You are on page 1of 13

ZOHO CREATOR

Introduction:
Zoho creator is an intuitive and feature-rich platform to build custom database applications. It helps us to create our own forms/tables afresh or import data from standard formats (.xls .csv .mdb) and get our database application online within minutes. The Zoho Office Suite is a Web-based online office suite containing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, invoicing, and other applications developed by ZOHO Corporation (formerly AdventNet Inc.), a US-based company. It was launched in 2005 with a web-based word processor. Additional products such as spreadsheets and presentations, were incorporated later into Zoho. Zoho applications are distributed as software as a service (SaaS). FEATURES OF ZOHO CREATOR:
Drag and Drop UI Form/Table Builder Business Logic Data Collection Data Reporting Data Analytics Data Views Alerts and Notifications Task Scheduler Customization Collaboration Business features API

1.DRAG AND DROP INTERFACE

HTML Form Builder

Zoho Creator's easy to use HTML Form Builder helps us create forms/tables easily and quickly . All we have to do is just drag-and drop the required fields. We can create UNLIMITED forms/tables. No programming skills required.

Script Builder

Deluge or Data Enriched Language for the Universal Grid Environment as we call it, is an online scripting language integrated with Zoho Creator. It enables users easily add business rules and create custom workflows to streamline important business processes. Zoho Creator provides easy drag and drop script builder to add actions/triggers.

2. FORM/TABLE BUILDER
There are 20 different data types:a) Single line text: Single Line Text can hold plain text, numbers or anything. Text fields are the most versatile field type, in which we can input any kind of characters. b) Multi Line Text: As name suggests, Multi Line text can hold multi-line inputs. Multi Line text can also hold any characters. Use Multi-line field for collecting Comments, descriptions, feedback or anything that requires room to fill in the more data. c) Email: Used to capture email-ids from our users. This field automatically authenticates and accepts the data only if it is in the format of email id. d) Number: Use this to collect phone numbers, Amount, Quantity, Zip Code... e) Decimal: Decimal is used to represent binary values. For example: 1000.25 f) Currency: Supports 104 currency types like - Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling, Yen and more... g) Percentage: A numeric field that displays as a percentage. For example: 65%. h) Dropdown: Dropdown (Picklist) allows our users to select single value from the list of values. For example: Selecting 'India' from the Country picklist. i) Radio: Allows our users to choose only one of a predefined set of options. For Example: Status - Closed, Open j) Checkbox: Permits our users to make multiple selections from a number of options. For Example: Hobbies - Tweeting, Blogging, Socializing, Sports k) Multiselect: Use this field type when we want users to select an entry instead of typing. l) Date: Use this field to capture a date (and only a date). When a date field appears on a form it features date Picker, which lets users select a date easily. m) Date and Time: This field is an extended date field that can also capture the time. This field also provides Data and Time Picker, which lets users to pick both date and time. n) Lookup: Lookup field is used to create relationship between two forms/tables. We will need this to create reports that include information from two different forms. When we create a relationship between two forms, one is the "master" another is the "details" form. In other words, the forms have a one-to-many relationship. For example, if we have a form of Authors we could relate it to a Books form. Here Author -is- Master and Books -is- Details.

o) Formula: Used for computing values entered by the users. Can be used for calculating Total Marks, summing up the values of English and Maths. Total Marks = English + Maths p) Decision checkbox: This field can have only two values - Yes or No. Users can turn on a checkbox, by placing a checkmark in it, or turn it off, by leaving it blank. For Example: We can find 'Keep me signed in' check box in all the Zoho services Login box. q) Image: Use this field if we want insert images r) Field Upload: Using this field we and our users can upload images, reports and documents related to the database. Maximum size for a file is 5 MB. s) URL: Url field displays a URL (Web address) as a link. Users can enter a URL address and also specify the link name which will be displayed in the data view. For Example: 'YouTube Video' as the link name and Url will be //www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3BhPJMIngA We can also specify if we want to open the link in same window or in a new window. t) Add Notes: Add descriptions, instructions or comments which will help users while filling the form. For Example: "Please fill in the details below and help us serve you better."

Stateless Forms By default, every form created in Zoho Creator will generate a table at the back-end to store the data. But for a Stateless Form Zoho Creator does not generate any tables at the backend. Instead we can add custom buttons and write action scripts for "on click" of a button to perform any actions. Some common usages: Create multiple forms to update data in a single table, Fetch and Display information from other forms, Execute and send mail. Relationships A relationship is a link between two forms/tables. When a relationship is created, Zoho Creator will connect a single record in one form to one or many records in another form. In other words, the forms have a one-to-many relationship. We can create relationships between any two forms within the same application or with any application in our account.

3. BUSINESS LOGIC

Actions/Triggers - Form and Field Level

Using Deluge Script we can perform custom actions/triggers at Form and Field Levels. Form Actions - On Load, Validate, On Success. Field Actions - On User Input, On Update.

Custom Validations

Zoho Creator supports following validations: On Add, On Edit, On Delete.

Scheduler
o

Form Schedule

Form schedules are events that are scheduled based on a date/time field in your form. (i.e) we will be able to specify a field in the form, whose value will be taken as the scheduling due date (or as start date and end date). For example: Consider an 'Appointment' form with a date-time field named 'Due time'. We can schedule a generic reminder that reminds us 2 hour before every appointment.
o

Report Schedule

Report schedules are events scheduled based on the data view in our application. We can send our data view as reports by specifying fixed date and time with repeats like 'monthly' or 'yearly'.
o

Custom Schedule

Custom Schedules are events/actions scheduled by specifying fixed dates and time with repeats. This will be mostly useful for tasks like sending monthly reports, deleting previous month's records at the start of every month, sending meeting remainders every Monday etc.

URL based controls for easy navigation

Get URL - The get URL task corresponds to a HTTP GET request. It is normally supported by services to perform read-only operations like fetching data from external websites. Post URL - The post data corresponds to a HTTP POST request. It is normally supported by services to perform write operations like adding or updating data. Open URL - OpenURL task can be invoked from form and field actions to redirect the form to a specified URL. The URL can be opened in the same window or a new window.

Custom Actions

Custom Actions are the actions performed on selected records in the data view. We can define a function and configure it as our custom action. For eg: We can define our custom Action to 'Send Email Notification'.

XPath

Zoho Creator provides an intuitive user interface - XPath Builder to find the required XPath expression from a given XML/ JSON file. The builder automatically converts JSON to XML so that XPath can be applied to filter the nodes.

4. DATA COLLECTION:

Through HTML Forms

Zoho Creator makes it easy and convenient for you to collect information over the web using HTML Forms. Share a particular form with users. Your users will automatically receive an email notification with the url to access the form.

Through Email

Zoho Creator also offers the convenience of adding new data/record right from your email client. Each form will be supplied with a private perma-link and simple format to email the data.

From your Mobile Devices

You can access all your databases and shared databases from your mobile devices using the URL - http://creator.zoho.com/mobile or http://creator.zoho.com/m. Supported browsers: Internet Explorer 6 or higher, Opera, Safari, other WAP Browsers. Zoho Creator's interface has been optimized to work well in iPhone also.

Embed in your Website

Zoho Creator lets you embed Forms and Views in your website/blog just by pasting few lines of code. You can customize the look of the form/view to match your website.

5.DATA REPORTING:

Pivot Tables

Allows you to create a powerful view with data summarized in a grid, both in horizontal and vertical columns (also known as Matrix Views or Cross Tabs). Multi-level pivots can be created by specifying multiple fields to the column, row and data axis.

Pivot Charts

A pivot chart is an interactive graphical representation of the data. You can rearrange the layout, select a different type of chart, and add or remove data. A Pivot Chart gives you a quick summary of text entries. For example if you have a list of products sold, create a Pivot Chart to show the percent of the total sales for each product.

6.DATA VIEWS

List, Grid, Calendar, Summary, and Charts

List: This is similar to a table view with rows and columns of data. The list view enables you to sort, search, filter and group data. Grid: Data is presented in the form of a tabular view where each column represents a field and each row represents a record. The grid view enables you to edit your records very easily. Calendar: A calendar view is displayed based on a date field in your form. If there are more than two date fields, you have to select the date field based on which the calendar view will be displayed. Summary: Displays the summary of each record Chart view: Zoho Creator supports 15 types of charts o o o o o o

Column, Stacked Column, Column 3d, Stacked Column 3d Bar, Stacked Bar, Bar 3d, Stacked Bar 3d Line, Step Pie, Pie 3D Area, Stacked Area Web Chart

Dynamic HTML Pages

One of the powerful features of Zoho Creator. You can create customized views by combining HTML code and Deluge script. You can create a static HTML page as a view and use this page to deliver dynamic content from your data store. The HTML Builder provides an intuitive drag and drop interface to create HTML view easily.

7.DATA ANALYTICS

Set Criteria

By default view will display all the records. You can restrict the display by setting criteria. For example: Name Starts With John to see records only related to John

Search Data

You can search records in a view using the Search button The Search option is supported in List view and Grid view.

Sort Data

Sorts data in ascending or descending order. You can also set sorting based on a column while creating the view itself.

Filter

Zoho Creator automatically creates filters for drop-down and date fields. You can also create custom filters.

Group-by

Zoho Creator lets you group the records by a specific column(s). Group view is used to arrange reports within reports

Create view out of another view

Do sorting, filtering and then save the view as a new view.

Alerts and Notifications

Set Email Notifications

Send e-mail notification when form is submitted. You can configure to send email with submitted data.

8.LOOK AND FEEL CUSTOMIZATION

Layouts

Zoho Creator offers different types of layout options - Pane Left, Pane Right, Tab, Tab Pane Left, Tab Pane Right and Drop Down Menu

Themes

Change color themes to go with your branding or taste. You can also create your own theme by setting Font Family, Font Size, Application Header Style, Section Style and much more. You can create a custom theme and apply to all your database applications.

Re-arrange

By default, all the forms and views will be listed under the Home section. You can rearrange them under different sections.

9.SHARING AND COLLABORATION

Collaborate with specific users - Private access

Share your "Private" application with your friends, colleagues, managers and clients by specifying their e-mail ids. You can share your database at different levels

Levels of Sharing
o o o

Application Level - Entire database application will be shared Page/Tab level- All the forms and views places in the page/tab will be shared Form/View Level - More granular sharing control. You can share a particular form/view

Access Privileges

You can set permissions to add, edit or delete records for your users. By default, shared users do not have permission to add, edit or delete records, but they will just have access to see the data. The application owner has to grant access permissions.

Separate Login

Zoho Creator supports for zoho.loginuser and zoho.loginuserid to fetch records based on the login username or login user id.

Dynamic Sharing

Make use of Share/UnShare task to dynamically share or unshare au email address to an application, page, form or view.

Publish to the internet - Public access

Provide access to everyone/anyone by making your database public. Data will be indexed by search engines like Google and Bing.

10.BUSINESS FEATURES:

Database Application Backup

Backup your database application with data (available only for the paid versions). Take multiple backups for the same application with version numbers and date.

SSL

Zoho Creator supports SSL. Access all your databases via HTTPS://

Manage Users

Add new users, delete existing, activate or deactivate users.

11.API

Rest,

Zoho Creator provides REST APIs and RPC style APIs that allows external websites to collaborate with Zoho Creator databases. Users can now build their web application in PHP, JSP, ASP, Perl or on any other programming language while the data is stored in Zoho Creator. The API opens up lot of avenues for external websites and developers to collaborate with Zoho Creator database.

XML, CSV, JSON

A mashup is a web application that combines data from multiple resources or services. Mashing-up data is thus a process of acquiring XML ( through APIs exposed by external websites), processing and combining that data, and publishing the results. Web 2.0 applications, such as Flickr, del.icio.us etc., expose APIs that return XML as the default format. Zoho Creator supports tasks that get the XML from one place to another, manipulate and publish XML data to easily create sophisticated web applications.
o o o o

get Url - Fetch data from a specific url using HTTP GET request. post Url - Fetch data from a specific url using HTTP POST request. open Url - Redirect a form to the specified url. Execute XML - Execute an XPath in the context of the specified XML and returns the value as a string.

ADVANTAGES:
1. Zero Infrastructure: When you use Zoho Creator you don't have to worry about anything technical - you can just create your databases and put them into production right away. We take care of all the security, uptime, backups and upgrades. You can stay focused on what you're good at and we'll handle the rest. 2. Low Cost and Free Version: Zoho Creator is a pay-as-you-go service. There are no long term contracts. You just have to pay monthly or yearly. Zoho Creator pricing starts at just $25/month. You can create UNLIMITED database applications and share upto 5 users. Zoho Creator also offers free version. 3. Access from anywhere:

Zoho Creator databases can be accessed from anywhere, anytime even on your mobile phone. All you need is a web-browser with Internet connection. Your team members and clients can access real-time data all the time. No conflicting modifications, enforcing data integrity and consistency 24x7. Zoho Creator's interface has been optimized to work well in iPhone also. Zoho Creator helps you to stay connected to your data all the time. 4.Time to Market: Zoho Creator provides a flexible and easy-to-use platform to build databases over the web that significantly reduces the development time. Zoho Creator helps you achieve your time to market by offering intuitive drag-and-drop interface to build forms/tables without coding. You can create your database either by importing data from your spreadsheet or from your MS Access database (.mdb) file. 5.No Database Complexities: Zoho Creator platform takes away all the database complexities with creating tables, modifying the structure of the tables and maintenance headaches like - Storage, Availability and Security. Zoho Creator offers admin(who creates) flexibility to modify table attributes and transform both data and table structure, while allowing users(who access) full access to the database. All the changes and modification are made instantly without any delay or patch. 6. Flexible and Agile Development Process: Zoho Creator offers intuitive drag-and-drop interface to create tables/Forms and add business rules. You can build custom databases without coding. Zoho Creator's flexible and scalable approach enables admin to modify the structure of the database and the data while allowing users full access to the database. You can create custom databases in quick time that scales with your businesses. 7. Workflow and Business Rules over the web: Zoho Creator is incorporated with Deluge Script, an easy-to-use scripting language that lets users to design business workflows and perform a variety of automated actions based on the criteria specified. No programming skills required, just drag-and-drop actions, triggers. Deluge Script makes it easy to create powerful database apps quickly. 8. Secure Database Hosting: Zoho Creator platform provides highly available, scalable and secure hosting infrastructure. All Zoho Creator applications and the informations within the application

are remotely stored and hosted on Zoho web servers, which are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We employ industry-standard practices like SSL encryption, around-the-clock security of our data center, back-up and recovery systems. 9. Active Developer Community: Zoho Creator has built a strong community of independent developers and ISV's who can help you in your database development process. Zoho Creator Forum is the place to share knowledge, ideas with each other and also to post questions, issues and get help from the experts. Zoho Creator team (the guys behind the platform) also pitch-in to provide solution and help you to solve your problem. 10. Zoho Marketplace: Zoho Marketplace is the place to buy pre packaged databases for your day-to-day business activities. Zoho Creator has attracted global network of expert freelance database developers and ISVs who have published their solutions in Zoho Marketplace. Users can view demo of the apps for free and can install into their account within minutes. Zoho Marketplace provides options for you to:
o o

Buy Database Applications Post Requirements and hire developers to build custom applications your needs.

CONCLUSION:
Zoho Creator is so powerful that you can build database with very little effort. Even business users with no programming skills or experience can easily create database online. It can build database, in the easiest and simplest way. You can either create database application afresh or import data from standard formats (.xls .csv .mdb). Zoho Creator provides three different ways to create web database.

Creates Database from Scratch. Imports Data from your Spreadsheet (.xls .csv .tsv). Import your MS Access Database (.mdb).