Zoho Creator is one of the best low-code development platforms that open software development to citizen developers. It has an intuitive user interface, a drag-and-drop app builder, and automated app deployment. The platform creators tailored it to be a fast track to functional, integrated, and secure business applications. As for the types of applications available in Zoho Creator, there are lots of them: native mobile apps, web applications, analytics, business intelligence tools, etc. This article will provide in-depth information on the Creator’s functionalities, integrations, customization capacity, and the most popular business use cases.
Zoho Creator Portfolio
Zoho Creator is a web-based low-code development platform with over 15 years of experience in the domain. It was developed by Sridhar Vembu in 1996, striving to help businesses handle their technical operations and digital transformation faster and cheaper. Recently, Gartner featured the platform as one of the visionaries for Sales Force automation in the low-code community. Creator partners with a number of fortune 500 companies among which Volkswagen, Amazon, and Mariott International.
Creator’s user interface is pretty straightforward which allows citizen developers and business users to build simple applications in hours. At the same time, the platform has its own advanced low-code development environment that allows professional developers to create complex mobile and web applications.
Moreover, Zoho Creator has a vast integration capacity with hundreds of pre-built connectors to CRM systems, other business applications, and other low-code development platforms. Furthermore, you can integrate data across different platforms and APIs including PayPal, Zapier, Zoho, and other business-critical software.
Inside Zoho Creator
Using Zoho Creator, you can create, manage, analyze and integrate business software from a single dashboard. The platform is famous for its beginner-friendly app builder with drag-and-drop functionalities. You won’t need any special training or advanced programming skills to develop your application in the Creator. All you need to create your basic business app is to compile the necessary components and connect any of the 430+ pre-built integrations. What’s more, you can choose from 65+ even the ready-made low-code applications that include internal portals, customer apps, task automatization, and others.
Sure, the more advanced business applications with custom elements, business logic, and integrations demand experienced low-code developers to step in. For such cases, Zoho Creator has an intuitive and functional coding environment with repetitive task automatization, developer tools, and cross-platform capabilities (iOS and Android mobile apps).
In Zoho Creator, custom apps get built with their own Deluge programming language. Deluge or Data Enriched Language for the Universal Grid Environment is an online scripting language that gathers around 25 platforms into a single Zoho suite. Essentially, Deluge is a cloud-based FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) that provides the environment for the serverless development of app functionalities. Using this environment, developers can upload code clusters to the cloud to manipulate them and easily scale the app.
Zoho Creator’s development environment doesn’t need any initial configuration. Deluge runs as soon as you sign up for the platform. The cloud nature of the programming environment stores data on the Internet which makes it easy to use for international low-code development teams. On top of that, Creator ensures the security and performance of your low-code app with its execution engine.
Zoho Creator allows you to connect apps with almost any app, database, or API. With 550+ integrations to third-party services and APIs get easily integrated owing to pre-built wrappers. With that, your apps fetch data from various sources without writing long lines of code. Apart from data collection and management, the platform is able to execute advanced analytics. Also, you can connect your CRM system and BI tools to enhance their performance. All these functions are easy to perform without coding - you just have to click on the necessary tools, databases, or systems to bridge them with your Zoho low-code app.
The fact that you can run the integration process without any back-end manipulation doesn’t mean that you can’t add custom elements to it. Creator allows you, low-code developers, to write custom actions and connectors for the tools outside the list of ready-made ones.
Hosting & Deployment
You can deploy Creator’s apps with one click both in a cloud environment or on-premise. After the deployment, the internal apps can be easily distributed over the built-in Zoho MDM while customer apps go straight to Google Play or App Store with any MDM you prefer.
The platform stores the data in the cloud and uses a security framework based on OWASP protocols. Zoho Creator has encryption and vulnerability signaling tools to protect your apps from various types of threats. Data encryption, masking, and role-based PII/ePHI controls make Creator’s apps HIPAA and GDPR-compliant. In addition, you can secure your applications with multifactor authentification.
Zoho Creator doesn’t sell customers’ data and deletes all the client information as soon as their account is terminated. So, the platform is a great choice for those, who value privacy and aim at enterprise-level security.
The application field of the Zoho low-code platform includes native iOS and Android mobile applications, various types of web applications, automatization, and analytics tools. Creator’s apps can be enabled with AI technologies to enhance user experience or customer service, and provide more insights about their preferences and behavior patterns. Zoho Creator is widely used to build cross-platform business mobile applications, internal tools, customer portals, data analytics tools, automated workflows, CRM systems’ digital supplies, email management, etc.
All the Zoho Creator’s applications can serve a large number of industries including retail, IT, logistics, education, manufacturing, and healthcare. The most benefits from them go to marketing, HR, operations, sales, and customer service departments.
For both Creator’s user packages there is a 15-day free trial period. Professional and Ultimate. Both pricing plans are sold by a pay-as-you-go model which allows users to buy only the necessary features.
Zoho Creator Pros and Cons
Zoho Creator pros:
- User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionalities;
- More than 450+ out-of-box integrations for other apps and systems;
- Enterprise-level app security features and high privacy level;
- Simple deployment process and fast distribution;
- Performant and secure Deluge development environment;
- Fair pricing and convenient payment model;
- Enhanced data migration and legacy system modernization.
Zoho Creator cons:
- Needs better training and support for first-time users;
- The Deluge environment can be hard to handle for citizen developers;
- Limited customization capacity for layouts.
Zoho Creator Reviews
To complete the image of Zoho Creator in 2022, let’s have a look at some platform users’ opinions and experiences:
“The best thing about Zoho is living in one single echo system. You don't have to switch between multiple applications to complete your daily tasks. The seamless integration between the Zoho products is the icing on the cake.”
“Sometimes there will be decision paralysis. When you have multiple integrations that you might not need but still have to deal with. That can ruin your overall user experience.”
“Zoho One is one of the best online business management tools in India which can help to take one's business to the cloud and manage everything in a single place from anywhere in the world.”
“The initial learning is a little difficult for beginners who don't have much tech knowledge. I think they should provide some sort of video tutorial on how to use it effectively.”
“An organization can manage its business processes in one place for its various branches. One can run their business at another location from one location with just a tap on their smartphone.”
Zoho Creator is a solid low-code development platform with a deep experience in the domain. The platform provides a balanced development environment for both citizen developers and professionals who strive to build apps on short notice. Creator is imbued with a variety of features for smooth development, customization, integration, security, and instant app deployment. Owing to moderate pricing plans, Zoho Creator makes a good fit for SMBs, enterprises, and even start-ups across a wide range of industries. All in all, the low-code platform has a perfect set of features to enhance internal business operations, improve customer experience, and manage the data at scale.
Zoho Creator Alternatives
If Zoho Creator is not perfect for your digital transformation project, you might consider using other low-code platforms:
Low-code development experts.
Low-code approach is the fastest and easiest way to build your business application or internal workflow optimization software. Low-code and no-code platforms cater to all types of businesses (SMEs, startups, and enterprises) and individuals alike. But usually, to access the full potential of low-code you may need professional developer assistance that has experience using these platforms.
You can discuss your project with our low-code development experts if that is your case. We have more than 7 years of software development experience including working with various low-code development platfroms.
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