Zoho Creator : Creating Ajax forms

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We made another update in Zoho Creator and now you can

  • Improve the usability of a form by validating field data even before it is submitted.
  • Modify contents of the form dynamically when it is loaded.
  • Modify field values based on user action (on other fields).

See the sample registration form that you can even embed in your website. You can also see the working version and the deluge script.

1. It allows users to register till 1st January 2007. If you try to access the form after 1st Jan 2007, it will just display that the registration is closed. This validation is done when the form is loaded.

Deluge code snippet:

on load
{
    if (zoho.currenttime > ’01-Jan-2007 00:00:00′)
    {
         hide name;
         hide emailid;
         hide blog_url;
         hide about_yourself;
         hide emailiderror;
         set showmessage = “Registration is CLOSED!”;
    }
}

2. It is designed to accept only 100 registrations. It displays that the registration is closed if more number of people try to register. This validation is also done when the form is loaded.

Deluge code snippet:

on load
{
     if (count(Register) >= 100)
     {
         hide name;
         hide emailid;
         hide blog_url;
         hide about_yourself;
         hide emailiderror;
         set showmessage = “The registration is CLOSED!
We have exceeded the limit of 100 registrations”;
    }
}

3. A person can register with the same Email ID only once. This is done in the on change event of the Email ID field. An Ajax request is sent to the server to validate the Email ID.

Deluge code snippet:

on change
{
      if (count(Register[emailid == input.emailid]) > 0)
     {
           set emailiderror = “This email id already exists”;
           show emailiderror;
     }
}

We have added a few other features also in this update. Will be posting about them separately.
Do try this feature and send us your feedback / suggestions.

PIP: Presentation inside Presentation

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PIP doesnt have to be ‘Picture in Picture’ for on your television set alone. Now it can also be ‘Presentation inside Presentation’. Zoho Show’s embedding presentations feature lets you embed presentations inside other slides.

When I showed this to a friend, he asked me whats the use case. Thats a good question. Imagine if you want to talk about 2-3 products (like Zoho with more than 10 apps), instead of navigating across 3 seperate presentations and moving between them you can create individual presentations and then create a place holder (another presentation) which holds all other presentations. This way you can have only 3-4 slides in your main presentation, but each of the slides can dig deep into the topic with its own slide set.

To get this functionality, first you need to make the presentations (the ones you want to embed) public and use embed slideshow option, take the code and insert this into your new presentation.

Here is a presentation where I embedded couple of other presentations in each of the slides. The fourth slide also has a feedback form. Please provide your comments in there and all the feedback provided is also visible in the fifth slide (thanks to Zoho Creator).

Raju

 

Publish Sheet, Specific sheet sharing and Merge cells

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We made an update just now in Zoho Sheet with support for the following:

- Publish sheet to enable embedding of spreadsheets in webpages
- Specific sheet sharing enables you to share individual sheets to a set of users
- Horizontal merging of cells
- Vertical alignment of cells

and some enhancements.

Publish Sheets:
This enables you to embed your interactive spreadsheets to your blog or a website page or a Zoho Writer document or a Zoho Show slide. These are up-to-date spreadsheets. Any changes in the original spreadsheet in Zoho are reflected in the published spreadsheets. Right now, the spreadsheet has to be made public to avail this feature and the public sheet will also be listed in zohosheet.com. This is subject to change on a later update.

Here is a spreadsheet embedded in a Zoho Writer document.
http://www.zohowriter.com/public/d6DQ9NeVCe776Qlf68c9M95Cs36/Sheet

More on embedding your spreadsheet into Zoho Writer and Zoho Show on a later post.

Share Specific Sheets:
You can now share specific sheets to specific users with specific access too. So now you can have everything related in one workbook / document and share it with your users giving appropriate permissions. You can even hide sheets you do not want to share. The default is however sharing the whole document. We have also added auto completion of email address. If you are trying to share a document to an email address to which you have already shared, it will prompt the email address as you begin to type the first few letters.

Merge cells and Vertical alignment:
We have now supported horizontal merging of cells. You can span your cell content across multiple cells horizontally. Vertical merging of cells will follow in the coming updates. And no more overlapping of cell content.

Vertical alignment is another thing that we have added in this update. Use the icons in the extended toolbar for this.

We have also made some enhancements like copying cell(s) to a bigger target range will paste the content in the whole range. Very useful if you need to copy a formula to multiple cells, in the absence of fill series. Have a look at our What’s New page for more information.

As usual, keep sending us your valuable feedback and suggestions.

Ramesh

P.S: This wordpress installation removes the iframes and hence I am currently unable to post the spreadsheet directly in our blog. I think we need to customize it.

Add Shapes to your Zoho Show presentation

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With the latest update of Zoho Show that happened a few minutes before, you can now have shapes inserted in your presentation (needs Flash 6+ plugin in your browser).

show-shapes-toolbar

Other than the above, a couple of other features have been added too. Whenever you make a presentation public, you can now mail your friends directly from inside Zoho Show (informing them that you have a presentation made). Another handy feature is the showing of the first slide as a thumbnail when you click on a presentation under ‘My Presentations’.

Try the latest Zoho Show now.

The NYT mentions Zoho again

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In an article titled “Help With Your Business, Often Free, on the Web” (requires free subscription to view), Eric A. Taub while writing in the ‘Small Business’ section, has the following to say :

While Microsoft Office is the standard product for creating documents, slide shows and spreadsheets, some no-cost alternatives can create documents compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

With Web-based software, available at sites like Thinkoffice.org and Zoho.com, users can grant access to others to read and change a file, without having to e-mail the document or keep track of the latest version. Files are kept at the company’s servers rather than on the user’s PC. And because the products are Web-based, they can be accessed using any operating system, but not necessarily any Web browser.

Thanks to Eric & NYT! If you are a small business owner, Zoho is an ideal companion for you. Check out the free apps on offer at http://zoho.com.

ps: Zoho has been mentioned in main stream media like the NYT & the WSJ before. More on this here & here.

Zoho in Forbes

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The Forbes technology section, has a study titled “The Best Web-Based Computer Applications For Small Business“. Zoho Writer was awarded as being the best app in the Word Processors category & Zoho Sheet came a close runner-up in the Spreadsheets category. Some excerpts from the article :

Zoho Writer is in some ways superior to Microsoft Word, because it automatically creates an HTML version of your document on the fly and handles images better.

Zoho Sheet is a close runner-up to Google Spreadsheets, and in fact, it bests the Google app in several ways. It lets you create charts, for example, and you can export to a wider range of formats, including Excel, OpenOffice, CSV, HTML and PDF.

Zoho Writer can export files to many formats, including Word DOC files, Rich Text Format (RTF), text files, PDF, HTML, the Open Office SXW extension and OpenDocument’s ODT format.

As for collaboration, it’s got what you need. It’s simple to invite others to view or get read/write access to a document. Bloggers will appreciate its ability to link directly into accounts for Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress and TypePad, and to upload your current document as a post.

Thanks to Forbes & congrats to the other winners and contestants.

ps: The above Forbes study also appeared in TechWeb/CRN here.