Greetings from the Zoho Creator team! We've got some interesting updates for you today—and rest assured, there’s more to come!
In this post, we'll be going over the following features and improvements for this month.
Backend enhancements to improve field usability
Increasing usability of drop down and multi select fields
Removing page parameters
These features will be released and accessible in the upcoming weeks. Keep watching this space for more updates on this month's releases!
One of the most requested features in our communities was to notify users mentioned in record comments—and we've gotten the message loud and clear! Notifications are the modern solution for informing and engaging your users, by keeping them in the loop and providing instant alerts for specific activities.
Creator notifications are undergoing a major makeover to support real-time notifications for approval workflows, blueprint workflows, record comments, and push notifications for Deluge tasks, as well as important announcements across web, mobile, and tablet devices.
The below images show how notifications will be shown for the above actions.
(i) Notification shown when someone @mentions you in the record comments in your forms
(ii) Notification shown when you have yet to review an approval process for a record in any of the forms
(iii) Notification shown when you have a record for which the stage transition is pending
The Notifications Pane is accessible by clicking the Notifications icon in the top-right of your screen, which will be visible in both the development and live-mode of your apps.
Each of these notifications will be listed as cards in the notification pane. When you click a notification, you'll be taken to the respective record view in a new tab, where you can perform the required action (refer to the above GIFs).
Currently, notifications are not supported for the SDK apps in iOS and Android. Also, notifications are enabled only for a handful of activities, although we hope to add more in the future!
As announced earlier, we'll be introducing a few technical backend enhancements that'll enable you to redefine the character limits of certain fields. Following this upgrade, you'll have the capability to reset field character limits to efficiently accommodate more fields in a form.
For example, setting the field character limit as 255 following the update will allow only 60 fields per form, whereas resetting the character length to 100 will allow 160 fields per form, and resetting to 80 will allow 200 fields. In short, decreasing the character limit will enable you to add more fields to your form.
Note: These enhancements are applicable only for users with applications that have forms with approximately 60 fields, with the sole intention of adjusting space to accommodate more fields in the future. As a result of these backend changes, a few fields in your forms might have their maximum character length values updated. To enable you to view and track these changes, we'll be sending an email with details of the fields whose values have been changed and their new values. We also assure you that we've taken all necessary measures to ensure that the transition is seamless, with minimal impact on your end.
After this update, we'll be limiting the listing of choices to 5,000. Anything beyond 5,000 is not likely to be the result that a user is looking for. If you need to search for records beyond the 5,000 limit, users can use the search provided in the choice fields as efficiently as possible. This allows users to skip scrolling, while narrowing down the search results at the same time. All that needs to be done is to enter the appropriate keywords to fetch the relevant records more easily. We assure you that these changes will have minimal or no impact on your end.
As promised, we'll soon be introducing custom connectors to help you integrate with any third-party service outside Creator. You (the admin) can create these connectors under Connections in the Microservices section.
Using custom connectors, you can integrate your Zoho Creator applications with additional third-party cloud services that are not available as built-in connectors inside Zoho Creator. You can now define and configure your own connectors for services that support Basic, API Key, and OAuth2 authentication mechanisms.
The following major configurations are necessary to create a custom connector:
General: Defines the basic information of your custom connector, such as Connector Name, Description, and Logo.
Security: Defines the authentication settings of the custom connector, such as Authentication Type, Authentication Parameters, Scopes, and Additional Parameters.
Once a connector is created and a connection is established, you can use it to perform REST operations on the target service from Zoho Creator. For example, to access your Google Drive account using Google's REST APIs, you can create a custom Google connector, establish a connection, and connect to it. You can then use this connection to perform the specified integrations to your connected Google account.
Previously, you were able to delete page parameters only if there were no existing HTML/ZML snippets used in the page. This limitation made the deletion of page parameters a complex process. To resolve this, we'll henceforth allow page parameters to be deleted by showing a confirmation before deletion.
Upon invoking the deletion of a page parameter, if that parameter has been used in any other element on the same page, users will be prompted with a list of references where the parameter has been used. They can proceed with the deletion only after all those references have been reviewed and removed.
We know you're eager to try out these exciting updates, and we hope that this announcement is helpful in planning your upcoming projects and apps.
We'd also like to thank you once again for your loyalty and continued support! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns, or need assistance.
The Zoho Creator Team