This week in Startup Engineering: Decoupling Django DB & Web logic

In theory it sounded very straightforward, a simple refactoring.  

My goal: Separate the django database logic from the web/UI/business logic code. Out of the box, django worked like a charm, an all-in-one stack that ran very efficiently for a web/db prototype website on Amazon Web Services.

But in order to support future scalability, I needed to decouple these components, so they could live on the same or different servers transparently, and communicate completely through service APIs, a la the infamous Steve Yegge rant touting Jeff Bezos’s all-services-all-the-time mandate.

Things started simply enough, reviewing the existing views and models, figuring out what type of generic APIs I would need for a decoupled world.  Then it hit me. To separate user data from the web server meant an entirely new level of authentication and security would be needed between the database and the web servers. User-specific data would now make lots of back and forth trips across the network, and would need protection. Unlike my sheltered days coding at Ask.com, I no longer have a team of brilliant network and system administrators dedicated to solving exactly these problems: masking networks, enabling access and authorization, setting up virtual clouds.  

Time for another crash course in bootstrapped engineering. 

Note: I’m also enrolled in Secure Recurring Payments 101, Amazon AutoScaling Architecture 206, and of course, the toughest one for an introvert, Business Development 342a. Thankfully I’m coming off recent successes completing my studies in Video Security and Adaptive Bitrate Tuning, as well as Fitness Video Production 101 and 102.

So that’s where I am now.  Reviewing my options for django/apache authentication methods and frameworks, SSL certificates, and the like.  Will report back when I get to the midterm (later this week!), or find a study buddy to give me a headstart.

 

Valerie Lanard

Valerie Lanard

Valerie Lanard is a software engineer and fitness lover. Once upon a time, exercise was a chore she did to chase the elusive "skinny". Somewhere along the way, it morphed into a source of daily joy, motivation, and strength. Find her on a bike, on a hike, in a skort, or near a usb port. Chances are, she's wearing a gadget and a smile.

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