CloudApp is a stunningly simple way to share files from a Mac
CloudApp solves a problem common to all computer users: file sharing. While there are many ways to share files, none are as fast and elegant as CloudApp. Choose a file, drag it to your menubar and CloudAPP takes care of the rest. The file is uploaded to the cloud and a short link to it is automatically copied into your clipboard. You can share the file by pasting this link into an e-mail, IM, or web page.
CloudApp’s focus on design and simplicity has paid off. Since launching on January 1st 2010 they have grown to 100,000 users.
CloudApp has achieved their success with an amazingly lean organization. Their engineering department consists of just a handful of developers. Deploying and running on Heroku has enabled them to focus on what they do best – designing and building a beautiful, intuitive desktop application. And this focus has allowed them to quickly grow a thriving business.
“We don’t have to think about servers or hosting. We push to Heroku and it just works. Having Heroku manage our back-end has been an amazing lever for us. We have been able to devote more resources to desktop and front-end development, resulting in a more agile organization and accelerated customer adoption.”
Launching in Jan 2010, CloudApp was greeted with a flood of interest. In the first day the app was publicly available they had so many signups that they maxed out their allocation of outbound messages with their existing mail host. Without outbound e-mails, new users were unable to activate their accounts.
CloudApp solved the problem with the SendGrid add-on to Heroku. The add-on automatically re-configured their backend to utilize SendGrid’s scalable SMTP architecture, and within minutes CloudApp was functioning properly.
The Heroku Add-on ecosystem also proved invaluable to CloudApp a month later, when an undersea cable cut disabled their DNS server. The resulting connectivity took CloudApp’s file sharing capabilities offline. However by installing the Zerigo DNS add-on, CloudApp quickly and painlessly recovered.
“Heroku’s add-on catalog was the channel through which we discovered SendGrid and Zerigo. These services have not only been invaluable to us. They required virtually no developer resources to setup and deploy, allowed us to recover from potentially catastrophic outages, and have scaled their capacity seamlessly with our customer growth. Plus because they are billed directly though our Heroku account; we have fewer vendor relationships to manage and less administrative overhead.”
Best of Breed
CloudApp’s software is comprised of three components. The first is the user-installed desktop application, built with Objective-C. The second is the file storage layer utilizing Amazon Web Services S3. The final component of CloudApp is their web application and computational backed written in Ruby on Rails and running on Heroku. Combing distributed, best-of-breed components in this manner is powerful pattern that is quickly becoming the norm for creating modern software.
“You would think that building a system like ours, running in many heterogeneous computing environments, would be difficult. We’ve found however that it actually simplifies the problem, allowing us to us to build smaller software components that utilize the best-of-breed technologies for the problem that they address. S3 is simply the best, most reliable, and easiest way to store files on the Internet. In the same vain, Heroku is the runtime for web applications and web services. As more companies catch on to this, I see it becoming the de facto standard for building modern Internet applications.”