Friday, April 3, 2009

Are you into scripting? Zoho Creator many-to-many realtions.

Looking forward to make it clear which system offers the most efficient way to manage many-to-many relation I am going to check Zoho Creator. The examples for testing are the same: Students and Courses.

Check out the look of table Courses:

And this is the table Students:

This is the table with info on courses the student attended and the marks he got.

This is how the data is added into the table:

That’s it. There is not that much you can do in Zoho Creator without a use of deluge script. Thats why I sent a request to Zoho Creator Support and asked them to give me a hand to setup edit/view attende data from student's or course's side. I also asked for help and explaination how to create a report that shows the info on the most popular (most attended) courses among students from different countries.

Mr. Hariharan, Zoho Creator specialist was very helpful and cleared up how to solve these tasks. Here are the details how everything works and how to customize it.

Check out the look of view/edit data on courses on student’s side:

And this is the piece of deluge script that allowed tuning this screen:

The report on course preferences of the student looks even more impressive:

But the user must be aware of the code they should to code to create this report:

Besides, it was necessary to write an auxiliary function to create this chart:


Everybody must decide for himself if he is ready to turn into deluge scripting guru or not. Who got interested and wants to specify in-depth peculiarities of this set up you can check it here.

I must say deluge script is very powerful and flexible tool. And will be of a great help to tune a whole lot of things in your Zoho Creator application. It’s quite a question if you can master it. You should know at least the basics of html and how algorithms are composed. This is where an important question arises: Do business users know all that? Don’t think so.

My point is if one way or another you picked Zoho Creator as a service to stick with and you are a business user with the exact know WHAT YOU NEED to do, be ready you’ll need at least one assistant (developer) that KNOWS HOW TO.


  1. 1000 PAAS platforms that do 90% of the same thing from a self service POV, and 1000 one-off mongrel scripting languages.

    A mess, a PAAS mess.

  2. Dear Jane,

    Thank you for a detailed review on Zoho Creator many-to-many relation capabilities.

    Regarding the scripting part. Though the word 'scripting', might immediately bring an idea of complexity at first glance, the deluge scripting in Zoho Creator is very much domain specific(speaks a language of forms and fields) and we have worked hard to make it as easy as possible. It is naturally integrated with the Zoho Creator environment in an event based manner and even non-programmers will feel at home after a couple of encounters.
    We have given a script-builder mode(in addition to free flow scripting) for scripting that provides a drag-n-drop based code building with context sensitive information provided at the required places that help new users learn the scripting just by playing with the UI without having to go through the scripting manual.

    Though scripting is indispensable for certain operations like validation, conditional decisions , event handling, completely customized dynamic apps etc.. We do constantly monitor, how our users use our service and provide out-of-the-box support(without any scripting) for frequently used/requested functionality. You can have a look at our current set of features at
    As you can see we are going to provide out-of-the-box support for features such as 'Subforms', 'New record button next to lookups', 'Wizard with previous/next buttons'.
    Though not in our immediate feature list, we do have plans for supporting 'Detailed summary view' for each entity in the application that enables the users to capture the many-to-many capability without any scripting.

    One of the key goals of Zoho Creator is to make a normal business user convert their abstract business ideas to live application with ease. Though we have a long way to go, we are constantly striving to achieve this goal. Both our users and bloggers like you are helping us move through this path by providing both encouragement and constructive criticism as and when needed.

    Thanks once again for an wonderful analysis of Zoho Creator.

    Zoho Creator