Speedy support reply from Zoho

I am posting this to thank the team at http://zoho.com

Zoho Cloud Spreadsheet Support replied as follow:

Thank you for your detailed feedback. We tried the scenarios that you mentioned in your email. Below are our observations. We can also have a desktop sharing session using Zoho Assist to help us understand the issues better.

1) Copy/Paste large no. of rows:

We had already tested Zoho Sheet with 10000 rows and 10 columns of data and this has worked fine. We have also tried copy/paste of all the 10,000 rows of the file sent by you. The copy/paste what we have tried was done on the same sheet. We did not face any issue here. Let us know, if you have tried to copy data from external applications and paste it in Zoho Sheet.

2) Formula corruption and error:
We noticed the formula error only in the following scenario. And that too, this is the expected behavior which can be seen in MS Excel as well. I am not sure, if this is what you tried.

a) Import the file ZohoProblemLastLine.xls
b) Go to the last and copy the last 5 rows
c) Give some 5 rows gap and paste it to the say A10010 cell. The cell A10010 will have the formula as ‘=SUM(A10009+1)’
d) Now delete the in between empty rows from 10006 to 10009 e) The cell A10006 now has the #REF! error as the cell referred by formula in this cell was A10009 earlier and it has been deleted now. This is same behavior as in MS Excel or OpenOffice.
f) Correct the formula in cell A10006 and rest of #REF! error cascaded will automatically be corrected.

If you have any other scenario other than above, please let us know.

3) Zoho Sheet size limit:
Zoho Sheet supports upto 10MB of file import/upload. Apart this, we support 65536 rows and 256 columns per sheet; and a document can hold upto 1 Million of cells (rows and column matrix) having data. You had mentioned about a 50 MB file. I believe it is a typo as Zoho Sheet supports files only upto 10 MB. The 10,000 row Excel file that you sent was actually a 5 MB file.

4) Export/Download has last rows of data missing
We have not encountered any problem here. We would like to know, how we can reproduce this. Are you downloading from Zoho Docs? That should work fine. However, can you try doing an Export from the spreadsheet editor itself? The Export button is available on the Spreadsheet editor’s toolbar.

5) Regarding privacy and security of ZOHO
We take security very seriously as our business of completely dependent on trust factor. None of our admins have access to any content that is uploaded to our services. Our infrastructure automatically replicates the data for more reliability/availability. The backups are also automated where the data is compressed and password protected. Learn more at

https://blogs.zoho.com/general/security-practices

The files in your account are protected by your username and password. Your files are private in nature, unless you explicitly make them public or share with others. You might also want to look at this forum post on how Sharing works in Zoho Sheet:

https://forums.zoho.com/topic/can-a-public-spreadsheet-be-password-protected-%3f

You can access our services over SSL so that the data is encrypted and sent over the wire.

However I should mention that we did face an issue in 2006, during the initial stages of Zoho Sheet. Refer the below URLs to learn more about the issue.

http://dan.idano.net/google-spreedsheets-verses-zoho-sheet-23.htm

https://blogs.zoho.com/general/some-stability-issues-with-zohosheet

We fixed this issue immediately there after and we have made sufficient changes to prevent such an issue from occurring. We are very particular about the security and privacy of user data.

6) Problems with embedding links and having them correctly parsed.
Can you elaborate on the above issue?

Regarding the issues you noticed, can we have a desktop sharing session using Zoho Assist to help us understand the issues better? We are based in India (+0530 hrs). Let us know a time which would work for both of us. Also let us know your phone number so that we can talk while we look at your desktop.

Regards
Ramesh

++++++++++++
My original email to Zoho Support

I am writing at the request of by
hyther(Moderator) on 07-Oct

Can you let us know what kind of instability you faced in Zoho Sheet? You can email the details to support at zohosheet dot com.

For your information, recently we did an upgrade to support large spreadsheets and our performance benchmarking says that our performance is far better than our online counterparts. We have more features coming for serious business users. Stay tuned..

https://blogs.zoho.com/general/zoho-sheet-2-0-supports-million-cell-spreadsheets-additional-browsers-more

Hyther

+++++++++++++

Dear Hyther:

Thanks so much for your prompt response in the forum!

THE BEST WAY FOR YOU TO EXPERIMENT AN RECREATE THE ERROR/INSTABILITY IS TO SIMPLY ATTEMPT TO COPY AND PASTE LARGE NUMBERS OF ROWS TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SHEET
AS AN EASY WAY TO INCREASE TEST FILE SIZE BUT THEN SEE IF THERE IS ANY CORRUPTION OF FORMULAE OR LOSS OF INFORMATION.

THE SECOND PROBLEM WAS THAT WHEN I DOWNLOADED TO DESKTOP THE LAST ROW OR TWO WAS MISSING.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I created a sheet of over 50 meg in size and over 10,000 rows as a test.

These names are all fictitious so anyone may have access to this sheet for test purposes.

The first cell is simply an sequential ID number generated by adding +1 to the previous ID

The next columns are Last Name, First Name, Middle Name, Date of Birth, AGE (which is a forumla dividing NOW() – DOB by 365.) Next comes a zip code.

The SECOND sheet of the book is a Zip Code Lookup for
New York which lookups up 3 pieces of information including State (which is all NY) and Borough.

I created this random meaningless test data for the sake of a small not-for-profit organization which may hire me to deal with the school records of children. I am fairly certain that they will want me to sort through thousands of archival manual folders and compare to what is in their desktop spreadsheet and perhaps design a better spreadsheet.

I began this test in Google Documents spreadsheets and found that 2000 rows reached their size limit of 1 meg. I did find that I could share the document with edit privilege on line with others. I have several computers in my home so I could test the collaboration ability.

I next found a free application called EditGrid which seemed to handle much larger than 1 gig files but it is impossible to contact anyone at their Company and their future is quite uncertain based upon rumors in the search engines. Next I began to experiment with Zoho which looks very promising.

REGARDING INSTABILITIES NOTICED:

My technique for INCREASING the file/row size was simply to keep cutting and pasting large sections so as to add rows to the bottom. Whenever I did such copy/paste in MS Excel on the desktoP (an old 2003 version) there was never any problem and I could then upload to Zoho until I reached the 50 meg limit. Once I reached the upload limit I became curious to see if I could GROW a sheet from within ZOHO beyonD the 10000-15000 row 50 meg limit.

WHENEVER I attempted to copy and paste large numbers of rows to the bottom of the spreadsheet (which of course included the age formula and the zip vlookup) I noticed that often I would loose formulas or they would be corrupted. Sometimes it was not every row that was corrupt but only certain rows.

I DECIDED that perhaps since there was a problem with PASTING in the Zoho sheet that perhaps I should simply try to manually data enter additional rows SINCE the pasting activity is really an artificial short-cut to quickly increase file size but in daily production use the normal scenario would be to manually type each address one by one. When I added a few rows like this and then DOWNLOADED the sheet back to my desktop, I often noticed that the last row or two was missing or unstable. I even made certain to SAVE the document in ZOHO FIRST and close it and then reopen it so that the download would be sure to take action upon the most recent saved version of the sheet.

I am certain that you are making regular progress with all your ZOHO apps so I imagine that in a year or two some of these minor bugs will be ironed out. Based upon the minor problems I have scene so far I have come to the conclusion that I would only be able to utilize online shared spreadsheets (either in GOOGLE or ZOHO) as places to UPLOAD from a local drive so that people in the field could look up and access information. And perhaps people in the field could ADD data in SMALL sheets which would then be uploaded into a desktop database.

I have attached one of the test sheets.

Do feel free to use the test data in any way you like since they are not real people. I pasted lists of common last names and first names found on Google to create the names. I made most of the dates of birth for people over age 50 so that no one would confuse the data with that of children since in America the laws are sensitive regarding the privacy of children’s data information.

REGARDING privacy and security of ZOHO, I am curious to know if there have been any substantiated reports of hacking or files being compromised. I realize that privacy and security will become a central issue for anything involving the school records of minors. BUT I also realize that in America there are many public and charter schools which really need a CLOUD computing ability so that all schools would use the same standardized software and function under the same security and privacy protections. That is to say it is not wise or practical for each and every school to farm out their application needs to some amateur employee who knows some Excel or Access nor to farm it out to some 3rd party consulting group.

PERHAPS this need in American Schools might provide an advantageous project for the ZOHO Company to undertake. I am certain that the technology at the disposal of ZOHO engineers would make it easy for ZOHO to develop a pilot project for this application.

Here is the link to my blog post where I have gathered some information about the student record problems in American schools.

https://williambuell.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/electronic-storage-of-student-records/

Click here for the above link. I am new to ZOHO docs and I did notice some problems with embedding links and having them correctly parsed.

I am also beginning to blog about my ZOHO experiences at my WordPress.

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