Skipper - The ORM Designer Blog
  • Skipper - The ORM Designer
  • VsBuilds - Parallel building
  • Pulpo - Free Skipper CLI

Category: Behind the scenes

ORM Designer going to the Brno PHP meetup!

For Thursday April 17, 2014 meeting of local PHP community is scheduled in Brno (CZ) and we will be there too. You can meet people of same interest, listen to talks and chat with others. These PHP events take place roughly every two months.

PHP Brno

Because we love to support local community, we became the main partner of the event and each participant can attend in raffle for the full license of ORM Designer. Our colleague, František Tröster will have at this event presentation how to speed-up development with ORM Designer.

There will be 4 talks, 25 minutes for each:

  • 18:20 What makes a good developer from a management perspective (Marek Šudák)
  • 19:10 WebSockets - how to do real-time applications in PHP (Ondřej Mirtes)
  • 20:00 ORM Designer: Speed up your ORM development (František Tröster)
  • 20:50 How to parallelize in PHP and not go crazy (Martin Strouhal)

Entry is free and attendees will have food and beer gratis. If you are interested in this meeting, do not hesitate with the reservation, number of participants is highly limited.

More information and registration can be found on

14 Mar 2014

Interesting resources for PHP, ORM and MVC programmers

We asked our developers, who to follow or what to monitor on social networks and where they find new tips and current topics in their field of interest. Based on their references we compiled a following** list of interesting people and accounts** of various PHP frameworks or debating communities for selected social networks:

Who to follow on Twitter

  • Zend Technologies – 26 000 followers The primary sponsor of the Zend Framework open source project for developing web applications and services using PHP
  • Andi Gutmans – 4 553 followers An Israeli PHP developer and co-founder of Zend Technologies
  • Symfony – 13 600 followers An Open Source distributed PHP framework
  • Fabien Potencier – 18 700 followers Symfony founder and project lead
  • Cakephp – 10 600 followers An open source web application framework which follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) approach and is written in PHP
  • Larry E. Masters – 2212 followers CakePHP Founder/Lead Developer
  • James Watts – 204 followers CakePHP Core Member and Community Manager
  • Doctrine project – 1 403 fllowers An object-relational mapping (ORM) tool for PHP application development
  • Benjamin Eberlei – 2 890 followers Doctrine project lead and IT-Consultant for quality assurance and software architecture
  • Rasmus Lerdorf – 28 700 followers Famous for creating the PHP scripting language, authoring the first two versions of the language and participating in development of later versions

Interesting groups on LinkedIn

Where to talk on Facebook

Facebook is designed more for entertainment than professional discussion. However, there is one active group where you can discuss topics about your field of interest:

  • PHP – 18 720 members

Communities to join on Google+

Do you use social networks? Which ones? Do you miss someone or something in the list? Feel free to discuss it in comments.

One application, twelve months, countless improvements

This is a quick rundown and overview of what features were added or improved in the last twelve months during which ORM Designer 2 is available. Here are the adjustments we are proud of the most.

Product Tour

Ten graphical slides, built directly into the application. They have high information value and explain the basic functions and features of ORM Designer.

New wizards

Smart and easy to use, these wizards made many operations faster. They guide you through the process of existing project import , creating new project or attaching of ORM Designer module.

Free viewer

Perfect for everyone who wants to share their models with colleagues or customers. It allows viewing of whole model including entities present in it and relationships between them, but without ability to edit anything. Free tool available for everyone, even for those without full license

New documentation

Very detailed and comprehensive websites that provide information about everything related to ORM Designer. It is thematically segmented, fully searchable and linked, so you won’t have to scroll through any monstrous pdf.

Language mutations

We made ORM Designer translatable and the first volunteers applied to implement their native languages into it. Any help is welcome, so if you are willing to translate our application into your language, contact us.


Advanced feature able to save you a lot of time. ORM Designer can automatically create some elements for you. How these new elements will look depends on setting of model elements templates, which are fully customizable.

Additional goodies

We have been working on many other features and enhancements, to stay concise here is the short list of some of them.

03 Feb 2014

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Skipper features Behind the scenes #features

Last year with ORM Designer

It is about one year since we launched ORM Designer 2. Article focusing on how we managed to improve it during that time will come out later. This one is more about important things we achieved as a company. Have a look at what we regard as the biggest milestones of the past twelve months.

## JIC (South Moravian Innovation Centre)

We have started to work with this Czech start-up accelerator. Initially, we came looking for investors, but what we did receive was so much more. JIC connected us. Thanks to our cooperation we have met many great people who are among the best in their field in our country. And they are excited to help us make our company better at what it does. So go JIC.

Angel investor

Our investor Michael Rostock-Poplar brought some additional funding into the ORM Designer team. But not only that, thanks to his extensive network of contacts he is able to recommend us to the people who are much more experienced in creating business solutions in our segment of work than we do and usually, those people gladly share their insight on how to do something with us. And good advice is hard to find.


One of the biggest problems for young people freshly out of school is absence of relevant work experience. And although universities are great for imparting theoretical knowledge, they put less emphasis on practice. Two young men who have decided to improve their coding skills as interns in our company were during the five months they spend here systematically trained in the ways of C++. Our mutual cooperation proved to be beneficial to all parties involved and we are glad we had them on board.

Bigger team, bigger office

Since our team is now almost double the size it was year ago, our current premises started to feel a bit small. And because the shop located right next to us was ending its activities we simply took up its space as well and were finally able to fit in comfortably.

The road ahead of us is still long and every important or interesting thing that happens in our company will sooner or later find its way to this blog. So check it out from time to time.

30 Jan 2014

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Behind the scenes #team

New in team: Katka

Kateřina Mráčková


is graduate student of Information Technology Management and interested in marketing. With an inquisitive and analytical mind, Kate holds passion for tasks associated with online marketing, web analytics, search engine optimilization and social media. She loves her job as a marketing specialist, because it’s modern and rapidly evolving discipline where she can enforce her fanaticism about learning new things.

In free time, Kate is interested in photography, especially loves using old forgotten lenses nowadays. Her other passions are geocaching, hiking with her dog and since the last summer also riding on a scooter (with her dog of course).

10 Dec 2013

Posted by: Ludek Vodicka

Behind the scenes #team

Introducing: Martin & Martin

With the influx of new members to our team, we decided to tell you few words about them.

Martin Kulhavý


Former economics student with focus on financial markets. Now working as marketing specialist he found himself to be quite far from the world of stocks, shares and forex trading. In his new work, he appreciates the fact that he learns something new and interesting every day, possibility to unleash his creative spirit instead of following rigid rules and the company of smart and knowledgeable people.

In his free time, he likes to play electric guitar, read books on various contemporary topics and work on his gung fu, which has roots in southern Shaolin. As long time pen & paper storytelling game enthusiast, with the favourite game “Exalted” he is currently anxiously waiting for the launch of Exalted 3rd edition.

Martin “Freki” Straděj


Veteran of corporate customer care, content in a small company environment. The opportunity to focus more on helping people and less on the giant amount of corporate policies is welcomed change of pace for him. And because with ORM Designer troubles are rare, he can indulge in his obsession for documentation, process mapping, interaction between systems of all kinds and preparing rigid rules for the other Martin to follow.

He loves big, fast or dangerous things like fighter jets, tanks, explosions and elephants. To move his body he reenacts military history or free dives. All of his interests come together in PC games, preferably those where you employ fighter jets and elephants to achieve underwater explosions.

Editor note: no animals were harmed during the writing of this article.

18 Nov 2013

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Behind the scenes #team

New documentation

Our new documentation

As you might have noticed, in the last few weeks we were neglecting our blog a bit. The reason for this is that our whole team is currently busy finishing new documentation, and we are excited to tell you that the launch is planned for the next week.

Don’t worry, no bulky pdf with hundreds of pages is heading your way. Simple is smart, and the documentation completely follows this rule. We created it in a shape of simple websites thematically** sorted** by its main topics. For intuitive navigation, the search function has also been added.

The documentation is divided into four main sections:

  • Common Information: FAQ, license conditions, supported platforms, etc.
  • How to Use: general concepts of working with ORM Designer
  • Frameworks Tutorials: specifics of working with selected framework
  • Expert Usage: advanced configuration and customization of application

We are looking forward to introduce documentation publicly, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us. To create something comprehensive, concise and visually appealing is not easy.

Keep your fingers crossed so we deliver it on time, with understandable content and clear form. Follow our blog and we will inform you about the precise date of launch.

12 Nov 2013

Internship at ORM Designer

Being a software making company, development is very important to us. Not only development of ORM Designer, but professional and personal development of each of our employees. And because we like to give a chance to young talents, we decided to take part in a project co-financed from ESF EU (European Structural Funds) aimed at providing work experience for college graduates.

Jarda, Jakub, and Ludek (from left to right)

Our interns, who worked for us as C++ programmers, were responsible for developing easier parts of the application. Jaroslav Šín, who decided to stay with us changed his focus into the production of technical documentation. Jakub Navrátil, the second attendee, is now poised to land a job as junior programmer in one of the many IT companies out there.

Discussion about problem

We would like to thank to both guys for wonderful five months spent together and we hope they will continue to hone their skills and doing work that they enjoy.

14 Oct 2013

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Behind the scenes #team

Our team begins to grow

When your number of clients is growing, so are your revenues. But guess what, this goes hand in hand with what your users are expecting from you. To ensure that the quality of our services is going up rather than down, we decided to enrich our ranks with three new reinforcements. Namely software support, marketing specialist and sales representative.

The amount of work cut out for us, could no longer be managed in just four people. It takes time to go through the countless amounts of suggestions and clever little tricks you are providing us with (which we are always grateful to receive), to make for you the best possible product that we can.

Also, we are not growing in numbers, but in space too! Our current premises proved to be insufficient to suit our needs, so we extended our offices by another room. After all, we wouldn´t want to be called IT Crowd, because we are crowded in here.

The very beginning of enlarging

The very beginning of enlarging

The new premises


How to fit in the tables

How to fit in the tables

Tools used

Tools used

Here you can see results of our work, how do you like it?




09 Oct 2013

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Behind the scenes #team

Written about us

Thanks to the program of South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) and entering of Michael Rostock as our investor we have started to receive medial attention. If you are interested, and understand Czech, here are a few of them.


We know, most of you aren’t Czech readers, so here is little something in English.

Being noticed on the local scene is nice, but we would like the world to be our theater. This publicity means a lot for us. So thanks to all authors for writing. And thank you, for reading.

04 Oct 2013

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Behind the scenes #team #PR

ORM Designer raises funding from angel investor

As stated in the previous blog post, in spring 2013 we applied for Innovation Park program running by South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) in order to connect to specialist from different fields of business and also to raise ORM Designer funding.

ORM Designer investor Michael Rostock-Poplar

As well as we have been accepted to the program as one of the most promising project, we have also succeed in investor searching. After a short time in the program, in Czech Republic very well-known investor Michael Rostock-Poplar approached us with an offer that couldn’t be refused.

It was settled that the finances from the investment will be fully used for PR activities heading to better recognition of ORM Designer within ORM frameworks communities. This includes such activities as brand building, creation of detailed project documentation, better presentation of core features and application benefits and other.

But Michael Rostock-Poplar hasn’t brought only the money to ORM Designer. He will also help us with important business decisions and coach us in fields in which he is more experienced than us.

In future we will keep inform you what the investment will bring us.

27 Aug 2013

Posted by: Iva Kubickova

Behind the scenes #PR #brand

ORM Designer in Czech start-up accelerator

Here in Czech Republic start-up scene is strongly supported by government and community. That’s why there are a lot of programs that help start-ups to grow and develop.

In spring 2013 ORM Designer project was applied to one of these programs. The program is called Innovation park and it is running under the patronage of South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC).

ORM Designer has been accepted as one of the most promising project with a huge potential to grow into a company with significant economic effects for South Moravian Region in a few following years.

Our primal goal was to raise funding from some Czech investor. But the program has brought us much more benefits. From all of these it is worth mentioning especially:

We’d like to thank all participants for their advice and effort and looking forward to our next co-operation.

And what happened with seed funding? Follow our blog and you will find out :-)

19 Aug 2013

Posted by: Iva Kubickova

Behind the scenes #PR #brand