Ninefold Customers, Welcome to Engine Yard!

Since our founding in 2006, Engine Yard has been a stalwart supporter of Ruby on Rails. Over the years we have supported the Bundler, RVM, JRuby and Merb efforts. We continue to move forward with new initiatives to bring Ruby on Rails to a production container.

Our blood is Ruby Red.

As other vendors have transitioned their businesses away from native Ruby on Rails, we are pleased to welcome those who have been left behind to the Engine Yard community.

Ninefold has announced that they will be no longer be supporting their native hosted Ruby customers. Engine Yard stands ready to provide our industry leading platform, migration assistance, and coached deployments of your application today. Our team of support and service engineers will personally assist you in bringing up your application.

As technologies change and evolve, Engine Yard will continue to support you running your applications your way.

Our primary focus is on your success.

We are dedicated to supporting your most critical apps with a platform and a team of professionals who are the best in the business. With real-time customer satisfaction that is consistently at 98% or better, we back up those words publicly with proven results.

To get started, come over to our Ninefold customer page and join us.

We’re standing by to help.

Understanding Rack Apps and Middleware

For many of us web developers, we work on the highest levels of abstraction when we program. Sometimes it's easy to take things for granted. Especially when we're using Rails.

Have you ever dug into the internals of how the request/response cycle works in Rails? I recently realized that I knew almost nothing about how Rack or middlewares work, so I spent a little time finding out. In this post, I'll share what I learned.

What's Rack?

Did you know that Rails is a Rack app? Sinatra too. What is Rack? I'm glad you asked. Rack is a Ruby package that provides an easy-to-use interface to the Ruby Net::HTTP library.

It's possible to quickly build simple web applications using just Rack.

To get started, all you need is an object that responds to a call method, taking in an environment hash and returning an Array with the HTTP response code, headers, and response body. Once you've written the server code, all you have to do is boot it up with a Ruby server like Rack::Handler::WEBrick, or put it into a file and run it from the command line with rackup

Ok, cool. So what does Rack actually do?

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How Engine Yard Can Help Your Startup Focus on the Things That Matter

As someone working at an early stage company, your ability to focus on the things that matter is the most important thing you can do. After going through multiple startups, I can tell you that the list of things that matter is very short, and can be summed up as:

  1. Talking to your customer, and
  2. Building your product

While building your product involves deploying code to a production environment, everything related to setting up, configuring, and troubleshooting your environment is something you should not be focussing on. Leave the devops work to the experts at Engine Yard, and trust me, you will see significant improvements in velocity.

Over the past five years, we’ve used Engine Yard for two companies. In both cases, they have exceeded all of our expectations for what a cloud deployment provider should do. And in both cases, we started with different deployment providers and eventually made the wise choice of switching over to Engine Yard.

Here are some of the ways Engine Yard can help your company focus on building your product and business, while they take care of the rest.

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Life Beyond Rails 2: A Second Look at Alternate Web Frameworks for Ruby

A few weeks back, I took a brief look at alternate frameworks to Ruby, i.e. things that weren’t Rails. People seemed to like it. As a result of that post, several people got in touch to suggest a frameworks I may have overlooked. So I thought I’d do a follow up post and share those with you after having reviewed them.

Let’s take a look at even more frameworks you can use to get Ruby on to the web.


Based in Sinatra at it’s core, Padrino is a lightweight full-stack ruby framework. Unlike Sinatra, it has some features that are very Rails like, such as a method for generating applications with padrino g project myapp.

Part of the beauty of Padrino is the tooling. With support for many database libraries along with testing and mocking tools, it goes a step further with a drop-in admin interface that is ORM agnostic and comes with scaffolding and authentication features.

Essentially, Padrino is a step between Sinatra and Rails that goes beyond the simplicity of Sinatra and allows more complex applications to grow.

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5 Ways to Level-Up Your Backbone.js Code

Backbone.js is nearing five years old, and yet it remains my framework of choice for client-side MVC applications. Its light footprint and easy extensibility have allowed it to adapt to changing best practices over the years.

Here are five strategies—compiled from Backbone’s router, view engine, and core classes—that can level-up your code and help you get the most out of the framework.

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