Zoho continues its quest to build the most comprehensive online productivity suite, adding support for macros and pivot tables in its spreadsheet, Zoho Sheet.
The new version includes support for Visual Basic (VB), the scripting language used for Microsoft Excel for macros, said Raju Vegesna, Zoho's chief evangelist. Zoho built its VB engine independent from any Microsoft code, he noted.
"This means your existing macros will now work in Zoho Sheet. This makes Zoho Sheet the first online spreadsheet to understand macros. Even OpenOffice doesn't understand VB macros," Vegesna said in a note about the new features. Google Apps doesn't support VB script either.
Users can import Excel macros into a Zoho spreadsheet. The Excel functions are converted into Java and executed in the backend, Vegesna said.
Zoho's support for VB is limited at this stage, however. Only about 50 percent of spreadsheet functions available in Excel are supported, Vegesna said. In addition, exporting and recording of macros are not yet supported.
In addition to allowing businesses to bring their Excel macros into Zoho and vice versa with some limitations, the VB engine also gives Zoho a way to build macros that cut across a variety of Zoho applications, which include Writer, CRM, and Creator.
"The plan is to extend the Visual Basic engine to other apps," Vegesna said.
Pivot Tables & Charts brings the capability to create pivot tables and pivot charts via a drag-and-drop interface. This feature has already been available in ZohoDB.
Other features added to Zoho Sheet include sharing spreadsheets within a group; support for named ranges; allow for hiding formulas in public spreadsheets; import of 100,000 rows of data from CSV files; tab separated values file support; and versions in Czech, Bulgarian, and traditional Chinese.
Zoho Sheet is free for individual users and is availabe as part of the Zoho Business Suite, which is priced at $50 per user per year.
Here is a video from Zoho, demonstrating the macro and pivot table features: