Export Data: More Options. Useful Options.

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“I want to bookmark this view”
“I want to download the records too”
“I want to take away few records, less is good for me.”
“What if my view is private, can I still send a permalink to my friend?”

When someone gets so many varieties of questions for a particular feature. All one have to do is provide answers carefully and present them neatly on the screen. This will make feature evolve by itself into something more than a novelty.

This time in Zoho Creator, ‘Export Data’ was the luckiest feature to get such questions. We analyzed each user requirement carefully and started to enhance the feature. Our challenge was to present all the options in a simple n straight forward way. The end result is what you see here below.

Zoho Creator- Export Data

Its just the same easy to use interface which we had earlier, but with few useful options added.

More Export Options-
Apart from the existing export formats – Spreadsheet, HTML, PDF, CSV and TSV. You can see RSS Feed and JSON Feed added to the list.

Download or Get Public Link-
Now you got two options to export your data, either download in various formats or use ‘public link’ (permalink) for bookmarking.

I will just give you an example how useful ‘public link’ can be. If you want to export records as pdf and send it your friends. You might straightaway download the pdf document and send it, right? But what if new record gets added to the view sometime later? This will not get reflected in the copy you sent to your friend. So, in this case instead of downloading the data, you can make use of the ‘Public Link’ url. The view accessed through the ‘Public Link’ url will always be up-to-date.

Export only filtered and searched records.
You can export only few records which you have limited by searching or filtering, easily now. Whenever you have filtered/searched records in the view, Zoho Creator automatically provides you option to either download ‘All Records’ or ‘Filtered Records’.

Zoho Creator - Export Filtered/Searched Records

Get Permalinks for the Private View
When you have made your view as private and wanted to have a permalink. Just ‘Enable Private Permalinks’ to get a ‘Private Link’ for the respective export formats.

Export Data - Private permalink
Another useful mention is that you can disable this “private permalink’ anytime you want to. Zoho Creator generates different encrypted url each time you enable it.

Try them and share your thoughts with us.

Zoho puts India on the Web 2.0 map

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Richard MacManus pointed us to an article in the August issue of Business 2.0 magazine. The article identifies 23 of the most influential/innovative Web 2.0 sites developed in countries other than the USA. And Zoho is among this elite group!

The article has the following to say about about Zoho (Writer),

Like Writely.com, a service recently purchased by Google, Zoho is going head-to-head with Microsoft Word by building word processing into your browser. Zoho Writer lets you export and import Word documents from your PC or create new ones online and share them with anyone. Zoho also offers Zoho Sheet, an online spreadsheet and Zoho Planner, a to-do list that can be shared by groups.

Thanks to Erick Schonfeld! Also, from Richard’s post, “The Business 2.0 article isn’t online yet, but you can view it via Olive ActiveMagazine (pg 106).”

The Star Ledger mentions Zoho

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Allan Hoffman at ‘The Star Ledger‘ in an article titled ‘Internet Software challenges
‘ had the following to say about companies trying to offer web-based alternatives to the MS Office suite, citing Zoho as the primary example.

Trash Microsoft Office.

That’s the message from a number of startups offering alternatives to Microsoft’s well- entrenched programs for word processing, presentations and spread sheets.

In providing alternatives, these companies don’t just trot out garden-variety software. Their programs are Web-based, meaning you don’t have to install and update software on your personal computer; the programs simply run from inside your Web browser, mimicking the look and feel of typical desktop applications. To top it off, they’re free — at least for now.

Too good to be true? Well, yes and no, as I learned after trying out Zoho (www.zoho.com), one of the innovators in Web-based tools competing with Office.

As with other applications in the trend known as Web 2.0, Zoho requires nothing more than a quick sign-up in order to get started. Unfortunately, Zoho requires separate accounts for the programs in its office suite — Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show and Zoho Writer. But once you have your accounts and sign on, you’re up and running, with an application inside your browser ready to create text documents, craft presentations or perform cal culations.

Anyone familiar with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word should have a relatively easy time using these programs.

Among Zoho’s applications, the spreadsheet and word processing programs, in particular, provide many of the features frequently used by typical PC users. When you need to share your work with users of Office or other software, you can easily export (or import) your documents to standard formats.

The applications are particularly suitable for college students and mobile professionals interested in storing their work online, accessible from any computer. Others will enjoy Zoho’s sharing features. Zoho Writer, for instance, lets you make your documents public for others to read and offer comments, while Zoho Show will display your presentation online — a handy way to share a presentation with colleagues.

The software does have limitations. Zoho Writer only gives you seven different font sizes and limited font styles, while Zoho Show doesn’t offer anything close to the flexibility of PowerPoint.

That simplicity is a hallmark of many of the Web-based applications aiming to serve as Office substitutes.

We are working on a single sign-on and that should make things much easier for everyone using Zoho. And as is typical with any Web 2.0 application, like Zoho Writer & Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show will continue to evolve rapidly too.

And about tools like Zoho being web-based, Allan (like many others) had this to say,

Despite everything offered by these tools, I doubt droves of people will be abandoning Microsoft Office and other desktop office tools anytime soon. That’s not be cause of features or performance, but access. Unless you’re online, you don’t have the ability to run these programs.

Thanks to Allan for taking note of Zoho! And an answer to his concerns may be as stated here.

Zoho Writer Review in Hometown Life in Michigan

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Rick Broida writes about Zoho Writer in Hometown Life. Some excerpts.

It’s called Zoho Writer (zohowriter.com), and it’s my new favorite service.A Web-based word processor may sound like little more than a novelty, but trust me when I say it’s incredibly practical. It enables me to write using any Internet-connected computer.

And because my documents are stored online, I don’t have to copy them back and forth between flash drives as I go from one PC to another.

And he points to some bugs too

User beware: Zoho Writer is still in beta, and there are definitely some bugs in the system. For instance, importing and exporting Word files tends to produce some funky formatting and line spacing.What’s more, while composing this very column, I reached a point where ZW kept reverting to a previously saved version — it wouldn’t save any new changes.

I had no choice but to export the document to Word and finish it offline.

Thank you for your review Rick. We had a bug when a document was shared when this happens, and we have fixed it now, and it should be updated soon. We are fine tuning the product to enhance the user experience much further.

Real Time Collaborative Writing – NY Times mentions Zoho Writer

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NY Times has a Q&A section hosted by J.D. Biersdorfer where Zoho Writer is suggested as a possible solution for a question a user asked about real-time writing.

Q. My writing partner and I are on separate coasts but need a “real-time writing” collaboration tool, as opposed to writing a bit and then saving, e-mailing and reopening files, which loses the spark of collaboration. Are there any programs (chat, word processing, etc.) that can export to a usable file?

A. Most of the free instant-messaging programs (like AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and Apple’s iChat) let you save transcripts of your messaging sessions and should let you copy and paste text into a word-processing document. AOL Instant Messenger, for example, even gives you a Text Only option when you choose to save the conversation in an open I.M. window by using the Save command under the File menu.

Some programs let you automatically save your transcripts to your hard drive each time you have an instant-message chat. Check your preferred I.M. software’s Tools or Preferences area for this option.

There are plenty of other collaboration programs around the Web. Some of the less expensive options include online word processors like Zoho Writer (www.zohowriter.com), which lets multiple users work on a document through a Web browser and store the files online.

That is exactly the need Zoho Writer collaborative editing feature is designed for. That is the power of a web based application, compared to the traditional desktop. Try it out, and let us know how it works.

Thank you, NY Times!

Is Zoho focused?

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The question about “Focus” for Zoho has been raised recently ( Competitors differentiates with Zoho by pointing the Focus angle ). To show you how focused we are, I am just giving the statistics of updates ( new features, bug fixes etc., ) we have been doing in each service. I have only taken the 4 services ( whole office suite + Zoho Creator ) as sample here to show our focus & commitment.

You can verify this statistics with those of competitors to see the difference for yourself. I am pretty confident that our pace will either be higher or on par with competition.

Here is the summary of updates for each service

Zoho Writer

Alpha Released on Sep 30 2005
( Update ) Beta Released on Dec 21 2005
22 updates in 10 months

Zoho Creator

Beta Released on Dec 21 2005
10 updates in 7 months

Zoho Sheet

Beta released on Apr 6 2006
7 updates in 3 months

Zoho Show

Beta released on June 22 2006
4 updates in 1 month

Here is a public sheet with the details http://www.zohosheet.com/public.do?fid=32310

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