Addressing the Downfalls of Online Applications

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Chris Gilmer from Web Worker Daily raises some valid concerns in his post on The Downfalls of online applications. As he says…

Everything is all good, and these companies do offer valuable online services, but what happens when disaster strikes? Storage servers do go down. Companies do go bankrupt. Companies get bought over, and liquidated. Where does our information go? Is it still secure? How do we recover our lost files and information?

Two important points he raises are Disaster recovery and Security. These are very valid points and here is my take on it.

All these online services are in very early stages of their evolution and are currently used by early adopters. As these apps evolve, these concerns will slowly diminish. The concern for availability of our information when disaster strikes will be addressed in multiple ways based on service. As an example, online storage vendors are providing sync of documents between their servers and users desktop making sure the user always has a copy of his content. There are vendors like OmniDrive, Sharpcast who already do this.

On the security side, control will be given to the user. When you create or store a document online, you’ll be given the option to specify your own encryption key when stored on third party servers. This way, only the user will have complete access to the content.

As I said, we are still in early stages of moving our life online. The pace at which the industry is moving, all these concerns will be addressed in very near future.

New OSes Vs Web-based Programs

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Stephen H. Wildstrom at BusinessWeek has a good article on how web-based programs will be a big story in 2007. He writes how they will make news along with the new OS releases scheduled for 2007, Vista & Leopard.

For the past quarter-century, there has been a trend toward ever more complex software running on ever more powerful computers. In 2006, Web-based programs that can run on less powerful computers and simpler software began to emerge as serious contenders. In place of Microsoft Office, we may soon see people adopting productivity suites from Google (GOOG), startup Zoho, and others—at least for use in homes and schools.

Web programs need only a browser to work. The more popular they get, the less relevant Vista and Leopard, with all their fancy new bells and whistles, become. And because the new Web programs are all based on industry standards, even the choice of a browser is less important.

Though there are a lot many web-based applications available, we consider it our honor that Stephen chose Zoho as the example along with Google alone (Microsoft Office Live is mentioned elsewhere in the article). Thanks, Stephen!

Zoho is up again

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The internet link to our data center was down and hence Zoho experienced a downtime of about 30 minutes. Everything is fine now and all Zoho services are up again. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Play more Griddles on Zoho Sheet

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Users would recollect reading this recent post , where we’d first mentioned Zoho Sheet user and puzzle enthusiast David(Millar) – who’d had put up his Griddle game ‘Loop-de-Loop’ as a public sheet on our web service.

We’re happy to note that David’s been busy ever since, creating more games for all of us to enjoy testing our wits against.

A selection of some of the ‘Loop-de-Loop’ series Griddles :

Loop-de-Loop 6

Loop-de-Loop 5

Loop-de-Loop 4

Loop-de-Loop 2

If you’d like to play other such exciting puzzles created by David, do visit his website. If you want to pass on your feedback regarding the games or have any other requests for puzzles, you can get in touch with David, or just drop us a line and we’ll pass it on to him.

And do stay tuned to Zoho Sheet for more great puzzles from David!

People using Zoho

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Shailendra at ‘ApniTally’ has a good demo for Tally 9 created in Zoho Show, explaining users how to create a payslip.

Miriam at ‘illuminea blog’ is using Zoho Planner and notes that it is a cool tool. More at her blog.

Helene Blowers at Learning 2.0 has a nice podcast titled “Web Applications – Taking Productivity beyond the Desktop”. To quote her, “With Zoho and web-based applications, the possibilities are endless”. Thanks Helene. Click here for more.

Friends at Jambav are using Zoho Sheet and Zoho Creator for their checklists and surveys.

How are you using Zoho?

Template Library in Zoho Writer and more

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Though Zoho Writer had templates support, till now, you would have to build the templates yourselves. Not anymore. Zoho Writer now has a full-blown template library. And as a Zoho Writer user, you can make the best use of it by picking up readymade templates there which you can use for drafting your documents. And Zoho Writer allows you to upload templates that you the expert have built too. Try the new templates feature by clicking on the ‘Template Library’ link at the top of your Zoho Writer page.

zoho-writer-templates-library
 

Zoho Writer now has the ‘Save As’ functionality. You can either save a document as a ‘New Document’ (much useful when you need to make multiple copies of the same document) or as a ‘Template’.

zoho-writer-version-changes

Another useful feature that got added in today’s update is with regards to History/Versioning. As you may know, Zoho Writer supports both collaboration and versioning of documents. Now you get to know who saved each version of the document too.

Check out the latest Zoho Writer and we would be glad hearing your feedback.

Eating one’s own dog food

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Pandurang Nayak, one of our long time well-wishers had asked :

Would the AdventNet sales team use Zoho Show? (Would they? Really?) Or would their finance team create all of their balance sheets and tax calculations for they year on Zoho Sheet. (Really, again?) Or would they expect their technology teams to create 3000-page product and technical documentation on Zoho Writer?


T
he answer to his last question is now public. Zoho Projects had an update just minutes before and its help documentation is now available. It was fully created and is hosted on Zoho Writer.

Other Zoho documentation on Zoho Writer currently include the Zoho Writer FAQ page, pages for the Zoho API (the application form for getting the API key is on Zoho Creator) and the help page for Zoho Plug-in for Microsoft Office. Thanks to Ahmed and Nithya who created all the content. And I expect all future technical documentation for Zoho to be hosted on Zoho Writer.

Coming back to the Zoho Projects update, users can now be notified by mail when a task is being assigned to a user and when a forum post is being made. And while sending feedback, you now have the option to post your feedback directly to the product forum too.

Check out the latest in Zoho Projects.