Agile Innovations LLC

Agile Innovations LLC

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TorqueBox – The Ruby Application Server Platform

June 25, 2011

We have been following the TorqueBox project for a while now, and version 1.0 is finally available.

TorqueBox enhances the JBoss 6 Application Server, with goodies lick built-in messaging, clustering., job scheduling, and a sweet feature (“StompBox”) that provides Heroku-like rapid deplyment via Git.

See in particular these links:

We have been using the GA JBoss and JBoss Enterprise for a good while know with JRuby, Rails and Hobo to great success. JRuby exposes Java classes to Ruby, so we can easily integrate with Java libraries such as Mondrian and the Central Authentication Service (CAS).

We hope to test TorqueBox soon and will report back with our experience.

Beta Book “Rapid Rails 3 with Hobo” Now Available for Download

June 6, 2011

Now that the Hobo 1.3 Release Candidate is now available, it is a good time to check out the book.
Rapid Rails 3 with Hobo – Beta 6

New NIFA Reporting Portal Goes Live!

January 22, 2011

We are finally on our way with a centralized open-source reporting portal for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The new portal will provide a common authentication and authorization portal for all major reporting applications for NIFA.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Reporting Portal

First to be included is the new Leadership Management Dashboard (LMD) Version 4.0, which is packed-full of new features for NIFA Program Leaders, agency managers, and Land Grant (State Partner) Institutions.  The new LMD is a hybrid of our “legacy” Oracle version with the new:

This is a sample page from the new LMD 4.0

The application automatically switches contexts based on the menu option.  Here is an Oracle Portal view:

This is a sample view of the Oracle Portal portion of LMD 4.0

The goal for 2011 is to migrate the remaining features in Oracle Portal to the new infrastructure as we add additional capabilities.

The architecture for this new implementation includes:

  • VMWare ESX virtualization
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the OS
  • JBoss Application Server
  • JRuby/Rails (RoR)
  • The Hobo Extensions for Rails
  • InfoBright/MySQL for databases
  • Central Authentication Service (CAS) for SSO. (We have integrated CAS with Oracle OID, Ruby, and Java applications.)

I will steal the saying that “It takes a village” and apply it to our Barquin team. We have had contributions from a number of great developers on this journey.

We began the march to an open source version of LMD with the help of Tom Locke (father of Hobo) and Marcel Giorgi, who started building our Mondrian DSL written in Ruby, Rails, and Hobo, and kicked the tires on the InfoBright columnar database engine for MySQL.

Bryan Larsen came on board and has contributed his Rails and Hobo expertise to all we have done, including being key on the NIFA Portal end.  Gustav Paul and Angus Miller continued building and enhancing the open source portion of LMD 4.0, with the deep subject matter expertise and database design skills of Edmund Vergel de Dios, who has been the development lead  for LMD since 2007 and REEIS since 2003, and Chris Woody, who is our key CRIS developer and also a key contributor to LMD and REEIS.

Venka Ashtakala has been key to getting CAS working in all environments. Although LMD is the only app initially plugged into the NIFA Portal, CRIS, Plan of Work, and REEport (you’ll hear more about these later in 2011) have all been implemented and tested with the NIFA Reporting Portal, are in the queue, just waiting for the Green Light.  Venka has a long history at NIFA (previously CSREES) as well, working with our first open source project (CRIS using JSF with Oracle DB) and Plan of Work (Struts with MySQL DB)

Or newest addition to our software engineering team, Jack Compton, has been invaluable as our on-site Rails Guy.  We threw Hobo and The Kitchen Sink at him and he just came back for more.

Of course developers are only one part of the equation.  Ishita Yameen has been key as our seasoned Program Manager and Project Coordinator. She has made The Trains Run On Time.  Michelle Mascarenhas has a long history at NIFA, and her expertise in the many source systems feeding LMD, and expertise in drilling down on requirements is unique.  She also designed the suite of tests, and, with Anthony Prashanth, did much of the heaving lifting on testing and QA.   Irina Gotman took time from her Java work to put her energy and focus to help Michelle and Anthony with a chunk of the 650 tests.

We are very grateful to the NIFA CIO, Michel Desbois, Applications Director Dennis Unglesbee, LMD Project Manager Joe Barbano, and NIFA Portal Project Manager John Mingee. Under their leadership NIFA has become a open source and agile development innovator in the Federal arena.

There is a great collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit at NIFA that energizes our team members to give their very best every day.

Hobo 1.3 for Rails 3 Nearing Completion

January 19, 2011

Please check out the threads on the Hobousers google group and find the latest updates to the new book “Rapid Rails 3 with Hobo” at:!forum/hobousers

Hobo 1.3 for Rails 3 now in Beta

September 29, 2010

Check out the “hobodev” google group for more information, and for instructions…

Two Hobo eBooks now available at

March 7, 2010

Tom Locke has created this page for book access:

“Rapid Rails with Hobo”
“Hobo at Work”

We are currently looking for a publisher for enhanced print versions.


Latest draft of “Rapid Rails with Hobo” book

January 29, 2010

New versions as of Feb 7,2010:

Please find the PDF:

And the Word DOCX:

Uploaded latest version of “Hobo Under the Hood”

January 23, 2010

TOC enhancement and page renumbering fixes:


This book is continues where “Rapid Rails with Hobo” left off…