Last week Bitnami announced support for the Spree e-commerce platform with its new Spree stack. Bitnami "stacks" allow users to have a simplified "1-2-3" install process for the web’s most popular open source applications. These installs work on a variety of platforms (including Windows) and they will install all of the necessary dependencies without interfering with your system. So in the case of Spree, the installer will install Ruby, Rails, Apache, MySql, etc. The install process will install everything in a single top level folder that can be easily removed if you’re no longer interested in running the application.
We’re excited about this development for several reasons. The first is that this clearly demonstrates the increasing enthusiasm for Rails in general and Spree in particular. Bitnami already supports such popular open source applications as Drupal, Word Press, Media Wiki and Joomla. To be listed amongst these applications is clearly a step in the right direction for our project.
The second reason why this is such good news, is that it will make installation and evaluation of Spree even simpler. This type of install will make it much easier for non technical users to evaluate Spree on their own desktop. Experienced Rails users do not have problems with installing Spree since its basically a Rails application. Users new to Rails or Unix type environments, however, will benefit from this simplified approach to installation. We’ve heard from several Windows users on the mailing list recently who were having trouble. We recommend you try the Bitnami install if you’re looking for a no hassle way to get up and running.
Finally, Bitnami has also announced a Spree AMI image for the popular Amazon EC2 service. They have some excellent and very detailed instructions so be sure to give them a read if you’re interested in using Spree in the cloud. We haven’t tested the AMI instance but we’re looking forward to taking it out for a spin in the new year.