Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Zoho Creator and Google App Engine. So what?!

I’ve been impressed of the latest hype concerning Zoho Creator deployment to Google App Engine. I just can’t grasp what that is all for?! Really...

I mean the very point of web-based data driven products deployment is that your application evolves simultaneously with your business and the way your business does (for it evolves all the time and reflects all the changes of its structure). This is why I can’t understand, what is the point?

To turn your flexible application into a set of source code on python for deploying it in Google App Engine? And what should the user do when the requirements are changed?


  1. Jane : I can think of when this can help developers. Supposing you are a developer who specializes in building apps over Zoho Creator. But a client wants you to do it for her over AppEngine. You just port the app easily, no need to build it from scratch. Once there, you or your client can keep modifying it on AppEngine itself as and when the client's requirements changes.

  2. It is also a nice way for Zoho to demonstrate that they are not holding a user's application hostage!

  3. My point is that any automatically generated source code would be difficult to modify for a common user.

    But if the aim was to secure better reliability of Zoho apps, it would have much sense to build up Zoho creator service on Google App Engine or Amazon Web Service, I guess.

  4. Jane,

    We have tried our best to keep the generated source code as simple as possible. We have tried to follow a pattern which we believe is easy to follow. We welcome your suggestions in this regard.

    ZohoCreator was started much before Amazon Web Service or Google App Engine came into existence. Also ZohoCreator is fully based on Relational Data Modelling principle, which does not go well with Google's BigTable architecture and Amazon's SimpleDB. It will take enormous reenginerring and research to host ZohoCreator in those platforms.

    There is quite a lot of difference in the way we visualize data and how Google AppEngine does. Even when we generate the code for Google AppEngine we want to make sure that its more suited to the AppEngine environment. This means we have to compromise some of the features in ZohoCreator which is not supported by Google AppEngine while providing the positives of the AppEngine to the end users.

    As mentioned by Aravind and Sridhar this initiative is to provide more options for the users. In future we even have plans to store data both in ZohoCreator and AppEngine, thereby providing enough freedom for the end users in managing their data. We also have plans to synchronize the application whenever its modified.

  5. Well, I review all that and its usability from the common business users standpoint, not software developers. What I am trying to say is that it just doesn't seem to be of any help for people without programming skills.

    So, who the actual Zoho users are?

  6. Hi Jane,

    Im not from Zoho nor am I a developer (just an end-user) and I can see the business benefit right away. You said yourself that "the very point of web-based data driven products deployment is that your application evolves simultaneously with your business and the way your business does."

    This new development demonstrates to me that Zoho understands this. If the time comes for any reason (ie security, service, scalability issues, availability, etc) that Zoho's infrastructure is not able to meet my needs, I can easily move Zoho Creator app and data to someone else's infrastructure (and perhaps one day on my own internal infrastructure?)

    Rock on Zoho guys!

  7. Actually it is not about security, service, scalability issues or Zoho availability, but about the thing that the app itself constantly requires modifications to correspond to ever evolving business. And as anyone deploys his application in Google App Engine it turns from flexible into a fixed one and it’s quite a task if you are not a programmer and ready to edit source code instead of point and Click or modify deluge script. This is what that’s all about.