Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cool Ruby Tools -- Sinatra and Web Applications

As I have written before, during the past year, our test team has been working with Ruby to grow our technical skills.  We have learned a lot and written a couple great testing utilities (Ruby Smalls - for small utilities).  We have published our Smalls as executables using the Ocra gem (a really slick packaging utility).  But there are times when deployed executables are not the best answer.  Recently, we have been looking at building our testing tools as web applications.  With Ruby, there is the grand daddy, Ruby on Rails, and there is the cool daddy, Sinatra.

Using Sinatra  (http://www.sinatrarb.com/), I  can build and run web-based applications that run Ruby code.  Sinatra enables me build pages and services with html and executable Ruby.  Sinatra is a good choice when you don't need the full framework and resources of a Rails project.  (Also, I have not learned Rails yet :))

After reviewing Sinatra with our architecture lead and a couple hours of playing, I can tell a couple things.  I have a lot to learn; I think it will be fun to learn; and there are cool possibilities.  For example, we could build a platform for our Ruby Smalls that anyone on our intranet could access and use, or we could use this as the basis of an automated test framework.

Time to get back to RubyMine and programming -- lots to do before work tomorrow.

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