powered by Para

Status update - containers, Java 11 and more

Over the past couple of months we’ve been busy maintaining Para and Scoold and a few patches have been released. The changes are minor and are mostly related to dependency upgrades. A few minor bugs have been fixed as well. Scoold has received some much welcome pull requests with translations from our awesome contributors. It is now available in 12 different languages!

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Top 5 open source Q&A platforms for 2019

I’ve assembled a list of the top open source Q&A platforms that are currently available. The list contains only projects which are in active development and have a working demo site. There are a few similar blog posts out there but they’re quite outdated. Most of the projects listed below are inspired by Stack Overflow which is in fact the most popular community for questions and answers related to programming. Please, bear in mind that the list is not ordered in any way.

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Announcing Scoold Pro

We are happy to announce the availability of Scoold Pro! We’ve added a number of useful features to it and made it easier for integration with your existing infrastructure. Scoold Pro fits well inside an enterprise environment and can also be hosted on your company’s intranet. SAML authentication allows for a faster onboarding and unlimited spaces give you the freedom to assign a separate space to each one of your teams within your organization.

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Introducing Scoold - an open source Q&A platform

Have you ever wanted to have a Q&A section on your website with the functionality of Stack Overflow? Well, this one is for you! Scoold is a cloud-ready Stack Overflow clone, powered by our Para backend. It’s a real-world application, showcasing the Para technology and how it can be utilized to get a project off the ground quickly. Scoold is a lightweight (~4000 LOC) web application written in Java – it runs great on the smallest Heroku dyno and doesn’t require a database.

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Implementing full-text search for your static site

Static site generators are great — they get the job done quickly for our blogs, landing pages and project websites. They make it easy to build something, deploy it and forget it — free hosting, nothing to maintain, a sort of “serverless” technology. Static sites are perfect for content which rarely changes. They lack dynamic features, but the main problem is that you can’t search quickly for a piece of content without leaving the site, which hinders the user experience.

We generate our blog using Hexo, a simple static site generator, and we’re quite happy with it. We’ve always felt that our search box could be improved and sending users off to Google was just sloppy. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how you can also upgrade the search box on your blog or static site.

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Saving money on DynamoDB with Global Secondary Indexes

Amazon’s DynamoDB is a fully managed database service running inside the AWS cloud which is super-scalable and fast. It is perfect for write-intensive workflows and low-latency queries. Its main advantages are the adjustable read and write performance and global secondary indexes (GSI).

We migrated from Cassandra to DynamoDB a while back. This decision was taken mainly because of the tunable performance and also because it’s a managed service and we had one less thing to maintain. Later we found out that global indexes could help us save a lot of extra costs and so we implemented a simple solution, which we call “shared tables”.

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An open source backend for the Internet of Things

Things — those small, connected devices are now part of our daily lives. As we transition our focus from mobile to broader IoT development, the need for reliable and open source backend systems increases. There are so many applications for IoT — smart thermostats, air conditioning controllers, DIY home automation systems based on Raspberry Pi and Arduino, to name a few. We were planning to add IoT support to Para for a while now but it was only after a fellow developer’s suggestion that we realized we should’ve done this sooner.

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Building a full stack application from scratch with Angular

UPDATE: This article and its associated code have been updated for Angular 7.x.

In this tutorial we’re going to build a simple single-page application with Angular 2+. This is intended for developers unfamiliar with 2+ or having some experience with AngularJS. First of all, I got Visual Studio Code installed on my machine and it’s running on Linux. I chose VS Code because we’ll be working with TypeScript mostly and it has great support for it, but you can code in your favourite IDE as well. Next, I’ve decided to save some time and clone the excellent Angular 2 starter kit by Minko Gechev called ‘angular-seed’. You’ll also need to have Git, Node.js and npm installed.

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jPrime roundup, Para client for iOS and Swift

Last week was jPrime 2016, the biggest Java conference on the Balkans. It was a huge success — more than 500 visitors, two tracks in two days. The slogan was “Java - 21 and legally drunk” and the two main themes were microservices and reactive programming with RxJava. This was the second year in a row for the conference which is organized by the community, i.e. fellow Java developers from the BGJUG. By being silver sponsors, we made a humble contribution which helped the community organize this great event.

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Para Web Console - the admin UI for your backend

We’ve released a simple web management console for Para. It’s open source, client-side only and lets you connect to any of your Para servers and manage your objects easily through the web interface. It’s powered by AngularJS and uses the great libraries ng-admin and Restangular. The console works for both local and remotely deployed servers and you are more than welcome to modify it for your needs. We’d appreciate any pull requests on GitHub.

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