SKY TV sites now all built with Grails

Posted by: on Oct 3, 2008 | 8 Comments

Graeme revealed yesterday on his blog that SKY TV now use Grails for the main website, as well as their sub-sites.

Its great to see another recognized brand using Grails for their public facing websites.

Grails is brilliant because it works wonderfully for medium-sized websites as well as enterprise systems. It has nothing that restricts it to either of these markets.

8 Comments

  1. Roshan Shrestha
    October 3, 2008

    I would have imagined that a Content Management System would have better suited http://www.copellafruitjuices.co.uk/ and http://www.tropicana.co.uk/ instead of Grails.

  2. Marc Palmer
    October 5, 2008

    A CMS would have been useful but a) there isn’t one on the market that does what we need vis having lots of custom page layouts and lots of text panels etc, and b) we do plenty of other bits that are not pure CMS – data tracking, competitions (automated draws, notification of winners) among other things.

  3. Mike
    October 6, 2008

    That’s awesome! Is it possible to share the rough hardware specs behind the site? What plugins are being used? Is there a lot of front-end caching or hibernate caching being used?

  4. Marc Palmer
    October 6, 2008

    I don’t know Mike, its not my site!

  5. Mike
    October 6, 2008

    OK, sorry. It sounded like you were involved based on your first comment where you used ‘we’ in describing the decision around CMS.

  6. Glenn Saqui
    October 7, 2008

    Hey Mike,

    Grails 1.0.3

    Plugins:
    fckeditor
    quartz
    testing
    webtest
    searchable
    selenium
    jsunit
    and a couple of hand written ones

    tv.sky.com, movies.sky.com, showbiz.sky.com, sky1.sky.com all run off the same codebase just styled differently and different modules on each page. These four sites in a month get around 110 million hits in total.

    They essentially have 4 production nodes that sit behind a load balancer and a cdn. Since the site is so read heavy compared to write heavy we cache as much stuff up the stack as possible. That means we use our CDN pretty extensively as well as caching at the load balancer. Those 4 web boxes are all vm’s that point to a cluster of 2 postgres db’s vms. We have one node that isn’t available to the outside that is used for our rich publishing system that the editors use.

    What else would you like to know?

  7. J
    November 23, 2008

    Wow, so three (I’ll throw in LinkedIn) recognized brands use grails now? Guys, I’m rooting for you, but that’s not necessarily stellar adoption. Especially since Tropicana has been trumpeted for 1-2 years now, and if I recall its use of Grails was very basic.

    Rails, on the other hand, continues to be the posterchild of the 2.0 community, even though I personally think Grails is superior in some ways. I really hope with Spring Source on the docket now, you guys will be ramping up the advocacy and increasing adoption.

  8. Marc Palmer
    November 25, 2008

    J –

    For the record the brand sites I worked on included Tropicana, Copella (leading UK apple juice brand), Tropicana Go! and PJ Smoothies, as well as Cobra beers. That’s 5 brands already. Some of those sites were simple, others included custom-written blogs, reporting and all kinds of non-trivial stuff.

    I am with you however in not being happy at the progress to date – I know Grails is worthy of so much more exposure.

    I share your hope that the involvement of SpringSource will help us gain traction.

    In my experience contracting I find that the primary barrier to Grails usage is groovy and the dynamic programming paradigm – it is just anathema to most developers who need a lot of convincing before they see they light. This is not a problem specific to Grails, it applies to any dynamic language being “sold” to previously statically typed language afficionados.