File Under: Software & Tools

Zoho DB: Database Power In A Spreadsheet Interface


Zoho, the online office suite, keeps on rolling out the hits. Today sees the company introducing Zoho DB, an online hybrid of programs like Microsoft Access and Excel. Although Zoho DB stores your data in database tables a la Access, it allows non-database savvy users to interact with the data much as you would a spreadsheet.

Zoho DB can import data from just about any tabular source you’d like, including CSV and Excel files. Once your data is in a table, you can interact with it through a spreadsheet-like interface. Tasks like editing and sorting columns and rows behave just as they do in typical spreadsheet applications. Other tools let you add columns that sum other columns or calculate totals based on your own formulas.

Of course you needn’t use the spreadsheet-like interface if you don’t want to. Power users will be happy to note that Zoho DB supports direct SQL statements from a number of query languages, including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL and more.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Zoho DB is the dead simple drag-and-drop interface for creating charts and visual analysis tools. While databases are a powerful way to store and manipulate data, for most of us a well organized chart much more effectively conveys the information. And Zoho DB is no slouch when it comes to creating charts and other visual output options.

Creating a new chart is simply a matter of dragging the portions of your tables that you’d like to show into the chart generator. For instance, if your table has a date column and a total sales column, drag the date info onto the Y-axis of the chart and the sales info onto the X-axis and you instantly get a nice graph of sales over time. From there you can pretty much customize and refine to your heart’s content.

As you would expect from an online office suite like Zoho, the new DB offering has several options for sharing, whether collaborating within the Zoho workspace with other Zoho users, or embedding the finished charts into external websites.

For a more thorough look at Zoho DB and to see it in action, check out Zoho’s video demo below.

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