Recent blog posts from Zoho Users

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Heather Paulson at ReveNews, explains her experience of finding out Zoho and introduces many of Zoho’s products to her readers. From her post titled “Zoho Online Office Productivity Software- Free” :

Recently I was out of town and happened to be on a computer that did not have Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word. Not having access to these standard Microsoft office products is frustrating for any business traveler as I had a wee bit of work to do. Then I found with their incredible online line up of office productivity software, most of which is free to use and easily accessible online.

Zoho offers some amazing online collaboration tools as well as office products many of which are of no cost to the consumer. I have gained access to all of these with a free Zoho user account and must say what I see so far is impressive.

Wendy Wolfe, a Social Sciences teacher at the Totino-Grace High School, St Paul, Minnesota has done a great presentation video for the K12 Online Conference 2007. Wendy explains Zoho and it’s cousin ToonDoo in the video. Glad to find that her students liked Zoho and ToonDoo. Especially the latter which made a student remark, ‘If All My Classes Did This…‘! More about Wendy’s presentation here.

A blog post about online productivity by Splashtop, the Instant-On Desktop folks, has this to say about Zoho :

Don’t be overwhelmed when you get to the Zoho homepage. They have a myriad of online apps, all of which work fairly well. If Zoho CRM doesn’t mean much to you, I might suggest starting out with Zoho Writer. The image pictured below is of a Zoho Writer Template for a resume. As you can see, this online tool does 90% of what Word or OpenOffice does. Importing documents is also very easy. This is important if your document started in another format. I imported a document that was larger than 1MB and Zoho handled it well.

In my opinion, Zoho sheets excels in every way (come on, that’s a great pun). Whereas, the look and feel of Zoho writer feels a bit disjointed, Zoho sheets is as close to perfect as any online spreadsheet program. I get the distinct feeling that this was developed by a completely different team, led by a UI-focused Product Manager (who wasn’t afraid to borrow interface cues from Microsoft). I imported several different spreadsheets into Zoho Sheets, some with multiple tabs and the application handled it perfectly. With over 300 functions, I’m guessing Zoho can handle most of what you might want to do with a spreadsheet.

Matt Thommes has a nice post on Zoho Meeting titled, “Desktop sharing with Zoho Meeting“, where he explains with nice screen shots how to work with Zoho Meeting – a concise & crisp primer for anyone new to Zoho Meeting.

Thanks to all Zoho users for sharing their thoughts & experiences!

Lifehacker Poll: Zoho vs Google

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gzpoll.pngLast week, Lifehacker had a post comparing Zoho and Google with a poll asking users which suite they prefer between Zoho and Google. The results looks interesting….

Overall, more than 43% of the users prefer Google just because they already have an account with them. More than 18% of users never heard about Zoho.

From a total of 1417 votes, 361 people tried both these services and chose one to other based on their experience. Of these, close to 70% preferred Zoho to Google. We find this stat particularly interesting and encouraging as we see more users seeing better value after trying our apps.

Other stats (like having an account already) change overtime and its a matter of time and value offered by a new vendor like us. I am sure Google had the same stat once upon a time against Yahoo and Microsoft. We know how that changed over time as they stacked more value to the user. Similarly, over time as users see value in these services, they’ll have a reason to create an account. If the current version of Zoho is not compelling enough for you, one of our future versions will be.

On a separate note, InformationWeek has an article comparing Zoho and Google to MS Office.


Zoho CRM – Usability feedback

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We wish to know your frequently faced issues pertaining to the following list in Zoho CRM.

  • Accessibility (some features buried deep into modules)
  • Navigation ( unable to reach a screen or module quickly)
  • Too many clicks
  • Complex screens, etc

Click here to submit your feedback.

Thank you,
Rajesh Sundaram

APIs for Zoho Creator

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We are pleased to announce the availability of Zoho Creator API . With this users can now build their web application in PHP, JSP, ASP, Perl or any other programming language while the data is stored in Zoho Creator.

The API opens up lot of avenues for external websites and developers to colloborate with ZohoCreator Database. Zoho Creator has both REST and RPC style API’s. It also has JavaScript Client APIs.

Zoho Creator REST APIs enables users to Add, Delete, Update and View Records. It also has support for Sharing Applications, Forms and Views. In addition there are APIs to list Applications, Forms, Fields, and Views.

Using JavaScript Client APIs users can embed Zoho Creator Forms in external websites with more options to control the style and placement of the fields.

You can read more about Zoho Creator APIs at API Docs

To show case the API usage, a sample Expense Tracker application is built in PHP using Zoho Creator and Zoho Creator APIs. You can access the application at Expense Tracker. It uses the Zoho Single Sign On for Login. The Overview elaborates on how the Expense Tracker application is built.

This Expense Tracker application is also available in FaceBook. This application is built using PHP with the data stored in Zoho Creator.

If you need help in building a mashup using our API, do write to us at support(at)zohocreator(dot)com

Recent Buzz on Zoho

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Lifehacker has a post up comparing the Zoho Suite with Google Apps. From the post :

Both the big G and the little Z offer completely browser-based office applications like a word processor and spreadsheet, as well as communication tools like chat and email, as well as collaboration tools like project managers and wiki’s. But the business-oriented Zoho and the consumer-oriented Google applications differ a little bit in offerings, and probably a whole lot when it comes to active users.

Every time we visit Zoho, we’re impressed by the wide range of available applications, and their depth of features.

PC World Beta Watch profiled Zoho DB & Reports :

Zoho DB & Reports: Online Data Analysis

Zoho already has one database app: Creator, which provides lots of options for making a database. Its new app, called DB & Reports, has fewer creation options but gives you lots of ways to graph and analyze the data you have (you can build a database from scratch or import data from a spreadsheet). Creating pivot tables, pie charts, and custom queries is relatively simple, though this free beta still has some annoying bugs.

As with other Zoho services, Zoho DB & Reports will iron out the bugs in the upcoming updates and keep adding new features. Thanks to Gina & Edward N. Albro!

Zoho Creator : Earth-Shaking Usability Advances

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That’s what Jack Bellis at is saying :

I clicked on Zoho and never looked back at the other links. Ho ho ho… in 10 minutes my school-age daughter had a database in her home page without my fingers touching the keyboard. Zoho has all sorts of served, office-style tools, and I can’t figure out what their cost basis is other than free, but who cares.

I’ve labeled this a “usability” advance, but that’s a provocative point. The usability of Zoho’s App Creator isn’t the items in its interface, but the premise of the tool itself. (Mind you, it is full of spectacular usability… its scripting tool is in fact a huge usability model, a very strongly menu-supported command syntax, as are many other items in the interface.) I suppose my point is that the usability of the web has increased. I continue to maintain that online database apps are on a par with the technology advance of the Xerox machine and publishing in general, with the ability to facilitate mass movements of popular action… social upheaval… change… revolutions.

Viva la Revolución! Try Zoho Creator now.

Zoho Business: Scheduled Maintenance on Oct 28

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We’ve scheduled a maintenance for Zoho Business on Sunday, October 28, 2007 between 10.30 PM and 11.30 PM PDT. During this time, access to Zoho Business will not be available.

We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause and appreciate your patience.

[Update @ 11.30 PM PDT] Maintenance has successfully been completed. Access to Zoho Business is available now. Thank you for your patience and co-operation.

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