Saturday, January 12, 2008 goes live!

This is my first blog under my new hat at GigaSpaces Technologies - Developer Community Technical Manager. I must say it's a bit of a mind shift than what I was used to, being much more focused on technology and community than on sales and customer related issues.
In the past couple of weeks we've been extremely busy in setting up our new developer community web site, which is due to launch this week. We've also been busy in promoting our OpenSpaces Developer Contest, which gives you the chance to write a cool OpenSpaces plugin or application and win $10K for it - so if you think you're up for the challenge you welcome to give it a shot.
The main idea here is to create a place for all GigaSpaces users to share ideas and code in the form of recommended blue prints, useful plugins and even full blown applications.

This is my first time setting up such a community web site, and I must say it's been quite interesting so far.
The technical challenges in making such a collaboration platform work seamlessly are not to be taken lightly. There are many moving parts we had to glue together (Wiki, Jira, Forums, SVN - Fisheye and more) and as we at GigaSpaces like to say, having many moving parts in any system is not very easy to deal with ;)
Imagine setting these systems up for every single project, and making sure they all work together in terms of permissions, user management, etc. and making all of that work in less than a month... (p.s. This was a great team effort - thanks to all those involved).
Apart from a number of minor issues, we have found that all the products we use integrated quite well - I assume that the fact that most of them come from the same vendor (Atlassian) has something to do with it (P.S. thank you Atlassian and Jive guys for making our lives easier :) )

This is also the first chance I got to do some real hands on work with Spring 2.5 MVC framework (for our signup application). I really liked the annotation based controller configuration, it really makes everything a lot simpler.
We took a very similar approach with OpenSpaces in the upcoming GigaSpaces 6.5 version. Basically we will enable users to configure many aspects of their application (such as remoting, filters, etc.) without having write XML (well, maybe just one line). I'll write more about this in one of my next posts.

The website already contains some interesting projects and there are many more to follow. It's really an indication of what you can do with this technology and how easy it is to use.

So what next after the launch?

Apart from the user projects, we also intend to use this platform to promote best practices by providing a number of blueprint applications relevant to many of our customers and prospects.
We also intend to publish code samples for new and cool product features, thus enabling our users to interact with us and say what they think about the new features and what they would like to see in the product.
So stay tuned, there's a lot more exciting stuff to come !

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