Zoho CRM, Invoice & Projects Integration With Gmail Contextual Gadgets

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For a while now, we have been stressing the importance of ‘contextual information integration’ where the focus is on user’s data and context and not the application. To demonstrate this, we have integrated several Zoho Apps and users have reaped the benefits of such integration.

Today, we are expanding this to a third party app – Gmail. Earlier this year, along with Google Apps Marketplace, Google announced Contextual Gadgets for Gmail enabling third party applications to integrate into an email message in Gmail. This falls inline with our approach to contextual integration, so we decided to integrate our Business Apps into Gmail through Gmail Contextual Gadgets.

So, what does this mean to you as a user?

When you receive an email from your customer in Gmail, our CRM Gadget can display the customer information (pulled from Zoho CRM) along with the notes, contact info etc within the email. Similarly, the Invoice gadget can display information like overdue or unpaid Invoices from that customer, all without leaving that email message.

This is just the beginning. There are ​​​​​​​​​many other things you can do through these contextual gadgets. Here are a few …

Zoho CRM

  • With a click, you can search to see if the sender exists in your CRM system
  • From the email, you can add the sender to Zoho CRM as a Contact or a Lead
  • You can add a Potential to a Contact or update it right from the email message
  • If the sender is already present in your CRM database, you can view existing details within the email message
  • You can Add/View Tasks or Notes to the sender within the email message

Additional information about this is

available here

Zoho Invoice

Zoho​​​ Invoice integrates tightly with Google Apps through the contextual gadget and offers this functionality.

  • If the sender is present in the system, his information is pulled from Zoho Invoice and displayed within the email
  • Email History: All emails sent from Zoho Invoice to this user are listed within the gadget
  • You can see all unpaid invoices with status as ‘Unpaid’ or ‘Open’ for the sender
  • You can view the payments received from the sender within the gadget

Additional information about this is

available here

Zoho Projects

We talked about our Zoho Projects contextual gadget


As you see, the possibilities of contextual integration are endless. This is just the beginning. We will be rolling out additional functionality to these gadgets moving forward, and of course, additional Zoho Apps will make their way into Google Apps Marketplace. If you’d like to see any specific app integrated, please drop us a line.

As always, we can’t wait to hear your feedback.

PS: We’d like to thank Google team for their continuous support. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Gmail’s Undo Send Vs Zoho Mail’s Outbox

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Gmail has just announced a new feature in their labs. According to the Official Gmail Blog,

 Turn on Undo Send in Gmail Labs
under Settings, and you’ll see a new “Undo” link on every sent mail
confirmation. Click “Undo,” and we’ll grab the message before it’s sent
and take you right back to compose.

This feature can’t pull back an email that’s already gone; it just
holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the
panic button.
TechCrunch reported this new Gmail feature and many of the commenters there seem to find the new feature limiting. Like Chris who says,

 Why not have it so I can set a delay between when I hit send on a
message and when it actually sends? If you are an impulsive emailer,
you could add in a 30 second or 1 minute delay or even a 24 hour delay
if you are so inclined…

For such impulsive mailers, Zoho Mail has had this feature for quite sometime now. Setting this option is quite simple. Login to your Zoho Mail account, click on Settings, enable the Outbox option, set your Send email after preferred value and click on the Save button to save your new settings.

Outbox settings in Zoho Mail

Once the above configuration is done, all mails that you send sit in the Outbox folder for the time you have set.

Mail waiting to be sent in Zoho Mail

You can click on the mail to edit it and resend again. Delete the mail if it is not needed or choose the Send Immediately option if you want to override the settings in your Outbox. Try the Outbox feature in Zoho Mail and let us know your feedback.

Related Posts

Importing/exporting contacts from/to your mail clients (Address Book) – Announcing support for vCards in Zoho Invoice

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Now it is easy for you to move your contacts between Zoho Invoice and your mail clients (address books) like Microsoft Outlook, Mac Address Book, GMail, Yahoo mail etc.  Yes, we are happy to announce the support for vCard import and export, the most commonly used standard to manage and transfer contact information.

How do I import the contacts from my mail client to Zoho Invoice?

  1. The first step will be to export the contacts from your mail client in vCard format.  The procedure to export contact information as vCard differs for each mail client.  Here I have explained the procedure for one of the most popular mailing service – GMail.  Shortly we will be publishing the procedure for other popular mail clients in our help docs.
    • Sign-in to your GMail account.
    • Click on the “Contacts” link and select the contacts you want to export.
    • Click on the “Export” link and select “vCard format” for exporting the data.
    • Click on the “Export” button and save the file.
  2. Now Sing-in to your Zoho Invoice account.
  3. Click on the “Customers” tab and click on the “Contacts” link on the left.
  4. Click on the “Import Contacts” link at the top right.
  5. Click on the “Import” link next to “vCard”.  Browse and give the file that you have saved from your mail client.
  6. All your contacts will be imported into Zoho Invoice.

Note: We will re-use the “last name” of the contact for Company/organization name if it is not specified for the contact.

How do I export the contacts from Zoho Invoice?

  1. Sign-in to your Zoho Invoice account.
  2. Click on the “Customers” tab and click on the “Contacts” link on the left.
  3. Now click on the “Export Contacts” link at the top right.
  4. In the export page that comes up, click on the “Download” link next to “vCard”.
  5. All your contacts will be exported as a single vCard file.

You also have to option to import or export your contacts individually from the contact’s details page.

Hope you find this feature useful; don’t forget to share your comments with us, as it goes a long way in improving our service.


Portal 2.0

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The New Updated version of Netvibes supports Tabs (Zoho supports Tabs within a browser tab too) and offers multi-lingual support (German, Croatian and Hindi!). Is Portal 2.0 the next happening thing?

Pageflakes too, seems to be pretty popular choice of a Portal service. It is interesting to note that Google’s Personalized Home Page or Live.com are no where close in terms of their number of users. Not surprising, since the extent to which services like Pageflakes or Netvibes allow customization is much greater than what Web-Giants have to offer. For instance, Netvibes supports readymade modules for Box.net storage, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Del.ico.us, Digg, to name a few popular sources. Pageflakes offers modules for Zoho Writer, Alexa and even an Address Book.

While it is true that any number of feeds can be added by a user, the popularity of Netvibes and Pageflakes is proof that people want the service itself to come packed with a lot of features; proof that people want more.

Web-Applications: The Second coming of Web

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A person can’t expect every web-applications developer (or someone who wants to be that) to be a rocket scientist. Or for that matter, to know to code in High Level languages. Assuming that a lot of people who progress to the level of wanting to develop web applications will be comfortable and familiar with a fair bit of coding, but given that nearly 99% of the population using Internet wants to create web applications, it is only logical that the process be made simple. With the complexity of web-apps increasing, the amount of coding that goes into creating it is humongous. (Let alone the fact that even many rocket scientists may not know Java or HTML)

I was introduced (or sent an invite) to Zoho Creator. I haven’t created any web-apps before. The last time I learnt about Database and SQL was nearly four years back in school and having no memory whatsoever of one, I had to try and figure out their significance before creating one. After becoming fairly familiar, I created a proper application. My first one on the web – a movie Database! It works fairly simple:

  • Created a form called YOMDb – Your Own Movie Database – having heads like “Title”, “Year”, “Genre”, “Your Ratings” etc.
  • Made a couple of fields mandatory – “Title”, for instance, without which it’d make no sense.
  • Started adding the titles I had in mind.

What started out as a sample title got converted into a full fledged catalogue of all the films I’d seen (and remembered). Complete with my ratings. 43 titles in all.I could sort them based on my ratings, the year of release, alphabetical order or the genre. And as I was scrolling down to the bottom most part of the list, I realized that I’d made a typo. And when I hit edit – the edit field options appeared right there, instead of making me scroll up by approximately forty lines. It reminded me of Gmail – upon hitting “Reply”, the field opens immediately below, instead of letting you scroll up. People who lack that feather touch when it comes to handling the mouse – and hence spoiling the scroll wheel to the extent of it being non-functional will associate with that previous sentence.

I would have been absolutely satisfied if there was some ease when it came to linking other web-sites. As such, I tried using the anchor tag, which it didn’t recognize. I wouldn’t want to leave a lengthy permalink which points to, say (as in my case), a critic’s review, for it spoils the otherwise chic look of the web-app. (There’s an e-mail field, though)
Rocket scientists or not, it is time to rejoice, for, the web is heading in the right direction. Which means a lot of such web technologies will let users of the web to think on a higher level (such as the relevance of the application they’ve created or regarding the loop holes) and not worry whether they’ve got the syntax for a particular code right.