Inter-application Chat in Zoho

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We recently announced Zoho Chat integration with Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and Zoho Mail. This means, if you are collaborating with other users on a document or spreadsheet, you can chat with the other users right within these applications (thanks to Zoho Chat).

If you start a chat session in one application, you can now continue the same chat session across applications in Zoho. This works with Zoho Writer, Sheet and Mail currently. Once chat is integrated into other applications, this feature will flow. Here are few screens of the same chat session in different applications.

chatwriter.jpg chatsheet.jpg chatmail.jpg

Zoho last week

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The more blog posts we come across, the more surprised we are seeing the wide spectrum of people using Zoho! Here are a few users that we came across in blogs the past week.

Simon LePine is a mountain climber/insurance agent/rescue worker/entrepreneur. In an interview with ‘Nu Nomad’, Simon talks about using Zoho’s suite for running his business while traveling.

Craig Cmehil, SDN Evangelist has completed his example series of how he integrated Zoho with SAP. Thanks Craig, hope your dream of how this can be taken to a new level of collaborative interaction is realized soon :-)

Dembe Wellman, an educator exploring how to use Second Life for educational purposes says Zoho Writer is a cool tool for groups working in Second Life. From her blog post :

I think this could be a wonderful tool for group users of SL. It eliminates the need for making sure all users have the same software and cuts down the possibility of downloading viruses onto a computer.

H Songhai says, “[Zoho Show] is a very practical presentation package and it’s pretty full featured. I started using it today and found it to be extremely user friendly. Resizing pictures was a little tedious.” (we will sure be making resizing of pictures a lot easier). He has a nice presentation in Zoho Show as well.

Jesse writes, “I’ve been working on a staff development class called “Web 2.0 Applications”. In my research, I’ve found and fallen in love with zoho.com, especially the Creator database. I used it today to make an issue tracking application for our tech team.”

Thanks, everyone! And to the readers of this blog : do share your thoughts of how you are using Zoho.

Zoho @ Web 2.0 Expo and SaasCon

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Zoho will be co-sponsoring/participating at the Web 2.0 Expo and SaasCon events this week. If any of you would like to talk to us, this is the right place as we also have some people from our development team attending thee conference.

At the Web 2.0 Event, I’ll be joining fellow panelists Danny Kolke, Joel Dreyfuss, Don Campbell and Jonathan Rochelle to discuss on SMBx: The Revolution of the SMB Application Marketplace. I am looking forward for a good discussion here.

At the SaasCon Sridhar Vembu will be discussing with fellow panelists Erik Larson and Dave Scott on The Ingredients of SaaS Collaboration.

If you are attending any of these events, please join us for the discussions. If you’d like to meet us, drop us a line and we can meet for some coffee.

Earlier this year, Rafe Needleman from Webware mentioned that Zoho releases a new application at every conference.

There are several Web start-ups that I see over and over again at new-tech conferences but none that launch a new product at each show. That’s certainly what it feels like Zoho does. “Look, it’s another conference! Let’s launch another product.”

Rafe: We are breaking the tradition this time. We plan not to release any new application until we open up our existing private-beta applications (Notebook, Meeting & Mail).

Good Use of Zoho Creator

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Rick Roche, a reference librarian at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library is using Zoho Creator to collect very useful data. First, Rick asked his blog readers the book they are reading and how they picked that book. And here’s the data he collected. He is now running his second survey asking whose biographies should a library stock. Have your say there.

Do share with us how you are using Zoho Creator.

Update : Chris Harris, coordinator of the School Library System of the Genesee Valley BOCES in Le Roy, New York commented below and also takes note of this blog post at his SLJ blog :

I can think of many other ways to use Zoho Creator in your library. You could ask students and teachers to submit book purchase recommendations, or have a place for teachers to let you know about upcoming projects. Zoho Creator’s easy to use interface helps you create fields that accept simple text or numerical input, allow users to select from lists, calculate with formulas, and even handle uploaded files.

Thanks, Chris :-) Indeed Zoho Creator can be used as an easy-to-use web app / database for collecting such info in libraries & elsewhere.

Recent blog posts on Zoho

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Jane Lasarenko writes, “I just keep getting more and more satisfied with the range and functionality of Zoho!”. This blogger finds the Zoho QuickRead plug-in very useful. Rich gives 3 reasons of why everyone should be using Box.net and one of the reasons he cites is the integration with Zoho.

At lifehack.org, Leo Babauta writes, “it’s never good to be under the thumbs of one company” and lists Top 10 alternatives to Google’s apps. Zoho figures in them :

Perhaps the best online alternative to the Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Zoho has just about everything you’d ever need: a spreadsheet, word processor, presentation program, project manager, notebook, wiki, web conferencing, mail, chat, database and CRM. This might actually be my choice of the future.

Financial Nirvana‘s using a Zoho Sheet chart in their blog post. Instead of using the Zoho Sheet’s embed code, they have a new flashy way of doing it! Inju’s conducted a poll in his COM125 class about experiences in Second Life. Here’s the snapshot of the (Zoho) poll at flickr.

Thanks, everyone :-)

RSS feeds into your Zoho Sheet plus new charts

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In the latest update to Zoho Sheet, we have extended the “Link External Data” feature to support RSS / Atom feeds into your Zoho spreadsheet. With this you can now configure your spreadsheet to periodically fetch data from RSS / Atom feeds and automatically populate them into respective cells. We also support extended custom tags in feeds. So you can populate your spreadsheet even with custom data embedded in feeds such as the GData API for Google Base queries (Example feed). You can then publish this range or draw charts and analyze and even publish them. We already support CSV feeds and HTML pages in the “Link External Data” feature.

We have also added new chart types – Stacked Percentage bar and column charts (2D and 3D), Line Marker and Scatter Line Marker chart types. This now adds up to 27 chart types.

Apart from the above, we have fixed couple of status issues (in certain scenarios) in real time collaboration. The loading time of a shared sheet has also been improved. Now it loads faster compared to the previous update.

More information @ http://sheet.zoho.com/features.do

Do write to us on what features you use the most in Zoho Sheet and what you would like to see in the future. You can reach us at support at zohosheet dot com.

Zoho CRM – Improved Web to Prospect UI

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Zoho CRM – Web to Prospect update

As said earlier, we have now started working on improving Zoho CRM’s UI and User Experience. Zoho CRM’s Web-to-Lead user interface is under tweaking now. This will be available in the product soon. We have removed the two tab approach, and integrated all options in a single UI. Thus providing a simpler and easy-to-understand user interface. Here is the mock-up of the UI tweak.

(Click the image to enlarge)

Web to Prospect

- Dharma