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What You See Is What You Get May 23, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Google.
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Google has finally added a much needed View Menu to Google docs. You can now view your documents with fixed width and margins much like desktop word processors! This is a step in the right direction for online web applications if they seriously want to challenge traditional desktop applications.

docsview

While this might not seem like a big deal at first glance, it really is more important that it appears. This gives Google docs a much improved look n’ feel that closely resembles Microsoft Word which means improved user acceptance. It will also attract more bloggers to use google docs for posting directly to their blogs. Here’s a screenshot of the publishing options:
pub_google_docs

Final Thoughts:
I applaud Google for adding this and other new features. I look forward to the battle between desktop apps and web apps!

Create Web Apps for free February 17, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Collaboration, Databases, WebDesign.
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Zoho Creator offers a free and extremely easy way to create your own web applications in no time at all. You can keep them private for your own use or share them with others. It is similar to Zoho DB & reports in that you can create databases with tables and queries, but Creator goes much further by providing the ability to add customizable forms as a frontend to your databases.

They also have their own scripting language called Deluge Script for those that want to dive deeper into building their web app. They also offer a Zoho Creator API that can satisfy even the most advanced developers. The good news is that you don’t need to learn any scripting language to create many useful web applications in a matter of minutes. You can even access these web apps via mobile devices which is very slick. They now offer SSL encryption for extra security, which makes creating web apps for the enterprise an extremely attractive option.

Here’s a 3-minute demo:

Sample Web App
Here’s a sample web app I created in five minutes called My Muse. http://creator.zoho.com/paisano/mymuse
It can track all of your writing, including blog posts, ideas, publications, etc. If you like this or any public web app, then click the copy application option to save it to your own account where you can customize it and make it your own.

Final Thoughts:
I’ve tried many online services that claim to offer easy database and web application creation but Zoho Creator and their DB & Reports are the best in my book. The load times and application/database performance have always been very good and the intuitive interface for designing is always excellent. I’ve never had to go to the help section with any of their products which says a lot.