Version 1 (modified by Mir Nazim <mirnazim@…>, 9 years ago) (diff)


School Boss

A complete automation application for schools in Kashmir

The position of School Boss is unique. It is not a product in product sense. It is a service wrapped as a product. When we decided to develop this application for schools/educational institutes of Kashmir back in March 2003(we had just completed our 2nd year in college) we noticed that it was impossible to make a completely generalized product due the shear difference in the way schools were managed ad run. So we ended up customizing this product for each and every school according to their requirements.

What follows is the way we came from the world of PHP/MySQL to the Django/PostgreSQL

Describe your prior infrastructure and what was wrong with it that made you look for something new
School Boss was originally developed using Apache/PHP/MySQL stack and deployed on MS Windows XP/2000 using Uniform Server of XAMPP.

What were the problems in current infrastructure?
As School Boss started to grow in complexity, maintainability went down sharply. Plus when we started in 2003 no proper MVC frameworks for PP were available at that time(or probably we did not know about one). As the time went by code became deployed at some big places and we kind of got stuck with the code base. Recreating a product, that has been created less then 4 months , from scratch was difficult.

Come December 2004, I opted out of School Boss and took up the job at Tekriti Software in March 2005. My other friend, Nadeem, kept on with School Boss and deployed it to 10 schools and an Engineering College.

While I was at my new job, Rails was a loose cannon with 'Right In Your Face' attitude, those days. Although, rails was a huge hit(thanks to DHH's predatory marketing) and converting developers to rails at a huge rate, I was some how was not interested in it. Around the corner came Django release. It became to touted as a rails of python world. I had a brief look at Django, was impressed and left it there. I hardly had time to get more involved and I did not even have a computer at home at that time.

Then I joined Nadeem back, in March 2006 and started Xensoft Labs. But School Boss had been discontinued.

What were the other alternatives and Why did you choose Django?
For past two months we had been considering re-launching School Boss, but this time written from scratch. We considered a number of frameworks available in following order CodeIginiter, cakePHP, Symfony, Akelos, SolarPHP, Achievo/ATK, Pylons,], Rails(yes Rails). These were rejected for one reason or the other.

Then I decided to give Django a whirl. I had played with it but not used it big time.

What benefits did you get from Django?
Major reasons for choosing Django above the other were Python(off course), Simplicity, Better Mainatainability, Easy Deployment, Community etc.

What we love most about Django is that does not vomit out 200000000000 files when you create a project. You can get started with just a 5-6 files. Use of Python everywhere. and off course the best part, django does not force you to use one particular JavaScript toolkit.

There are a Gazillion Django features that prompted the choice of Django, which I will describe in next update to this page.

What problems did you run into? Is there anything you'd like to have done differently?
We implemented basic models and views in a matter of 10-12 hours. So far Django is humming along just nicely.

In your situation, what does Django need to make it even better?
ORM could have been more powerfull. Not that its defficient in any way. But more power like SQLAlchemy could be a great plus.

Mir Nazim
Xensoft Labs

PS: We are still developing School Boss. Will keep it updated to reflect the latest position. Kudos to all Django Developers and a lots of thanks to the community

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