Zoho single sign-on: it's nice, but what we really need is...

Zoho single sign-on: it's nice, but what we really need is...

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

The online application company Zoho announced on Friday that has launched a single sign-on (SSO) feature. Now you can integrate all of the Zoho applications that you've signed up for separately into one account. For example, if you signed up for the word processor Zoho Write using your corporate e-mail as your ID and the presentation app Zoho Show on Gmail, you'll now be able to merge all the accounts together and you'll stay signed on as you move from app to app.

This is getting some play in the Web 2.0 blogs. But for the end user, it's not that big a deal, mostly because Zoho doesn't yet collect in one place all the files you create in its separate apps. If you start a file in the spreadsheet app, for instance, it won't show up in the word processor.

File-based organization, as opposed to Zoho's current app-based organization, is coming soon, Zoho architect Raju Vegesna told me. That's good, because that's what users really need. It's what we already have on our PCs and Macs--files separate from applications. The online suite ThinkFree gets it right: your account page shows you everything you've created using the company's suite of applications. Google, though, does not. Writely can't see data created in Google Spreadsheets, and vice versa.

This is one of the issues that I'll be discussing at a panel I'm moderating at the Office 2.0 Conference this week (CNET is sponsoring the event). It promises to be a very interesting conference, and I'll be blogging from there.