Zoho Creator is an online database software that lets you create custom database applications and to share and collaborate on structured data via a web inferface. Users can access real-time data from anywhere, anytime even on their mobile phone.
The Zoho Creator user interface supports two different roles : Application Creator who creates the application to meet his requirement (for eg: Project Manager who needs to keep track of his projects, creates ‘Project Tracker’ application) and the User (for eg: team members of the project) who access the application. The basic steps involved in creating and accesing a Zoho Creator application is explained below.
A Zoho Creator application basically comprises of one or more Forms, Reports and Pages. You can add business workflows, automated tasks and custom actions to make the application more powerful and robust. Zoho Creator offers a range of options and access permissions, enabling the app owner to selectively share modules of an application with specific users.
A Form is made up of one or more fields that allow the user to enter information. The Form Builder helps you create Forms easily with simple drag-and-drop of the required fields. By default, when a Form is created, Zoho Creator will have a table generated at the back-end to store data submitted through the Form.
Forms are self-contained. They can function alone and need no other form's aid to collect data. But an application is a collection of forms that are closely associated with one another. The lookup field and the subform field helps to establish this relationship between forms.
A lookup field on one form fetches data entered into a field that resides on another form. One-to-one and Many-to-many relationships can be established using single-select and multi-select lookup fields.
One-to-many relationship is created using Subform fields. The subform field is added to the parent form, and the child form to be displayed as the subform is selected or directly created in the parent form.
The relationship can be established between forms in the same application or in different applications.
Zoho Creator supports multiple report formats to display the data collected via Forms. You can display data as a List, Calendar, Summary, Grid, Pivot table or graphically as Pivot charts. In addition, you can sort or filter data on any column and isolate the required data alone from the large repository.
Pages are the customized HTML Views that can be designed as per the user's needs using a combination of HTML and application data. You can make excellent dashboards, presenting dynamic reports based on user selected criteria using Pages.
HTML Page Builder
Add business workflows, automated tasks and custom actions to your Forms and Reports to make your application more powerful and robust. The script builder provides a drag-and-drop user interface to define the workflows and tasks easily, without any errors.
The Share page displays the layout of the application on the left-side with the forms and reports arranged under each tab. The application owner can share the entire application or only specific forms and reports, with specific users or user groups. He can also configure overall application settings like Application name, date format etc, customize the layout and theme for your application, rearrange components and sections in the application, from the Application Settings page.
Application Settings - Share Page
Shared users can access the Forms, Reports and Pages in your application based on the access permissions provided by the application owner. Here is a screen-shot of the Form, Report and Page when accessed from live mode.
Live mode of a Form where data is entered
Live mode of a Report where data is displayed as a list.
Live mode of a HTML page where data is displayed dynamically based on user input