Ruby on Rails
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August 20, 20:59

Picking technology as a client pleaser

John Lim writes why his companies love using Oracle:

People say that open source software has great technical support - yes it is good, but what our business needs more is marketing help, which Oracle provides. Using Oracle makes our products more attractive, as customers like to feel that they are running large and powerful applications on their systems (and it's true, we aren't kidding them). MySQL and PostgreSQL don't feel sexy to our clients.

This reminds me of a question I got during the colloquium at RUC about whether I could ever see a bank using Rails. No, I can't. Neither could I see any other corporation where the signal value of their technology choices is more important than whether the software actually works.

"Nobody ever got fired for buying..." is the name of the game. Oracle, like J2EE, is a great word to end that sentence with. Who cares whether the software costs more, is never finished, or crumbles?

Challenge by Guan Yang on August 20, 22:07

I'm not sure about the Oracle vs J2EE comparison, but real life experience tells me that Oracle is a reasonable product and has real pros and cons vs. PostgreSQL, the other database I'm familiar with.

If the customer is willing to pay for the Oracle license (or alreaddy has one), and the 10-15% extra development cost, I'd say why not do that to make him comfortable? I don't think a project would be unfinished or crumble mainly because of choosing Oracle. Perhaps the same could not be said of J2EE.

I don't think anyone has been fired for buying Oracle databases, but that's probably not true for the other "Oracle", their Oracle Applications ERP software.

Challenge by Marten Veldthuis on August 20, 22:38

Every developer has to deal with this I guess. I myself only a few days ago had an initial meeting with a client who's preference clearly went out towards using ASP.NET, even though I argued that I'd be able to do it in less time in Ruby/Rails. His main arguments were both the fact it's more widely known, and the fact he himself could probably work with .NET, but not Ruby.

(going offtopic here) One problem I still have with Rails however is the following: where do I host it? Any suggestions David? Virtual Dedicated is an option, but I'm not a unix expert, and hosting costs for VDs I've seen are from $15 upwards, which is beyond the budget for aforementioned project.

Challenge by Guan Yang on August 20, 23:01

Martin: I think you could host it with a provider that provides both MySQL and FastCGI, and has enough space for Ruby itself, if such a beast exists, but that would probably still cost $15/mon upwards.