As we near the completion of a major web application for a startup, it's time to reflect on the factors responsible for the success.
- Cloud Computing. The hardware cost for development was less than $750 including the cost of a laptop.
- We used Google App Engine for the most part but not exclusively.
- For confidential documents, we used Amazon S3, preferring to go directly between the browser and Amazon, bypassing Google. Any doubts about whether Google will mine those documents were neutralized.
- Staying conceptual with the implementation.
- Google App Engine was great for helping us stay conceptual. They take care of scalability, backups, OS versions, patches. All the stuff that drags you down.
- Amazon EC2 is too low level. One has to worry about scalability, backups, OS versions, patches. We should have gone up a level by using a service like Rightscale. We haven't yet, but it's still an idea worth pursuing.
- For the same reason, we would consider Amazon RDS over doing our own database management.
- Open Source Software. Most notably, jQuery. Their slogan is "write less, do more". The reality matches the slogan. A rich milieu of available software allowed us to assemble components rather ...