Community Driven Translation in Zoho Sheet

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Yesterday, we rolled out an update to Zoho Sheet that includes Image Upload, Safari Support etc. There is one other important concept that was part of the update….community driven translation on the user interface. This is a new way of translating web applications at the UI level, driven by the community. The experiment starts with Zoho Sheet.

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If you want to help translate Zoho Sheet in your language, select ‘WYSIWYG‘ mode for the language and you’ll be directed to Zoho Sheet user interface where you can start translating right within the application.

The translation process is very simple. Move your mouse on the word you want to translate and an ‘Edit’ icon appears. Click on the icon to specify the translated word and click save. Thats it. You can continue this process to translate all words. Words highlighted in yellow are the non-translated words and the ones highlighted in blue are the translated ones. If you can’t translate all words, just save it and leave the other part for other users to translate. If you are an expert in translation, we also have ‘Power Mode’ to do quick translation.

We also maintain history of all the previous translated versions for each language. Once the translation reaches about 80-90%, we plan to add it to supported languages list in Sheet.

While we currently support 13 languages in Zoho Sheet, we thought it might be better to give you the control to translate the application in the language you want. If you don’t find your language in the list, let us know and we’ll add it.

The below video gives you a quick overview of how this works.

Please do give this new concept a try and let us know what you think.

Zoho Sheet : Insert Images, Safari support and more

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Zoho Sheet now supports inserting images into your spreadsheets. You can also import spreadsheets containing images. Inserting image via an URL will follow in a later update.

Zoho Sheet also now works on the Safari browser (version 3.x). We have fixed the major issues in Safari. Some more minor things need to be corrected. We also intend to support Opera in the future releases.

Other notable features include:

  • More currencies – Euro, British pound, Japanese Yen and Indian Rupee in addition to US Dollar.
  • View the Zoho Sheet interface in Simplified Chinese language (in addition to 12 other languages).
  • Zoho Sheet’s Remote API now supports the CSV format too.

The following presentation captures the new features.

Recent blog posts on Zoho Creator

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Some of our users are experiencing how cool Zoho Creator and the team behind it is! Arthus, a 14-year old student has this say about Deluge & Zoho Creator :

Forget about Ruby on Rails. Screw PHP. Toss aside Google Mashup Editor. Fall in love with Deluge and its beautiful sister, Zoho Creator. Zoho Creator is a wonderful online database application which is as powerful as it is simple.

The concept is simple – allow Joe Average to make a database of anything he choses. Even better, make it drop dead simple for him to do so. Throw in a couple of templates and you get Zoho Creator.

Read more of Arthus’ post. In a post titled Uncommon Support, ‘Land of ZC’ points to an article by Paul Bleicher, Chairman, Phase Forward Incorporated, in the Act Magazine. From the article, ‘Software Decisions and Opportunity Costs‘ :

Zoho’s newest offering was exactly what I (thought I) needed for my project. Called Zoho Creator, it is an application that allows nonprogrammers to create database applications for simple business use involving the entry and viewing of data. Without worrying about database design, the Zoho user simply drags the particular type of data entry fields onto a form (dropdown boxes, text boxes, checkboxes, etc.) and voila: Automatic database entry screens and reports are created.

With similar drag and drop validation elements, it is very easy to do range checks and logic checks on and between fields. In literally minutes it is possible to have a working data entry form with underlying database. These forms can be very easily inserted into Web pages, creating the look and feel of a professional Web form. In fact, some companies and organizations are using Zoho forms for simple surveys, course signups, and other simple tasks.

At some point during the evening I entered a snippet of script that prevented my application from working and issued an error message. Not knowing which validation script item it was that caused this, I spent an hour or two taking pieces of script out of the application, each time restarting and entering data. Over time, the application became really slow and funny things began happening. I couldn’t enter data. I couldn’t delete data. I couldn’t even delete the application itself. Finally, in exasperation, I tried to delete my entire account and start over. After going through this same cycle three times, the entire Zoho Creator “execution engine” choked on two lines of my script.

The next morning the entire development team from Zoho Creator called me from India. It seems that a bug in their code caused my little program to bring their application server to a grinding halt, preventing me and anyone from logging in. They were incredibly helpful and very responsive, fixing the problem on the spot.

The related thread that Paul had in our Zoho Creator forum. And a funny blog post by an undergraduate psychology student at York University, Canada, which refers to it.

Another blog, The Friendly Ghost has this to say of Zoho Creator :

I looked around, and I think I found it: Zoho, the online database tool. It’s easy as cake to use: piece of pie. I’ve already transferred the data from the spreadsheet to the database and you can see it here. You can edit it here.

Just click the column titles to sort A-Z or Z-A. Click the buttons across the top to add or edit (not delete, just yet, to protect it from wanton vandalism). Click search to, well, search – same goes for filter. Fed up of reading about theory? Filter by proof. Want some inspiration? Filter by theory. And, holiest of holies, sort by social media resource or by PR activity. It’s that simple.

Thanks, everyone! Afraid of databases? Come, try the Zoho Creator experience!

TechRepublic : Can Zoho be the next Microsoft?

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Jason Hiner in his recent article asks, “Sanity check: Could one of these five companies be the next Microsoft?“. And we are honored to have been listed there along with the giants Amazon, Apple, Google & Cisco. From the article :

This is the only real “little guy” on the list. I’ve written about the fact that Zoho already has an online office suite that is better than anything from Microsoft or Google. While the product is really good, what has been equally important for Zoho is that it has proven that it knows how to execute. Microsoft got to where it is today because it was faster and more effective at executing than any of its competitors, even if the products themselves weren’t always better. In 2007, Zoho has been running circles around Microsoft and Google in online office apps. It seems as if Zoho is releasing a new product or a key product update nearly every week, while Microsoft’s office suite and Google’s apps have been stagnant by comparison.

In just the last few weeks, Zoho has released Zoho Start (a user dashboard for files) and Zoho Business (a way for businesses to manage its online office users) to add to its growing stable of more than 15 programs. Zoho is quickly morphing into a platform. The question is whether that platform will extend beyond online productivity software and become something much larger and further integrated into the various layers of computing and the Internet. If Zoho continues its current pace, it has the potential to become a giant and create the next great business software platform.

Thanks, Jason!

Annnouncing Zoho Business

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Today at the Office 2.0 conference, we are announcing a new category for Zoho – Zoho Business.

As you know, Zoho has a broad set of applications for individuals and business users and today we are categorizing them as we define our business model. To start with, Zoho Applications will be categorized into two -Zoho Personal & Zoho Business.

Zoho Personal is what we offer today for individuals. As we have said previously, our applications are free for individuals and will continue to remain so.

Zoho Business is the new category we are launching today for businesses. With Zoho Business we bring multiple Zoho applications under a single roof and provide an administration console to manage users, domains, groups etc. We have said several times that we wanted to be the IT Department for SMBs and this is our first step towards that.

When you sign up for a Zoho Business account, you’ll be the super administrator for your business. You can add multiple locations and administrators. You can also customize the applications by providing your own logo; point your sub-domains to the customized applications, say can point to Zoho Writer).

More information on Zoho Business is available on this Notebook. Also, check out the following video (sorry about the audio).

Zoho Business is currently in private beta and we plan to roll it out to public beta in few weeks.

Zoho @ Office 2.0 Conference

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We are participating at the Office 2.0 conference this week (starting today) in SFO and this is going to be one exciting week.

On Thursday at LaunchPad, we will be talking about a new announcement and on Friday, Sridhar is participating in a panel discussion on ‘The New Platforms’ moderated by Rafe Needleman.

BTW, we are also arranging a Zoho Party tomorrow after the conference. If you’d like to chat with the Zoho team over a few drinks, please register here and stop by @ B Restaurant (above Moscone).