Get the max out of Zoho!

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Pai writes about using Zoho Creator and Zoho DB & Reports.

You can now build powerful and sharable databases online for free thanks to websites like Zoho. You don’t even need any special database development experience to create online databases that you can access any time from any browser.

Zoho DB & Reports offers the best “Free” online database service, hands down. It is extremely easy to create your own database and the performance is impressive. The databases run rather quickly which was a pleasant surprise. There doesn’t appear to be any limits in place for the number of databases you can create for free nor how large they can grow so I do not know how many records a Zoho database can contain. You can share any database with anyone you want by simply adding their email address and sending them a link.

Zoho Creator is another database creation service they offer but don’t get them confused. While they describe it as a Database Application builder, it does a lot more than that. Zoho Creator is a lot more complex than Zoho DB so it will not be as easy to use straight out of the gate. It offers an excellent interface builder for creating customized forms for your database application. They now even offer the ability to build database applications for the mobile platform and have their own API for those interested in building more complex databases.

Samuel Dean at Web Worker Daily & Rick Broida at BNET Business Hacks recommend Zoho DB & Reports too.

One of the good personal finance blogs that we follow is Ramit Sethi’s. Ramit in a latest post of his embeds Zoho Sheets to show how one can track the money being spent. Joseph (Joe) Kennedy has a nice chart of when to run your home appliances and save on your electricity bills. PGE customers in Portland, please take note. For others, you can prepare a similar chart. Publish it in your blog and it’ll benefit you & your readers. From Joe’s post,

Running at the wrong time of day can cost double or triple what it costs to run in off-peak hours. At current rates, that can add up to a few dollars a month. Granted, it’s not always convenient to do a few loads of laundry after 10pm. But, if you run one load a night, to keep up with the laundry generated, that wouldn’t be so bad.

As an aside, I love Dump Microsoft Office. Zoho is online. It’s free. It lets you save your documents into a format compatible with office. And easily embeds in your blogs. Nearly a dozen other tools, as well.

Ranjan Verma twittered about a Zoho Creator app which will search/compare different mutual funds. Hope we will get to see it in his blog (another one I follow for tips on personal finance & stocks!) soon.

Consulting Pulse writes about the Web 2.0 technologies & programs they use and which of them are worth paying for. About Zoho, they have this to say:

What did I ever do without an online word processor? Just one year ago I was happy wandering along in desktop land with my version of word, then I came across this in an internet search.

Absolutely changed the way I work! Today ALL of my documents are backed up on Zoho, all of my reports are there, I write the first drafts of my posts there and I am starting to use other elements of the service as well. For example, I am dead keen to learn about their project management software and will probably be starting a project there shortly.

If (when?) I ever go into business for myself Zoho will probably be my office productivity suite of choice.

Shameless Reviews (what a name!) on Zoho:

Everyone knows that MS Office XP dents the pocket. Worse with MS Office Vista. You’ll gurgle money to the tune of $300 for a bloated app that tends to require patch after patch. What would you give to have the functionality of MS Office without the price tag? (free) Visit Zoho Office. Don’t worry, you aren’t buying MS Office software online at some discount shop. You’re actually going to word process and spreadsheet your data fully online.

Imagine: now my laptop need to strain and groan under 2GB of bloatware! Once you zoho [Note to Zoli : here’s one more person using Zoho as a verb!], there’s no coming back. I know I’m hooked

Thanks to all the bloggers above for using Zoho! Be it a program to monitor your weight, tracking your monthly spend, reducing your electricity charges, investing in the right MF, backing-up your documents / database or managing your projects, remember, Zoho is there to help you out :-)

ps : Site24x7, our website monitoring service is offering a 40% discount till this month end. Head there if you want your website(s) availability monitored round-the-clock.

Business at the Margins

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There is an interesting discussion started by the NY Times article on corporate IT spending, and how it will be hit in a recession, but won’t collapse like it did in 2001. TechCrunch followed up with a piece on how IT spending restraint may actually be good for new companies that promise cost savings.

As I said in my comment in TechCrunch

It is useful to remember that both Salesforce & WebEx thrived during the last recession – in fact they were relatively unknown during the last boom. Cost was a major part of the reason they thrived in the bust.

It is not an all or nothing proposition: adopting a suite like Zoho doesn’t mean abandoning or throwing away the investment already made. With our MS Office plug-in that is exactly the message we are touting – don’t throw away, augment what you have. Adoption can be very tactical and very gradual. And that business-at-the-margins is more than sufficient for new vendors to thrive – at the time of their acquisition by Cisco, WebEx was pulling in about $250 million a year, which wouldn’t qualify as a rounding error for Microsoft, but a nice chunk of change for a new company.

That is what we believe in here at Zoho. Our business plan does not depend on, and never depended on, a mass move away from the desktop, which is unlikely anyway. We wouldn’t put out tools like the Office plug-in if we believed users will abandon Office wholesale. Instead, we will earn our initial business at the margins, enabling greater productivity with what customers already have, stretch out their replacement cycles and so on.

We already receive a large number of enquiries from happy users who want to adopt Zoho in their businesses and actually pay us (reminder: the personal edition is free, and will remain free). We tell them we have set some goals for integration across the Zoho suite, with more business-friendly features, before we take their money. That is what our team is working hard on.

More cool features in Zoho Show

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Zoho Show 2.0, launched last December added lots of new features including shapes, symbols, clipart, enhanced themes, revamped UI etc. Today’s update includes,

  • Chinese & Japanese UI support : Your browser’s language setting is taken by default. And you can change it to by clicking on the ‘Language’ link at the top of Zoho Show’s homepage. UI in more languages are in the works and coming soon
  • Enhanced Color Chooser dialog : Lets you choose color gradients more easily. We wanted to keep the user experience across Zoho services uniform and the new color picker borrows heavily from the Zoho Notebook one
  • Opera support : In addition to Firefox & Internet Explorer, Opera is now supported as well
  • Wrapping of text inside Shapes : You can now wrap multiple lines of text inside Shapes

Test drive the latest Zoho Show and as always, we will be glad hearing your feedback!

Add Footnotes & Endnotes to your Zoho Writer Documents

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Zoho Writer now supports footnotes & endnotes, two much asked for functionalities by our users (students, teachers & researchers in particular). The below slideshow shows the details of footnotes & endnotes in Zoho Writer.

Other than the footnotes & endnotes being visible during print (use the ‘Print Using PDF’ option), they get transferred when exported as Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files as well. Support for .odt to come in the upcoming update.

Try the new foot/endnotes in Zoho Writer and we will be glad hearing your feedback.

ps : The foot/endnotes extend the pagination and header/footer support which got added a couple of months back.

Zoho @ ShowStoppers, CES 2008

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Just before winning the Best Enterprise Start-up at the Crunchies 2007, Zoho won another accolade. PCWorld recognized Zoho Notebook as one of the Most Innovative Products of 2007. Sridhar & Raju received the award at the recently concluded ShowStoppers event @ CES 2008, Las Vegas.

Rick Castellini has a nice post of his visit to the Zoho table at CES. Thanks Rick for the post and the photo below.

Thanks to all our users for the continuous encouragement and support! It is you who keep us going!!

Logging to ZohoCRM from

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Some of you would have tried to unsuccessfully login to Zoho CRM by giving your credentials at the url. You are unable to login because Zoho CRM still does not support SSO (Single Sign On). 

Kindly use the url to sign in to your Zoho CRM account.

In the meantime, we are working on providing an alternate solution.

Thank You

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