Friday, February 5, 2010

Real World Observation about Grails

In the past 3 years I've developed 7 Grails applications for a variety of customers. And I have to make an observation: Maintaining Grails applications is a breeze. It is far more easy than with any other development platform I've used. I've had to revisit Java applications that I had written. But it always takes me a while to figure out the design strategies. For instance: what MVC pattern did I use?

With Grails applications -- whether written by myself or not -- the MVC is always the same. The directory structure is always the same. It is fabulous being able, in Eclipse, to switch workspaces from one Grails project to another and have the structure look identical. They look so similar sometimes, when I come back from lunch or something, I have think "OK, what project is this."

This is an observation of the benefits of the Grails philosophy of "Convention over Configuration." This Grails feature provides a huge ROI when someone else can take over a Grails project and know where everything is. In fact, I benefited from this myself two years ago when I joined an existing Grails project team. The project was Circuit City's return system (I have some gift cards if anyone would like to buy them). The return system had been in production for a year and it was very complex (for example it had DB connections to Informix, Oracle, and DB2i.) Yet I was able to be productive in a very short time after joining the project. By the way, that Grails app is the only Grails app that I worked on that is no longer in use -- for obvious reasons....

Grails makes life easier.

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