Recently I came across Zoho. I have been a big fan of Google Docs for some time. Well not the documents exactly since they lose a lot of formatting from richer applications. But the spreadsheet program has been very useful. But for several reasons I want to move some of my computing away from Google. I can use the OpenOffice stuff in Linux, but frankly part of the appeal of moving to Linux was freeing my personal computing from the local machine. With online docs I can more or less treat a machine as a dumb terminal. Still not entirely true since my music resides locally, but closer.So Zoho.The first thing I did was build a new spreadsheet. My family is tackling another round of a weight loss and I want to track this online so each person can enter his or her own information. Simple spreadsheet. The Google version works fine. I copied and pasted that text into Zoho. The first issue I found was that the formulas don’t paste. Fair enough, when I pasted from Excel into Google Docs the formulas didn’t come over either.The second issue was charts. For a variety of reasons we have blanks in our data. Google’s chart deals with this nicely, assuming an average. Zoho treats those values as zeros. Not as pretty. To be fair I imagine that there are other graphs I where I would want empty values to be treated as zeros. So the final verdict is I can and have switched over.Then this morning I came across Zoho Creator (via Lifehacker). Wow, what a slick application. I cannot say I built anything complex, but I did build some simple forms with simple formulas. Nice. And way ahead of anything Google is offering. Or anyone else I can find for that matter.Now the real question: how long until someone buys these guys? Seems like a very natural fit for Microsoft or Yahoo. Zoho has plugins for Office formats already. Update26 June: Zoho’s spreadsheet application allows for publication of charts. Here is the current chart with my family’s weight loss bet. The chart is fine with one problem: where the data falls off they shouldn’t assume this is a zero which is why the line falls off the cliff like that. The line should simply stop as it does in Excel or Google Spreadsheets. But I like the feature of publishing just the graph and not the entire sheet.


2 thoughts on “Zoho

  1. hi,Thanks for using Zoho Creator and this post. Feel free to send us your feedback and suggestions.regards,ManiZoho Creator Team

  2. Hi,Thanks for trying out ZohoSheet. In charts, I agree that it’s not a good idea to treat empty cells as zero in all the cases. In fact, we are thinking of making the empty cells treatment configurable – ignore them, treat them as value 0 or average out(interpolate). Thanks for the heads up. Surely we’ll look into this.Kind regards,~ thiyagu[Zoho Sheet Team]

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