Upcoming Updates - February-March 2022

Upcoming Updates - February-March 2022

Hi all,

Greetings from the Zoho Creator team!

A new year is here and we're looking forward to bringing in new features, improving performance, and delivering on all the exciting updates we previously announced.

In this update, we'll go over the:
  • 30 new ready-to-use functions including randomNumber, encoding, and AI
  • Try-Catch, Break, and Continue statements
  • Sorting ability in subform fields
  • Advanced search option in lookup fields
  • Security check for unpublished components
  • Code sign mobile apps in AAB format
  • Enhanced report exporting on mobile
  • Field permissions in pivot reports
  • Invalid parameter validation
  • Enhancements and changes in Deluge
30 new ready-to-use functions including randomNumber, encoding, and AI

One powerful aspect of Deluge is its minimalistic approach to the number of statements required per execution. Some of the features we have in the pipeline are going to help further optimize your Deluge coding experience. We have also supported additional ready-to-use built-in functions and tasks.

randomNumber & other new built-in functions

To the long list of our available built-in functions, we'll be adding the following new functions:

i. Common



Generates a random number from the specified range.

ii. Text functions

Converts hexadecimal to text value.

Converts text to hexadecimal value.

Returns all the characters which precede the first occurrence of the search text in the input text. The search text is not case-sensitive.

Returns all the characters which follow the first occurrence of the search text in the input text. The search text is not case-sensitive.

Replaces all occurrences of the search text with the replacement text. The search text is not case-sensitive.

Replaces the first occurrence of the search text with the replacement text. The search text is not case-sensitive.

Returns a text with the input text repeated for the specified number of times.

Returns the input text with its characters in reverse order.

Checks if all characters in the input text are ASCII.

Removes all the extra white spaces (if any) inserted after the input text.

Removes all the extra white spaces (if any) inserted before the input text.

iii. Number functions

Returns the number equivalent to the hyperbolic tangent of the input angle.

Returns the hyperbolic arccosine or inverse hyperbolic cosine of the input number.

Returns the hyperbolic arcsine or inverse hyperbolic sine of the input number.

Returns the hyperbolic cosine of the input angle.

Returns the angle of the input number.

Returns the number equivalent to the hyperbolic tangent of the input angle.

Returns the angle between the positive x-axis and the ray from (0,0) to the input point (x,y).

Returns the degree equivalent to the input angle in radians.

Returns the radian equivalent to the input angle in degrees.

Extracts the sign of the given input values.

iv. Date-time functions

Returns the number of months between the given input date-time values.

Returns the number of years between the given input date-time values.

Returns the next immediate date that falls on the specified input day.

Returns the previous week's date that falls on the specified input day.

Returns the date-time values after subtracting the specified number of business days from it.

Encoding functions

We've expanded Deluge's set of encoding functions by supporting the following new functions:
  • htmlEncode: Transform all special HTML characters in the input text into HTML entities.
  • htmlDecode: Render all the HTML entities in the input string.

Artificial intelligence functions

Deluge's ready-to-use AI feature will include a couple more tasks:
  • zoho.ai.detectObject: Detects objects (example: person, laptop, car, traffic lights, etc) and their position in the input image.
  • zoho.ai.extractKeywords: Extracts keywords or tags from the input text.

Try-Catch, break, and continue statements

Deluge will be empowered with flexible error management and improved loop handling features. We're excited to add the following capabilities in Deluge:

Try-Catch: Exception handlers that can test Deluge scripts for run-time errors, and perform required actions if any errors are found.
Break: Terminates the execution of the current loop when encountered.
Continue: Terminates the execution of the current iteration of loop when encountered.

Sorting subform fields

Currently, the fields in subforms are sorted based on the added time. Soon, the subform field will include the capability to sort the fields listed within the subform. This feature will be made available in the field properties of the form. The admin will be able to navigate to the form builder, select the subform field, and specify the sorting preference.

This sorting capability is aimed at requirements that need the fields in the subform to be sorted in a specific order.

For instance, a Customer form might require its subform to list the recent orders of a customer. Here, the admin can sort the subform by navigating to the form builder, selecting the date field of the subform, and specifying the sorting preference as descending. Let's say a customer record is added with the orders of that particular customer in the subform.The sorted orders of that customer will be available while trying to edit the customer's record and also while viewing the record in report.

Note: Sorting cannot be done based on the following: Encrypted fields, URL, Audio,Video, multi-selection fields, integration fields, and user field.

Advanced search option in lookup fields

The advanced search option will equip you with an enhanced search mechanism to drill down to records or field values when you have a large volume of data. This feature is available only for lookup fields with the display type set as dropdown or multi select.

Search queries must return the most accurate and useful results possible, Anything beyond 5,000 is not likely to be the result that the user is looking for. So we have limited the search results to 5,000.This also eliminates the need to scroll down endlessly.

To ensure the user makes the most of this option to locate the record or value, user should try to use the parameters provided in the advanced search as efficiently as possible. This allows user to skip scrolling, while narrowing down the search. All that needs to be done is select the correct search operator and enter the appropriate keywords to fetch the relevant records more easily.

The advanced search will be enabled when the admin enables it in the field properties or when there are more than 500,000 records. Similarly, if a user field or date-time field is used as a display field, Advanced Field Search will automatically be enabled.

We're also introducing a restriction on the number of fields that can be included in display fields in lookup. A maximum of four display fields can only be added. If you have a requirement to add more than that, you can use the formula field as a workaround to combine more than four display values and then lookup the formula field

Security check for unpublished sub-components

It's advisable to share all subcomponents that belong to a published component with your users. Let's assume you have a iframe or widget inserted in a Page and if an unpublished form is used within the iframe or widget, said form will be restricted. This restriction is imposed as a security measure to ensure cross domain security policy. To avoid these kinds of anomalies, please ensure all sub-components present inside a published component are also published.

This restriction will be imposed from March 1st, 2022.

Code sign mobile apps in AAB format

Android App Bundle, or AAB, is a new publishing format added for the Zoho Creator's mobile app Codesign process. It includes all your app’s compiled code and resources, and defers APK generation and signing to Google Play.

Google Play will use your app bundle to generate and serve optimized APKs for each device configuration, so only the code and resources that are needed for a specific device are downloaded to run your app. Going forward, there will be no necessity to build, sign, and manage multiple APKs to optimize support for different devices, and users will get smaller, more-optimized downloads. Learn more

Enhanced report export in mobile and tablet

The enhancements in report export settings that were previously introduced for the web are now being extended to mobile and tablet. You can export the records in your report in your preferred file format and then download them. The exported file can then be used outside of your Zoho Creator application. In the new export settings, you'll be able to provide a file name, select the file format, select the columns to be included in the file, and make the file password-protected. Learn more 

Field permissions in pivot report

Previously, the field permissions feature was not applicable to pivot reports. As a step towards security enhancement, we are now rolling out the capability to control field permissions of View Underlying Data, Drill Down, and Export Underlying Data options in pivot. So the fields that are listed in the above options will be according to the field permissions set up in the permissions set under Users and permissions.

However, the permissions will not be applied when the fields are added as the axes of the charts or as the row/column of the table, because the construction of the chart or table will be impacted.

Invalid parameter validation

We are rolling out a minor change in handling API requests that have invalid or unsupported parameters. Currently, if there are API requests with invalid parameters, our API servers will ignore them and provide the appropriate responses to those requests.

As a step towards data security, we are implementing a change wherein API calls with invalid parameters will be rejected. An error response with the reason for the error will be provided. This validation is scheduled to go live this week or coming week. To avoid such validation errors, we recommend that you remove unsupported parameters before the stipulated date.

Enhancements and changes in Deluge

With the intention of also improving and evolving our existing Deluge features, we've planned a few updates. Ultimately, our aim is to boost Deluge's overall performance, so we've also prepared to lay out a few regulations that will streamline the way Deluge is used. We humbly ask your support in carrying out this plan.

Modified time of main form will be updated when subform rows are updated using Deluge

When rows are inserted into a subform, cleared from a subform, or particular fields of a subform are updated using Deluge, the modified time of the corresponding main form's record will be updated.

Map's key order will be retained in toXml() function's conversion

When using toXml function, the xml string will be generated in the input map's order. In the current behavior, it is generated irrespective of the order of the input map.

Multiselect fields in criteria and sort operations

Note: The following changes will be applicable to all customers.
i. <multi_choice_field>.<multi_choice_field> cannot be used in all filter criteria (report criteria, report filter criteria, conditional filter criteria, conditional formatting criteria, lookup filter criteria, all page builder criteria) and Deluge's fetch record task criteria.

Multi-choice fields are Multiselect, Checkbox, Subform, Multiselect Lookup and Multiselect Users fields.

ii. The values returned by the fetch records task cannot be sorted based on multi-choice fields and composite fields.

File size
i. Uploading files stored in file attachment fields to invokeURL or integration tasks will continue with the current ceiling of 50 MB, whereas downloading the content using invokeURL or extracting file content using <field_link_name>.content is capped at 5MB.
File attachment fields are File Upload, Image, Audio, and Video.

Note: This change is applicable only to new users and unaffected existing users (to be rolled out in a phased manner). Therefore, existing users who already consume file size more than the new limit will not be affected.
ii. The content function (<field_link_name>.content) cannot be applied on Audio and Video fields.

Regex evaluation

Evaluating regex is usually a performance-intensive operation. Therefore, we've been frequently encountering issues related to regex evaluation using Deluge tasks, such as matches, replaceAll, and replaceFirst. To avoid any more issues in this regard, the number of iterations done in the regex matching process is capped at 100,000.

That's all for now!

Zoho Creator Team

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