Coding Rails apps in the cloud with in less than 5 minutes

After my friend Minh from TechInAsia told me about and their 1 million dollar seed funding around a month ago, I’ve been early waiting to get access and try it out. One of the promises was to get working development stacks running in a heartbeat. Today I finally got to try it and I have to say I was impressed.

Timer started, here’s what I did:

  1. I opened and signed up for an account. That was basically instant.
  2. Clicked on “New Box”, chose the platform (right now they offer Rails, Node.js, Django and Go), gave it a name, selected a region and clicked on “Create Box”. Provisioning and starting up the box took around a minute. It opened with a window in the browser that contained a file explorer on the left, a text editor in the middle, and a console in the bottom.
  3. A “git clone” in the console pulled in the sources from GitHub in a few seconds.
  4. A “bundle install” pulled in all the dependencies, this took around a minute.
  5. A “rake db:migrate” set up the local database.
  6. “Rails s” started the local server.
  7. And finally, a click on the “Preview Port 3000″ menu item opened a new tab in my browser, pointing to the right URL show my existing Rails app.

All this took less than 5 minutes and I was ready to go. A few further edits, running rails commands, migrating databases again, previewing changes, all that worked like a charm. And signing out on one computer and quickly signing in on the other preserved all the local changes and I could continue immediately.

Again, I’m impressed.

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  • Sameer Siruguri

    I agree, it’s really very impressive. One thing I’d add is that if your Rails app is using Postgres, you need 3 more steps:

    1. parts install postgresql
    2. parts start postgresql
    3. createdb

    You’re good to go now!

    • hendrikbeck

      Oh thanks a lot for the addition, Sameer! Are you using it for day-to-day development or did you just play around with it?

      • Sameer Siruguri

        I’m using it during my mentoring sessions, to help my students get past the “installation” barrier when using Windows. So – playing around, I guess, but for someone else’s day-to-day work, bit of both.

        • hendrikbeck

          Nice. I’ve thought the mentoring session use case is a very valid one but haven’t had the chance to try it out myself yet. Cool, have fun and good luck with everything, Sameer! :)