Zoho Creator Scheduled Update

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We have scheduled an update for Zoho Creator. Hence Zoho Creator service will not be available from June 11th 2007 22:00 hrs PDT to June 12th 0600 hrs PDT.

We regret for the inconvenience this may cause.

[Update] : You can now access ZohoCreator. The update is over. We will be posting a separate blog on the updates. We once again apologize for the inconvenience caused. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

[Update] : Please see here for more information on the update.

Zoho Show and the Changing Face of Education

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Here’s a good example of how a teacher and student have used Zoho Show + Skype. From the blog of Glenn Moses :

First, I uploaded her [the student] presentation to Zoho Show. Then I gave her the rights to collaborate and present. Then I sent her an invitation to the presentation. What this allowed us to do was look at the same part of the presentation at the same time; she on her computer me across town on mine.

I called her home phone using Skype, she had the presentation up in Zoho Show on her computer, flipped through the slides as she presented and I was able to get a much deeper understanding of this student’s knowledge. As she presented I asked her a few questions that got her to show her understanding of her American Government class and the conflict she was telling me about. Aha! A direct connection to her government class. Borderline grade no more. Cha-ching!

Here’s what I love about this: There are pay programs that can do this, notably Elluminate and Centra, but I was able to do this for free. Well, almost. At 2 cents a minutes in Skype, by 17 minutes, the whole thing cost me 34 cents.

I spoke with the student at graduation and she said at first she was a little nervous, but after a little bit she got more comfortable. What I didn’t know, is that she had the call on speaker and was actually giving the presentation to both her mother and me. I think that would be enough to make anyone nervous.

Can you imagine a traditional classroom environment where both parent and teacher can see what their child/student knows in real-time? Me neither.

The changing face of (online) education is truly awesome. Not to mention a lot of fun.

We know Zoho Show (and Zoho in general) is used extensively by the teacher-student community but we were blown away reading the above! If Zoho has helped you in such situations, we would like to hear your experiences as well.

REST API for Zoho Planner

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We recently announced the availability of REST APIs for Zoho Writer, Sheet and Show. Today, we have added REST API for Zoho Planner as well. The functionality & working of this API is similar to those of Writer/Sheet/Show. The Zoho Planner API allows you to get, create, update ToDo lists and do a lot more as well, all from inside your web application. Check out the new Zoho Planner API. If you need help in building a mashup using our API, do write to us at feedback(at)zohoplanner.com.

MIT Technology Review writes about Zoho

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Richard Brandt at MIT Technology Review has an article on Zoho titled “Can Zoho beat Google?“. From the article :

Zoho has become a prolific designer of online software tools, releasing at least one new product every month for more than a year. It boasts 15 product offerings so far, including a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation tool, a Wiki, a project manager, a customer-relationship management (CRM) tool, a database, and a project-planning tool. Bloggers who have tried the software say it’s more robust than online applications offered by Google, and it offers better collaboration capabilities (for example, it lets multiple people work on a document simultaneously or sync spreadsheets with remote data from websites) than products from Microsoft. Zoho’s fans see it as the model for a new generation of Web-based applications that could displace expensive software sold by Microsoft.

Zoho is the suite to beat. A Gartner report released on March 12 placed Zoho at the top of its list of “Cool Vendors in Web 2.0,” five companies that offer “a glimpse into the future of enterprise innovations.” Says Gartner analyst Nick Gall, “Zoho is ahead in the user community and in the technology.”

Thanks to Richard Brandt & MIT! In other news, The Social Computing Magazine has a write-up on Zoho Notebook titled “Zoho Notebook: One-Stop Business Collaboration Tool“. And in a blog post on Zoho Notebook at weblogg-ed, Melinda Miller has this to say about Zoho Polls in the comments :

I really like zoho polls. One of my 4th grade teachers used it in class one time so now I use it all the time with my staff. We voted on our theme for next year, planning for next year’s holiday party, and staff shirt preferences. Here is a link to my school blog with the zoho poll embeded.

In a post titled “CRM on the Cheap“, Davey Moyers writes,

Looking for an inexpensive, robust CRM program? Why not check out Zoho CRM. The price is right, free for three users. I have been giving this system a test drive, and there’s power under the hood. Full CRM functionality. It lacks mobile capability or offline use, but otherwise this is a solid player for the individual sales rep or small team. It also boast Outlook synchronization that is as good as the competitors in this space. The features I especially find appealing are lead management, opportunity management, and sales quotes…. I spent four years using salesforce.com on a daily basis, and I would pit this program against salesforce.com in all categories save one. Offline and mobile are not yet offered. However, the print templates on Zoho are much better than salesforce.com. So you plan it, print it, execute it. Whatever “it” is.

Amit Agarwal has a nice post explaining how to embed Zoho Sheet’s charts in one’s blog. Zoho Chat’s shoutbox feature (embedding a chat window in your website) has been put to good use by a community named Cerebrals Hens Network. Cool background options, guys! And our recent REST API release got noted by Thomas Willingham & Go To India Web 2.0.

Thanks, one & all :-)

Zoho APIs made easier

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The Zoho API for Zoho Writer, Sheet & Show have been made more developer friendly. In addition to the existing XML-RPC format, we have added the REST APIs as well. This makes it a lot easier for the developers to read data by just making HTTP GET requests to Zoho. The new storage REST APIs for :

Zoho Writer
Zoho Sheet
Zoho Show

One more change is the way time/date is handled in our API response messages. It wasn’t flexible enough since it returned the date in a particular format & the time was in our server’s timezone. We have changed this to the standard long milliseconds format which is just the number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970, 00:00 GMT.

Omnidrive, Box.net, myDataBus, Kearen are some of the web services which have implemented the Zoho API and there’s a lot more to come. Try the new APIs out and we will be glad hearing your feedback.

Zooomr Mark III Launches

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If you are following the status of Zooomr, Mark III is up and running. If you are not, Zoli has a good writeup.

Zooomr is a photo service supported by some awesome fans across the globe. Prior to the recent Zooomr episode, I just heard about it but never paid any attention. But when Scoble called for help in his blog, we discussed internally and thought we can help Zooomr. We know how challenging it is to run a company initially without raising any capital. We have been there (For those of you who don’t know, Zoho/AdventNet after 11 years is still privately owned, self-funded and a very profitable company) and we decided to help Kris Tate and Thomas Hawk.

Once Robert Scoble put us in touch with Kris and Thomas, things moved fast. We managed to get Zooomr into one of our Zoho/AdventNet data centers and couple of days later, Zooomr Mark III is online.

The Zooomr community was exceptional. I received close to 100 emails thanking us for helping Zooomr. I can clearly say that these are very passionate Zooomr users. To quote some…

Hi, Zoho team,

I wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much the Zooomr community appreciates your assistance in these difficult times. You have no idea how much respect and appreciation you have garnered because of this selfless act.

Having worked in the tech industry for a number of years, I find the times that a company has reached out to assist at this level and this speed to be severely lacking. You have not only shown up the big guys, but you have earned a devoted following because of it.

Keep up the great work and thank you again,

Raju and the rest of the Zoho crew,

Much thanks and the highest appreciation for all you’ve done for Zooomr. I hope that as a community we’ve adequately displayed our thanks. Your quick response in our time of need is incredibly admirable. It’s allowing Zooomr to grow as a community and reach our goal of doing incredible things with photo sharing.

If there is anything I or any of us can do, don’t hesitate to ask.

Please keep the faith, and many happy returns!

Thanks,

Hi Raju,

I hope you’ve already had an awful lot of praise for doing this, but I
wanted to add mine to the heap.

Zoho’s assistance no doubt helped Zooomr – specifically Kris Tate – in
a physical sense, but more importantly it will have helped in an
emotional sense. Without Zoho’s assistance, the psychological hill
that Kris needed to climb would have seemed all the more
insurmountable.

My faith in humanity, the web community, and good old fashioned
technology has been boosted enormously by the support Zooomr have
received.

So thanks!

Cheers,

Kudos to Zooomr guys for being very transperant to the community on whatever they did while their service was down. The community also created a Wiki (in Zoho Wiki) on the status of the service. Over the next few days, I assume Kris will be busy fine tuning Mark III.

We are glad we could help Zooomr. We wish them good luck.

Me personally, I just created a Zooomr account. I am heading there to upload some of my photos.

Zoho: Finalist for Webware 100 Awards

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Zoho is one of the finalist for Webware 100 awards (to be announced after June 11). According to webware, 250 finalists were selected by their editors from over 2,000 web 2.0 services nominated. We are one of the 250 finalists broken into 10 categories. Each category currently has 25 finalists of which 10 will be selected (based on your voting) as part of the final Webware 100.

Zoho is listed under ‘Productivity’ category. We’d love to win your vote under this category.

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