EdgeCase Uses Ruby to Create New, Award-Winning Software Product in Seven Months

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How do you go from an idea to an award-winning software product in less than a year? EdgeCase did it using the remarkable combination of the Ruby programming language and an agile software development process.

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My dream for EdgeCase has always been to take an out-of-the-box idea, prove it can be done, implement it, and build a team that can stand on its own. And with Janova that’s exactly what we did.”

Joe O’Brien, co-founder of EdgeCase and his development team took a big idea and turned it into reality in seven months. What was the big idea? Build a software testing product that allows testers to create scripts using plain English, and then execute those scripts in the cloud. The result was Janova.

How did the Edgecase development team build a product that was both new and complex in such a short time? Using the combination of Ruby programming language and an agile software development process.

“When we came up with the idea for Janova we saw a need for a simple and inexpensive way to test software,” said Brian Lusenhop, Director of Product Management at Janova. “We wanted to use open source software and design it so testing could be done in plain English which eliminates the need for business analysts to understand code.”

The goal was to reduce the cost of testing. The Janova team had seen how standard software testing techniques drove up infrastructure costs and created bottlenecks by tying up machines while testers ran long scripts. And they’d seen the struggle of business analysts who didn’t know “code-speak” and were struggling to work well with the IT development teams.

Using open source technology and an agile process reduced the cost of product development. “Aside from the flexibility you get with agile software development, it minimizes the cost of change,” said O’Brien. “And not just during the development process which is when most people worry about those kinds of costs. It saves over the entire life of the product, which is when maintenance costs can become burdensome.”

But creating a software testing product that could execute plain English testing scripts using open source software, whether it was the Ruby programming language or some other open source technology wasn’t going to be enough. Lusenhop wanted his tool to run in the cloud. “The idea of running it as software as a service (SaaS) was new. No one else was doing that, and we didn’t even know if it could be done.”

O’Brien told them it was possible in a meeting that took place in February 2010. Within two weeks of that meeting, Lusenhop and his team were running a simplified version of Janova as it exists today. On September 18, 2010 Janova was released.

“It was exciting,” said Lusenhop. “We found out the big idea was possible, and we shaved a year off our product plan. Within three to four months of release we had 6,000 free registered trial users.”

Lusenhop and the EdgeCase development team aren’t the only ones who are excited. Janova has been awarded the IT Martini Community Award for 2010, was a Semi-Finalist for the 2010 Tech Columbus Innovation Award for Outstanding Startup Business, and won a 2011 Red Herring Top 100 North America Award.

With so much achieved in such a short time, it would be easy to think the EdgeCase development team is still fully supporting the product. But that’s a poor assumption. “As of February 2011, with the help of EdgeCase, all development and support of Janova was fully transitioned back in-house,” said Lusenhop. “It was always the vision they’d do the initial development and help us build a self-sufficient team. And that’s exactly what they did.”

O’Brien agrees. “My dream for EdgeCase has always been to take an out-of-the-box idea, prove it can be done, implement it, and build a team that can stand on its own. And with Janova that’s exactly what we did.”

For more information on EdgeCase and their agile development solutions, please visit edgecase.com. For more information on the Janova software testing tool, please visit janova.us.

About EdgeCase
EdgeCase is a software enablement company. EdgeCase specializes in making sure technology works for, rather than against businesses. Through leveraging the latest in open source technology such as Ruby, JRuby and Sprout, EdgeCase both lowers the cost of change and enables companies to create cutting-edge technology solutions to business problems. EdgeCase has worked in industries ranging from data security to ecommerce to software testing. In their work with customers, EdgeCase focuses on creating partnerships and teaching best practices to enable a company’s future success. EdgeCase has offices in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio and Edinburgh United Kingdom and can be found at edgecase.com.

About Janova
Janova is a software company focused on making enterprise-level software development, implementation and maintenance more efficient, more effective and less expensive. Janova is a web-based automated software testing tool that allows you to create your scripts in plain English. Janova was awarded the IT Martini Community Award for 2010, was a Semi-Finalist for the 2010 Tech Columbus Innovation Award for Outstanding Startup Business, and won a 2011 Red Herring Top 100 North America Award. Janova is located in New Albany, Ohio and can be found at janova.us.

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Kristina Stiffler

Joe O'Brien, CEO
EdgeCase
614-453-5527
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