Introducing Zoho Invoice

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We just rolled out a new addition to the Zoho Suite – Zoho Invoice. This new application joins other business applications from Zoho like Zoho CRM, Zoho Projects, Zoho Meeting, Zoho People, Zoho Creator & Zoho DB.

Zoho Invoice is an online invoice generation and tracking application. It lets you create, send and track Invoices & Estimates. To create an invoice, first you add customers, define items (products or services) and then create invoices. Once you create an invoice, you have options to Email, Print or Export your invoice as a PDF.


You can define Recurring Profiles (Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly or Yearly) and let Zoho Invoice automatically send invoices to your customers. You can also define late fees, tax, discounts etc for the invoices you create.


Inside the application, you can also setup a ‘Payment Gateway’ (through PayPal, currently) which lets you accept payments directly from your customers once the invoice is emailed out.

The Settings section lets you first define your Company Details, Logo, Currency (yes, we support multiple currencies) and Tax info. This module has a Templates section which lets you customize the layout, look and feel of your invoices. You have the option to choose from a set of pre-defined templates or you can create your own. You can also define/customize email notifications settings as well for sending customized messages to your customers.

The reporting module provides different reports on the data based on Sales, Customers, Payments, Tax etc. The embedded Zoho Show slideshow below explains the setting up workflow & the various functionalities that Zoho Invoice has on offer.

Being a finance app, security is an important aspect. By default, Zoho Invoice comes with SSL support even for free users.

Zoho Invoice currently has an integration into Zoho Projects. If you are working on a project and want to invoice your client, you can do so by creating an invoice and choosing the option to ‘Create Invoice from Zoho Project’. Going forward, this application will also be closely integrated with Zoho CRM and other Zoho Apps.

The pricing is simple & affordable. It is based on the number of invoices you create. It obviously comes with a free version that lets you create upto 5 invoices per month and it has several packages ranging upto the ‘Elite’ package that lets you create upto 1500 invoices/month for $35/Month. More information on the pricing is available here.

Bigger Picture:
As you might have noticed with our recent announcements, our applications go far beyond a productivity suite. We have a suite of applications focused on Productivity & Collaboration. Then, we also have a set of Business Applications needed to run a business online. Zoho Invoice is a nice addition to our Business Application set which addresses the business needs of SMBs.

Please do give this new app a try and let us know your feedback.

Zoho Wiki Update : Backup, Page Options, Customizable Footer etc

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We’ve rolled out some important changes in Zoho Wiki over the last couple of weeks.

Wiki Backup : Taking a wiki backup has been one of the top requirements of our users. The wiki owner/administrator can now find this option under Settings -> General -> BackUp -> ‘Click to download the backup’. You will get a zipped file containing all the pages of your Wiki as HTML files.

Page Options : In the previous update, we brought in page level permissions. Now, there are even more options for each of your wiki pages.

  • Duplicate Page : You can make copies of a page now. This comes in handy when your Wiki consists of almost similar pages. Create a template page & make duplicate copies of it.
  • Copy to (another Wiki) : You can copy a page to another Wiki which is yours or which you are subscribed to.
  • Print Preview : Print a Wiki page (without the Wiki side panel etc)
  • Other options like delete, rename, adding a sub-page, setting a page as the Wiki’s home page, seeing/changing the page’s permissions, viewing all/public/group/private pages are part of the ‘Recently Changed Pages’ module in the Wiki’s side panel

Customizable Footer : Another new customization option which will give a more native feel & individuality to your Wiki. Click on Settings -> Customization -> Use customizable footer and set your own footer.

Other changes in this update include :

  • An option to specify whether you would the visitors of your Wiki to send feedback to you by email
  • The order is maintained now during drag-and-drop of all pages in the wiki’s Site Map (previously, the order wasn’t preserved in the root level pages)

The above changes illustrated using a Zoho Show slide show below.

Try out the new features in Zoho Wiki and as always, we’ll be glad hearing your feedback!

ps : Help documentation for Zoho CRM & Zoho Show are now available as Zoho Wikis!

On Dominant Organizations

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As I was reading Paul Graham’s latest essay on small and large companies, I remembered something I noticed several years ago, something akin to Moore’s Law:

The dominant technology company in a generation reaches its pinnacle at about half the size of the dominant company in the previous generation, and it retains its dominance for half as long.

IBM was dominant for roughly 30 years. Microsoft’s domination lasted about 15 years. Google’s domination started at around 2005, I would think.

Why would such a thing be true? Same technological forces that are reshaping our lives are also impacting economies of scale. Technologies are lowering transaction costs, thereby making organizations reach their peak economic power at smaller scales. A related point which uses the Coase Theorem is made here.

Desktop Apps to Online Apps and the Transition in Between

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As an online application provider, we bet on applications residing in the cloud. We think this is the future. We expect to see a migration to the cloud based computing the same way we saw the migration from Mainframes to PC. But then, migration doesn’t happen instantly. To get to the next level, we need to climb multiple steps and it takes time before we move to the next generation of application delivery.

For over a decade, we have seen desktop apps running on a PC in the offline mode. These include apps like MS Office which primarily reside on the PC. Then, there are next generation applications that reside in the cloud like Zoho, Google Apps etc which are served from the cloud. We are currently seeing users slowly (?) migrating from desktop applications to online applications. While users are migrating from PC Apps to Online Apps, vendors are also extending their applications to make this transition easy.

We are noticing that PC App vendors are extending their offline applications to the cloud for future compatibility. Microsoft extending their MS Office with MS Office Live Workspace is a good example of this. On the other hand, online app vendors like Zoho are extending the apps to the offline mode for backward compatibility. While these are two different approaches in opposite directions, they are basically doing the same….transitioning the user.


Transitioning to the next generation of computing takes time and several steps. Each of the steps help make the transition better. Offline support for online apps is one such step which is an important during this transition phase. Not all users are online all the time. Offline support is important, atleast till we are always connected. So we have added offline support (both on desktop and Mobile) based on Google gears to help such users. Another step is integration of online apps with offline counterparts (like our integration into MS Office). Another step is to make a web based application look and behave like an offline app which is what Mozilla Prism is doing. We in fact did offer something like this earlier with Desktopize.

TechCrunch has a great post about technologies bridging this gap between online and desktop apps. These are important transitioning technologies/concepts that are necessary to transition the users to cloud based computing.

Zoho Notebook: Enhanced Web Clipping, New Shapes & More

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In the last few weeks we made several useful enhancements to Zoho Notebook. Here are few highlights…

Web Clipping

We made a simple but useful enhancement to the web clipping feature in Zoho Notebook. When you collect information using the ‘Add to Zoho Notebook’ option in the Firefox plug-in, the content will now be arranged one below the other. Previously, the content overlapped where you had to manually arrange them.

Editing Option for Objects

We now added editing option for the objects. The ‘Edit’ icon (editoption.png) lets you edit the HTML code in the ‘Add HTML’ object, Feed URL in ‘Add RSS’ object and URL in ‘Add HTML’ Object.



New Shapes

We noticed that several users use the drawing tools for drawing flowcharts. We now added more shapes that are useful for flowcharts.

RSS Object

The ‘Add RSS’ Object now supports feed from different RSS verions. This object currently support versions 0.91, 0.92, 1.0 & 2.0.

Podcasts on Zoho

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After the screencasts from Rick Castellini that we wrote about earlier, we found a couple of recent podcasts featuring Zoho.

Adam Wolf at BizTech Podcast offers a crisp intro on Zoho to small business owners. The podcast can be dowloaded from this page. And Bill Blinn at TechByter Worldwide talks about Zoho in detail. Download the podcast (the first 5 of this 18 minute podcast is about Zoho) or read more about it here, Zoho for Your SOHO.

Thanks Adam & Bill, for recommending Zoho to your podcast subscribers!