ZohoCreator : Custom formula

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Creating custom formula is a powerful feature and it is a beginning to providing excel-like functions in Zoho Creator. Even the simplest of applications like a student marks database( given below as an example) or an expense tracker (to calculate the total expenses) requires custom fields that are calculated based on the values of other fields. They have to be created while defining the form and could be numeric, text, date or boolean.

* You can create calculated fields by selecting the field type as formula.

* All the types of form fields except multiple select fields can be used in formulas.
* The operators / functions that can be used in formulas can be found in the Deluge docs.
* The formulas will get recalculated when
  a. the formula is modified
  b. the values of the fields participating in the formula gets modified (when a record is updated).

Given below is a sample marks database application. The fields TotalMarks and AverageMarks are of type formula.


  application Student_marks_database
  {
     page Enter_marks
    {
      form Students_Mark_Sheet

      {
        Student_Name
        (
          type = text
        )
        English
        (
          type = number
          decimalplace = 2
        )
        Arts
        (
          type = number
          decimalplace = 2
        )
        TotalMarks
        (
          type = formula
          value = English + Arts
        )
         AverageMarks
        (
          type = formula
          value = (English + Arts) / 2
        )
      }
      list View_student_marks
      {
        Students_Mark_Sheet
      }
    }
  }

Please follow the following steps to create the sample application

* Login to Zoho Creator
* Click on Create Application
* Select Deluge script tab
* Copy & paste the code given below and save.

Your have now created a students marks database. You can now add some data and see the formula fields getting updated in the view.

Do send your comments / suggestions on this feature.

ZohoCreator – Tip of the Day #2

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#2 How do I keep few tabs private and others public?

Follow “Manage Users” link and select “Sharing”. In the “User/Group list”, select “Public Visitors”. Expand your application and remove the selection for the tabs you want to make private. Tabs selected under “Public Visitors” will be public and tabs that are not selected will be private.

ZohoCreator – Tip of the Day #1

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Starting from today, I will be posting daily tips that will be helpful to Zoho Creator users. These tips will be aimed to get the most out of Zoho Creator. It will be ranging from simple topics such as creating a view, embedding a form in a website to complex ones like cusom validating a form. For easy understanding, it will be in a question and answer format.

Here is today’s Tip

#1 How do I restrict Add/Edit/Delete permission of records in a view?

While configuring a view, there will be an option “Allow others to edit data”. When you uncheck that option, anyone accessing the view will not be able to add, edit or delete the records in the view. Only the owner of the application will be able to edit the records.
Allow others to edit data

ResourceShelf reviews Zoho

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The ever ‘resourceful‘ Gary Price has a full review of the Zoho suite. From the blog post :

The ResourceShelf team has been a long time fan of the Zoho suite of services and have (of course) mentioned them on the site several times. We’re thrilled to see them getting more and more attention. Just launched, Zoho Show.

Zoho services are more than worth a look (especially for the web-based apps/Web 2.0 junkies out there). Plus, since budgets are always an issue, almost all of Zoho’s web-based services are free.

New: Zoho Show
+ Web based (and free) WYSIWYG presentation creator.

+ Create presentations using content from other Zoho services like Sheets and Writer.

+ Import PowerPoint Presentations or OpenOffice Presentation (.sxi).

+ Examples: Zoho Show #1 and what a Zoho Show presentation might look like.

+ A Zoho Show can be viewed online or exported. Presentations can be made public (here’s an example of a couple of slides I was able to create in about 3 minutes) and then with one click obtain a url. Of course, presentations can also be invite only or totally private. Exporting to HTML is also just a click away.

Zoho Sheet

+ A robust web-based spreadsheet program. Like Zoho Writer you can test the service out without having to register.

+ Supports more than 300 functions

+ Easily create Draw bar/line/pie 2D/3D charts and then it’s only one-click to embed them directly into blog postings or Zoho Writer documents. Example here. Cool!

Zoho Writer
This web-based and increasingly robust product is our web-based word processor of choice. One thing we’ve noticed is that the Zoho Writer is much quicker in all aspects. From logging in, to saving, to outputting. Kudos.

+ NEW: Real Time Collaborative Writing & Editing

Multiple users can work on a document simultaneously.

Very powerful and a potential big time saver especially when a some members of the group are located throughout the world or just a few cubicles away.

+ Another useful feature for those of you who want to learn more about Zoho Writer is how easy it is to use and test the product even before registering (no big deal but a few seconds saved is what many of us want and need). Just login as a demo user. As registered users we also find the new “quick create” feature another plus.

There is menion of other Zoho services as well. Thanks, Gary for your continued support of Zoho!

Zoho Creator review by Mark Avey

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Mark Avey at bestfreeapps.com has a nice review of Zoho Creator. He ends his review with,

I’ve really just scratched the surface of what you can do with Creator, another terrific product from the Zoho team. I’m really amazed that they’re giving away so much quality software. I’ve paid for applications that aren’t as flexible, easy to use and constantly updated as the Zoho suite of applications. I’ll be reviewing more Zoho apps in the near future.

Thanks, Mark! Sure we would like you to review all the other Zoho applications as well :-)

Zoho Writer in Steve Whitaker’s Podcast

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Steve Whitaker, in conversation with Roger Geyer in his ‘Podcast 2.0‘ series discusses how educators can leverage Web 2.0, online word processors in particular. Steve is technology director for the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.

Some very good insights in that podcast like how word processing is such an essential thing for all students, how a group of four or five students along with their teacher can collaborate easily, how 92% of digital students use the internet for doing their home work, assignments etc. Thanks Roger & Steve for those nice insights.

Listen to around the twentieth & thirty second minutes of the podcast for their views about Zoho Writer. Here’s the link to the post.

Zoho on CNET

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Zoho’s been noticed by atleast 3 authors at CNET recently. Elsa Wenzel has a very good review of Zoho Writer. From her review :

Zoho packs most of the functions along the top of the document pane, with familiar graphical icons, such as a disk that you click to save a file. We like the bottom icons that display the document’s tags and sharing status. You can also keep multiple Zoho files open at the same time, which ThinkFree doesn’t allow. By default, Zoho Writer organizes your open documents within tabs, which we prefer over the way Google Writely beta pops up a new browser window for each document.

And her summary :

The good: Zoho Writer beta is free and works in any Web browser; easy-to-learn interface; lets you collaborate with other users; exports to Word, PDF, and other file formats; posts to blogs; tags documents by topic; Zoho offers a complete productivity suite.

The bad: Zoho Writer requires Internet access; lacks advanced editing features; doesn’t import or export WordPerfect files; operational quirks.

The bottom line: If you enjoy steady Internet access, Zoho Writer beta offers intuitive controls and can replace Microsoft Word for basic editing and formatting, if you can tolerate its beta glitches.

Thanks Elsa. Zoho Writer is still rapidly evolving & the issues you mentioned should get addressed soon.

Rafe Needleman starts one of his Alpha Blog posts with, “I’m a fan of Web-based applications, such as Writely and Zoho Writer“. We are glad to have you as a fan of Zoho, Rafe :-)

And in an article titled Best sites for students, Julie Wildhaber mentions Zoho as one of the sites in the online applications category.