Deluge: Online Scripting Language

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Have you seen “import script” option in Zoho Creator -> create application? Wondering what the heck is Deluge? Here is quick intro (too much to say though – will cover in subsequent blog posts)

Deluge is the online scripting environment to create sophisticated database driven applications. With few lines of deluge code you can create your own web application. Everything online!

50 lines of code worth a 500 lines of explanation ;-) Here it goes..


Simple 4 steps to try this deluge script
1. Login to Zoho Creator
2. Create Application
3. select, Import Script
4. Copy & Paste this code

Voila! your feedback app is ready. You can embed the feedback form on your website as well.

With Deluge, Zoho Creator goes beyond GUI based app building. Which means, users can use either use GUI to create web apps or write code in Deluge.

How Deluge works ?

Deluge doesn’t have any concrete syntax. The actual code (the above 50 lines) itself is stored in bunch of database tables. The code is parsed and stored in hundreds of tables. The stored code in database doesn’t remember any syntax. Hence, in future, it just makes us easy to generate the same code in any well known languages like Java or PHP. Create with Deluge syntax, view it in Java! – sounds cool, ah?

No compilation, all changes are instantaneous. Underneath, deluge is driven by a powerful relational data model. Let say, you would like to add “Do not Contact me” checkbox to the feedback form. You can simply add this code: Do_not_contact_me (type = checkbox) to the feedback form script. The live app will reflect the change immediately (the changed code is parsed & updated in database and the live app fetches app details from the same database). Also, if you do browser refresh to “Edit GUI” form builder, the changes would be reflected. Similarly, you play with GUI then visit script. You can see the GUI edits reflected in deluge code (classic round-trip engineering)

Fine. where you guys are heading on?

Well, we have been working on Deluge for past few years now, based on some fairly radical ideas on language design. We have recently integrated it in Zoho Creator to make online app creation extremely easy with sophisticated scripting. We have just made an humble start and striving hard towards our goal to make ZohoCreator/Deluge as “Visual Basic for the Web 2.0

Hyther

Using Flickr images in your Zoho Show presentation

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Zoho Show has this cool functionality of pulling in images from your Flickr account & embedding them into your presentations. One of our users had sent us mail saying he was having trouble loading his photos from his Flickr account into his Zoho Show presentation. For the benefit of all, here are the steps for getting this done.

1. Create a new presentation, a new slide & click on the ‘Insert Image’ icon (from the Zoho Show toolbar)
2. In the popup bubble that opens, click on the ‘From Flickr’ tab
3. It will initially say ‘No images available’ as your Flickr account is not configured
4. Click on ‘Settings’ link (top right). Click on the ‘Click Here’ to configure Flicker account link. (make sure you are logged out of Flickr as asked there!)
5. A new browser window opens taking you to the Flickr account page. Log in giving proper credentials
6. Once logged in, Flickr asks for a confirmation on whether to approve Zoho Show to use your private photos. (The message goes something like ‘Zoho Show wants your photos to be used. Approve?)
7. Click on ‘Yes’ and you get the message ‘Flickr Account has been configured.’
8. Go back to the ‘My Images’ tab in the popup bubble in Zoho Show & come back to the ‘From Flickr’ tab. It should be showing all your Flickr photos

If you are still facing issues in getting your Flickr photos, tell us in which step you encountered the problem. I’ll also try updating this post with some screenshots.

And thanks to the Flickr team, for providing us with an API to let this happen! Hopefully all Zoho products will follow Zoho Planner in opening up their APIs.

Capture your Site visitors' info

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With the advent of Internet and Web-based technologies, corporate Websites becoming a center point for most of the company-wide business activities, including announcement of web events (Webinars, Podcasts, etc.,), self-service to the customers, public support service through bulletin boards, feedback forms for gathering new ideas, Tell a friend forms to introduce products/services to new people and so on.

The notable point is, the above services are built over a kind of Web forms, either data stored in database or directly communicated to the concerned people as an email who take care of the Support, Sales or Marketing activities.

As companies grow big, it becomes difficult managing all these discrete data islands and integrating the corporate Marketing and Sales activities in a single application.

One of the solutions for this kind of problem is, host Web-forms on Website at various touch points, capture visitors’ contact information, and store in a integrated database where all departments (Sales, Marketing, and Support) can access the data freely and use according to their roles.

Keeping this in view, we at Zoho CRM enabled fully customizable Web-to-Leads forms for both On-demand and On-premise customers, so that businesses can effectively utilize this Web age services and focus more on their daily job functions rather worrying about data collection and management.

Using Zoho CRM’s Web-to-Leads function, users can:

  • Generate Web-forms based on the leads data
  • Customize Web forms further and host into the corporate Website
  • As and when Website visitor provides their contact information, transfer the data from Website to Zoho CRM through a secured Web service and create leads
  • Assign leads to respective sales force automatically using Workflow rules
  • Once the data is assigned to the users, use the data for various purposes

For more details, check out Zoho CRM demo

-Sripada-

More on the Zoho Show release

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Zoho Show has got a very good response since its release yesterday. Many thanks to everyone of you who tried it & wrote to us.

Many of you gave this feedback – that the import of .ppt presentations is either taking a significant time or not happening. With Zoho Writer & Zoho Sheet, the files are usually smaller & less complex compared to the generally larger, image rich presentation files that Zoho Show is asked to import. Hence we would request you to go easy on Zoho Show with regards to importing .ppts. We have restricted the file size to be imported to 1 MB. This is just a temporary arrangement & we sure will try lifting this restriction soon.

We have also fixed a few minor issues in an update done today.

Zoho Show Unleashed

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Today marks a very significant milestone for the Zoho range of web services. We have just released Zoho Show, the tool for making presentations online. Zoho Show joins the other two Office 2.0 products Zoho Writer, the online word processor & Zoho Sheet, the online spreadsheet application. With Zoho Show, you can

  • Create your presentations online
  • Import your presentations from MS PowerPoint & Open Office
  • Invite people by email & control your presentations from remote
  • Pull-in public images from your Flickr account in your presentation
  • Upload images from your desktop
  • Publish your presentations & have others view it
  • Drag-and-drop text, components within a slide & in between slides
  • Duplicate slides easily

Do try the application & tell us what you think. You can mail your suggestions & comments to feedback@zohoshow.com

Zoho Creator: Why Edit Mode? Why Live Mode?

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We got few queries on “Why does Zoho Creator has got two modes – Edit and Live?” after my previous post on Zoho Creator demo. We replied back each user with our reasons behind it and I thought it would be better to blog it for the larger audience who have not questioned us so far.

Zoho Creator has two kinds of audience using the service. One – the application ‘Creator’ and the other ‘User’. A creator is the one who has a requirement and creates the web application to meet his requirement (for eg: Project Manager who needs to keep track of his projects, creates ‘Project Tracker’ application) and the user (for eg: team members of the project) is the one who access the application.

There’s no doubt that the two activities – creating and accessing need to be closely associated. But I’m not sure they should be done on the same screen. Sometimes, clean demarcation between two tasks – creation and access can make things easy and simple.

So we took up the challenge to design two totally different environment. Edit mode in ‘Fresh Green’ theme with all the tools and settings to create the application and Live mode for the users to enter the data. In the Live mode user can dress up the application with three different themes – ‘Professional Blue’, ‘Professional Grey’ and same ‘Fresh Green’ theme as of the Edit mode.

Zoho Creator Edit and Live mode

Now let me give you brief insight on how Zoho Creator user interface supports two different roles (Creator and User)-

In the edit mode, a creator can:

  • Keep both Form and View in one tab or Form on one and View on another
  • Display View as ‘Table’, ‘Calendar’ or as ‘Summary’ (we just added it)
  • Make the application as public or keep it private among friends
  • Share the whole application with friends or just share few tabs
  • Generate auto filters or Custom filters with own conditions
  • Set, whether others can edit/delete data
  • Set, records display per page to 10, 20,….or 100

In the live mode, a user can:

  • Enter the data
  • View the data
  • Manipulate data using filters
  • Search among data
  • Sort data
  • Export data as spreadsheet, html, pdf, tsv and csv formats

We have worked hard to make both the modes 100% obvious and increasing rate of applications created each day proves it just right.

~ Roughic