Building your apps

Fridgemagnets on the cloud

Back in 2006 I made a Fridge Magnet New Year’s e-card that allowed you to send fridge magnet messages to your friends. Now that same application is back… and running on steroids.

Fridge magnets

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see letter magnets on a fridge I have to resist the urge to change the words on display there. So that’s probably the reason I came up with this e-card idea back in 2006 when I was looking for an original New year’s card.

The Fridge Magnets site lets you create your own messages using nothing but fridge magnets, which you can then send to friends.

Try it out for yourself:

So what is all the fuzz about?

It’s still the simple, small and a bit silly e-card application. But…

Small apps like this are a perfect way to get your feet wet in a new technology. Back then in 2006 the whole system was built using Coldfusion, which was a new technology to me at that time.

The 2010 version looks identical (a bit dated even) but the back-end is completely different. It’s not running on one server -well sometimes it is- but if all of you visit it at once it will be running on more servers. That’s because it’s been built on a cloud of servers, and not just any cloud: it uses Google’s App Engine.

Development was done in Python and the Django framework, the database is Google’s own BigTable, a datastore optimized for scaling.

All this should be able to scale seamlessly from 1 visitor to thousands of visitors without any manual intervention.

Sure, it’s a small app. But it opens up the door to a brand new world.