people revolution Image credit pixaba/Sarah_LoetscherZoho has launched the latest iteration of its low-code platform Creator. The release is less of an iteration and more a revolution in terms of its capabilities. The low code platform enables IT teams and citizen developers to create and deploy stand-alone applications. The new version now includes a more mature development environment. It also supports blueprinting, better integration, and Business Intelligence capabilities within the low-code platform.

Sridhar Iyengar, head of Europe and UK, Zoho (Image Credit: LinkedIn)
Sridhar Iyengar, head of Europe and UK, Zoho

Sridhar Iyengar, Managing Director, Zoho Europe, commented: “Outside of Zoho’s Creator Platform, few if any low-code solutions on the market allow business users or IT to engineer tools while simultaneously enabling IT teams to manage ongoing challenges of security, compliance, integration, and governance. The marriage of these two disciplines and user profiles is where we see the unique value of the Creator Platform.”

Enhancing the development process

Zoho has introduced several new things that strengthen the controls and governance around the development of low-code applications. At the heart of this is the Unified Solution Builder. Users can access everything they need to create, integrate, analyse, and manage their applications from a single dashboard.

Organisations can also set guardrails for users within the platform. This will ensure that less experienced users do not break their other applications. These guardrails include granular role-based access controls, comprehensive audit trails and backup options. The dashboard also enables administrators to view and manage users as well as introduce branding to applications to personalise them.

For developers, there are enhancements to take app creation beyond low-code. They can write, store, and execute reusable code blocks using Zoho Deluge, Java or Node.js.

Deluge is Zoho’s proprietary scripting language that links more than 25 applications in the Zoho environment. It is easy to learn and Zoho describes it as a Function as a Service language. Nearly 200,000 developers already use it. There is better support for DevOps with developers able to submit code development, staging (for testing) or the production environment.

This is backed by Unified Data Modelling. It enables developers to match and integrate data points from across more than 650 plug-and-play connectors. This simplifies data integration for app building.

Enhancing the capabilities

There are several new and improved features that both developers and business users can take advantage of. They include the ability to leverage Zia, Zoho’s intelligent AI Assistant, to pull data from anywhere using Smart Import. It enables users to simply cleanse, transform, and build data models and data relationships. Zia also already supports predictive analytics, keyword extraction, sentiment analysis, OCR, and object detection that users can take advantage of within their applications.

A new Blueprinting feature enables users to map processes within the business using a drag and drop interface. The drag and drop interface, allows users to highlight bottlenecks in processes that exist before the application is scaled up.

Integrations and BI bring everything together

The improvement that really takes Zoho Creator to the next level is the integration enhancements it has introduced. The Universal Data Modelling engine brings data from many applications into Creator. The Unified Solution Builder enables users to create workflows using the drag and drop interface with data drawn from anywhere. The access to Zoho Deluge enables developers to bring features and functionality from across the Zoho applications and ties them to data from virtually anywhere.

On top of this, an embedded BI platform enables users to create visualisations of that integrated data without leaving the Creator environment. Zoho has also prebuilt a dashboard that monitors the different integrations, whether a process or data flow. Users can quickly see information on executions, success and failure. Thus enabling them to detect, analyse and correct issues quickly.

The Business Intelligence functionality includes predictive analytics, data alerts, what-if analysis, data blending, and conversational analytics. These further strengthen the Creator low-code platform. Users can build visualisations that would not have been possible before.

Holger Mueller, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, commented: “The new version of the Zoho Creator Platform is another step towards strengthening its value proposition around accelerating digital mandates. By bringing homegrown integration and analytics capabilities to the application builder, the platform will empower business owners to think beyond simple apps and focus on building solutions that break down information silos across the organization. This will eventually lead to faster insight-driven decision-making, the discovery of newer digital business opportunities and what matters most – fuel Enterprise Acceleration.”

And finally, collaboration

In the new distributed work environment, employees can become disconnected. Zoho Creator provides tools for both communication and collaboration. The in-context communication tool enables users to message and send files, share screens and make audio and video calls.

Gaurav Kakkar, System Process Manager, Emirates Logistics, India, commented: “We needed a complete solution to resolve specific operational difficulties, including a lack of streamlined communication and an inability to oversee employees effectively. The Zoho Creator Platform allowed us to build new contextual tools that unify disjointed communication channels, automate processes, and seamlessly integrate into our existing system.

“Additionally, the new platform has given specific administrators greater flexibility in implementing new processes through the sandbox and demo user options to keep our data secure while providing important business insights. Together, we’re able to better support employees to be more productive, enabling them to collaborate and spot opportunities to better serve themselves and customers.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

For such as comprehensive low code platform, the pricing of Zoho Creator is impressive. Its professional edition ( the lowest) is £20 per user per month and has limited usage. The full version includes 10 users and only costs £320, adding £20 pupm after that, far lower than other solutions.

There is also a 15-day free trial, which seems short for such as product, 30 days would be more realistic a timescale. If they want to leverage the trial organisations should free up the time and have clear objectives to test it properly.

With this release, Zoho has taken its Creator to a new level. One that enables it to become a stand-alone low code platform that can rival other more mature solutions. Jason Bloomberg, President of Intellyx LLC, commented: “With this version of Creator, Zoho is shifting its low-code emphasis from applications to business solutions.

“Creator helps business stakeholders and IT personnel collaborate to combine applications, business intelligence and analytics, and process automation into end-to-end business solutions. Creator is simple enough for non-technical staff while also powerful enough to address complex workflow scenarios in a secure, scalable environment.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here