Site 24×7: Website & Application Monitoring Service

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I just noticed that we never mentioned about our Site24x7 service in our blogs . So let me shamelessly promote this service. This is a great service and I can say this because we eat our own dog food. This service is comparitively under-noticed mainly because Zoho is primarily known for online office and this great app is slightly off the track (atleast for now).

If you have your website or an application you want to monitor, this is the right one for you. Once you set it up, you need not even visit the service to check out how your websites/apps are performing as the app sends these details to your inbox every day/week.

It is not just a simple website monitoring service. It also does monitor transactions as well. What does this mean? Well, if you want to monitor the whole experience of your customer visiting your site, you can do that using ‘Monitor a Web Transaction’ feature in Site24x7. As part of this feature, we give you a small executable which can be downloaded and used to define your transaction. In this mini application, start recording your transaction by visiting the application/website you want to monitor and do whatever you want it to do to at regular intervals. If you define your transaction as logging into your application, clicking some links and logging out, Site24x7 can do that automatically next time for you continuously and will report you whenever there is a failure or performance below a threshold.


Let me not bug you further getting into the details….I can keep talking about it. I’ll let you play with it. This is a serious (free) app bundling a whole lot of expertise from our friends at ManageEngine that went into this service.

Update : Ashley at CyberNet News has this to say about Site24x7.

Better import and embed options in Zoho Show

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Zoho Show now has two import modes – a Read Only mode which allows you to import files that you don’t have the need to edit further on and a Read/Write mode which is for files you need to further edit on. Please use the Read Only mode for importing files with much formatting involved (text combined with embedded images etc) as it can import such presentations real well. And the Read/Write mode can be used for importing simple files that don’t involve much formatting (just headings, bulleted text etc).

Update : Here’s a presentation file imported into Zoho Show in Read Only and Read/Write modes. Notice the superior quality when using the Read Only mode.

The import size has been increased from 5 MB to 10 MB meaning you can now import bigger PowerPoint/Impress files. A Zoho Show slide show embedded in your blogs looks better now with neat slider controls at the bottom.

Other than the above, enhancements in today’s update include – an option to copy the feedback mails you send to the Zoho Show forum, adding a new slide will get it added next to the slide you are working on (previously the new slide will get added to the end), a newly added slide can now be drag-dropped immediately (previously the presentation had to be saved before you can do the drag-drop) and some IE7 related bug fixes.

Give Zoho Show a try and tell us what your feedback about this update.

Desktopize for Zoho on our Home Page now

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As some of you know, we recently announced a partnership with Desktopize. For those of you who dont know Desktopize, they offer an application which makes a web application look like a Desktop app. The Desktopize team helped creating a Zoho-specific installer which we mentioned earlier in our blogs, but didnt link it in our website. Now that we have fixed some pending issues, the executable is now available for download from our home page. Please do give it a try and let us know what you think.

The best feature I like is the ability to upload files into Zoho. Its simple…you can drag and drop your file from your desktop into the zoho desktopize window and it uploads it directly into your Zoho Account. Below screenshot shows this in action.

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Do give it a try if you have’nt.

Career Opportunity – Web UI Developer Opening at Zoho

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Here is an opportunity to work with Zoho. We are currently looking for a candidate for the role of Web UI Developer.
Please note : This opening is for local candidates in and around Chennai, India.

Job Description:
– Will be working in rapid development environment along with User Interface Design team and the developers.
– Translating image prototypes of GUI to HTML pages (using standards compliant HTML and CSS) compatible with IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari.

Skillset Reqd:
– Upto 3 years of relevant web experience
– Good knowledge of HTML , DHTML, CSS (experience in hand-coding is a plus)
– Good working knowledge in tools like Macromedia Dreamweaver, Photoshop
– Knowledge about browser issues and Cross-browser compatibility techniques are must.
– Should have an impressive portfolio.

Following skills are considered as a plus:
– Knowledge of Javascript (DOM)
– Knowledge about W3C standards
– Knowledge of AJAX
– Good aesthetic and design sense

Other requisites
– Strong verbal and written communication skills.

Candidates can send their resume, along with their portfolio to the below mentioned email id. If you find this requirements fit for any of your friends, please refer them.

Email your resumes along with details like CTC, ETC, Time required to join etc, to : sohail at adventnet dot com with a CC to ranjithdsm at adventnet dot com. Please keep the subject as “For Web UI Developer : Ref Zoho Blogs”.

– Dharma

Demo account in Zoho Writer removed

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Many users unintentionally leave sensitive data in Zoho Writer’s demo account without realizing that it can be viewed by others. So we have removed the demo account of Zoho Writer.

Our intention in having a demo account was to allow a new user to know what Zoho Writer has on offer before he/she signs up. And we didn’t want to force those users who just wanted to give it a try into registering. The Quick Create option should come to the new users’ rescue now (though it doesn’t have all the features offered by a Zoho Writer account)

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!