LoZC: What other projects, applications, or web sites out there influence your current work and perhaps helped to inspire what we see in Deluge today? And which mentors, teachers, or books do you think most influence your design style?
Suganya: Deluge was initially built as a proprietary language to meet our internal needs. Delugeâ€™s design is not influenced by any one language, however since the underlying execution engine is Java, and we are mostly Java programmers, that had some subconscious influence, but Deluge is a very different animal from Java. We did have a look at Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python and Lisp for inspiration and also read few research papers on data driven web applications.
LoZC: This question comes from Bill, commenting at the LoZC blog. Could you give us a high-level introduction to the overall ZC architecture and system setup, with special attention to how it handles the growth of traffic and balancing the load?
Suganya: Zoho Creator is a database-driven application and all the information with respect to the applications created in Zoho Creator is stored in a bunch of tables. You can create an application in the GUI mode or script mode. i.e. The GUI mode and script mode are just two different ways of viewing the application. All the changes that you make in the script mode will get reflected in the GUI and vice versa. And all the changes done in either of the modes will reflect in the live mode. Zoho Creator also includes the Deluge workflow execution engine that executes the deluge action scripts.
Zoho Creator runs on grid of servers and that ensures a high system availability. If there is an increase in the traffic, we need to just add more servers to the grid. We are continually enhancing this system, as we learn from experience, so that we can serve more traffic.
Online office suite – one of the major challenges is convincing the IT depts to use such tools. While Google can always play on â€œfreeâ€ software (and brand equity), how do you plan to increase user adoption of Zoho tools? Especially with regards to concerns over data security?
Enterprises with IT Depts are not our target markets. We focus on SMBs (Small and Micro Businesses) who cannot afford a full time IT staff on board. Online applications are ideal for these companies. Zoho essentially becomes an IT department for these SMBs. There is also Home office market. When you purchase a new computer at home, how comfortable are you spending for your office suite that you occasionally use? That’s a great market for us. In fact, ZOHO has derived from SOHO (Small Office and Home Office) which is our target market.
Note that all Zoho tools will remain free for individuals. For businesses, we have some offerings coming soon. Security concerns for online applications will be addressed by different vendors (including us) going forward. Itâ€™ll be a non-issue in most cases one year from now.
Thanks to Pete and Ashish!