APIs for Zoho Creator

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We are pleased to announce the availability of Zoho Creator API . With this users can now build their web application in PHP, JSP, ASP, Perl or any other programming language while the data is stored in Zoho Creator.

The API opens up lot of avenues for external websites and developers to colloborate with ZohoCreator Database. Zoho Creator has both REST and RPC style API’s. It also has JavaScript Client APIs.

Zoho Creator REST APIs enables users to Add, Delete, Update and View Records. It also has support for Sharing Applications, Forms and Views. In addition there are APIs to list Applications, Forms, Fields, and Views.

Using JavaScript Client APIs users can embed Zoho Creator Forms in external websites with more options to control the style and placement of the fields.

You can read more about Zoho Creator APIs at API Docs

To show case the API usage, a sample Expense Tracker application is built in PHP using Zoho Creator and Zoho Creator APIs. You can access the application at Expense Tracker. It uses the Zoho Single Sign On for Login. The Overview elaborates on how the Expense Tracker application is built.

This Expense Tracker application is also available in FaceBook. This application is built using PHP with the data stored in Zoho Creator.

If you need help in building a mashup using our API, do write to us at support(at)zohocreator(dot)com

Recent Buzz on Zoho

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Lifehacker has a post up comparing the Zoho Suite with Google Apps. From the post :

Both the big G and the little Z offer completely browser-based office applications like a word processor and spreadsheet, as well as communication tools like chat and email, as well as collaboration tools like project managers and wiki’s. But the business-oriented Zoho and the consumer-oriented Google applications differ a little bit in offerings, and probably a whole lot when it comes to active users.

Every time we visit Zoho, we’re impressed by the wide range of available applications, and their depth of features.

PC World Beta Watch profiled Zoho DB & Reports :

Zoho DB & Reports: Online Data Analysis

Zoho already has one database app: Creator, which provides lots of options for making a database. Its new app, called DB & Reports, has fewer creation options but gives you lots of ways to graph and analyze the data you have (you can build a database from scratch or import data from a spreadsheet). Creating pivot tables, pie charts, and custom queries is relatively simple, though this free beta still has some annoying bugs.

As with other Zoho services, Zoho DB & Reports will iron out the bugs in the upcoming updates and keep adding new features. Thanks to Gina & Edward N. Albro!

Zoho Creator : Earth-Shaking Usability Advances

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That’s what Jack Bellis at UsabilityInstitute.com is saying :

I clicked on Zoho and never looked back at the other links. Ho ho ho… in 10 minutes my school-age daughter had a database in her home page without my fingers touching the keyboard. Zoho has all sorts of served, office-style tools, and I can’t figure out what their cost basis is other than free, but who cares.

I’ve labeled this a “usability” advance, but that’s a provocative point. The usability of Zoho’s App Creator isn’t the items in its interface, but the premise of the tool itself. (Mind you, it is full of spectacular usability… its scripting tool is in fact a huge usability model, a very strongly menu-supported command syntax, as are many other items in the interface.) I suppose my point is that the usability of the web has increased. I continue to maintain that online database apps are on a par with the technology advance of the Xerox machine and publishing in general, with the ability to facilitate mass movements of popular action… social upheaval… change… revolutions.

Viva la Revolución! Try Zoho Creator now.

Zoho Business: Scheduled Maintenance on Oct 28

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We’ve scheduled a maintenance for Zoho Business on Sunday, October 28, 2007 between 10.30 PM and 11.30 PM PDT. During this time, access to Zoho Business will not be available.

We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause and appreciate your patience.

[Update @ 11.30 PM PDT] Maintenance has successfully been completed. Access to Zoho Business is available now. Thank you for your patience and co-operation.

Office vs Online Office : Telephone vs Mobile Phone

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Many users consider online office applications as a replica of their offline counterparts. While the purpose of these applications is the same, their usage mode is significantly different.

The right analogy here is to compare offline office suites to traditional wired telephones and online office suites to mobile phones. The core function for both the devices is the same, but the mobility adds a new dimension to cell phones. Attaching a camera to your land line doesn’t make sense, but now that the phone is mobile and is available wherever you go, it makes perfect sense. Mobility adds this new dimension. Similarly there are other dimensions (like collaborative editing) which are unique to online applications. You’ll see some interesting use cases like this emerge which are traditionally not possible.

But then, lets be practical. Online office applications do have their limitations and they don’t yet offer whatever their offline counterparts offer today. That doesn’t mean they won’t get there. Its a matter of time. Online office suites are just 2 years old which probably can be compared to early versions of mobile phones. Over the next few years, you’ll see greater improvements. Going forward we might see similarities between adoption of online office suites and mobile phones where some users will solely depend on mobile phones, some users using both and some sticking with their wired line.

Related Article:
Document vs Web Document

Zoho Projects Update : More options in Timesheet, Doc Management etc

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The latest Zoho Projects update added quite a few handy features. You can now add links to web pages and embed HTML code snippets (of say Zoho Show presentations and YouTube videos) related to your projects in a separate Links section under ‘Documents’. The links can be tagged for easy classification and can be searched across.

Non-billable hours for tasks done unrelated to the project can now be mentioned in the Timesheet. Export options (both per project and across multiple projects for a user) now support billable/non-billable hours as well.

Project-related documents that you store centrally at Zoho Projects are now made sortable based on name. And in case of multiple persons in your team having the same first name – the email address will get shown in the Task Owner field for easy differentiation.

A few bug fixes have gone in as well. Try the latest Zoho Projects and we will be glad hearing your feedback as always.

Use Case: Online Office to get homework done collaboratively

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There are many unique use cases for online office applications where traditional office suites cannot be used.

Last Friday there was a segment on WCBS TV (thanks for the tip, Allen) talking about usefulness of online office suites like Zoho for getting homework done remotely and collaboratively. Kids can take their parent’s help on their homework while working remotely.

The ability for multiple users to work on the same document/page at the same time remotely is a unique benefit for online office suites and springs such interesting use cases. Here is the video.

Last month Wall Street Journal also talked about the same use case in their article ‘Checking the Kids’ Homework Over the Internet‘.

If you have any interesting use cases with online office suites, do let us know.

Related Articles:

Web Apps & Collaboration: The Big Picture

Document vs Web Document