Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Performance enhancements for Ruby-based stacks in BitNami

We have been steadily working on releasing new applications for our BitNami Library. We have also been investigating new configurations and optimizations to improve the performance of existing ones.

As part of this work we have just released new versions of Ruby Stack, DiscourseRedmine or GitLab with several performance improvements, detailed below:

We added the popular Falcon patches by default, which also include the Greg Price's patch for speedup. These fixes significantly reduce application startup time for Rails-based apps.

To test this improvement, we tested Discourse in an Ubuntu 64 bit small instance in Amazon EC2:

$ time -p bin/rake environment RAILS_ENV=production

Ruby 1.9.3-p392:  69.60 secs
Ruby 1.0.3-p392 + Falcon patches: 22.47 secs

We are also adding specific settings for improving per-application performance. Discourse developers have noticed slowdowns related to Garbage Collection. We configured the BitNami Discourse stack to increase the GC limit to 90 MBs.

We have released a new version of Ruby for Windows that ships similar performance patches. The Code Shop group already implemented these patches for Windows and using this new Ruby version, Redmine starts almost 30% faster for this platform.

In addition to that, we updated the Bundler gem to the latest 3.1.5 version for all the Ruby-based stacks, which is much faster than the previous versions. Now you can run "bundle update" in a few seconds.

If you have additional suggestions on how we can improve the performance of BitNami apps, please let us know!

Monday, April 22, 2013

OXID eShop now available in BitNami

We are happy to announce that OXID eShop is now available on BitNami library. OXID eShop is a flexible open source e-commerce software with a wide range of functionalities. Thanks to its modular, modern and state-of-the-art architecture, it can be modified, expanded and customized to individual requirements with the greatest of ease.

You can now download free, ready to run native installers for  Windows, OS X and Linux, virtual machines and Azure and Amazon EC2 cloud images.

You can now launch a free cloud demo server with the BitNami Cloud Launchpad by clicking the launch button below.

Launch OXID eShop

Marco Steinhäeuser, Community Guide at OXID eSales AG, has replied some questions about the OXID sShop project.

What is the goal of the OXID eShop application?

With OXID eShop, online merchants or integration agencies get a lean, modern and feature rich PHP software to build up a sustainable e-commerce business. OXID eShop is easy to customize: it uses the Smarty template engine for generating one's unique store front design. If you have to change or add some functionality for fitting OXID eShop into your business model, write an extension, put it into the modules folder and off you go. Thanks to the OOP (object oriented programming) architecture you'll be able to update your software and benefit from the latest innovations without loosing your changes.

Because OXID eShop is so simple to adapt there will be a short time to market -  OXID eShop is just e-commerce software for agencies with deadlines :-)

OXID eShop sample project

What are the main features of OXID eShop?

- High performance
- Scalability
- Good usability
- SEO friendliness (including rich snippets)
- B2B and B2C capability
- multilingual/multiple currencies
- Downloadable and virtual products 
- Integrated web2.0 components
- Private shopping
- Multi stores (only capable in Enterprise Edition)

Which projects or organizations are using OXID eShop currently?

By nature, usually merchants, online pure players as well as multichannel providers but also more and more manufacturer and vendors. We have very small mom-and-dad-shops as well as really huge players and everything between. Here's an extract of our bigger references:

Mercedes Benz Parts http://www.mbgtc.de/
Hellweg hardware store http://www.hellweg.de/
Mayersche book store http://www.mayersche.de/
Gravis Mac store http://www.gravis.de/
Carl Zeiss Jena https://taster.zeiss.de/

What are the benefits for OXID eShop to be available as BitNami stack installers, virtual machine and Amazon cloud images? 

Thanks to BitNami it is now possible for integrators, freelancers and ambitioned online merchants to easily get started, running their own development environment, building up staging machines and to test their modifications instead of working on their productive servers. This is very useful for module coders as well, as they can test extensions in different versions of OXID eShop. The most cool thing is that one can choose the environment by taste, no matter if preferring the Amazon cloud, a virtual machine or a LAMP, MAMP or WAMP stack.

We'd like to thank BitNami in the name of the whole community for the useful stacks!

We are glad OXID eShop is now part of BitNami. Would you like your favorite app to be part of BitNami? Make sure to suggest and vote for it in our contest!

Monday, April 15, 2013

New BitNami Development Stacks with PHP 5.4.14 released

We are happy to announce that all of the BitNami PHP-based development stacks have been updated to include PHP 5.4.14, Apache 2.4.4, MySQL 5.5.30 and PostgreSQL 9.2.4 support. BitNami stacks provide pre-configured, ready to run bundles for your favorite server applications and development environments.

You can download LAMP stack for Linux, MAMP stack for OS X and WAMP stack for Windows to develop PHP-based applications on your Desktop, using your favorite Operating System. There are also Ubuntu-based virtual machines available for download and cloud images to deploy on Azure or Amazon EC2 directly.

We also upgraded the PostgreSQL based stacks to the the latest stable version, PostgreSQL 9.2.4, that fixes a security vulnerability. You can download LAPP, MAPP and WAPP stacks as native installers, virtual machine images and cloud images for Azure and Amazon EC2.

If you develop with both databases MySQL and PostgreSQL, you can also install the PostgreSQL module on top of your current LAMP, WAMP or MAMP stack.

LAMP stack manager tool running on Linux

LAMP virtual machine

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New BitNami Contest winner: Horde Groupware Webmail Edition

Horde Groupware Webmail
Horde Groupware Webmail just won our last bi-weekly contest and we are already working on adding it to the BitNami Library. Installers for Linux, OS X and Windows, virtual machines and cloud images for both Windows Azure and AWS cloud will be available soon.

Horde Groupware Webmail Edition is a free, enterprise ready, browser based communication suite. Users can read, send and organize email messages and manage and share calendars, contacts, tasks and notes with the standards compliant components from the Horde Project.

Horde Groupware Webmail

Now our bi-weekly contest has been reset and you have two weeks for voting or suggesting other projects. Don't forget to ask others to vote for your favorite project to win!

Monday, April 8, 2013

XOOPS now available in BitNami

XOOPS is a new winner of the BitNami bi-weekly packaging contest. XOOPS is an acronym of eXtensible Object Oriented Portal System, it is an easy to use dynamic web content management system written in PHP. Its object orientation makes it an ideal tool for developing small or large community websites, intra company and corporate portals, weblogs and much more. 

You can now download free, ready to run native installers for  Windows, OS X and Linux, virtual machines and Azure & Amazon EC2 cloud images for XOOPS.

You can now launch a free cloud demo server with the BitNami Cloud Launchpad by clicking the launch button below.

Launch XOOPS

Michael Beck from the XOOPS project, was kind enough to answer some questions for those of you who may not be familiar with the project.

1. What is the goal of the XOOPS application?

XOOPS is one of world's leading open source CMS and portal systems, written in PHP for the MySQL database. Its object orientation makes it an ideal tool for developing small or large community websites, intra company and corporate portals, weblogs and much more.
Founded in 2001 by group of international software developers, XOOPS quickly become one of world's leading Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS).  

Known and loved for its ease of use and countless powerful modules, XOOPS received numerous International Awards and Recognitions, including being the Top 5 finalist of the 2008, 2009, and 2010 CMS Awards by Packt Publishing. In January 2009 it received the 2008 China Open Source Software Contest Award and in October 2010 the "Best Technology Award" from Northeast Asia OSS Forum. In 2012 it was voted as People's Choice 1st Runner Up as Best Free CMS, and in 2013 SourceForge selected XOOPS to be included in their directory of "Enterprise-ready Open Source Projects".

2. What are some of the features of XOOPS?

- Database-driven: XOOPS uses a relational database (currently MySQL) to store data required
for running a web-based content management system.
- Fully Modularized: Modules can be installed/uninstalled/ativated/deactivated with a click using the XOOPS module administration system.
- Personalization: Registered users can edit their profiles, select site themes, upload custom avatars, and much more.
- User Management: The ability to search for users by various criteria, send email and private messages to users through a template-based messaging system.
- Supported World-wide: XOOPS was created and is maintained by a team of several hard-working volunteers working from all over the world. The XOOPS community has more than dozen official support sites around the world for support of non-English speaking users.
- Multi-byte Language Support: Fully supports multi-byte languages, including Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, etc.
- Versatile Group Permissions System: Powerful and user-friendly permissions system which enables administrators to set permissions by group.
- Theme-based skinnable interface: XOOPS is driven by a powerful theme system. Both admins and users can change the look of the entire web site with just a click of a mouse. There are also over 1000 themes available for download!

XOOPS administration panel

3. Which projects or organizations are using XOOPS currently?  What kind of projects do they use it for?

Some of the more prolific users include: 
- Libyan Ministry of Defense (http://www.defense.gov.ly/)
- Libyan National Election Commission (http://www.hnec.ly/)
- Brazilian equivalent of our CIA (http://www.abin.gov.br/)
- All government Website of State of Parana in Brazil are built with XOOPS:  http://www.parana.pr.gov.br/ and http://www.turismo.pr.gov.br
- ComputerWorld in Denmark (www.computerworld.dk)
- Centos (http://www.centos.org)
- Koreus in France (www.koreus.com)
- Goldseiten in Germany (www.goldseiten.de)

4. What do you expect will be the main benefits of having BitNami packages available for XOOPS?

The main benefit for XOOPS of being in BitNami distribution will be increased number of choices for users to install XOOPS, and making it easier for them, as they will be able to install XOOPS with one click on various platforms, incl. Windows, OS X, and Linux.  

We are glad XOOPS is now part of BitNami. Would you like your favorite app to be part of BitNami? Make sure to suggest and vote for it in our contest!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Updated Amazon Linux Servers in BitNami Cloud Hosting

BitNami Cloud Hosting makes it easy to install and run Drupal, Joomla!, Wordpress and dozens of other popular open source applications. In addition to facilitating the initial install, it provides automatic monitoring of your servers, one-click backup and restore and server scheduling.

When creating a server you have several configurations options at the Cloud, server and application level. Today we want to announce that we have added support for the latest version of Amazon Linux , recently released.

Server options

Amazon Linux is supported as one of the native stack options. The native stack images do not include BitNami components for the server components. Instead, we use the Red Hat and Amazon Linux native stacks (Apache web server, PHP, MySQL database etc.), and install BitNami web applications on top of it. This allows you to use the operating system tools to keep the stack components up to date and enables you to maintain consistency across your pre-existing environments.

For details about the new Amazon Linux images, please take a look at the release notes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

OXID eShop: a new e-Commerce application to be added to the BitNami Library

We are happy to announce that OXID eShop, an e-Commerce application, will soon be added to the BitNami Library.

OXID eShop is a flexible open source software written in PHP and distributed under GPLv3. Thanks to its modular architecture, it can be modified, expanded and customized to individual requirements with the greatest of ease.

OXID eShop main screen

Native installers for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, virtual machines already configured with OXID eShop, Windows Azure cloud images and AWS cloud images will be available soon in BitNami.

OXID eShop admin dashboard

OXID eShop is the last winner of our bi-weekly BitNami contest. If you want to see your favorite app in BitNami, you can submit it and vote for it. And don't forget to share it with others to get their votes!