In the last blog I have praised the Fakturoid application for creating invoices on cloud. In the mean time I found that one of my students works for a startup company blueberryapps.com. Their web is in English and that's great they have global focus. The web is really minimalistic even in the number of web pages, but they have an active blog (Czech). Probably, their major business is web hosting, see the webpage - very nice name (zoo). What is the relation to Fakturoid? They have a very similar application BillApp. Based on the blog description, it has been created as a byproduct. What is interesting? It is written also in Ruby on Rails. The XML or JSON REST API, thanks to RoR, is ready.
With this blog I'd like to point out an emerging trend in the Czech Rep, popularity of RoR. The 37signals and their philosophy for creating web apps and running startup is gaining great popularity. Many of the small startups are adopting their approach. Many are also using other 37signals products, for example bootcamp to organize development.
There are other rapid web application development tools competitors, such as Spring Roo or Grails. Check it out. For Java edicts Roo provides very quick way for starting a CRUD application. It provides basic scaffolding similarly as RoR. What more it is easy to use GWT as a front end and deploy it on Google (AppEngine).
The conclusion is that all these RAD tools provide an excellent starting point for developing custom CRUD applications for SMB in a systematic way in MVC model with REST API. Consider help-desks, CRM, timesheets, business trip recording, project management etc. In the simplest form there are two parts to these apps: administration and list of items. To develop these to perfection takes a lot of efforts and time, but with RAD tools to get the skeleton is a snap. Give it a try.