Why growing businesses should favor online databases over spreadsheets | Industry

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Presented by Zoho

For decades, spreadsheets have held a hallowed position as the go-to solution for data management. They’ve served you faithfully, no doubt — and they’ll continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

At least, that’s the case until your business decides to scale up.

With growth comes the pressing need for efficient data management and automation. Why? To ensure that data retrieval and analysis is hassle-free. To maintain uniformity and readability across thousands of records. To prevent human error from plaguing your information with bugs. There’s a certain threshold beyond which spreadsheets fail to conform to your standards. And if you’ve hit it, it’s time you started considering alternatives — namely, database software.

While a database is fully capable of handling and manipulating large volumes of data in a no-nonsense fashion, it also takes enormous time, money, and effort to build, maintain, and fully utilize it.

Fortunately, there’s a technology that delivers the best of both worlds, with the tradeoffs being decidedly less consequential: Low-code development platforms. They enable anyone, even someone like me, who lacks the slightest hint of programming aptitude, to build and run customized database applications that deliver significant computing power and technological prowess — all without burning a hole in your pocket. The best part? Most of them are entirely cloud-based.

Zoho Creator is one such platform that’s been around for years (twelve years, to be precise). Let’s take a look at how it sidesteps several logical and technical challenges that conventional pose to day-to-day usability.

1. Implementation is fast and inexpensive

For any given enterprise-grade database, licenses alone can cost thousands of dollars per server, user, or CPU. Throw in outsourced development costs, and the numbers can add up. Fast. And let’s not forget that it can take months to build, test, and deploy.

On the contrary, Zoho Creator encourages you to build what you need yourself — and the shallow learning curve shrinks development time from months to days. It employs a simple drag-and-drop builder for everything from form assembly to workflow definition, where you can choose from predefined functionality blocks and arrange them in your desired order.

2. Maintenance is a non-issue

Proper database maintenance goes a long way in promoting excellent data integrity, user experience, and overall effectiveness. To keep your database running like the well-oiled machine it’s meant to be, it has to be adjusted from time to time. There are indexes to be defragmented, files to be compacted, events to be traced, and issues to troubleshoot. You’ll probably end up hiring a database administrator to handle it all.

Zoho Creator’s cloud-based approach renders database and server maintenance unnecessary. Your database apps run on Zoho’s secure servers, with maintenance, updates, and cleanups handled by the service provider itself. Also, Zoho runs data centers all over the globe, protecting you from downtime due to regional issues.

3. Workflow automation doesn’t require programming expertise

By default, setting up automation in a conventional database would require significant programming language know-how — think Python, SQL, or Erlang. Apart from forcing you to rely on your developer every time a functional modification is needed, it also lengthens the time it’ll take to effect those changes.

Zoho Creator, on the other hand, features workflow-building capabilities that are integrated into the GUI. Tasks as diverse as data manipulation, auto-mailers, or push-notifications take no more than a few steps to set up. Of course, you can add logic to your app, via a proprietary guided scripting tool — Deluge. Designed specifically to enable non-programmers to code, Deluge does away with the intricacies of traditional programming by reducing coding to a simple drag-and-drop affair involving predefined code snippets, while Zoho Creator does all the formatting and ordering for you.

4. Native mobile apps are automatically created

Creating a mobile app for your database isn’t easy. They usually have to be built from scratch using devoted mobile development tools for either Android or iOS (or any other mobile OS, for that matter), and called via an API. Or, you’d be forced to rely on third-party companion apps which may or may not be native — or reliable, for that matter.

Zoho Creator’s web apps come with mobile versions by default. Create an app on the web, and there’s a native mobile version waiting for you on your smartphone. Your application behaves like a standalone Android/iOS app, and comes with mobile-exclusive features, such as camera and microphone access, bar-code and QR-code scanning, and geolocation. You can choose to white-label and rebrand the app, too!

If you’re convinced that Zoho Creator is a possible alternative to your spreadsheets, there’s no better time to make the switch. For a limited time only, Zoho Creator is offering complete technical assistance to users who’d like their workbooks converted into custom apps. It takes less than 30 minutes, and the base plan is completely free!

Don’t miss out! Visit Zoho Creator’s #BreakUpWithSpreadsheets page to convert your spreadsheets into mobile-ready database apps, today.

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