Wishing Wagon: Your Online Wish List

I know I haven’t blogged since August but I have a good excuse. My team and I have been working really hard towards the public beta release of our new online wish list app Wishing Wagon. Basically, Wishing Wagon allows you to create lists of items you would like to receive for a special occasion like Christmas, birthday, wedding, etc. The advantage of Wishing Wagon over other store-based wish lists is that we aren’t store-based. You can add any item you want from any online or physical store.

Since my blog is primarily about technical topics and I’m not sure if promoting my web app can be classified as a miscellaneous rant, I’ll talk a bit about the architecture of Wishing Wagon.

The site was built using PHP and of course my favourite PHP framework, Zend Framework. For the database, instead of MySQL, this time we decided to use Couch DB. I must say that using documents instead of using relational databases feels so much more natural. Documents fit much better with models and I don’t have to worry about Many-to-Many relationships anymore. Couch DB took a bit of time to get used to, but I am now hooked and will try to use Couch whenever eventual consistency is an option.

During the development of Wishing Wagon, I’ve also come to appreciate the built-in Amazon API support in Zend Framework. Retrieving products and searching for items is a breeze. I was a little surprised at how easy it was.

The site is hosted on Rackspace Cloud and is load balanced using HAproxy. We use Rackspace Cloud files as our CDN and we use the Compass Rackspace Cloud Files Zend Framework Library to upload files to the CDN.

I’ll try to blog a bit more about our development experience in the next few weeks.

Don’t forget Christmas is only 45 days away! Why not create a Wishing Wagon and add some items? Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

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