GoLoco Media Group Inc
Who are you? (Name, company, position)
My name is Joe Butler. I am the founder / CEO of GoLoco Media Group based in Nashville TN. We have been doing internet media since 1999. Besides providing online media delivery for top tier companies, we also have a couple online communities that we have built and manage as well. We have the following communities… • ComicCollectorLive.com • Coupontagious.com Our business is providing services that help businesses reach consumers. Whether through media delivery or our online communities, we provide businesses with the tools to reach new potential customers.
In what kind of project / environment did you deploy RavenDB?
Coupontagious.com is our first site to use RavenDB. That website is live, and now serving businesses here in our local community. It is written in ASP.Net 4.5 and uses MVC 5. We are hosting our RavenDB database with RavenHQ. So far it has worked flawlessly with our local geo (Hendersonville, TN) testing. We are getting ready to scale up (Nationally) through Television Advertising and Regal Cinema advertising.
What made you select a NoSQL solution for your project?
We were initially looking for a better way to improve our other project (ComicCollectorLive.com) which is a very large project. That project has 3 separate databases, and thousands of tables to provide the experience for our comic book fans. Our system currently uses SQL server, and we do thousands of transactions per second in our peak time. Mostly because it can take as much as 60 queries to load a single web page. We want to streamline that. We also want an easy way to store dis-separate data. A document database is perfect for that. We are still in development mode porting over ComicCollectorLive.com from SQL to RavenDB but our initial testing has been very positive. So, that said, we decided to build our other simpler project (Coupontagious.com) using RavenDB. It is live now, and it was a wise choice. We are very satisfied with our choice to migrate 100% to RavenDB for that solution. I am sure we will be just as pleased when we launch the new ComicCollectorLive.com as well.
What made you select RavenDB as the NoSQL solution?
Well… I did quite a bit of research. I talked with a lot of developers. But I think what really sold me was that Orin was so active in the community. Also, RavenDB was a perfect fit for .Net. But, at the end of the day, it was Orin's active role in the community, and developer's recommendations.
How did you discover RavenDB?
From a company called Mad Development out of New York. They are great developers and they do quite a bit of work for me. They will be helping me on our ComicCollectorLive.com refactoring for RavenDB.
How long did it take to learn to use RavenDB?
Wow, I am still learning. But things happened pretty fast. The hardest thing was rethinking how to structure data. Also, the google group was helpful. The knowledge base is good. I had some struggles with indexes, and projections, etc… but all in all it was worth it.
What are you doing with RavenDB?
Our first release of Coupontagious.com used both SQL and RavenDB. We migrated everything to RavenDB and I couldn't be happier. So, we are using RavenDB 100% for that website. We are trying to do the same for ComicCollectorLive.com but are not quite sure yet if we will be able to go 100% RavenDB. I want to though, but we have some statistical analysis that we did in real time with SQL server. We are hoping we can do a lot of that calculation "as we go" so that we don't have to calculate when we get a report. Calculation happens as things are updated, purchased, etc… But we are still working on that.
What was the experience, compared to other technologies you used before?
I think learning RavenDB was similar. After learning it, I realize that RavenDB is actually easier to work with than SQL. Personally I keep telling myself that I don't want to have to learn one more thing, but I have been saying that for 15 years now, and continue to research and learn every day. The experience was good though, because I loved the new technology, and working with documents just made sense for our web properties.
What do you consider to be RavenDB strengths?
Ease of use. Schema less. And, less calls to the database to retrieve information to display to our users.
What do you consider to be RavenDB weaknesses?
I am going to have to say templates. It would be nice to have a template hooked up to membership that has most of what every website has. Registration, Login, Password reset, Edit account, Etc… I would have liked to have that already done in a template project. The examples are a bit sparse out there so there was some trial and error. Also, I am very concerned about adoption and longevity. I would feel more comfortable if I knew how many installs were out there. I do think that Oren is committed to this product, and that he is actually built a phenomenal product that is ahead of it's time, so I am hoping that time comes soon where developers adopt his product on a large scale. So, probably number one weakness is marketing? Just need to get the name out.
Now that you are in production, do you think that choosing RavenDB was the right choice?
Yes, absolutely. The best decision we have made in a long time. It is working flawlessly.
What would you tell other developers who are evaluating RavenDB?
I would say, run with it. There is a learning curve, but it is well, well worth it.