Low-code app development specialist Zoho wants businesses of all sizes to build and deploy apps of their own with the latest version of Zoho Creator.
Zoho Creator 5 is the fifth major update to the low-code app builder in its 12-year history explained Zoho Creator lead Tejas Gadhia. Although the company issues new enhancements and features every couple of weeks as part of the products software-as-a-service model, the March 17 release marks a big milestone.
"Zoho Creator will enable users to build fully native apps on both iOS and Android," Gadhia said. "These custom applications can be deployed via the Apple AppStore, Google Play Store, or via a mobile device management application."
With the new Mobile App Creator module, existing applications are automatically mobile-enabled, allowing businesses to deploy them on Samsung Galaxy phones, iPads, and a wide range of smartphones and tablets. Those apps can support features that are typical of mobile devices, including location services, gestures, microphones and cameras.
On the automation front, Workflow Creator can be used to automatically trigger simple tasks when certain conditions are met, including email, SMS and push notifications. Experienced developers can implement data integration, information updates and other complex workflows by using Zoho's in-house programming language called Deluge.
Page Creator, another new module, supports the creation of interactive dashboards and web pages that assemble data from multiple sources using a drag-and-drop interface. Offering more than 100 customizable templates that are tailored to assorted business verticals, the new Form Creator supports audio, video, geo-coded addresses and other advanced data-entry options. Report Creator features new reporting options, including Timeline and Maps views that helps users discover new insights on their mobile devices.
Under the hood, Creator 5 uses a unified database for custom apps built with the tool. Besides allowing apps to share information to avoid complex and costly data integration processes, this approach allows customers to link their custom apps with Zoho CRM and other apps from the company along with third-party SaaS applications like QuickBooks Online.
Creator 5 also now works seamlessly with the Zoho One Admin Panel, allowing organizations to manage large-scale deployments, a key aspect of the company's upmarket product strategy.
"As with most Zoho Apps, we are very popular with SMBs, however many of the enhancements in Zoho Creator 5 are targeted towards going upstream and attracting enterprise-wide deployments," Gadhia said. All told, the new release is about helping organizations modernize their workflows with rapid innovation and adaptive toolsets that require little in the way of cost and coding talent, he added.
"Zoho Creator allows users to build both simple and elaborate applications to manage various business processes," Gadhia said. "Generally, we see an organization's central IT develop complex mission critical applications that are deployed organization-wide while we see line-of-business users build many smaller scale applications to quickly solve business problems within their team or department."
Zoho Creator 5 is available now. Prices start at $10 per user per month.