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We still know basic Rails development

Last year we successfully launched the PURA App, a medium-sized project for a medium-sized enterprise. PURA is a commercial cleaning company based in Neusäß, with a catchment area of all southern germany.

Due to its size (the company has about 1400 employees), PURA faced some organizational challenges. Managers easily lost track of which objects needed their support. Heaps of paper checklists were stacking and increasingly hard to manage. PURA’s quality management was depending on the oral reports of object managers, as was their customer satisfaction feedback.

They needed a lightweight solution that would combine all these object management activities into a single system. So we worked out the requirements with them, then designed a solution and implemented the PURA App.

Simple Rails, Powerful Technology

The PURA App is a simple Rails 4 application with four basic models, supplemented by a handful of nested models. Each of the basic models has a standard CRUD. It has authentication and simple authorization. So far a greenfield project.

However, we used some exciting new Gems. katapult took the cumbersome project start burden off our shoulders. After about half an hour of application model definition, katapult implemented the model as basic, yet fully runnable application that could already manage users, objects, visits and even had specs and feature tests. From this raw workpiece we crafted the final application with all its domain-specific twitches and specialties.

A second major innovation was the employment of upjs, a Javascript library that enhances applications with server-generated content. Instead of moving the whole application into the browser, as Angular, Ember & co. do, it brings a clever system of content preloading and substitution, vastly improving the speed and responsiveness of the application.
While still writing a good ol' Rails application with Rails controllers and views, we created an application that is as snappy as previously only pure client-side apps could be. And if a browser has Javascript disabled, up.js will graciously degrade, leaving the user talking to Rails with no effort.

While object managers track cleaning quality and customer satisfaction with their tablets on site, the company's management coordinates and evaluates the customer care from the backoffice. So we added a simple role system with Consul and optimized the application for usage on tablet and desktop, as these are the main interfaces. As a result, the application has a well-structured, lucid interface that adapts to the user's role and the size of the display.

Fully operational

An often-overlooked part of creating a web application is the need to host it when development is done. Our long-standing experience in hosting more than 50 Rails applications convinced PURA to trust us, and their reliance has paid off: In more than half a year they've had no downtime, while any disclosed vulnerabilities in either Rails or Unix got fixed instantly. That's what we call rails complete.

Still down to earth

Over the years, our portfolio has grown into all areas of web development. From simple single-purpose web applications we've expanded to a huge content management ecosystem for Audi, a highly-available Smart TV controller for Pro7, a portfolio of various APIs for another customer, a large statistical data evaluation system and many more.

Compared to these, PURA's challenges were simple. That's why it took us less than two months to build an application that serves their needs just right, helping them to elaborate on their services to their own customers.

Growing Rails Applications in Practice
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Our address:
makandra GmbH
Werner-von-Siemens-Str. 6
86159 Augsburg
Contact us:
+49 821 58866 180
Commercial register court:
Augsburg Municipal Court
Register number:
HRB 24202
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Chief executive officers:
Henning Koch
Thomas Eisenbarth