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:


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.



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.


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.


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 :


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.


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!


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.

Twitter, Twitter Apps & Zoho

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For the past couple of months, we have been having a good time reaching out to our users, many of them at near real time, through Twitter. It’s nice to see so many of our users tweeting their Zoho experiences. Some recent tweets : Ken Pruitt, Ranjan Varma, Andy Affleck, Tom Whitaker. There’re lots more of these nice tweets which we’ve added as our favorites.


Regarding Twitter apps, Terraminds is great, helping us generate a RSS feed to track all tweets about Zoho.


And, Tweetstats offers a nice graphical snapshot of all our tweets till now.


Been a web user of Twitter till now & haven’t tried the downloadable clients yet. Any compelling reasons we should try them? This page offers a great collection of apps. Will have to dig more. May be Chris Brogan, the Twitter Super Star can help :-) And we would like to hear how you are using Twitter (amazed seeing the Los Angeles Fire Department twittering!). Leave your comments please.

To all Zoho users out there, keep tweeting your Zoho experiences!

Zoho Creator : ‘Function’ support in Deluge scripting

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With the recent update in Zoho Creator, we have enriched the deluge language with ‘Functions’ support.

Let’s see, ‘What is Function’ in scripting terminology. In simple terms, ‘A function is a set of statements grouped together under a name and can be invoked/reused from elsewhere in the scripting‘.

Usage of functions can be broadly classified under the following.
1).Write once and reuse utilities
2).Serves as bridge between applications (created by the same user)
3).Custom action integration in views

Write once and reuse utilities :

‘Functions’ promotes code re-usability of deluge script within an application and even across applications (same user’s applications). It makes the code modular and easy to understand.

When you feel like repeating certain scripting functionality across different parts of application, you can define them as separate function and reuse it. With the help of built-in functions provided in deluge, you can create numerous util functions on your own, using the ‘Functions’ support.


  bool isLeapYear(int year)
    leapyear = false;
    if ((input.year % 4) == 0)
      leapyear = true;
      if(((input.year % 100) == 0) && ((input.year % 100) != 0))
        leapyear = false;
    return leapyear;

Help on creating a new function here

More samples here

Serves as bridge between applications (created by the same user) :

Not only can you define generic utilities as functions, you can even manipulate the application data from within the functions. Till now, it was not possible to manipulate the data in one application from the script in another application, which is now made possible with the help of functions. In this respect we can consider application as an object with its data and we can define functions to operate on this data which compares to member functions in an ‘object oriented’ world. The applications can communicate with each other using functions.

Custom action integration in views :

‘Functions’ has the potential to be integrated into various GUI actions, taking the scripting integration in Zoho Creator to next level. It makes the applications created, much more powerful and alive.

As a first step, it is integrated into views under the terminology ‘Custom Actions’. It enables the user to invoke specific function on a selected record in a view.

Custom actions in a view in live mode

More help on custom action in views

– Hariharan