‘Land of Zoho Creator’ Gets Two New Contributors

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I am really excited to see Alan Bradford and LockWorld contributing to ‘Land of Zoho Creator’. So, you can expect good variety in the coming days. ‘Land of Zoho Creator’ was started a month ago by a passionate user, fan and a well wisher of Zoho Creator – Pete Thomas. Since then he has been exploring Zoho Creator deep into its very root and is coming out with many intelligent apps.

Alan Bradford writes interesting stuff (technology, education, and business) at his blog: Big Ugly Couch. He was the key person who dug-up and suggested Zoho Creator to K. Hovnanian® Homes™ for its business use. We have the case study on K. Hovnanian® Homes™ here.

Lockworld, a web surfer, provides some useful technical tips for the web entrepreneur at his site The Web for you. He blew our mind away by setting up the PayPal-integrated product catalog using Zoho Creator.

With Pete Thomas + Alan Bradford + Lockworld, I am sure ‘Land of Zoho Creator’ is going to be an informative and fun place to visit for all the Zoho Creators.


Get going guys, our best wishes are with you!

Chat with Google Gears team on Zoho Offline support

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We got a great response for Zoho Writer offline support announcement from our users, bloggers, media….and also from Google Gears team. Members from Google Gears team congratulated us on the integration. We’d like to thank them for their support and are looking forward to working with them closely on this open source project.

We had a great time with Dion Almaer from Google Gears team who visited our offices yesterday to talk about our integration. Here is the video from Google Developers Channel.

Update: Dion talks about this on Google Gears Blog.

Also check out the posts from Donna Bogatin from Insider Chatter & Zoli Erdos.

Offline Support & Comments in Zoho Writer

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We just rolled out an important update to Zoho Writer. This update includes two important features. Offline support & Comments.

Offline Support:

We are taking our first steps towards offering Zoho Writer offline. With this update, you’ll now be able to access all your documents offline (Mac or PC) in read-only mode. We will offer offline editing capabilities in the coming weeks.

Zoho Writer Offline capabilities is based on Google Gears. Many thanks to Google for a great open source project. We plan to support and contribute to this project.

In Zoho Writer, you’ll now see ‘Go Offline’ link on the top. Clicking on the link for the first time will prompt you to install Google Gears. Once the installation is complete (and your browser restarted), click on ‘Go Offline’ to make your documents (both personal and shared docs) available offline. By default 15 documents are downloaded to be available offline. You can change the options by clicking on the down arrow beside ‘Go Offline’ link to download more documents. To go back online, click on ‘Go Online’ and you’ll be redirected to the online version of Zoho Writer.

Once you download your documents, you can access them @ http://writer.zoho.com/offline whenever you are offline.

This brief video talks about this functionality.

Comments is another useful feature we rolled out in today’s update. You can now add comments within the content of your document by clicking on the new comment button in the toolbar (picture-3.png) or just right click and select ‘Add Comment’. When a comment is posted, it is shown with a comment icon (picture-1.png). Multiple users can add comments making it a discussion as you see below.


Clicking on the comments icon on the status bar (picture-4.png) shows all the comments inside the document.

Do give these features a try and let us know what you think.

Also, we plan to add another useful feature to Zoho Writer next week….any guess on what that would be?

Zoho Creator’s Lead Architect, Answers…

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Sriram - Zoho Creator's Lead Arcitect

Sriram, Zoho Creator’s Lead Architect has given an interesting interview (well I shouldn’t say… go check it out for yourself) and a nice peek into Zoho Creator’s Infrastructure, Security and more…

Here are some interesting tidbits from the interview:

ZohoCreator is completely based on relational model and Deluge was a natural fit. Gradually when we integrated Deluge, ZohoCreator transformed from a simple Form Builder to a complete Online Database Application creator.

Migrating ZohoCreator to the Grid Environment was a huge effort. Some part of the data model for the ZohoCreator had to be modified. Especially with regards to sharing. With a standalone service, there is only one database and all the users data resides in one database. Whereas in a database cluster the user information is distributed across the clusters.

The performance aspect of ZohoCreator is bit unique among all other Zoho services. ZohoCreator hits the database more than any other application. There are more write operations compared to other services and hence the database is heavily loaded. These database queries are very dynamic in nature.

We are preparing to host and replicate the data in multiple data centers across the world, so that our customers are not affected by any catastrophic database failures or prolonged network outage. This way even if one of the data center is affected, the others would work fine.

We have developed both REST API’s and XML-RPC/CSV-RPC. So stay tuned for the API release

Here is full length interview of Sriram by Pete Thomas at Land of ZC.

Charles Zoho Creator’s Chief Engineer will be interviewed next by Pete. Watch out this space for an announcement soon.

Previous Interview at Land of ZC: Suganya about Deluge Script

How are you using Zoho Viewer?

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Like with all other Zoho services, Zoho Viewer got a very good welcome among our users too. Peter and Chris, from comments at Solo Technology :

This is a great tool for sharing docs. I despise the proliferation of Word documents in the office that inevitably results in various versions that require manual merging. In my opinion, giving an online view will encourage group collaboration rather than someone making edits in a silo. Oh yeah, the embedded mode rocks too!


I’d say I agree 100% with you Peter.

I had a chance to use this at work today. Works great!

Oh, and my dad had a ppt presentation he wanted to look at. He doesn’t have powerpoint installed, but it was easy enough to upload it at Viewer and he watched it that way.

From a commenter in TechCrunch :

This might be helpful for people wishing to send formatted, attractive resumes to companies that warn they will not open attachments.It might also be a convenient way to keep an online version of a resume or other info that one might want to access remotely

Upendra’s comment at VentureWoods :

Take their latest app Viewer for example. It’s promoted as a tool to send attachments of any format without having to send huge attachments there by clogging inboxes of the recipient.

But the real killer is that you can upload attachment in upto 15 formats which can then be viewed in cool formats like PDF, xls etc.

You can use it a like simple PDF converter :) Upload any file in any format and download it as PDF.

And this is what some of the bloggers had to say :

Gary Price, Resource Shelf : “Notice how easy it is to download, print, and get the code to embed. Another useful feature, short URL’s.

Mike Arrington, TechCrunch : “Zoho isn’t looking to create a community around documents like Scribd does. All documents are private and you must know the URL to view them. They are not listed in any directory or searchable. So it is useful primarily to quickly upload email attachments and other documents you want to share with a few people but not the whole world. Viewers can also quickly download the document in its original format.

Gina Trapani, lifehacker : “No more Gmailing yourself entire files for viewing on the go necessary!

Zoli Erdos, Zoli’s Blog : “Forget attachments, the version control nightmare, software incompatibility issues, storage requirements: share documents by URL. Essentially it’s a TinyURL, SnipURL ..etc for documents, with additional options, like embedding the URL, tracking the number of views, or even editing your uploaded doc’s with the relevant Zoho programs.

Podium blog, “This is surely incredibly useful“.

Ioannus de Verani : “I was surprised at how painlessly and perfectly Zoho Viewer rendered the documents that I threw at it “.

More quotes here. Hope this helps in how you plan to use Zoho Viewer. If you have other uses for it, please mention it in the comments below.

Enhanced Collaboration and Export option in Zoho Notebook

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We rolled out an update to Zoho Notebook with some good enhancements in Collaborative Editing along with Export functionality.

Enhanced Collaborative Editing

We made several enhancements in collaborative editing. Here are some of them

  • Collaborative editing now works more smoothly than ever
  • In collaborative editing mode, if you reorder the pages, the pages will also be reordered for all the users working on the book immediately
  • Also, if any user adds a new page and saves the book, all users working on the notebook will be notified about the page addition and will see the changes immediately at their end

Page Export

We added our first version of Export functionality in Notebook. You can now export Notebook Pages and Books in MHTML format (works in IE only). We have plans to support other export formats as well.


You’ll notice that the current export functionality is supported for Text, Images and drawing objects. We don’t include other types of content as these are web specific functions.

Apart from these two key enhancements, we also added several minor enhancements like a ‘Switch to’ option on the top to help easily navigate to other Zoho applications.


Do give these features a try and let us know what you think.

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