Ruby on Rails Enterprise Application Development: Plan, Program, Extend

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By Elliot Smith , Rob Nichols
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  1. Introduction

About this book


All businesses have processes that can be automated via computer applications, thereby reducing costs and simplifying everyday operations. This book demonstrates that a modern web application framework makes an ideal platform for such applications. It shows how the attributes that make the Rails framework so successful for Internet applications also provide great benefit within a business intranet. These attributes include easy roll-out and update of applications, centralized processing and data handling, simple maintenance, straightforward code development, and scalability.

Ruby on Rails is an open-source web application framework ideally suited to building business applications, accelerating and simplifying the creation of database-driven websites. Often shortened to Rails or RoR, it provides a stack of tools to rapidly build web applications based on the Model-View-Controller design pattern.

This book covers topics such as installing Ruby, Rubygems, and Rails on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X; choosing and installing a database; installing an IDE for Rails development; setting up a Subversion repository to manage your code; creating a new Rails application; understanding Rails models; understanding controllers and views; improving user interfaces with Ajax; using Rails plugins to manage file uploads; using Capistrano to manage application deployment; techniques for scaling Rails applications, such as caching and using Apache to proxy through to the Mongrel server. The example application is straightforward to develop, easy to roll out, and simple to maintain.

Publication date:
October 2007
Publisher
Packt
Pages
528
ISBN
9781847190857

About the Authors

  • Elliot Smith

    Elliot Smith has worked in IT since 1996, and currently works at Talis, as a software developer working on library systems. Prior to that, he worked at OpenAdvantage (an open-source solutions center) as a business analyst; as a learning technologist and web developer at the University of Birmingham, England; and as a technical writer for Armada Computer Publications. He has an M.Sc. in Artificial Intelligence and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham. His personal website is http://townx.org/.

    He thanks Nicola, his wife, for giving him the time and space to write a book; Madeleine, his daughter, for keeping him sane while doing it; and Rob Nichols for giving him the opportunity in the first place.

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  • Rob Nichols

    Rob Nichols first started using computers during his apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce in the early 1980s. At 23 he decided to change direction and started a degree in Geology and Geography at Cardiff University. By 1995 he had gained a Ph.D. from Bristol University, studying the behavior of quicksand. During his time in Bristol and in a subsequent lectureship at Leeds University, he started using the fledgling Internet to communicate with co-workers, gather information, and present Geological information in the form of his first web pages. Following his return to Britain from a lectureship in U.S.P. Fiji, Rob found himself without another lectureship position to go on to. So, changing direction again, he started working for a U.K. computer manufacturer, where he rose to the position of Engineering Manager, managing a team of seventy maintenance and networking engineers, and support staff. Following the collapse of the U.K. computer market in 2002 he moved on to the role of IT manager for a small business providing products and services to the water industry. In this role, Rob has had great success developing intranet-based business applications that streamline business processes, save time, and increase efficiency. In so doing he has transformed the IT department from a business cost to a profit generator by reducing costs and thereby increasing margins. When not working with computers, Rob and his wife reside happily in a small Midlands town in England, where he writes scripts for the local movie-makers club, and photographs the local wildlife.

    For Diane, for putting up with my disappearances into the study to “work on the book”.

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