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Why Choose Digitalfire INSIGHT?

Data File Formats are Open

Stop and think carefully about what product you are going to put your data into. If you need to convert the data later to another format can you?

An example of what a competitor says: "xyz recipe files, in fact all of the files associated with xyz can only be opened from the xyz software environment. If you want to see a recipe, then boot xyz and load the recipe. xyz creates its own unique files for recipes, recipe databases, and raw material databases. They can only be viewed and edited from within xyz."
Think seriously about this, open data formats have been the standard among software engineers for 20 years now, do you want a closed one?

You can use text editor to open the data files to examine their format, you need to see logical layout.

Desktop Insight Data Storage

Insight uses XML (with a very logical structure) for file system storage, SQLite for local database storage and MySQL for remote server storage. The SQL schema is fully relational with inter-related tables, it is very efficient and has a logical schema. The database tables use the utf8 character set. Insight supports cloud storage of data so multiple installs on different internet-connected computers can maintain the same recipes and materials data. Insight has a data conversion mechanism (through its online version) that enables importing the data of other programs.

About Understanding Glazes and Materials

Desktop Insight is intended for classic glaze chemistry calculations. It reflects our philosophy that a good glaze is much more than looks, it fits the body and does not craze, shiver, pinhole, blister, crawl, scratch, mark or leach. It is better to develop, understand, control and adjust a few base recipes than be "held hostage" by scores of "traveling" recipes that don\'t work or by consultants and suppliers who are not there when you need them.

Insight is for people who are ready for glaze chemistry, who want answers and are asking "Why?".

It works closely with the Digitalfire Reference Library (also Insight users get preferred access to unsurpassed information about ceramic oxides, materials, processes, trouble shooting, properties, tests, hazards, companies and hundreds of technical articles. This is the internet\'s number one practical traditional ceramics technical information resource and it just keeps growing.

Side-by-Side Recipe Support

The biggest single advantage of Desktop Insight is its independent fully functional side-by-side two-recipe support. It is built from the ground up to facilitate comparison of two recipes and their formulas. This makes the base-recipe-with-adjustments approach to formulation and the chemistry-changes-to-flawed-recipe approaches to troubleshooting very practical. You can combine the two recipe, swap them, use one as a target toward which to move another, do material substitution with greater ease, even compare the same recipe or material using different unity and LOI settings.

Perfect for Education, it is the Standard

Desktop Insight Features

Has the Best SQL Database

With the advent of, no other product can match the database and group-work capabilities. You can import from a wide range of products and build your data online and work on it using any internet connected device (especially tablets and smartphones). And it can export everything to an Insight compatible SQLite database file.

It Has an OnLine Future Starting Now

Insight is now referred to as "Desktop Insight" because an online version is also available at We are moving steadily in this direction and the online version has many new data management abilities and focuses much more on maintaining data (e.g. for a physical testing program, firing schedules, projects, etc). It also offers group accounts so many people can work together to maintain a common data store.

Insight is Supported

We successfully compete with free and very low priced products. How? Service and commitment. It takes a lot more than a computer program to get control of your glazes. Our customer support is second-to-none, there are hundreds of testimonials on our website from customers happy with our service and product.

It is Our Only Business

Digitalfire Corporation has been developing and marketing Insight worldwide to manufacturing, education, professional, and hobby users for since 1980. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing our concepts. Ceramic related software is our only business. Insight was already well established when the IBM-PC was first introduced.

We Know This Stuff!

Since 1972, Insight\'s main developer, Tony Hansen, has been closely involved in manufacturing, material mining and processing, glaze and body formulation and adjustment, process problem solving, lab testing and quality control, and consulting with thousands of industrial, educational and private clients with an array ceramic problems and challenges.

We wrote the first commercial glaze chemistry software for the Radio Shack Model 1 back in 1979 and have adapted it to 6 operating systems and 9 development languages since then. We have expertise in relational database systems for workstations and web servers; desktop, electronic, graphics and database publishing; web back and front end and design; medium and high level languages for workstation, server and client; computer and telecommunications hardware and networking; palm computer programming and interfacing; and many other types of software and hardware development tools.

At Digitalfire we know how to configure and run powerful web and application servers and make state-of-the-art websites (we can make ebay or amazon type sites). The future of computing is on the internet and Insight will migrate in its ability to talk to the net and eventually actually running on the internet. We wrote, own and operate cutting edge ecommerce, search engine and database servers and have done so since the birth of the public internet in the mid 90s. We understand internet security and have built a knowledge that we will use to find new ways to make ceramic materials, physics, and chemistry information freely available.

We Have Connections and Information

Since 1996 we have been using the Internet to accumulate a database of ceramic related companies and individuals around the world along with their interests, expertises and relationships related to ceramic technology (not marketing). We believe that no one in the world has more contacts at all levels than we do. Our site does much of this automatically now (e.g. people can update their profiles themselves). This database is second-to-none, we do not share it (unless contributors agree otherwise).

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