Zoho Creator Apps Will Now Float on Google App Engine Cloud

Zoho enables applications created in its Zoho Creator online database tool to run on Google's App Engine, the latest application development collaboration between two SAAS players looking to bolster the cloud computing ecosystem. Zoho and Google want to connect their clouds to provide more valuable alternatives to on-premises development and enterprise applications offered by Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and others.

Zoho Dec. 16 said applications created with its Zoho Creator Web database application tool will now run on Google App Engine, the latest bridge between software-as-a-service providers forging interoperability between their cloud computing platforms.
Zoho Creator lets even casual users who are not necessarily programmers use drag-and-drop tools to create ad-hoc Web applications and add them to Web sites and blogs. More than 130,000 applications have been created with Zoho Creator. With the integration of App Engine, users have another platform on which to run their applications.
Opening up to work with other Web application platforms is important for AdventNet's Zoho and other software makers such as Google, which are looking to garner more support for their cloud computing suites. SAAS providers recognize the importance of fostering an open cloud ecosystem to lure users and programmers away from the traditional on-premises development environments and applications of Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and others.
Zoho Evangelist Raju Vegesna provided a video demonstration of the integration of Zoho Creator with Google App Engine. From start to finish, it took Vegesna roughly 6 minutes to launch a Creator application on App Engine.
Once users create an application in Zoho Creator, using drag-and-drop tools to add fields and their names, they can select the "Deploy in Google App Engine" option from the "More Actions" link. This converts the Zoho Creator application code into Python code, which is what Google App Engine currently supports. Zoho provides that Python code to the user as a downloadable .zip file.
Users must then create a new application to serve as a placeholder in Google App Engine. To do this, users must put the same name as the Zoho Creator application in the "Application Identifier" field in App Engine or else the task will break.
Finally, using the Google App Engine SDK (software development kit), users can deploy the Zoho Creator application they created on Google App Engine through that platform's App Launcher.
While Vegesna's instructions are for users who want to create a new Zoho Creator application and port it to App Engine, users can also just convert existing Creator applications to Python and immediately run them on App Engine. Check out examples in this blog post here.
"Basically, Zoho Creator acts as an IDE [integrated development environment] for App Engine," Vegesna said.
The current integration has some limitations; applications with a file upload and notes field, criteria-based views, group by operator option, HTML, summary and calendar views, and themes support cannot be deployed on App Engine currently.
Zoho's integration comes after Salesforce.com and Google announced a deal Dec. 8 to let Force.com and App Engine exchange data. This integration lets Salesforce.com's CRM customers add social features created in App Engine to their Force.com applications.