Comparing SaaS Cloud apps hosting and provisioning options

This is what popped up while going through a thought experiment on choosing hosting and provisioning for the development of a new Software as a Service offering. The options considered are: PaaS with multi-tenancy – use a PaaS offering (think Cloud Foundry, Heroku, Google App Engine and Windows Azure Compute) to host a multi-tenant system. Provisioning for a new client is zero-cost done inside the system PaaS with one environment per client – use a PaaS offering (think  Cloud Foundry, Heroku, Google App Engine and Windows Azure Compute) to…Continue Reading “Comparing SaaS Cloud apps hosting and provisioning options”

Users are strange creatures, and to demonstrate, here are some quick facts: They want to achieve lots of things as fast as they can, without learning anything new; They hate reading and avoid anything that resembles help or a user manual… or even freaking text boxes; They want user interfaces that look like other user interfaces and that function the way that other applications function but that ultimately achieve a different goal; They want things to just work. Yup, strange creatures indeed. Who would have…Continue Reading “Users and their strange habits”

Replacing images and icons with CSS3 web fonts

It’s really hard to create beautiful and clean web interfaces when you have to slice and dice images for every little button, action or highlight. Well, now you can replace them with web-font characters styled with CSS3 – as most browsers have support for them. Here’s a sample from something I’m working on just to give you a feel: Wait, there’s more: using styled glyphs instead of images gives you more flexibility with application themes – and less images to mess with: The nice thing? What…Continue Reading “Replacing images and icons with CSS3 web fonts”

You should be already used to my religious prototyping habits – I tend to try out a lot of stuff, build a lot of things that I later discard and so on. Knowing that I do this a lot, I tend to actively look for tools that are either very easy to set up or that don’t even have an install footprint. Last year (I think) I found Mongoose, and used it to replace my normal prototyping instance – an Apache instance that I had…Continue Reading “Fastest web stack you could possibly set up for prototyping”

Stop Visual Studio Express 2012 from SCREAMING at you

I don’t develop .NET code professionally but I do like to keep my tools sharp in every direction – that includes knowing the latest technologies even if they don’t relate to JEE. Playing around with .NET means I need a good environment at a reasonable price (read free) and after trying SharpDevelop and VS Express a couple of years ago I decided that the best IDE for me was VS C# Express. After happily using it for more than 2 years I upgraded to VS Express 2012 for Windows Desktop (there’s…Continue Reading “Stop Visual Studio Express 2012 from SCREAMING at you”

  I KEEP six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who. Rudyard Kipling   What? In Prototyping the web API I started describing an idea to build a tool that can be used to try out/prototype web APIs before actually building a back-end implementation, helping a team to describe a clear and strict HTTP API, as well as allowing them to build and test client code without having written one…Continue Reading “Apis – The Web API builder”

  Since my ideal web application model includes a decoupled web client and since I favor an interface-first approach while prototyping and development, I always try to code the user interface as decoupled as I can from the web tier. At first, I’ve tried developing the web components (HTML, JS, AJAX and all) as standalone packages, not integrated in the user interface. Well, that works… the only problem is that it leads to hacks and to a “one API per user interface” approach, which I…Continue Reading “Prototyping the web API”

Sketching my ideal web application model

Ever since I started working on my first real AJAX web components more than five years ago I’ve been a big supporter of the “Browser as a RPC client” architectural concept, promoting decoupling the “web client” from the “web tier” as much as the technology used in each project allowed, and I’ve met both resistance and support from each one of the teams I’ve worked in. Somehow, the thought of treating the “web client” as a distinct and separate entity from the “web tier” managed…Continue Reading “Sketching my ideal web application model”

Switching to JBoss 7 changed a lot of things in how we build our applications, how we deploy them and how we manage them, mostly improving everything. For me one of the biggest improvements in terms of increasing productivity and manageability is the new configuration system… simplified bliss. One example is setting up the web container for balancing via mod_proxy_balancer. In the past, this meant modifying the embedded tomcat connector… a primitive, ugly, dirty way of doing things 🙂 In AS 7, you just have…Continue Reading “JBoss 7, jvmRoute and mod_proxy_balancer”