KAPA brings sports clubs to life. Tech stack set-up with Cloud 66

This Case Study features KAPA, a sports club management app. It covers the details of KAPA’s infrastructure setup, which includes the use of multi-cloud vendors (AWS, DigitalOcean and Azure), containers, security, managed backups and other tools available at Cloud 66.

To kick off 2017 I got in touch with Paul Kane, co-founder of a London-based company called KAPA. KAPA is an application that supports sports club with chat, payments, and event organization functions. It is a perfect assistant to modernize your club and help you organize for 2017!

KAPA - company overview

Paul conducted research and found that club organizers are using countless old fashioned payment systems, group SMS/emails and complex, clunky websites, which no longer fit in the modern world. And this is where KAPA comes to the rescue. KAPA was created in 2016, with the help of Add Jam, mobile and web development company.

What's KAPA? Members and organizers of clubs can easily use this messaging application to organize their events, share the event details, collect payments, engage and communicate with other members.

KAPA's payment system puts fees directly into the club account, which helps clubs maximize the cash they generate and reduce the time of the administrative workload.

Where can I find it? In October 2016 KAPA launched their application in the iTunes app store and the Android Play Store.

How to sign up? To join the platform you need to provide your email address or use your Facebook account. Then KAPA uses AI bots/assistant to manage the responses from event invitations, making it really simple to invite, remind and track attendees.

Now, let's ask Paul how KAPA works under-the-hood and how they manage their infrastructure setup?

Paul, can you give us an overview of your infrastructure set up?

Sure, first off our app, KAPA, is a sports team management app that makes it easy for sports teams to chat, pay and organize club activities like matches and events. It’s a messaging style app with payments and organization tools neatly integrated.

We have two discrete environments, a full production environment and a staging environment. Our backend stack is made up of Postgres and Redis. Our API is built using the Phoenix web framework, which is built on Elixir a derivative of Erlang.

On the client side we use React Native for our mobile apps on iOS and Android and on the web we are using ReactJS.

We integrate with a ton of other services, following the principle of using the best open source software and partners we can find. We integrate with Sparkpost for email delivery, Firebase for notifications, Cloudflare for CDN, Fabric for beta distribution and analytics as well as Facebook Login and Account Kit for getting users authenticated into the app.

Why did you choose Cloud 66 over other containers providers?

We were introduced to Cloud66 by our excellent development partner Add Jam. They’d used it on a number of other projects and highly recommended it for KAPA.

The flexibility of cloud vendor choice is really important to us. We’re making best use of the startup programs our cloud partners like Microsoft Azure and AWS provide. We can deploy to Azure, AWS or Digital Ocean meaning we can get the best bang for our buck when it comes to paying for cloud services.

The ease of infrastructure management was also a big factor in choosing Cloud 66. Being able to manage multiple servers, containers and databases through a simple web interface has made managing and extending our infrastructure a breeze.

How are you using Cloud 66 and what are your favorite features?

Cloud 66 is managing all our cloud platforms.

One of my favorite features is the security aspects. Not just the fact that Cloud 66 patched all our servers for us post #dirtycow but each time we have to SSH into a server (an extremely rare occurrence) I love the automatic changes to firewall rules to open up an SSH port. Even better Cloud 66 always remembers to re-instate the secure firewall rules once your SSH session is over.

Another great feature is the managed backups. We don’t run a replicated instance of our database backend so if we ever need to dive into the DB to check something we can grab a backup and install it in another environment.

When we were in our initial development phase we had one environment managed by Cloud 66. When it came time to launch we used the clone environment feature to create a perfect clone of our environment ready for launch.

Final favorite feature (there are many ;-) is the service tasks. Simple task automation which we use for running regular security and maintenance tasks. Having the history and logs for each run of these jobs is really handy.

What are your plans for 2017?

We’ll be scaling up our production environments ready for the thundering herd of new users we’re expecting in 2017 and we’ve got lots of plans to build more tools to help organizers run their clubs more smoothly.

We’re looking forward to seeing Cloud 66 grow and evolve and continue to provide rock solid service for us going forward.

It's a pleasure to work with the awesome folks at KAPA (and Add Jam). Thank you Paul for finding the time in your busy schedule to chat with us about KAPA. It's always great for us to discover all the unique ways in which our customers are using Cloud 66.


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