Archive for February, 2010

What lies ahead!

When driving a software product, it is tempting to create a road map studded with desired features, and bullet points that respond to every request from users and prospective customers. But experience has shown that a customer should ultimately make their decision based on whether the current state of the product is a good fit for them or not. We do realise the importance of a roadmap for project planning and certain kinds of decision making. However, we are also wary of the risk that goes with selling tomorrow over today, through promises which could lead to potential disappointment and possible disillusionment.

So starting in 2010, as a new way of providing information on development progress, we have chosen to use technology previews and product announcements, rather than continuing with the road map and timeline methods.

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Automated Deployment is a must for Rapid Application Development on the Web

Have you ever bought a big fancy refrigerator with the latest and greatest wiz bang features and when the delivery truck arrived, realized it would not get through the door?  I did, and soon learned the valuable lesson of planning the deployment of my applications even before I start coding.

Developers of my vintage remember the early days when we deployed programs by the use of a single XCOPY command.  As computing environments became more complex, deployment of applications became a daunting task and things got so bad that a whole new industry specialising in installation tools emerged.  At its peak there were tools with several thousand dollar price tags on offer.

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Access class definition with one click!

Ctrl+click on the class in your code editor and Morfik will open the framework module where the class is declared and point you to its implementation. To go back to your code, either press Alt+Left or use the Back arrow in the Home Ribbon.

An easy way to track project document dependencies.

Did you know that you can view dependencies between different project documents by simply right-mouse clicking on a document when in project view and opening the properties dialog.

The "dependency" tab in this dialog displays all project documents that are used by this document. But more importantly, it also lists all project items that use this document.

Will Flex go down with Flash?

Adobe Flash has featured prominently in recent blogs and press, and it is not all good news for this ubiquitous technology. With the native support for video content in HTML5, Google’s initiative to offer video content through the YouTube HTML5 Video Player and Apple’s open criticism of Flash, to the extent of refusing to support it (so far) on iPhone and iPad, dark clouds are gathering over Adobe.

It is still too early to write-off Flash and there are many arguments for and against its future.  In a recent blog John Gruber makes the interesting observation that “Flash is the only web standard based on a proprietary technology” and points out the advantages of adopting an open standard for video content on the Web.  Steve Jobs did not mince words either and had this to say about Flash and Adobe.

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Morfik Sharing and Bookmarking Package

We are pleased to announce the release of our Sharing and Bookmarking Package which is designed to make using social Sharing and Bookmarking in Morfik applications easy.

The Morfik Sharing and Bookmarking Package allows visitors to your website to select the social service of their choice in order to save, share or bookmark your content online. Instead of crowding the screen with dozens of buttons, coding API for each of them and maintaining them individually, you now can simply use all-in-one widgets with working connections to most of the social networks, blogs and messengers. The package consists of three popular social bookmarking and sharing widgets: Add This, Add to Any and Tell a Friend.

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Display Thumbnails option

Did you know you can control the Form and Report thumbnail generation within the IDE using the new "Display Thumbnail" feature in Morfik Options | General. This is particularly useful in saving memory space for large projects.

Drag and drop Image Resources

Did you know image resources could be added to your project (to resources folder) by dragging the image from any source onto a form or the project tab!

The seven ordeals of the web application developer – Part 7

Developers who seek their fortune in the web business applications market must face and survive seven ordeals and success will only favour those who come prepared.

1. The First Ordeal: User experience

2. The Second Ordeal: Compatibility

3. The Third Ordeal: Time to market

4. The Fourth Ordeal: Finding the right tool

5. The Fifth Ordeal: Integration

6. The Sixth Ordeal: JavaScript

7. The Seventh Ordeal: Deployment

After surviving many ordeals and completing the web application, the developer must then face the ordeal of deployment.  If you thought it was as easy as uploading the elements of the application onto a web server and configuring the IP address, think again.

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How to deploy Morfik XApps as a native Apache module under Linux

In my last blog we went through commissioning and connecting to a Linux virtual machine on the Amazon cloud. Today we’ll look at running a Morfik XApp as an Apache module on that system.

After commissioning the server we used Putty for Windows to connect to the server and we got to the point where we made a secure connection to the server and logged in as the root user.

Since we are going to deploy the XApps as an Apache module we need to make sure an Apache 2 web server is installed and running on the system.

To install the Apache web server we use the “yum” command. Yum is an automatic updater and package installer/uninstaller for systems using rpm packages.

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