2010 Scout Highlights

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

2010 was a busy year at Scout. The highlights:

Top Features

Top Plugins

View all Scout Plugins

Top Blog Posts

You gave us great feedback on your Scout experience in 2010. We’re taking that feedback and making it even easier to monitor your server cluster in 2011. Subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

 

Forget The Technology - Just Do The Business

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

A friend of mine is brainstorming a business in the dating space. It’s an interesting idea—a spin on the traditional dating service in potentially lucrative niche. My friend asked me about technology—which technology, who to partner with, etc.

My advice for the dating idea was this: forget the technology. Just do the business.

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Don't build to get acquired. Build to say "No".

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

Groupon rejected a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google. They don’t need to cash out.

Our goal isn’t to get acquired. It’s to say “No” as often as possible:

  • No, we’re not going to support Windows.
  • No, that partnership doesn’t feel right.
  • No, we’re not working late.

Saying “No” means your business is healthy. You can focus on the things you really enjoy working on. Why would you sell?

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Modifying browser history with Javascript

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

We lost the browser state when we replaced our Charts UI w/AJAX manipulation. While it’s possible to maintain state using an anchor ala Gmail (ie – gmail.com/mail?#inbox/THREAD), it breaks the separation between business and view logic. The server cannot access the state information contained in the anchor – it’s only accessible from the browser.

To maintain state, we’d need a combination of Javascript parsing and additional requests to retrieve chart data. Our views would be a confusing mess of logic. I’m glad we punted – we can maintain state in 3 lines of Javascript now.

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Data processing slowing you down? Try a teaser check

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

Your cluster of servers ping Scout every minute, but you may only login to our website once a day. There’s a large gap between the amount of work on the data-processing side and the number of times it results in a visit to Scout. It’s a typical profile of a data processing application.

For a write-heavy application like Scout, hardware costs can increase linearly with user growth. It doesn’t scale like a read-heavy web application that can leverage a fast, in-memory caching layer for frequent reads. You need to make writing data more efficient.

For us, teaser checks have dramatically decreased the time spent processing data.

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Announcing Redwood: Spotlight-like search for your web apps

By Andre Bullet_white Comments Comments

Our knowledge at Scout is spread across web apps: Gmail, Basecamp, Delicious, Dropbox, and more. It’s become more cumbersome to find information as our pile of content has grown.

We saw two options: devote more time to organizing our information or make it easier to search through it.

Spending more time organizing our stuff didn’t sound appealing. When we’re documenting something we don’t know if it’s going to grow into a frequenty referenced source or never get viewed again. We don’t want content creation to become a burden.

Today we’re releasing Redwood, a tool to quickly search across web apps, right from your Mac OSX Desktop. It works a lot like Spotlight.

You can try Redwood for free. For now you can search your Basecamp account. We’ll be adding additional web apps in a paid version.

Just like with Scout, we’ll be iterating on Redwood. Don’t hesitate to share your feedback with us.

 

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