Frequently Asked Questions 14

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:11

Your work and experience

Do you have any live URLs of work you are proud of? Have you completed projects that have similar features and functionality to http://basecamphq.com/? We are especially interested in any "Web 2.0" applications with multi-user accounts and payment systems.


  • We have implemented a few payment systems using Paypal and Google checkout, however, none are currently visible to the public as they have restricted access.
  • Ourhttp://eastagile.commain site actually has a lot of internal 37signals influenced features. We have a simple chat room, project with the ability to add files, and also, beyond 37signals, a CMS that allows blogging, review and publishing, and most parts of the site to be edited live without development assistance. We can provide you with a private...

FAQ 13 - iPhone, Android, WebOS, Blackberry, Symbian

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:11

Smartphone Applications

Do you have any experience of developing smartphone apps?


Adam Blum
CEO, Rhomobile
We have a mobile platform development team. We develop for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Palm WebOS. Our iPhone team has particular strength in geo-location and mapping applications. We have also been selected by Palm, Inc. as a recommended phone application developer.

We can create iPhone apps directly in native Objective C. See Abbott Labs' Similac Mom application on the Apple App Store.

Our current preference is to develop apps using the HTML5 oriented Phonegap system. This allows us to continue to use our full set of strong Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) and Test Driven Development (TDD) practices to create while developing for iPhone and other mobile...

Frequently Asked Questions 10

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:07

Security

What security measures would you take to protect an application of this nature? Eg from external sources - unauthorised access, hacks, DOS attacks etc. In addition, do you have experience of ensuring that registered users do not have access to other user accounts/data from within the same application? Are you aware of these risks? How would you prevent them?


We usually use RESFUL authentication framework when authentication system is required. There are several such frameworks in Rails, open-source and carefully tested. In some particular situation, OAuth can also be used to avoid or mitigate risk. For DOS attack, currently we mainly depend on the host service provider.

Frequently Asked Questions 9

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:06

Deployments

Please describe how you would deploy an application of this nature including reference to any development, staging and production servers. What systems would you put in place to roll out upgrades after the application goes live? Also, how would you create a 'down for maintenance' page if we needed to do some emergency work to alter the application without loss of user data?

-For deployment, we prefer the use of Capistrano since it supports remote deployment, rolling back and release version control. In addition, Capistrano also supports the configuration of “down for maintenance” page.
- Normally, we use git style management features to handle different environments. Usually, we have 2 branches: production with stable code and development with newly-implemented code. Two...

Frequently Asked Questions 8

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:01

Technology platforms

If you were asked to build an application like http://basecamphq.com/, what technology platform would you use? Eg PHP, Ruby on Rails, .Net, MySQL, SQL Server, Apache, IIS etc. We know this depends on a lot of things but please just give us your first impressions.
What payment system choices would you initially recommend?
Please explain your choices above. We would like to get an idea of your preferred technologies and your expertise with them.


If we were implementing a system such as the one described we would use Ruby on Rails on Engine Yard managed Amazon EC2 infrastructure (Linux, MySQL). Rails is a natural, proven, scalable choice for this sort of application that would enable rapid test driven development with strong security, strong standards, and manageable...

Frequently Asked Questions 7

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 23:00

Will all the development take place in-house or would you outsource as well?


We do all development in-house.

Frequently Asked Questions 6

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:54

How big are your typical projects in terms of time and money spent on them?


Most online applications take between six weeks and six months to implement. This is usually a client choice since we can usually adjust team strength between 1 pair (2 developers) and 3 pairs (6 developers). Costs range from USD 12,000 to USD 120,000. Some clients engage our developers on an ongoing basis.


In financial services, engagements range from a few weeks to three years costing between USD 30,000 to more than USD 1,000,000.

Frequently Asked Questions 5

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:52

What type of work do you typically do?


We implement new online ventures for entrepreneurs (startups) or more established ventures (e.g. Twitter). We also build advanced analytics infrastructure (e.g. Hadoop) and provide advanced business analytics (e.g. neural networks) to customers from finance (Morgan Stanley) to mobile games (ngmoco, mig33).

Frequently Asked Questions 4

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:51

Will you be able to provide a fixed cost for the work?


Yes. However, we strongly discourage such engagements since it limits our agile development methodology's ability to respond to changing priorities, ideas, and emphasis during the development process

Frequently Asked Questions 3

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Posted by Lawrence Sinclair on 20 Nov 2009 at 22:51

What currency do you invoice in?


We typically invoice in US dollars, but we can invoice in another major currency if that is important to a client. Invoices are issued by East Agile Limited in Hong Kong and paid by wire transfer