• March 27, 2018

Zoho Revamps Creator

Zoho has updated its low-code application building platform, Zoho Creator. The latest version, Creator 5, offers enhanced functionality for its Mobile App Creator, Page Creator, Form Creator, Report Creator and Workflow Creator modules.

This launch also allows users to design and develop native custom mobile apps alongside web applications. To simplify deployment for larger organizations, apps built on Zoho Creator can now also be managed through the Zoho One Admin Panel, a unified interface that governs the company's full suite of applications.

"Over the last 12 years, the Zoho Creator platform has enabled citizen developers to design and deploy over 2 million custom applications. Having refined our low-code, no-code approach to app development, Zoho Creator has become the app builder for those of us with no formal programming and deployment experience. With this update, we are raising the bar yet again by enabling mobile app creation for both smartphones and tablets, no programming skills required. On top of this, all 2 million existing Zoho Creator applications are now automatically mobile-enabled," said Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist at Zoho, in a statement. "Think about that for a second. Web applications built on Zoho Creator 12 years ago—before mobile operating systems like iOS or Android even existed—are automatically mobile-enabled and ready for deployment on smartphones and tablets with no effort on the user's end."

Highlights of Zoho Creator 5 include the following:

  • Mobile App Creator, which allows users to create mobile applications for both iOS and Android, optimized for both smartphones and tablets. Existing applications built on Zoho Creator are automatically mobile-enabled. Users can re-brand mobile apps, enable location-based data input, customize layouts, actions and gestures, and use their device camera and microphone to enter data. Users can then publish these custom apps on App Store and Google Play Store or deploy them within their organizations through Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms.
  • Page Creator, which allows users to create custom, interactive pages and dashboards by dragging and dropping pre-built design elements, like buttons, charts, panels, and widgets, into the page builder interface. With this, users can collate data from various sources on a single page. Pages can also be completely customized for mobile devices.
  • Form Creator, which offers a multitude of input options by supporting advanced fields, such as the geo-coded address field (which marks the location on a map), pre-built full name field (containing both first and last names), audio field, and video field. Users can also customize their web, smartphone, and tablet apps with mobile-optimized form layouts and themes. In addition, Form Creator now includes more than 100 customizable templates specific to various business verticals.
  • Report Creator, which supports Kanban view, Timeline view and Maps view. These reports can pull related information from other Creator apps. All reports are customizable for smaller screens, and custom actions can be triggered with common mobile gestures, such as swiping and long-pressing.
  • Workflow Creator, which brings a drag-and-drop interface to automation. For advanced workflows, like data integration and custom actions to update information, users can take advantage of Deluge, Zoho's in-house programming language.

Apart from offering enhanced core features, Creator 5 strengthens the entire platform with the following updates:

  • App Deck: The new App Deck includes more than 50 pre-built and customizable web and mobile apps that cover everything from standard business processes, such as sales, orders, and expenses, to industry-specific implementations, such as logistics, real estate, education, and nonprofits.
  • Unified Virtual Database: With Creator 5, all custom apps built on the platform are treated as a single virtual database, enabling seamless integration, data lookup, and reporting across applications. This capability is also extended to other Zoho applications, such as Zoho CRM, and third-party cloud applications like QuickBooks.
  • Zoho One Integration: Applications built on Zoho Creator can now be deployed to users, groups, and departments through the Zoho One Admin Panel.

"This is one of the biggest releases for Zoho Creator. From enabling users to create mobile apps without having to write a single line of code to completely customizing applications, Creator 5 removes the complexity of app development by providing an easy-to-use interface to create powerful custom applications," Vegesna said. "The best low-code application building platform just got even better."

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