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RIA & Ajax: Article

Zoho Executive Predicts 2007 to be the Year of the Enterprise Web With AJAX

Zoho adds New Features to its AJAX-Based Zoho Office Suite

(SYS-CON Media) Zoho , the first comprehensive AJAX based office application has a Word processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Wiki, Chat, Project Management, CRM & Creator applications. All these services use AJAX.

Zoho Office suite consists of Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show and Wiki. All these have single sign-on enabled and so users need to register and subsequently sign in to any one of these only. All the rest will be accessible with the single account created in one of these services. There is integration between these products too, like a user can embed a Zoho Sheet chart or a Zoho Show presentation in a Zoho Writer document or Zoho Wiki page.

Says Manikandan Vembu (pictured), Director Engineering, Zoho, “2006 was the year of the consumer web where companies like YouTube, MySpace took off. We believe 2007 will be the year of the enterprise web where AJAX applications will play a crucial role in the enterprise space. Web 2.0 will help enterprises drastically reduce their IT spending & we believe this will bring new opportunities for Zoho in enterprises.”

For now, Zoho Writer/Sheet/Show are accessible (opened as a frame) inside of Virtual Office. We plan to offer more integration like opening a .doc file stored in Virtual Office directly in Writer etc.

What’s New in Zoho:
• Zoho Wiki is the latest addition to the suite.
• Zoho Show now does a better job of importing Microsoft Powerpoint presentations.
• Zoho Writer added 'Table of Contents' support – through which all the headings in one’s Zoho Writer document can be converted as a TOC automatically. Plug-in for Microsoft Office released allowing users to synchronize their MS Office files offline/online.
• Zoho Writer/Sheet API released using which developers can extract data (documents & spreadsheets) from within Zoho accounts.

Zoho is the only AJAX office suite with Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Wiki, Chat, Project Management, CRM, Email & Collaboration, Application builder & Organizer applications. All these applications use AJAX to offer a better user experience. The next generation of Office i.e Office 2.0 is not just Word processing, Spreadsheet & Presentation applications alone. Enterprises need more applications to run their businesses from Word processors to Email to Project Management to CRM to Application builder with good integration among them.

Key features
# Available for free
# No software to be downloaded/installed
# Accessible from anywhere with just a browser and an internet connection.
# Easy collaboration among multiple users without having to send the files back and forth via email
# Import/Export compatibility with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice files and other file formats like pdf, html
# Firefox/Internet Explorer Plug-ins for opening files in the web directly in the browser without the necessity for downloading them and then opening them with a desktop based application
# Plug-in for Microsoft Office allowing you to synchronize your MS Office files offline/online
# Versioning support for files
# Wiki with a WYSIWYG editor allowing everyone to use Wikis (no need to learn Wiki syntaxes)
# Other than allowing public Wikis, option for making your Wikis as private or group based

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Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to RIA@sys-con.com to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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