How to use Morfik’s Deployment Automation Service

I am very passionate about this feature of Morfik software, but sometimes I wonder if other people can see the benefits too.

The reason I appreciate this feature more than others is that for a long time I used to deploy and update Morfik applications manually. At that stage, we did not have the auto-deployment feature—and it was a real pain. It’s not that Morfik web applications (XApps) were particularly hard to deploy, but this was a general problem when deploying web applications—especially when they needed to use a back-end database.

Nowadays, the deployment process has become so trivial using Morfik software that all the Morfik team deploy their XApps directly from the environment they work in (Morfik IDE) without any knowledge of the back-end or even which files and resources the project needs. They don’t even ask a question about this anymore!

Although documentation for Morfik auto-deployment does exist, I felt that writing this blog might help others to get a feel for and appreciate this feature more than before.

One of the great facilities Morfik has provided for those who are evaluating Morfik software is the ability to use the auto-deployment feature of the software. All versions of Morfik, including the Demo versions, allow you to deploy one XApp as a demo on Morfik Hosting Services. In this exercise I will show you how easy it is to use this feature.

Since the sample project, BookCollector, uses a back-end database and is included in all versions of Morfik software, open this project in the Morfik IDE and auto-deploy it as a demo project on MorfikSpace.

After opening and loading the BookCollector project, click on the ‘Project’ tab of the Ribbon menu and click on the ‘Deploy’ shortcut button as shown in the screenshot below (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The ‘Deploy’ button in the ‘Project’ ribbon.

You should now see the first page of the auto-deployment wizard dialog box (Figure 2). To use this feature you must have a Morfik account, which is free. If you don’t have an account, just click on ‘Register now’ on the dialog box and fill in the few details needed for your Morfik account. If you do have an account, or after creating an account, enter your Morfik account username and password. If you check the ‘Remember password’ box you won’t have to enter that information again.

Figure 2: The auto-deployment wizard dialog box.

Click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

On the next page of the wizard, choose the ‘Launch a New Site’ radio button (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Selecting ‘Launch a New Site’ in the auto-deployment wizard.

Click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

On the next page select ‘MorfikSpace Servers’ from the drop-down box under ‘Please Select a Target Server’. Choose ‘North America’ for ‘Server Location’ and ‘Demonstration’ for ‘Deployment Mode’ (Figure 4).  (If you have installed the Morfik Auto-Deployment Software on your server, select your server instead of ‘Morfik Space Servers’  as the target server)

Figure 4: Selecting a target server

Click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

The information required on the next page (Figure 5) is mainly to identify this particular XApp on the Internet. Like any other web application, our XApp needs to have an address. The generic domain name used initially for all XApps deployed on MorfikSpace uses morfikspace.com. To identify each XApp on this space you are given the option of choosing ‘Your Unique MorfikSpace Name’. You can only change this option the first time you use the auto-deployment feature. By default, the system offers you a unique name made up information in your account. You can change it to something more cryptic or clearer as long as it is unique in the Morfik system.

After providing this, the address of your XApp will be something like:

whateveryouchose.morfikspace.com

You can then, if you like, supply a name to identify your XApp.  By default, the system uses the name of your XApp project as part of your XApp address ‘Application Sub-Domain’.

The final address of your XApp is therefore constructed like this:

yourxappname.youruniquemorfikspacename.morfikspace.com

You need this address to reach your XApp or pass it to your friends or clients to look at your web application. Rember though, that this is only a generic name while you are developing and testing your XApp. When you deploy your XApps for production on MorfikSpace, the Morfik auto-deployment wizard provides you with an easy way  to add secondary domain names to your website.

You should also provide useful hints for the ‘Description’ of the XApp being deployed so it can help you remember for which web application was this XApp being deployed. You will appreciate this when you have a few auto-deployed XApps and you need to update or stop them. The more description you provide, the easier you can identify your correct XApp and avoid changing the wrong one.

Figure 5: Choosing a domain name for your website

After you have filled out the information required, click the ‘Next’ button to continue.

The last page of the wizard lists a summary of the information you have provided. If everything is correct, click on the ‘Start’ button. This starts the process of compiling your project for the right target platform, creating the DNS record for your XApp, uploading the necessary files and resources and starting your XApp on the Internet. After clicking on the ‘Start’ button the wizard page shows the process and progress of deployment in real time. If the process successfully finishes, you should see a big green tick in front of every part of the process, and by default the ‘View XApp in the browser’ check box is checked (Figure 6).

Figure 6: The last step in the ‘auto-deployment’ wizard

Clicking on the ‘Finish’ button should launch your default browser with the address of your XApp in its address bar. A few seconds later your XApp should appear in the browser.

The first time you access your XApp it might take a bit longer to load. This is due to the fact that your XApp does not start automatically until the first request comes through. But in general, the servers and the platform Morfik uses for Demo XApp deployment are as fast as the production ones. This is due to the fact that Morfik provides the auto-deployment hosting for demo versions free of charge and with limited resources.

6 Responses to “How to use Morfik’s Deployment Automation Service”

July 26th, 2017
Koray Balcı says:

Just to increase the head count; I also would like to be able to deploy to our own server automatically.

Mike Jones says:

Totally agree with the other comments. Its great to be able to have a hosted service available, but if for whatever reason you want to use your own server, it would be so much better if you could still use auto deployment

Ivailo Bourov ivailo Bourov says:

If this feature is extended to user defined hosting, then will be very useful.
Currently it’s supports only Morfik hosting servers and no way to be helpful with such kind of restrictions.

Siamack Yousofi Siamack says:

We have been listening to you all along. We are going to announce some very good news on this topic shortly. Please standby!

Marius says:

Fantastic feature, IF we had it available for our own servers.

I posted a message last year (8 Jul 2009) about exactly this for serious developers.

Post ID: 9968

Regards
Marius

Darryl Strickland says:

The automation service sounds very nice for people without their own servers for hosting. However, Morfik should allow us to deploy to our servers with at least some of the functionality like connecting and deploying the application, resource, and database file.

Also, the Morfik site still refers to the service as BETA and not for mission critical applications.

Thanks for such a wonderful product.

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