Blog on All Things Cloud Foundry

PaaS News Summary: September 2013

Alena Vasilenko


Here is a brief overview of the main Platform-as-a-Service news for September 2013.


  1. 450+ PaaS experts at Platform, the largest Cloud Foundry conference
  2. Red Hat to add middleware-as-a-service to its OpenShift Online PaaS
  3. Red Hat and dotCloud will enhance OpenShift with Docker capabilities
  4. Jelastic delivered an iOS app for managing their PaaS
  5. Engine Yard gets Java support and can now run on Oracle Public Cloud
  6. CloudBees enables hosting OS X and iOS builds, as well as integrates on-premises and cloud applications
  7. Oracle-as-a-Service announcements: Oracle DBaaS, Java-aaS, and IaaS
  8. NephoScale became a PaaS provider by utilizing Cloud Foundry
  9. cloudControl introduced Enterprise and White Label PaaS
  10. PostgreSQL 9.3 is available on the Heroku Postgres DBaaS
  11. ActiveState released the CPBM connector for Stackato


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Hosting a Big Data Meetup: Hadoop on Windows Azure from Microsoft First-hand

Volha Kurylionak

On September 25-26, Altoros hosted Big Data Dive ’13, an annual meetup for developers, R&D specialists, and system architects who work with massive amounts of data. Our R&D team and a special guest from Microsoft shared their hands-on experience in Hadoop, NoSQL, Windows Azure, and other big data/cloud technologies.


The agenda included sessions on practical aspects of big data storage and processing:

  • “NoSQL Benchmarking v2.0. Evaluating Performance of Modern NoSQL Solutions.” Following our NoSQL database benchmark (Oct 2012), Dmitriy Kalyada of Altoros presented preliminary results of our new research. The study evaluated new versions of major NoSQL DBs on infrastructure provided by our partner Lunacloud–thanks to them for their support! The final performance data will be released next month.


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A Gaming Bots Constest at a RoR Meetup

Volha Kurylionak

On September 14, Altoros organized a Ruby on Rails meetup that took place in Minsk, Belarus (Eastern Europe). Attended by 80+ Ruby experts from the local dev community, the event featured several sessions on RoR, cloud, and other relevant topics.

During the meetup, the participants had an opportunity to test their programming skills in a contest of Codenjoy, an open source training gamification framework for developers.  For the event, our team created a Ruby connector to this service. Developers that took part in the contest could write bots that were playing Tetris, a popular PC game from the ’80s.

Watch the video to see how the bots competed against each other:

Ruby fluff talks, tea/coffee, and lots of informal networking—it was a nice, warm event. Check out the photos below.


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Couchbase [SF] 2013: Couchbase Lite and N1QL

Volha Kurylionak

On September 13, Altoros exhibited at Couchbase [SF] 2013 held in San Francisco.

At the conference, our partner Couchbase announced Couchbase Lite, a lightweight version of their database for mobile devices (iOS and Android). Another notable disclosure was N1QL, a query language for Couchbase.

The next event on our schedule is Oracle OpenWorld 2013. We still have several tickets left to give away for free. Meet us at the conference on September 22-26!

Download the latest Couchbase benchmark: The 2014 Technical Comparison Report: Cassandra (DataStax), MongoDB, and Couchbase Server

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How to Run Capybara Tests for Ruby Applications in Remote Browsers

Eugene Melnikov


Do you have concerns about how your Ruby application works in Internet Explorer? Do you believe that checking for bugs by emulating previous versions with different modes is enough? Even if you skip some legacy versions, you can still face problems with lack of support for the JSON format, HTML5 tags, or ECMAScript, limitations for CSS selectors, and many other issues that cannot be detected by just changing browser mode. In fact, there are a lot of bugs that can only be reproduced on certain platforms and browsers.

To find such problems, I suggest you run your Capybara tests in remote browsers. Read this post on my GitHub page to find out how. I provide step-by-step instructions on how to use virtual machines and BrowserStack along with code that you can copy-paste to save time.

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Going to Barcelona Ruby Conference 2013

Alena Vasilenko

BaRuCo 2013, a Barcelona Ruby Conference, will be held during September 14–15. The event will feature 17 sessions on the hottest topics of the Ruby ecosystem. They range from practical aspects (such as code refactoring, garbage collection, pattern design, etc.) to more philosophic discussions on “Building a culture of quality” and Ruby’s future. Read the agenda here.

Altoros contributes to the event as a sponsor along with such companies as Heroku, Basho, Engine Yard, Zendesk, GitHub, and many others. If you want to meet Robert Claeson, our Managing Director UK, face to face there, just let us know in the comments.

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How to Add PostgreSQL Full-text Search to Ruby Apps and Optimize Its Performance

Pavel Astraukh

In this post, I describe how to implement a built-in PostgreSQL full-text search and add it to your to your Ruby on Rails application. I demonstrate how it works on a test application that searches articles by title, content, author’s name, and comments. In addition, I explain how to speed up search by eliminating excessive join queries that greatly slow down system’s performance. Visit my GitHub page to read the article and view code samples.

include PgSearch

pg_search_scope :search,
                against: [:title, :content],
                associated_against: {
                  author: :name,
                  comments: :content
                using: {
                  tsearch: {
                    dictionary: 'english',
                    any_word: true,
                    prefix: true
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Deploying the Discourse Discussion Platform with Juju Service Orchestration

Pavel Pachkovskij

With over 100 services ready to deploy, Juju allows for building public/private environments and managing them with only a few commands. You can select a ready system component (called charm) from a special store and start combining the elements to create an environment that you need. However, what can be done if you need a solution that is not available in the store? The guys from Altoros created a Rack charm for Juju that simplifies installation of RoR and Sinatra applications to cloud platforms supported by Juju. In this blog post, I’ll give you a guide on how to deploy Discourse, a next-generation platform for community discussions, using Juju and the Rack charm. To get started, you will need a configured and successfully bootstrapped Juju environment. You can learn how to do it here. Read the full article on my GitHub page to find out how to add Discourse to your Juju admin console.

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Evaluation of AngularJS, a JavaScript UI Framework

Ilya Drabenia

During the last two months, our team has been using AngularJS, a JavaScript UI framework, to develop a user interface for the next-generation document management system. We also utilized Grunt for building a client application and Karma for automating unit tests. The back-end part was developed with the Java technology stack.


If you’re a novice to AngularJS, you can start with this introduction article. Below I’ll provide a short overview of the main AngularJS features we tried and give you some tips on how to fix some issues.


Rapid development

With this tool, JavaScript development becomes really fast. A single person can bring out 1–2 significant features a day. Not less important, AngularJS is also good for prototyping. This framework makes it is possible to find the right balance between a code quality and velocity of the development process.


Extending HTML capabilities with Directives

AngularJS comes with a set of built-in directives that allow for creating custom HTML elements and modifying the behavior of DOM elements. It can be quite useful for building complex front ends. Isolated scopes enable developers to divide data and use a particular portion of this data when necessary. One of the main documentation drawbacks is that it provides just a few examples of how to work with directives and scopes. So, we had to use these components intuitively.



Data Visualization Tools: Flot vs. Highcharts vs. D3.js

Igor Zalutsky

Today’s Web applications deal with massive data sets that require high-performance systems for processing and analysis. However, information becomes even more valuable, if you can efficiently visualize it.

We have prepared a comparison of three wide-spread but very different JavaScript libraries to see how they cope with big data and real-time visualization. The libraries were selected based on popularity, performance, implementation approach, and relevance:

1)    Flot, an open source jQuery plug-in designed for drawing diagrams in Canvas
2)    Highcharts, one of the most popular proprietary libraries
3)    D3.js, a large open-source framework for data visualization

Below is a brief comparative table that will give you a general idea of what big data and real-time visualization capabilities you can expect from these three tools.flot vs. highcharts altoros

Download this document to get a more detailed comparison of Flot, Highcharts, and D3.js with 16 sample diagrams, a vendor-independent overview, as well as information on required code size, platform support, etc.


Benchmarks and Research

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