Design Consultation . Santa Monica, California
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Alex Patton is a nationally-recognized tout in the Fantasy Baseball League world. He had several books published and regularly wrote articles for the usual magazines about the sport and the art of managing a team. In November of 2007 he suggested we create a social commentary site under his brand.

He had already had one experience with trying to "be on the web." It was not pleasant, marred by arguments with the developer and constant problems with the site itself. He had been offline for over a year when he came to us.

Using Ruby on Rails we created his site in less than two months. It is up at Patton & Co. It was our second effort employing Rails and went very smoothly. It was our first experiment with AJAX and the (small) portion of the site which is Web 2.0 works flawlessly. As Mr. Patton and his cohorts came up with additional features we were able to implement them in a few short hours. Tasks which used to require a week-long negotiation with his previous developer were up live on the site the next morning.

The site is not huge. It has a database of all the players who have ever played Major League Baseball (and quite a few who were only in the minors). That's twenty thousand or so, with all of their lines of statistics representing the seasons they played. Then there are about a thousand users who have registered on the site and are commenting on those players.

The users are allowed to mark players to "watch," and the three main editors on the site are able to put their suggested "bids" on each player. In 2009 we added an editing system to allow the editors to add new players and directly edit a lot of the database. (For the first year we kept very tight control over the data.) The Rails system of validating the data before it is added to the database has been vital in this next phase of development.

Since the site serves such low traffic there have been no scaling issues. The performance problems which plagued the old PHP/MySQL site have not shown up. The client is now (March 2009) discussing replacing their desktop application with another round of development on the web application.