How Zoho Creator accelerates software delivery

A cloud-based, low-code app builder, Zoho Creator allows developers to configure the tedious and code the interesting

How Zoho Creator accelerates software delivery
Iker Urteaga / Unsplash (CC0)

Low-code platforms offer many advantages to developers. Some offerings, such as Zoho Creator, handle the entire lifecycle of an app—from ideation and development to delivery and management—so you don’t have to juggle multiple tools.

A graphical, drag-and-drop app builder hosted in the cloud, Zoho Creator provides an abstract, yet powerful environment for developers to dive straight into application logic, skipping infrastructure, database, and other tedious implementations.

While low-code is an effective tool, many developers are yet to realize its potential. In this post, we’ll look at some real-world use cases of Zoho Creator and how it speeds up each phase of development and simplifies deployment.

Zoho Creator examples

Low-code is a vital part of app delivery, but there is a common misconception that it is intended only for small-scale development. The job of a low-code platform is to simplify the work involved in delivering enterprise-class apps, regardless of complexity. As Forrester says, you can develop software 10x faster with low-code platforms than you would by traditionally coding it.

So, what can you build with Zoho Creator? Our customers have built a range of apps from simple call logs to mission-critical ERP systems.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), a Philippine conglomerate, rolled out a project management app in three weeks using Zoho Creator. With more than one thousand workflows to suit AEV’s diverse market, the app scales as dynamically as the company’s needs, without manual intervention. AEV has built more than 40 apps on Zoho Creator for its departmental needs. These include day-to-day apps such as an online parking system, inventory, pricing approval, and customer feedback apps.

Some organizations choose low-code platforms to build essential apps because they offer high security and round-the-clock uptime. Blackbuck, an online trucking marketplace, chose Zoho Creator to build the ERP for their business across 500 cities. Within two weeks, the app was ready and earning the company the acclaim of achieving Uber-like efficiency in freight.

How Zoho Creator speeds up development

Forget the infrastructure, because you can now build, run, and test apps without worrying about servers. Yes, Zoho Creator comes with a serverless back-end. The Zoho Creator production environment is battle-tested and includes the entire tech stack, like the app servers, databases, infrastructure, operating systems, network, security, and all of the platforms and interfaces that make them tick, so you can start building apps right away.

By combining visual tools and a traditional coding environment, low-code platforms like Zoho Creator allow the developer to configure the tedious and code the interesting.

zoho creator front end builder Zoho

Zoho Creator front-end builder. 

zoho creator back end builder Zoho

Zoho Creator back-end builder. 

Most low-code platforms offer visual builders for both front-end and back-end development. Using these builders, you can fast-forward the creation of common UI elements, such as forms, pages, and dashboards, as easily as a virtual Lego set, and configure back-end components like integrations, workflows, and customer portals in a few clicks.

The Zoho Creator developer toolkit

The best low-code platforms preserve the coding space for a higher degree of customization. In Zoho Creator, the IDE verifies each line of the code you type, helping you detect and fix issues then and there.

Zoho Creator has an agile model, where programs are divided into modules. You can make changes to a module with the confidence that the rest of the program will not change. You can also reuse code across apps. For example, you can use the goal-setting function from a sales management app on a habit tracker app, as well.

Apart from this, Zoho Creator supports web and mobile SDKs, widgets, and extensions. You can extend applications using JavaScript, and any JavaScript library, like React, Angular, and Dojo, through widgets. 

Adopting agile development can be great, but you’ll also need time-saving tools for rapid delivery. Zoho Creator equips you with all you need to take an app from conception and design through testing, delivery, and roll-out. Some of these tools are:  

  • Sandbox: The sandbox creates a replica of the app, serving as a platform for preliminary testing. You can edit your apps even as they’re running and test the changes in the sandbox before rolling them out.
  • Version control: This feature records every change made in the code so you can recall specific versions later. If an unintended change is made, you can compare earlier versions of the code to fix the issue.
  • Data connectors: Tap into connectors already tested. These enable click-based configurations for faster integrations, which would otherwise need lines of coding.
  • Built-in authentication and authorization: Zoho Creator supports SAML, LDAP, OAuth2, and more essential protocols. And it offers fine-grained controls for access management. You no longer have to manage users individually, but instead centrally govern their permissions through a graphical RBAC model.
  • App templates: Although many platforms offer templates tailored to specific industries, Zoho Creator goes a step further, offering ready-to-use apps that are customizable, too.
  • APIs and SDKs: Zoho Creator provides REST, RPC, and SOAP APIs, which you can use right way without building endpoints. Also, you can customize the UI of your mobile apps in Xcode and Android Studio using Zoho Creator’s SDKs.

How Zoho Creator speeds up deployment

The built-in capabilities of Zoho Creator take all of the stress off your shoulders after you’ve build the app as well. Some of the advantages of Zoho Creator here:

  • One-click deployment: You can push even the most complex changes into production with a single click.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: Your web app will be automatically available on all devices—desktop, mobile, tablet, and wearables—with native mobile features and full offline capabilities.
  • Auto-scaling: An app built and tested to work for one team scales up to work for the entire organization, without requiring any changes to the existing architecture.
  • High availability and security: Zoho Creator comes with certified security credentials and ensures over 99 percent uptime. It also takes care of compliance and disaster recovery, so that you can focus on just building apps.

Life after deployment with Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is designed to be future-proof tech. Your apps will never go obsolete because the platform is continuously updated. For example, desktop software built in 2006 on Zoho Creator was automatically available as an iOS app when iPhones hit the market.

In need of a new feature? No worries. Zoho Creator apps are always customizable. You can fulfill new requirements as soon as they pop up, because you’ve already established a robust foundation.

Low-code development platforms like Zoho Creator don’t deprecate developers. Instead, they help developers innovate faster without getting stuck with outdated coding practices. As digital transformation projects loom over today’s enterprises, low-code can be a powerful way for developers to deliver apps on time, without sacrificing quality.  

Hyther Nizam is the VP of product management at Zoho. In this role, Hyther heads a division of Zoho that includes the low-code platform (Zoho Creator), e-commerce platform (Zoho Commerce), online spreadsheet (Zoho Sheet), website builder (Zoho Sites), private social network (Zoho Connect), survey builder (Zoho Survey), online forms (Zoho Forms), integration platform (Zoho Flow), website conversion tool (Zoho PageSense), and additional products in development. He also leads some of the technology initiatives in Zoho including Zoho’s scripting language, Deluge.  

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