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Zoho Launches Gadgets

Today, the web office company Zoho, whose line of products competes with other web applications like Google Docs and Gmail as well as desktop-based suites like Microsoft Office, has launched a new product: Zoho Gadgets. With these gadgets, data from Zoho applications can be integrated into Facebook, Gmail, iGoogle, Orkut and other online networks. Because the gadgets are built using the OpenSocial standard, they can be supported by any OpenSocial compatible network.

The new line of gadgets delivers data from Zoho Docs, Zoho Mail, Zoho Calendar, Zoho Tasks, Zoho Contacts, and Zoho Planner. Going forward, Zoho plans to offer even more gadgets for their other applications.

When adding the gadgets to iGoogle or Gmail, you won’t have to enter in your Zoho account information in order to access your Zoho data. That’s thanks to the oAuth support built in. In order to add a custom gadget to Gmail, you must first turn on a particular setting in labs which allows for this (Enable “Add any gadget by URL” in Labs).

Note: To learn more about custom Gmail gadgets, go here.

In social networks like Facebook and Orkut, the gadgets function more like applications. Once you click the link on the Gadgets page to add them to your profile, you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll need to enter in your account information before they will appear in your Applications list.

Finally, for OpenSocial compatible networks and applications, a link to an XML file is provided and for anywhere else you need a gadget, there’s a generic embed code that can be used.

For anyone thinking of making the switch from Google Docs or Gmail over to the Zoho Suite, gadgets like these can make the transition easier as you’ll be able to keep up with what’s new even when you’re still in your Google applications. And for those of us who spend entirely too much time in social networks, having these gadgets on hand means we won’t miss out on the important information that matters most.

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