The business software market continues to grow and both small and medium-sized organizations are clamoring for all-in-one software solutions that meet a variety of business needs. However, the market lacked a low-code solution that would allow business users and IT professionals to build end-to-end processes. Until now, yes.
With the March 3 launch of the latest version of Creator, Zoho answers the demand for a low-code platform with the refinement to build scalable end-to-end tools that are business-ready. The Zoho Creator Platform supports every level needed for a complete low-code experience, including build, manage, integrate, and analyze.
What is the Zoho Creator Platform?
Zoho Creator Platform is a cloud-based software tool that allows users to create custom applications without any coding knowledge or experience. Launched in 2006 and updated several times since then, Creator offers a low-code solution for businesses looking to increase productivity and drive their digital transformations.
With the latest release of Creator, Zoho hopes to become a strategic partner for its users and help companies fully optimize what low code can do for their organizations, make information available and accessible, and automate processes to support digital transformation.
The latest version of Zoho Creator Platform fills a gap in an evolving market landscape filled with many low-code builders that do not provide unified solutions with integrations, automation, analytics, and business intelligence. By integrating digital data and processes, the Zoho Creator Platform helps its users create flexible solutions for both business users and IT teams. For example, business developers can build scalable low-code solutions such as apps with integrations, analytics, and process automation without relying heavily on IT support.
“With this update, Zoho’s Creator Platform combines application development, integrations, process automation, business intelligence, and analytics into a single platform, while enabling IT teams to effortlessly manage security, compliance and governance challenges at the same time,” said Raju Vegesna, Zoho Chief evangelist. “Now organizations can leverage a unified solution for all their low-code needs, expanding the ability to innovate for every employee.”
A uniform solution
While many low-code solutions exist in the business software market, they usually prioritize ease of use or application complexity. With the platforms focusing on ease of use, problems arise when an application grows in maturity, complexity and sophistication. Users may face what insiders call a low-code glass ceiling where they are unable to add certain complex functionality to an application to solve a problem or improve a process because the platform is designed only for the initial phase.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are platforms aimed at IT teams that focus on application complexity and offer more extensive configurations. While these programs can build powerful, complex applications, they are not software tools that a business user can effectively use in a few hours or even days to get an application up and running. The Zoho Creator Platform provides a unified solution that combines the best of both worlds with a tool that can be used by both business users and developers.
“On the Creator front, we tried to use this not-too-complex, not-too-simple Goldilocks method to be an end-to-end unified platform at both ends of the spectrum,” said Zoho Creator Head Evangelist Tejas Gadhia . “So with every single opportunity we offer, we want to make sure there’s a point-and-click or drag-and-drop or some other form of access to configure whatever a business user wants. In the meantime, everything is programmatically available at the same time.”
New Zoho Creator Platform
The Zoho Creator Platform provides innovative business solutions in three key areas, with features each available from a centralized dashboard.
Users who have experience with Zoho Creator know they can use it to build custom business solutions, and the traditional features are still available. Zoho Creator Platform still includes the same low-code building features as other platforms with databases, forms, reporting and graphing at the basic level, as well as workflows, design capabilities and mobile access – all building blocks for building an application.
The Zoho team realized that approximately 85% of its customers were integrating the program with a third-party system to achieve their ultimate business goals. The new Zoho Creator Platform further facilitates this need for integration by providing more unified control over permission sets. This allows users to create integrations with an ongoing focus on privacy, data security, and compliance.
Analytics remained a key element missing from the low-code business software market. While some products offer integration capabilities, analytics is limited to basic reporting prior to the Zoho Creator Platform. Now Zoho Creator customers can generate insights based on the data in the Creator app and third-party apps.
“Generating insights has always been a challenge because you generally have to connect it to some sort of third-party business intelligence tool,” says Gadhia. “Then you have to know how to use those tools, which means you have to know how to run SQL queries and do a lot of configuration to understand what the data looks like.”
However, the Zoho Creator Platform provides the analytics capabilities with a built-in BI engine to help app developers really understand the data they collect in their apps, rather than relying on basic levels of reporting.
Zoho Creator Platform Innovations
The new Zoho Creator Platform provides unified low-code solutions for small and medium businesses thanks to a variety of innovations in the market, including:The Unified Solution Builder helps users create, integrate, analyze and manage their business solutions from a central dashboard.Creator saves time with process blueprintan intuitive drag-and-drop builder that graphically reconstructs each step of a business process, assigns responsibilities and automates actions. The new Zoho Creator Platform includes Zia, a artificial intelligence assistant that allows developers to import data, build data models, automatically detect data relationships, and more. With the dashboard with integration statusCreator users can clearly view and monitor the operation of each integration embedded business intelligence and analytics engine now included with the Zoho Creator Platform helps users gain valuable business insights from the data in their applications. Of centralized governanceIT teams can manage low-code development with features such as detailed role-based access controls, comprehensive audit trails and backup options, application IDE, and dashboards to view and manage users.
Zoho Creator Platform Pricing
The Zoho Creator Platform offers competitive pricing, starting at just $25 per employee, after a 15-day free trial. The Professional plan, which costs $25 per user, billed per month on an annual basis, includes five apps and 20 integration streams.
Users can upgrade to the ultimate plan for $400 per month for up to 10 users, which includes unlimited apps, 100 integration flows, and unlimited analytics. Additional users can be added for $25 per month, and there are no cancellation fees.More in: Zoho Corporation
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