Our company has a browser-based medical application. The user interface is a bit clunky/cumbersome, but the application itself is quite powerful. The application currently utlizes a Java/XML/XSL based server and ALL rendering is done with 100% XML/XSL. We have just completed a usability study and we have determined that we must incoporate a different user interface technology in order to provide a better user experience. I have started looking at AJAX, SWT, Swing, .NET, Atlas, Eclipse framework, etc. So far, I really like the idea of an AJAX-based approach because it requires no additional software on the client. However, I am concerned about the amount of work involved in doing this. I have recently discovered RoR, and I really like the language. Apparently, it also provides a framework for doing AJAX applications. However, I'm not sure the "framework" can handle the complexity of our application. Our application (and UI) is 100% data driven, e.g. the initial "tabs" that come up with the application are dynamic and based on data in a database. The application consists of "default" data that allows the application to run "unmodified". HOWEVER, medical facilities and specific physicians can override the "default" behavior of the application (tabs, inputs) to generate facility specific and physician specific medical documentation. The underlying inputs are driven by complex "decision trees" that represent complex medical procedures, e.g. knee arthroscopy, shoulder arthroscopy, etc. So, I have a few questions: 1. Can RoR handle complex applications that have complex backend databases? 2. Where can I find a RoR consultant to help assess the feasibility of using RoR for our application. 3. Apparently, RoR has built in support for tabs. Our application requires different tabs for different facilities, and this is defined by a database. Can the RoR tabs be generated dynamically based on data in a database? At a brief glance, it looks like RoR is based on HTML templates, and I am assuming that the tabs would be specified in these templates. The problem is that the template itself is dynamic. Thanks.
on 2005-11-23 16:46
on 2005-11-23 17:15
Check out Ezra's post about how he redid the Yakarta Herald website for an example of how rails can do complexity: http://brainspl.at/articles/2005/11/03/from-start-... 5000 lines of php done in 1800 of ROR and as far as I can work out :-) he has 4 different DBs (and different formats) plugged into one interface through rails. Looks complex enough to me.
on 2005-11-23 17:54
* Ted Walters (email@example.com) [051123 09:50]: > 1. Can RoR handle complex applications that have complex backend > databases? Yes. You will have greater or lesser degrees of headaches depending upon how far away from the Rails default style your legacy database schema travels. I would probably focus my time first on assessing how much work Rails is going to take to work well/easily with your current database schema. > 2. Where can I find a RoR consultant to help assess the feasibility of > using RoR for our application. Look on the Rails wiki. There's a page of people offering Rails services that's quite extensive. My guess is that you may just well receive some offers merely by having sent the email I'm responding to. > 3. Apparently, RoR has built in support for tabs. Our application > requires different tabs for different facilities, and this is defined by > a database. Can the RoR tabs be generated dynamically based on data in a > database? At a brief glance, it looks like RoR is based on HTML > templates, and I am assuming that the tabs would be specified in these > templates. The problem is that the template itself is dynamic. Should be no problem. Ruby is the engine behind Rails and Ruby is *very* powerful. Further, Rails supports alternate templating interfaces, and really there's no limit on what sorts of views you could generate. Rick -- http://www.rickbradley.com MUPRN: 135 | attendants for two random email haiku | hundred thousand dollars and | four parachutes.