Online office software developer Zoho has revisited its Creator package, promising improvements to the way that users can build presentations and other documents.
Zoho, which competes in the office applications market with Google Apps and Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, said that its updates would take much of the work out of producing presentation elements, and would automate tasks including the creation of graphs, for example.
The firm’s releases, Creator Reports and Creator Scheduler, are modules for its database software, the Creator part of the titles, and come with links into its other sales apps, CRM and Invoice.
“As a platform for creating online database applications, Zoho Creator has earned a reputation as ‘MS Access plus Visual Basic on the web’ – powerful yet easy to use,” said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist.
“We’re building on that foundation, giving our users new ways to display and interpret data as well as a way to create and schedule automated tasks. This is our way of improving the user experience for our customers with new functionality and cross-application integrations. And it’s something users can expect more of in the future.”
Last month, Microsoft announced that 20 million people use its web-based Office applications, while according to an August report from Gartner Google has about one and a half million enterprise users, which it said equates to about one per cent of the market. Zoho did not release its numbers, but it did talk of its "large, loyal user base" when announcing these updates.
Creator Reports will let enterprise users take chunks of data and make graphs of it, according to the firm. It called this a business intelligence application, explaining that reports could be dynamic and would include charts, graphs, pivot tables - which represent data in a grid - and more.
Reports can be tweaked further by end-users, letting them filter or sort data depending on their need, while sharing tools add to the collaborative feel of the product.
Last month, Zoho announced that it had taken advantage of a Google API and was providing its users with links into its apps direct from their Google Mail inbox.
As its name suggests, Scheduler is an organisational tool that it designed to help enterprise users keep on top of their commitments, improve customer service, and set up repeat, periodic data reports.
Pricing is only in US dollars at the moment, but starts at $45 for the Pro version and scales up to $175 for the enterprise option.
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