Zoho Creator

What is Zoho Creator?

An exploration of the booming low-code space led to some curiosity about Zoho Creator. What makes it unique, and what are its ideal uses? As you can see below, Zoho has achieved widespread adoption, and I wanted to find out why.

Companies using Zoho Creator

I found that Zoho Creator is often the right-sized tool for the job; you don’t need a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Zoho can create elegant workflow solutions very quickly. Its pricing model is slanted toward smaller solutions, which makes Zoho Creator perfect for small tasks that need automating.

Creating an Incident Tracker Solution

Incident tracker application created with Zoho

To test out Zoho Creator, I modified an incident tracker template. Within an hour, I had created an application that works on the web and iPhone and sends incident notification messages.

This is a quick and easy-to-use tool for alerting a team that an incident has taken place, even if users are out of the office with mobile devices. As you can see from the screenshots, there is a complete menu of choices, including creating new incident types, adding new employees, and registering an incident. The app uses geographic coordinates on the map view to indicate where incidents took place, and lets users keep tabs on the frequency of different incident types. The report displays a pie chart for instant feedback.

Converting an Excel File

Quite often, data is already in Excel. What if we want to share that data with others? FileMaker users know to simply drag the icon of the Excel file over the icon of the FileMaker app in order to convert a spreadsheet into a FileMaker file. FileMaker automatically imports the data in two layouts: one in table view, mimicking a spreadsheet look, and another in form view. FileMaker is even savvy enough to determine what the field type should be based on the data such as text, number, date, time, etc. Pretty cool, right?

I was very surprised when I attempted to do the same thing with Zoho. It not only imported the data directly and kept the field types, it also retained any native formulas. That’s right, the formulas were also brought over. Zoho will also bring over any other worksheets, so if there are multiple worksheets, they will all be brought over.  CAVEAT: If you are using the free version, you are only allowed up to 1000 records. So if your spreadsheet or workbook has a total of over 1000 rows, you will need to purchase the Basic, Premium or Ultimate plan. Even so, the pricing is reasonable.

Zoho Uses Artificial Intelligence

The next surprise is that Zoho uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to clean up data in columns. For instance, if you have USA in cells as U.S.A., US, us, and usa, Zoho’s AI will prompt users to pick a single value to use throughout the column. If you have different values in a column, you can clean them all up in one pass. Users would still need to repeat this process for each column, but this feature is a major timesaver and improves the quality of your data.

Pre-built Zoho Creator solutions

Pre-made Solutions using Zoho Creator

Zoho is not just a platform for creating and deploying solutions; there are also tons of pre-made solutions ready for use. The screenshot above shows a sample of the applications users can start with. To make it easy, you can bundle the apps together to purchase Zoho One (all of the apps), CRM Plus, Workplace, Finance Plus, Creator Plus, People Plus or IT Management. Pre-built solutions span multiple categories with multiple apps. The categories include:

  • Sales & Marketing
    • Email & Collaboration
    • Finance
    • Human Resources
    • IT & Help Desk
    • Business Intelligence
Sample finance app from Zoho's pre-made applications

The screenshot above shows a complete suite of apps that are integrated to handle virtually all of your financial management needs. For example, Finance Plus (the Canadian edition) includes a complete suite of accounting apps:

  • Taxes
    • Order & Warehouses
    • Invoicing
    • Subscription Management
    • Financial Reports
    • Quote
    • Sales Order
    • Payment
    • Expense Reporting

Zoho is Built for People on the Go

Zoho apps are automatically available for users on the web, tablets and smartphones. Some apps run on Apple Watch as well – how cool is that? Because data can automatically be sent and received from a phone, users won’t miss an important update, and can always respond to clients in a timely manner.

Can Zoho integrate with other apps?

Perhaps your new app needs data from your existing application or other web services. Zoho supports that as well. Listed below are some of Zoho’s technology partners.

Platforms that integrate with Zoho Creator

If you need further integration, you can use Zoho’s REST APIs to exchange data with other apps or web services. There are over 500 extensions available from the Zoho Marketplace, so pretty much everything is covered.

Where can Zoho Creator applications be hosted?

Zoho offers hosting at a number of data centers around the world, as well as the option to host applications on your own servers for compliance with government data residency requirements. Zoho is also always working to meet the various industry and regulatory requirements of different regions. Rest assured that Zoho meets a wide variety of security requirements for data in transmission and at rest.

Is Zoho the right fit for your organization?

Zoho is one of the easiest platforms to get started with, and can scale up as needed. It comes with many off-the-shelf applications that can be used right away, as well as a custom app development platform. Users can start with a simple custom app, or try one of the complete solutions available. Pricing varies based on the number of users and/or amount of data.

We offer a multi-disciplinary team that can aid with design, user interaction, business logic, custom code and system integration in order to create effective solutions. If you’re tired of waiting for that digital transformation to finally happen, we can help you get started, keep going and improve your business workflows. Reach out here to discuss your needs with our team.