Zoho Sheet Update

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We did an update last week with some improvements in performance. We have basically speeded up the loading times while opening and switching between sheets. The first time there may not be any difference, but subsequent load times should be faster. We will be improving the performance even more in the coming updates.

We also now support comma (in addition to semicolon) as the argument separator in functions and exclamation mark (!) as the operator to refer to other sheets (earlier it used to be only dot) . These are the operators used in MS Excel, which we failed to support earlier, but now we have supported them.

Also we are working on more features which didn’t make it to the last update. You can expect them in the next update coming soon.

Zoho Projects video by Robin Good

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Robin Good at MasterNewMedia has come with something that took us all by complete surprise. While we released the screencast of Zoho Projects yesterday, we were hard pressed for time. So it was just a recording of the mouse movements & screen changes & the screencast was a silent one.

Robin had taken the screencast, had given a very good voice over & mixed some mild background music too. I doubt if it would have come out that great if we had done it. A Web 2.0 mash up in its own right, I should say.

See Robin’s Zoho Projects video on YouTube. And his article “Project Management Online: Zoho Projects Goes Live – Video Introduction” in MasterNewMedia.

Thanks a lot, Robin!

Why are simple things made so complex?

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I got a feature request to import Yahoo finance live quote in Zoho Writer document. I went to Yahoo Finance & by getting the quote for a symbol in “Get Quote”, I found the URL “Add Quotes to Your Web Site”. I thought by clicking this I will get the iframe code which I can embed in my document in Zoho Writer. But it’s not that simple.

It redirected me to http://finance.yahoo.com/badges/. There I clicked on the “Start Now” button & I am redirected to Sign in page. I don’t understand why should I Sign in but I decided to Sign in.

This redirected me to a Wizard page ( http://finance.yahoo.com/badges/wizard/select ) which showed 3 steps. The first step is “Select on of the Modules” & there are 3 options. I selected one of the option & went to step 2. The second step is “Choose what your content look like” & I filled the information. At the end, there is an licensing confirmation. I clicked on “I agree to licensing terms” & clicked “Get code” to get the iframe code.

I still don’t understand why they want me to sign in. Is this an effort to increase the sign up’s? If so, what’s the purpose of increasing sign up? In Zoho, we offer demo login for users to try the service before they sign up. We don’t want to pain users with registration even for trying the service. Are we doing anything wrong here??

Can anyone help me understand why is this so complex?

Zoho Projects launched!

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Please join me in welcoming the latest addition to the Zoho suite of web services – Zoho Projects! Zoho Projects, as the name implies is an online project mangement tool that helps teams to easily organize their work & track progress.

zoho-projects

Salient features include :

  • Splitting up of a project into Tasks & Milestones
  • A Dashboard view to show all the recent activities
  • A Calendar based view of the project
  • AJAX-based design ensuring better usability (no page reloading for every beck & call)
  • Centralized uploading & storage of files
  • Easy collaboration among the project members by allowing meetings to be scheduled & through forums (integration with Zoho Chat coming soon)
  • Logo customization – allows having your company’s logo
  • Reports including Gantt charts
  • Support for unlimited users
  • Various plans ranging from Free (1 project) to Enterprise Version (unlimited projects, $80/month) available

Take a tour of Zoho Projects (QuickTime movie), login as a demo user & give it a test drive or sign up now for free. Try it out & do tell us what you think.

Thanks to Marshall Kirkpatrick & Mike Arrington for covering the Zoho Projects launch in TechCrunch!

Zoho Writer – Scheduled Maintenance

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Zoho Writer will be having an upgrade this Sunday night (Aug 27) for two hours. As a result of this, Zoho Writer will be down from Sunday, 11:30 pm PDT to Monday, 1:30 am PDT. Just an advance notice & sorry for the inconvenience caused. The update will have a few bug fixes & add some new features.

Zoho Creator – Tip of the Day #9

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#9 How to get a summary view of individual records?

In the list view, click on the Record Summary Icon icon of the respective records.

View

You will get a pop up screen showing all the details of the record.

Record Summary

You can also right click on the icon and copy the link provided and open in a new browser window. Each record has a permanent link and can be viewed in this wayalso .

URL

When will you support “Single Sign On” in Zoho ?

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Recently we have been getting more request from users for “Single Sign On” (SSO) for Zoho services. Single Sign On allows users to register just once to use all Zoho Services.

Recently Priya Ganapathy from RED HERRING finds this annoying to sign up separately for each program ( http://www.redherring.com/article.aspx?a=18050 ). I, being one of the frequent user of Zoho services ( Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show, Zoho Planner & Zoho Creator ), I can understand the pain.

We have been working hard to get this out soon. The delay is due to the data migration. We have come close thrice but since we are not fully satisfied with the way we handled existing users, we just decided to change the design.

Having our own Identity Access Manger software ( http://www.securecentral.com/products/iam/index.html ) made it simple for us to support Single Sign On. But handling existing user base with no ( or minimal ) impact is the real challenge we are figuring out to solve. We are happy that most of the features we required were already supported in IAM & this saved lot of time for us.

We apologize for paining you without Single Sign On. We will do our best to get this out real soon.

Stay Tuned !!!!