Friday, July 06, 2007

Using Zoho's cool form-creation service

We illustrated a three-tier application using a simple class roster file. It took me a day to develop, debug and document that application using Active Server Pages (ASP). It consists of six ASP pages, and I needed some knowledge of ASP, Visual Basic, and SQL to develop it.

I implemented the class roster application using the form-creation service at It took me less than an hour to learn to use the service and implement the application. I needed no knowledge of programming -- it was similar to building the application using a simple database management system like Microsoft Access. Note also that the service-based application has powerful features like data export, access control and report sorting that are missing in the bare-bones ASP version.

The advantages of using a service to create this application are abundantly clear, but there are still questions. Will it scale -- how would it perform if we had an application with thousands of records and dozens of forms and views? Will Zoho continue offering this service -- can I count on it as part of my course curriculum? What will they charge for large databases? Would they be better off implementing their service using a file service like Amazon S3?

1 comment:

  1. Larry:

    We have many users who have uploaded large spreadsheet data with thousands of records. At the backend the data is stored in a proven database which can handle millions of rows, and using appropriate SQL queries we can optimize the data fetching for better performance.

    Currently creator is free for personal users and we will be charging for SMBs in future. We do have plans to have data backup in S3 in standard file formats like spreadsheet or CSV.