Notes from Zoho Creator Conference April 27- 29 2016

Zoho: The Operating System For Business

This years conference was expanded to three days. With concurrent tracks for Developers and End Users. This made the lunch discussions fascinating as the two groups discussed the possibilities.

The Sandbox is being introduced very soon. Certified developers already have access to this feature. The Sandbox is a duplicate of your Creator application where changes can be made and tested without effecting the production version. When ready the changes can be published to the production version. Each section changed is tracked and can be published separately. For example if changes are made to both the Customer and Employee form the changes to the Customer form can be published today and the Employee form can be published in the future.

The Sandbox can be tested as if logged in with different User Ids without knowing their passwords. This simplifies testing with different roles.

Perhaps the most impressive announcement is the AppCreator. This tool builds native apps for Smartphones. This includes new field types for capturing & storing Audio and Video. These field types will be added to Creator.

Creator itself is getting a modern look for forms and reports. On the Reports the Search button has an additional feature that searches anywhere in the report. This means you do not need to know which column contains the info you are looking for. I have found this very useful.

Zoho has over 3000 employees. Several are dedicated to trying to break the security. If a security hole is found it is quickly fixed. 

The presentations can be viewed here.

Here is a list of features I'd love to see added to Zoho Creator

Zoho App Management Improvements

  • Dashboard list of Forms & Reports show last access time & User ID
  • Dashboard list of Forms & Reports be able to sort by last modified time
  • Dashboard list of Forms show the current record count
  • Runtime errors that say ‘contact application owner’ should record error in the Dashboard section
  • On report edit screen add text box for description of the report.
  • Better formatting of the .ds file
  • A cross reference for Zoho error messages explaining the possible causes and solutions.
  • Zoho.developerID returns the email of the primary developer
  • Ability for one developer to assign the app to another developer
  • Deluge field names automatic indicate the type Employee_lookup; Status_radio;
  • On Function page: Option to Collapse all Names Spaces & then expand individual namespace
  • On Function page: Search box for function name
  • One Calendars from two tables
  • Calendar items need to show in the All Day area.
  • Remove from bottom of Calendar * All Times are in EST
  • Lock columns on list view
  • Custom action from report allow text value as argument.
  • Search for Schedules and Functions similar to Forms, Reports & Pages
  • Allow lookups to be sorted by non-displayed fields. A numeric field can be used to control the order. Rarely do lists need to be alphabetical
  • Ability to sort rows of a subform
  • On Subform reduce space between each row
  • Ability to specify OR conditions for field values in openurl Field_A="Apple"||Field_A="Orange"
  • Display tooltip when hover over column heading

Notes from Zoho Creator Conference Feb 24 & 25 2015

Here are the new features in the Creator platform mentioned at the Zoho Conference. When changes are released they will be listed here.

  • Development version and production version. Changes can be tested before they are moved to the production version

  • A rollback feature allows removing a change if it causes problems in production

  • Weekly seminars

  • Playground for learning Deluge script language!

  • An automatic audit trail of changes to each record

  • Scheduled backups

  • More control over the navigation bar in a creator application. This includes adding your own icons

  • Some features from the Zoho website builder (Zoho Sites) will be added to the Creator form builder

  • Forms will have sections. Each section can have multiple fields and be either one or two columns. Sections with different columns can be on the same form. Very useful for subforms

  • A new address field will be connected to google maps

  • Integration with shipping services-FedEx, UPS, USPS

  • New/better integration with other Zoho services: Zoho Projects, CRM,Books

  • Native Mobile App creation. Will run on ios, Android & Windows. The apps can be added to Apple Store or Google Play

  • A version of Zoho Creator will run on a local server behind a corporate firewall

  • Automatic Upload Tool. Periodically upload spreadsheets to the Zoho Creator

  • Spreadsheet to Zoho Creator App: recognize relations in spreadsheet, VBA macros to Deluge script

Click here to view the conference presentations

Click here to view the presentation videos


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