Zoho Creator Custom Solutions Platform

Zoho have just announced their new Custom Solutions Platform for their Creator low code development platform. This is a new tool targeting people who are looking for a platform for building vertical market or other apps and want a quick and robust way to build out the solution together with a means of marketing and supporting their app(s).


For those who don't know Creator, it is a tool with which you can build out mobile friendly apps and databases with a combination of drag and drop and low code tools ( the latter in the form of their Deluge language). You can find out more on this site - and compare with others in the comparison article.


What's New


The Custom Solutions Platform is for potential SaaS developers who'd like to be able to build Multi Tenant apps in a relatively user friendly way using the same tools provided with Creator but extended with specific features needed to create, market and support SaaS solutions.


Lifecycle Management


One of the key elements missing from a number of the products I have written about here (from a developers perspective) is how to deal with the tricky problem of maintaining their apps 'in the field'. In other words how to go about developing testing and deploying new versions of software to multiple customers. This is where the Custom Solutions Platform comes into it's own, with full lifecycle management. You have development, staging and live versions of apps complete with the ability to roll back to an easier version should the need arise. This is a really big deal for anyone trying to build out a SaaS solution/business.


The icing on the cake is that your solution can even be rolled out to servers in different jurisdictions should that be a requirement (for example for GDPR).


Route to Market


Another issue is how to promote, sell and distribute your shiny new app and this platform has that worked out as well - even down to simple to use pricing and licensing options and a marketplace through which to sell the app. The best part is that your customers need not be aware that your solution is based on Zoho Creator and do not need their own Creator licences. Zoho make their money by agreeing a shared revenue model and take care of all cash transactions (including user based and subscription pricing).


I do recommend that you discuss potential pricing models with Zoho before spending months building your solution - just to make certain that there will be sufficient margin for you after Zoho's share of the revenue.


Summary


If you're thinking about building solutions for others, this platform is well worth considering - and the best part of all is that it's free to use (to build out apps) so your initial financial risk (apart from your time) is low. Creator is a well respected Low Code platform which is both powerful and relatively easy to learn.


See some documentation here.

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