Periodically reloading reference data for a live app demo


#1

In my app I’d like to offer a demo account, so potential users can log
in and play around with the system to their hearts content. To
prevent the data from becoming too cluttered, I intend to reset the
reference data for this account every day.

I see two possible options of achieving this, but I’d appreciate some
feedback from the group before I dive in:

  1. Run a separate instance of the app (probably on a separate machine)
    using a different database, create fixtures for all my base reference
    data, and get cron call ‘rake db:bootstrap’ every night. This is
    fairly straightforward but the downside is having to run another
    server (or VPS) and having a more complicated deployment process.

  2. Use the production instance of the app and database and write some
    explicit code which deletes and reloads the reference data for this
    account only. This might be more work to set up, is a little riskier,
    but there is no separate deployment issue since it’s using the
    production application. The demo account will also be on a production
    server so there will be performance benefits.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods, but at the
moment I’m more inclined to go for (2). I don’t really think having
the reference data in Ruby code rather than YAML is a disadvantage,
and I like that fact that deployment isn’t affected – we deploy the
app and the demo account is available automatically.

Am I thinking along the right lines or is there a glaringly obvious
third way which I’m failing to see?

Cheers, Olly.


#2

On 15 Jun 2007, at 12:49, Olly L. wrote:

There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods, but at the
moment I’m more inclined to go for (2). I don’t really think having
the reference data in Ruby code rather than YAML is a disadvantage,
and I like that fact that deployment isn’t affected – we deploy the
app and the demo account is available automatically.

Am I thinking along the right lines or is there a glaringly obvious
third way which I’m failing to see?

I can’t see a third way – and I’m inclined to agree that option 2 is
a little less messy than option 1. It’s six of one and half a dozen
of the other.

Sorry for the lack of searing insight!

Regards,
Andy S.