Zoho DB and Reports Goes Online Today

October 3rd, 2007 at 12:00 am

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Zoho DB and Reports goes live today taking all other online office providers by surprise.

These past few weeks have been exciting with multiple releases, acquisitions and squabbles in the webtop office space. While Microsoft was busy launching their MS Office Live Workspace, Google their Presentations for Google Docs, IBM their Lotus Office, Yahoo acquiring Zimbra and Adobe buying Virtual Ubiquity, Zoho was under wraps developing and secretly planning to launch a new product which is to be the envy of all their competitors.

Zoho DB is first of its kind in the webtop office space. It’s something like MS Access and Excel with a bit of SQL and Crystal Reports. Bascially, it’s a fully functional database and reports application available for free online.

I tried to use it but I guess I really don’t know anything about databases so here’s what others had to say about it:

"With Zoho DB, we can already see simularities with Zoho Sheet, Zoho’s spreadsheet product. The company eventually plans to integrate DB with Sheet and Creator (its word processing service). This means that their products will share features and users will be able to easily swap between the products. We can speculate from this that key functions of one product will be available in the other – e.g. imagine the power of pivot tables in Sheet." (Richard MacManus, Read/WriteWeb)

"It has a spreadsheet-like interface for data manipulation and navigation; supports importing and exporting from a variety of formats, like .xls, .csv and .tsv files, and easy creation of Charts, Pivot Tables, Summary Views and Table Views. All this can be shared with other users, both in read-only or read/write modes. Also, various tables, charts and views can be embedded on any website. The database is SQL-based and it understands queries and dialects from Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Informix and ANSI SQL." (Stan Schroeder, Mashable)

"Once you’re ready to analyze the data, you can take advantage of reporting and charting capabilities that the company claims are comparable to those found in high-end products like Cognos and Crystal Reports. The creation of reports and pivot tables is simplified with a drag-n-drop interface." (Mark Hendrickson, TechCrunch)

Well that’s how they saw it and I would agree with a lot of what they’re saying if I knew what they were talking about. On my part however, I tried making a database and got lost on the way of making a new file. Anyway, I guess I should watch the demo first or wait for better wizards integraed into Zoho DB.

On the less technical side, Zoho has probably released a hurricane on themselves. I suppose with their weak name and branding, they won’t be as marketable as fancy names such as Microsoft, Google or Adobe. This might be a problem but if they keep on being ahead of the pack, they just might have a chance.

Now it’s time to wait and see what Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and others will do about it or if Microsoft will releaase another love letter.