MorfikDev and Morfik Brasil networks moving to Morfik Watch

If you have been member of either the MorfikDev or the Morfik Brasil networks in Ning, I wish to welcome you to Morfik Watch.  Due to changes in policy by Ning it was becoming unfeasible to maintain both networks and this website, so I decided to bring everything together at MorfikWatch.com.

Forums have been created for the members of both networks.

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Morfik seems to be stirring again

It has been a long while since I’ve posted anything on MorfikWatch.  Not too long ago someone asked me about it and I replied that I wasn’t posting because there wasn’t much to write about.

After releasing Morfik 3.0 and a couple of hotfixes/patches for it, Altium seemed to let the product go dormant.  Not much was heard out their offices about Morfik since then.

This seems to have started to change about a month ago.  Altium released updates to a couple of Morfik packages, then.  These were the first updates to anything that was Morfik related in about eight months.  Just a few days ago, another updated package was released.

It seems to me that Morfik, the product, is stirring again and that we might start to see package updates coming out more frequently and eventually get a new update to the toolset itself.

I guess it was to be expected that merging the Morfik development team into Altium and moving to China in quick succession would cause some disruption, but it has really been a while since we had any interesting news.   I hope this will change soon and we’ll get to see lots of interesting stuff coming out of Altium’s R&D group.

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Altium changes Morfik licensing

Okay, the news is two days old now… I’m sorry it took me so long post about it, but I’ve gifted with a very bad case of the flu for the past couple of days.  It isn’t easy to formulate an informed opinion, much less write about it when you are running a high fever and having difficulty to breath.

Now that I’m a bit better, I can come out and say it:  I love it!

Morfik has always been built on top of a great technology base, and has grown considerably in sophistication and capabilities with each subsequent release.  The product has attracted a number of software developers and ISVs which see the clear advantages of having a single tool with which to do all their Web development work and that creates redistributable binaries.

All that said, the fact that there are so many bits of free software available on the ‘net makes a lot of people shy away from even looking at commercial tools.  With Morfik being now effectively free, I expect we’ll see a lot more new people and companies checking out the tool and eventually joining the community.

Morfik has been rolling out quite a number of additional packages for the tool, which nicely provide ready made functionality, but which are not a requirement for the creation of great apps.  These packages help developers save a lot of development effort in creating great looking applications or implementing frequently used services such as user authentication controls.

The cost that has been set for participating in the support program should not represent a problem for just about anyone that has decided to use Morfik professionally. This program provides a nice way to get access to libraries which provide sophisticated, ready-to-use, functionality for developers to incorporate into their applications.

This certainly seems like a good move by Altium and one which should help bring a lot more attention to Morfik.

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Altium completes the acquisition of Morfik

Australian tech sites are reporting that Morfik’s acquisition by Altium has been completed. I understand that the acquisition initiative had to follow specific procedures due to the fact that Altium is a publicly traded company and thus needs to comply with the corresponding rules.

I don’t believe there was much doubt that the acquisition would come through, but it is good to know that the formalities are out of the way.

Altium has maintained that Morfik 3 should be released this month which is great news as it makes its new features the current form of the technology and allows everyone who may be waiting for the version 3 to leave beta status to fully embrace it.

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Altium to acquire Morfik

I’ve been away from this blog for a while as I’ve been putting a lot of work into two projects. Having spent the past two months working on a business process consulting project at the same time I have been writing a new book has left me with very little time for my more casual writing projects.

The announcement of Morfik’s acquisition by Altium is reason enough to bring me out of the woodwork and comment a bit.   The news has been spreading around the IT news sites quite rapidly.

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iPad support, a great move for the future

In the first beta releases of version 3 we can see Morfik’s initial steps in support for the creation of mobile applications.  The two major targets are the iPhone and the iPad as can be clearly seen by the specialized views in the Morfik debug browser.

This is a great move for the future, not only because it might seem to open new markets for Morfik developers to explore but because of the change in computer usage patterns that is to come.  If you have had the opportunity to use an iPad for a few days, you might know what I am talking about.

As has been widely commented, many iPad users are changing the their computing habits and using more and more the device in activities previously done on regular desktop or notebook computers.  These users do more of their browsing on the iPad, because of its convenience or simply because it is initiated from an iPad application such as a Twitter or email client.  Whatever the reason, these users are already numbered in the millions as by the end of the last quarter Apple had already sold 3.27 million iPads and can’t seem to produce them in the quantity that customers are buying.

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7th Firebird Developer’s Day

In just under two weeks I’ll be traveling to Piracicaba, a town in the Brazilian state of São Paulo to attend the 7th Firebird Developer’s Day.  This event has been held once a year for the past six years, bringing together Firebird users from all over Brazil.

It is by no means a small event, even though its attendance is mainly restricted to Brazilians, the number of people at the event is generally in the range of 550 to 700.  Considering that Piracicaba is not a large metropolis, most attendees have to travel great distances to reach the location of the event, which doesn’t seem to discourage many.

In this year’s event I will be presenting a session on the creation of Web applications using Morfik 3 and Firebird.  This year I plan to go through all the steps involved in creating a functioning application so that attendees can get a good idea of what is involved in using Morfik 3 to create rich web applications that interact with Firebird databases.

If you are a Brazilian Morfik user and can make the trip, join us in discussing Firebird techniques, usage scenarios and the new features of the next release which  is now in Release Candidate status.

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Morfik 3 Pages and Page Templates

An article describing the usage and creation of Page Templates in Morfik 3 has just been published here on Morfik Watch.  This article is the first to be added to the new Articles section of this website and it should be followed by several others in the next couple of days.

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Welcome to Morfik Watch 1.9!

Welcome to the new version of the Morfik Watch blog.  It has been a long time in coming and to tell the truth it hasn’t quite landed in full yet.  That is why I gave it the 1.9 version number.

Almost two years ago I created Morfik Watch to write about everything remotely related to Morfik.  Almost at the same time I created some communities for Morfik users, using the free services of Ning.  I was never really happy with Blogger, the publishing platform on Which Morfik Watch was based or Ning.

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Morfik 3 and mobile development

If you haven’t downloaded the beta version of Morfik 3 you should stop wasting your time.  Morfik 3 introduces a new page templates feature which let you easily create reusable layouts and basic page configurations.

This is really useful in getting started with a new project as you will be able to reuse layouts and parts of your application design that you might have already created in a previous project and saved into a template.  It is even more useful is that now that you can create pages that are specific to the iPhone and for general computers withing the same application and have the Morfik Framework automatically serve out the correct ones.  The selection is done automatically based on the device that is being used to access the application.

In adding explicit support for mobile applications into the its development environment and framework Morfik went all the way in and added support for previewing applications as they will look in the iPhone and on the iPad.  The Morfik debug browser now has a small button on the far right of its toolbar that allows the developer to choose from a list of devices and screen orientations.

The following picture shows the BookCollector sample application loaded into the iPhone preview.  The iPhone “version” of the application will contain only the pages you specify through links from the iPhone start page.  The same is true for iPad versions of your applications, though you can choose to have more than one type of device using the same pages.

The next picture shows the same application in preview mode, simulating its execution in an iPad in portrait display orientation.

At this time, Morfik supports Apple’s line up of mobile products: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, though applications should work on other mobile devices that a fully functional browser.  This generally means that applications should function okay on Android devices, as Google’s browser implementation is based on WebKit, just as mobile Safari.  There can be no guarantee that the applications will look good on all Android devices as they all have different screen sizes and resolutions.

Morfik 3 also introduce a pair of new controls: Menu Bar and Repeater.  I’ll take a closer look at these controls and other Morfik 3 features in other follow up posts.

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Morfik 3 goes into beta

Morfik has just made available for download from their website the first beta version of Morfik 3. This is the next major version of the company’s flagship product and as the more recent posts to the official Morfik blog indicate it is packed with new features.

Along with the beta version the company’s website has been entirely redesigned with a full corporate brand makeover including a new logo and color scheme for the product and web properties.

I’ll be following up this short post with more detailed information during the day.  Right now I just wanted to make sure that everybody knew to download the beta version.

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The never ending move…

It’s incredible but this move is going to end up taking up a whole month, rather than a 3 days as I had anticipated.

As I was starting the process I had an issue with the new server and that alone pushed the whole process back by 3 days.  All the rest is just my self underestimating the amount of trouble and hurt it would be to merge this website and the Morfik communities currently residing in Ning.

In the past 4 or 5 months I’ve created and moved around several blogs a major move by iPadWatcher (www.ipadwatcher.com) and they all went very well and none lasted for more than 48 hours.

Hopefully I’ll have it all sorted out soon.

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Morfik Watch is moving…

The process of moving MorfikWatch to a new home has started.  Over the next 24 to 72 hours it should be complete. 

During this period there might be some moments when the website is unavailable or available with only partial content.  This period should not last long and during that time this blog’s current content will be available at morfikwatch.blogspot.com.

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Long absence…

I’ve been absent from my regular blogging about Morfik for a while now.  I have been involved with two major projects in the past three months and this has taken a toll in the number of posts I’ve done since February.

I’m currently preparing to move MorfikWatch to the same blogging platform as the iPadWatcher.com blog, which will make things easier for me in the next step in the evolution of this blog.

I have several plans for the near future of MorfikWatch and moving the website to a more flexible platform is a big part of them.  I really would have preferred to write the whole site from scratch in Morfik, but for now I’ll settle with just getting MorfikWatch out of blogger and onto a WordPress based infrastructure that allows me much more freedom in how I can publish not only regular posts but longer and not as time constrained articles.

Stay tuned for the new MorfikWatch coming to a browser near you…

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New opportunities for Morfik applications

I thought this was a good moment to discuss some interesting possibilities that are opening open for people who develop rich Internet applications without resorting to plug-ins such as Flash and Silverlight.   If you have followed some of the hype that has been bubbling all over the Web about Apple’s new iPad, you will be hard pressed to have missed the point that it doesn’t support any such plug-ins.

In fact, the lack of Flash support has been one of the most hit on criticisms against the iPad.  Now, how is this interesting for the readers of MorfikWatch?  Well, let’s consider this.  Several major websites that make use of Flash have been scrambling to get rid of it, instead of getting rid of the millions of people that are expected to get an iPad between now and the end of this year.

What this means is that many new initiatives for creating rich Internet applications that might use Flash or Silverlight, will have to reconsider those possibilities due to the millions of people that will not be able to access the application or website using the latest, hotest device on the market.  What are the available alternatives?  Essentially, there is only one: Ajax.

As the most sophisticated development tool set for the creation of Ajax applications, Morfik is a great tool to help to build the next wave of Internet applications which will be highly interactive and run without issue on the iPad’s built-in Safari browser.

So, if you haven’t considered this yet, you might want to start thinking of how you can best make use of the fact that you are already familiar with a great tool for creating “iPad Ready” websites, as Apple is now calling websites that don’t use Flash.

This is a great moment for Morfik developers.  Morfik has been releasing new packages which enhance the functionality that can be easily added into Morfik applications and is forging ahead to deliver the next major version of  Morfik FX/BX/CX soon, as has been mentioned in the Morfik forums.  Add to all this that the demand for pure Ajax applications is about to increase dramatically and you will see things are looking more and more promising for Morfik developers.

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MorfikWatch #100 – Two new packages from Morfik

Morfik has announced in its official blog the release of two new add-on packages that are available to members of its Morfik Developer Assist Plus program.  These packages allow the user to include Amazon Ads in their applications as well as to present large sized images in a fancy HTML popup. 

This second package is based on the highly used LightBox library and adds a nice touch to applications that show thumbnails of images and then display the full picture when user clicks on the thumbnail.

As I came into MorfikWatch to post about this new release I noticed that it would be the 100th post on this blog.  I’m sure that Morfik actually released these packages just to celebrate this momentous occasion. :-)

Thanks to everyone that has been following MorfikWatch through all these posts.

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Morfik auto-deployment agent available for beta testing

Morfik is making available its auto-deployment agent for beta testing.  Morfik has decided to release this agent as a product to facilitate the process of deployment to corporate servers for its users as well as to make it easier for hosting service providers to support the deployment of Morfik built applications.

This is great news to anyone that has tried out Morfik’s own MorfikSpace hosting service which is still under testing.  The deployment process to the Morfik servers could hardly be easier and faster.  The availability of such a service ends up making it so easy to update an application that you may end up doing much more frequent updates than you did before.
Grab a copy from the downloads area of the Morfik website and take it for a spin.
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Big packages day at Morfik: 4 new packages are available

It seems to be a big day for packages at Morfik as they have released four new packages to the subscribers of the Morfik Developer Assist program.


These packages include classes and widgets for adding AdSense, YouTube videos, Amazon S3 storage (including an uploader widget) and polished Accordion widget package.




These packages are all available from the Morfik website on their packages page.


Morfik seems to picking up the pace in releasing new packages, as this brings the total available now to eight.  It is interesting to note that all these packages are created with Morfik itself and from what was described recently by Aram Mirkazemi, Morfik’s CEO, we should expect that the package/widget infrastructure will be further enhanced in version 3.0. 


You can read all about these packages as well as get links to samples in this post on Morfik’s official blog.

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Morfik releases several new sample applications

Morfik has just made available several new applications for download from their website. These applications provide more examples on how to use several techniques which are new to the Morfik 2.x branch such as published URLs and Links.  The following is a list of the new samples they’ve released:

  • Morfik Reports is a cut-down version of the AjaxSMB Project. It only includes Reports and is currently downloadable as part of the Morfik Reports video in the eLearning center. 

  • Morfik CMS is a simple Content Management System that can be extended to run almost any content-driven website. This example is used throughout the Database_Guide of the MorfikWiki to demonstrate everything from table structures to how to build the user interface. 
  • MorfikCRM takes the classic user interface from a desktop Customer Relationship Management system and morphs it into a 100% Ajax user interface.
  • Morfik CSV shows how to export data from a table in your project to a CSV format file. This is a good example of server-side programming and includes some SQL coding.
  • Morfik Registration is a simple project for registering users. It includes a routine to send an email upon registration. It also ‘Checks fonor Duplicates’ and includes ‘Captcha’ to ensure registration is done by a real person.
All these samples and others can be downloaded from Morfik’s sample projects page.
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Morfik Chat/Discussion

We are a bit late in having out chats about using external code in Morfik and I apologize to all the people that have written in interested in taking part in on of the sessions.  This has been really my fault as the past two weeks have been very frantic for me and I couldn’t be sure of my own schedule.

In the next couple of days I’ll be in touch with everybody, with chat schedules for different areas.  I hope we’ll be able to have time which will be reasonable for everyone, regardless of the timezones.  If you are interested in joining one of the sessions and haven’t emailed in yet, please do so.  
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