Ruby on Rails Development

When developing web software applications Galvin Creative Technologies sometimes chooses to use Ruby on Rails

About the Author: Gary Galvin

March 12, 2009

Every web application project we approach always starts with a discovery phase.  During discovery, we assess the business problem, the solution needed, the budget, the timeline, the requirements, and the technology environment.  Our most common approach is to develop in a .NET environment, but there have been times we have had to develop in PHP or Ruby on Rails.  Fortunately, our web applications development team is diverse and very experienced in these languages.  Therefore, during discovery we are able to determine the best application development approach based on various requirements.  There have been times we have consulted and determined Ruby on Rails is the best approach to take.  Here are a few reasons:

  1. Technology Environment – If we are presented with a Linux environment and it’s a brand new application our lead architect may architect a Ruby on Rails solution.  It runs best within a Linux environment and many object-oriented methodologies can still be used.
  2. Timeline –  If the timeline is very tight then a Ruby on Rails solution may be developed.  Our application development team will have to balance this vs. the technology environment and the long term vision of the company and future applications.
  3. Budget – If the budget is limited and the business requirements are limited then our application development team will architect a Ruby on Rails solution.  Ruby on Rails works nicely on a tight budget.
  4. Fun – We typically develop in .NET but there are times where our developers just want to get their hands into something new.

Below is a case study of Galvin Creative Technologies‘ most recent Ruby on Rails development project.

Online Placement Test for University of Indianapolis – The Modern Languages Department at the University of Indianapolis allowed incoming students to take a placement test for German, French, and Spanish language classes.  In the past, this was done on paper, had a manual grading process and was then approved by the registrar.  This was a time-consuming process and the incoming students would not be notified until weeks after they took the placement test.  Galvin Creative Technologies developed an online placement test system that allowed incoming students to take the test online, receive an immediate score and immediately be placed in the appropriate class.  Now, instead of waiting weeks to be notified, an incoming student knew the results the moment they hit submit after taking the placement test.  The other major benefit of this application is how it communicated with the registrar office.  The test scores and placements were immediately sent to the registrars office for verification and final approval.  A few other features of the online placement test system included:

  • An administration section to review student scores, monitor tests, manage test content and answers.
  • A streaming audio section built with business rules that only allowed the audio to be listened to twice before answering a question.
  • Language translation for French, German and Spanish.
  • A built-in onscreen keyboard for special German, French, and Spanish characters.
  • Custom calculations for a complex grading system.
  • Direct communication with the registrar.

Although .NET is our most common approach we are thrilled to be developing in Ruby on Rails.

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