite of online collaboration tools with some of the best business content on the Web. The result is a new section of the Website called Entrepreneur Assist, an industry-first solution designed to provide entrepreneurs and business owners with cutting edge tools to stay more competitive and productive. Visitors to the site can now open business templates and forms right in their browsers, edit and share the documents from a personalized home page at no cost. The deal also is a big boost to our emerging Zoho Alliance Partner Program (ZAPP), which will be formally launched in a few weeks.

Here’s a quick introduction to the site and partnership from Entrepreneur.com Vice President Dave Pomije:

A few quick highlights about the site:

Entrepreneur.com is the Internet’s largest small business site, with millions of unique visitors per month. It features articles, advice and now editable business forms and templates, totaling more than 200,000 pages of content.

With content providers looking for new ways to monetize web site traffic, we will be closely watching the time users spend on the website. This metric may prove to be one of the key advantages that Zoho can provide to any content provider since sponsors of these sites covet longer engagement times spent with their audiences. With Zoho, people naturally spend longer times on a site to create, edit and collaborate on their documents. Stay tuned for more on this.

Zoho Projects : Closer Integration with Writer/Sheet/Show and more

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Zoho Projects’ latest update has a few functionalities that you will love. The project files (typically doc, xls, ppt) that you have centrally loaded to the ‘Documents’ section of Zoho Projects are now viewable in Writer/Sheet/Show. No need to download and view them on a desktop based app. And it gets better. When you open & edit a doc/xls file in Writer/Sheet and save the changes, it automatically gets reflected in the Zoho Projects ‘Documents’ section as a new version! An example of how the option looks like below :

The other major area we’d concentrated on this update is that of logging time & how you see your work calendar. You can now have a consolidated calendar view of all your projects (under ‘My Home’ -> ‘My work calendar’). And there are filtered views too – By User, By Project, By Tasks, By Milestones etc.

The ‘work calendar’ also has the iCal subscription option at the bottom. You can subscribe to this HTTP Authenicated feed in your iCalendar and get automatic updates when new tasks get added to your projects, for example.

With the ‘log calendar’ view, you can now see the total logged time of a user across projects.

And Zoho Projects now allows consolidated export of  the logged hours timesheet for each user across Projects as a xls/csv file.


Generic tasks assigned to ‘Any User’ can now be logged by the user(s) who’d done them.

Other than the above, the UI of the ‘Forums’ section has been improved as well. Try the latest Zoho Projects and we would love hearing your feedback.