Zoho, a provider of web office and business applications and the competitor of Microsoft Office and Google Docs, has been busy lately, churning out a set of new offerings like there’s no tomorrow.
The new creations include Zoho Marketplace and Zoho Creator Partner Program. Wait, there’s more – Zoho Creator 3.0, a solution for creation of data-driven applications.
Zoho Creator 3.0
Zoho Creator 3.0 is designed for creation of online database applications “in minutes.” “Zoho Creator 3.0 epitomizes our mission on the web — give our customers powerful applications that are simple to use,” said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist. Zoho says that the Zoho Creator is an ideal solution for people who are not developers, but who still want to develop applications. These small, situation-specific applications are often needed immediately, on the fly, and Zoho Creator eliminates lengthy development cycles.
Zoho Creator also got a facelift, with new features including:
* Custom HTML pages: Build custom HTML pages by embedding Deluge code in HTML
* Mashups: Combine data from external websites via web API's using the GetURL and PostURL statements in Deluge.
* Stateless forms
* CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations
* Enhanced interactivity
* Scriptable Multiple select components
A video tour of the features and benefits that Zoho Creator 3.0 and Zoho Marketplace is available here.
Zoho Creator 3.0 comes in a variety of plans, including personal and business editions that are free of charge for an unlimited number of users (personal edition) or for the first five users (business edition). Additional business plans provide enhanced security through SSL scripting, rebranding, data backup, non-branded embedding and additional storage.
Zoho Marketplace launched with hundreds of new apps built on the company's platform Zoho Creator.
The Zoho Marketplace establishes an online community and a marketplace where those seeking to buy and sell Zoho Creator applications can easily find one another. Developers can build their own apps for free or for sale, and Zoho will let them to keep 100% of the revenue from app sales. Buyers and sellers are free to negotiate their prices and execute transactions in whatever way best suits them.
Users who want to buy Zoho Creator applications can find ready-made applications in the Zoho Marketplace and install them. Users can also post their application needs in the Zoho Marketplace, letting developers bid to develop that particular application.
In turn, developers who want to sell Zoho Creator applications can develop custom web-based solutions based on customers’ unique requirements as posted in the Zoho Marketplace. Or developers can build ready-made applications and post them in the Zoho Marketplace for broader distribution -- with zero upfront investment, zero royalties.
Zoho Creator Partner Program
The new Zoho Creator Partner Program encourages anyone -- resellers, consultants, developers and other Zoho Creator users -- to take advantage of the complete web application development and delivery infrastructure provided by Zoho Creator and the Zoho Marketplace. Zoho Creator Partners can distribute end user applications and resell Zoho Creator itself, earning money from the software they develop, as well as from commissions paid for the licenses bought from Zoho.
In Lieu of Conclusion
Zoho says that users have created more than 100,000 applications in Zoho Creator. But the question is obvious: What’s more important -- quality or quantity? Zoho has been criticized on a number of occasions for being too lightweight and lacking important functionality.
At the same time, Zoho plays a powerful game in the small and mid-size business arena, and is an exciting company to watch. So, we will keep watching.