A Look at Rails 5

From the start, Rails was praised for being the easiest way to get Ruby on the web. It was the easiest option, and the best. Since then, many other options have arrived, but Rails is still the industry leading framework for Ruby developers.

As is tradition, this April at RailsConf 2015 in Atlanta, the creator of Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson (aka DHH) took the stage to announce what was new in Rails and to mark the release of Rails 5. This fits with the schedule of a major release every two years. And of course, folks were excited to get in early and see what our BDFL had to say about the future of Rails.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

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Goodbye MVP, Hello v1

You've done it!

It all started with a simple concept and two friends in your garage. After weeks of coding and tweaking, you've proven that your business idea is the greatest thing since sliced bread. You used the Build, Measure, Learn cycle to find out what your customers want, and you're pretty sure you have a product market fit.

Now what?

It's time to build your v1. In this post, we'll look at how to take the most important lessons from the information you've gleaned during the MVP stage of your product's lifecycle and apply them to building the first full release of your product.

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7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Query Objects

Note: This is part four (prev/next) of a seven part series that starts here.

Database queries, even simple ones, can be both repetitive and hard to comprehend. With more complex queries, especially ones that embed data from multiple collections or tables, this process can become downright unintelligible.

Query objects provide a nice tool for extracting database query logic and associated operations into a contained module, pulling the logic out into a more maintainable and readable structure, while also providing a very readable API where the query object is used.

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Announcing Deis & NYI: Containers on Metal

Today we are excited to announce a new partnership with NYI, a colocation provider that is now offering Deis-on-metal solutions to customers in New York, New Jersey, and throughout the Northeast. As you may already know, Engine Yard’s Deis is the leading Docker-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for deploying and managing distributed applications. As Deis has matured, we’ve seen more and more users running on bare metal. We’ve also learned containers on metal offer significant price benefits, consistent performance, and a strong security and compliance story.

As part of this partnership, NYI is providing Engine Yard with the power, space, and dedicated servers for a distributed systems lab that will be used to harden Deis for large-scale colocation environments. This lab will allow us to test failure modes, network partitions, and performance deltas between Deis releases. The lab will also help ensure container on metal solutions meet customer standards for high-performance, scalability, and high-availability.

We are excited to work with the NYI team to see Deis and containers on metal reach its full potential. If you're interested in an in-person demo at an NYI facility, or just want to learn more about Deis and containers on metal, please contact our customer success team.

7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Form Objects

Note: This is part three (prev/next) of a seven part series that starts here.

Forms often have complex logic applied to them. In general, the logic breaks down into the following categories: validation, persistence, and feedback.

A Form Object can encapsulate all associated logic into a single object, keeping it focused, isolated, and easy to test. If you have a signup form that creates an account, an associated Form Object could handle the following logic:

  1. Make sure all fields that are required are present
  2. Make sure all values are valid (password is long enough, username isn’t taken, etc.)
  3. Send the form to the server so the user is saved to the database
  4. Provide success or error feedback to the user

Placing model validations on the Form Object instead of on a centralized model is perhaps counter-intuitive, since you may have to repeat these validations across multiple Form Objects that affect the same model. However, localizing validations to the form increases code readability (if you’re working on a form, you can just look at the Form Object) but also avoids cluttering your model with logic that is only used in form operations. Form Objects also give you fine-tuned control over the validations in their specific context and do not force you to guard against all scenarios on the model.

In fact, if we think about it on a higher level, we are off-loading the concept of a Model to the Form Objects and treating our "Model" objects like Data Access Objects (DAOs). If this is to be true, there has to be a bond of trust between the Model and the Form Object that what is being sent to the model is pure (i.e. well-formed, valid, complete). From an application architecture standpoint, this can be a really nice design pattern.

So, let's take a look at two examples. One of them demonstrating a full Form Object that covers all form operations and another demonstrating a Validation Object—an object describing validations that can be sequenced with other components.

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