Hi, I've created a rails application (cms/ecommerce) and want to be able to create multiple instances of it, but keep one svn repo. The back-end will stay the same, the front-end will change based on the clients needs. The cms/ecommerce app is a standalone Rails app. I really need to find a way to easily fix bugs, patches etc.. I didn't know about Engines and started thinking about how to do this, so... I created a new Rails app (as the public app), and generated a plugin. I put my cms/ecommerece app into the plugins' application dir. (as svn externals) In my public apps' environment.rb file, I initialize the cms "plugin". I actually got it working pretty well. I can use/override routes, views, models, controllers and even plugins. For example, The public app will use it's own plugin over the cms/ecommerce plugin if it's available. Very cool! Reminds me of Django. I then stumbled on Engines, and saw that your were already doing something similar. The problem I'm trying to solve now is, how do I manage migrations? I see that Engines could possibly solve this problem? I was just going to do it manually, since it's only a few projects at this point. The thing I like about my code is it's basically one file with some initialization code and it lets me use an existing Rails app as a plugin. Some questions... Is "Engines" still being developed? Since I created a standalone Rails app, can Engines still help me? Or is it too late? Would it be easy to "steal" the migration code from Engines and implement it into my single file initializer? Am I thinking too hard about this? My project is of course in subversion. I tried thinking of a way to do this with subversion but couldn't. 2 applications, using the same code, but customizing the front-end. Doing svn diff and merge could turn into a nightmare I think. I thought putting the cms/ecommerce back-end in it's own web app. The clients could log in and the app would switch databases, manage their products etc.. I could then checkout that same code into the public web app, and include model/helpers code for the public side. Seems like a nice clean solution. I'd appreciate any tips or help. Thank you, Matt
on 2008-01-19 17:49
on 2008-01-19 18:55
Engines is under active development (it was just updated to support Rails 2.0). I'm also working on a commerce app (http://railscart.org) and it uses Engines. It works nicely and will allow applications using my commerce plugin to upgrade the plugin independent of the rest of the app. Take a look at the RailsCart stuff. Most of your issues have been addressed there. There's also a mailing list for RailsCart so if you have specific questions I can answer them there. Sean ps. I would be interested in seeing your code if you have anything to show me. You may also want to consider working on the RailsCart project (CMS will eventually be supported through Typo or Radiant.)
on 2008-01-20 16:53
Sean, where is a demo I can see?
on 2008-01-20 17:08
There is no online demo but that is something that will be coming soon. In the meantime you can build your own demo following the instructions here. Please post your feedback on the RC mailing list. I'd love to get some input on what I have so far. Sean  http://code.google.com/p/railscart/