How Qwilr turns business documents into attractive websites using Docker and Cloud 66

By working closely with our customers, we have a pretty good idea how to support your core business with Docker and what tools you need in production. Cloud 66 provides full stack container management as a service, which is an automated system, that is simple to use. It is ideal for those who have already experience with Docker and for those who want to try it for the first time.

Read how Qwilr supports thousands of graphic design and sales teams with intelligent and automated web documents powered by containers!

'The best of documents meets the best of the web.'

Background

Qwilr is a SaaS business that revolutionised the way businesses create their sales documents. It combines the ease of documents with the power and beauty of websites, making them data-rich, interactive and bursting with media. Qwilr projects can be saved, copied and reused - just like any document. It’s the best of both worlds. And somewhere in between.

Qwilr opens the door to a world where documents are smart, efficient and beautiful. They can be built and shared like web pages, which saves you time and makes your business look good.

Watch a video and find out how easy is to work with Qwilr.

I have spoken with Oliver Bolton, a Software Engineer at Qwilr, and he explained how containers powered Qwilr’s platform.

Qwilr's journey into the container world

Qwilr previously used a manual approach to deploy their infrastructure, which included a lot of steps and took a lot of time. This left plenty of room for human error and server drift. More importantly, they couldn't deploy updates as often as they would like to. And as a result, it took longer time for new features to move from development to production. This is a big concern for a startup like Qwilr, and it has a big impact on their ability to stay ahead of the competition and win customers.

Oliver has previously used Cloud 66 for a Rails project and decided to experiment with the Docker stack with Qwilr. Qwilr was looking for an efficient solution that would allow it to:

Qwilr chose to move to a Docker-based approach for deployment after reviewing their development processes and realising how much time they spent on DevOps work instead of building their product. Oliver explained that they wanted to boost their productivity by improving the speed and frequency at which they could deploy their application. This would allow them to iterate faster and spend less time setting up and managing servers. "For a small team, it had the potential to have a big impact on our business."

This is your first time using Docker, what is your experience so far?

"Docker made a lot of sense to us because we could tightly control our application's environment and eliminate server drift", said Oliver. This gives them the confidence that every instance of their application is running with the exact same configuration.

Oliver has experimented with quite a few Docker-related products to automate the Qwilr deployment pipeline. And he tried a lot of services that solved one or two parts of the problem (from building Docker containers, to storing them and orchestrating them), "but Cloud 66 took care of the whole lot in one package." Oliver added, "as a complete (and reliable) solution it offered to keep our costs down, remove points of failure and reduce the amount of time we needed to spend getting all the parts to work together."

"We found that using Docker containers with Cloud 66 was very straightforward. With very little configuration, we were able to set up a continuous deployment process and we've been able to throw away a lot of old deployment scripts."

The purpose of Docker at Qwilr

Qwilr is using Docker to package their web application (as part of their continuous deployment strategy) to automate deployments when they release a new version of their product. They are also using Docker to make it easier to distribute development versions to the engineering team for testing.

The use of containers helped Qwilr to simplify their deployment and to save them time and money.

Cloud 66 features used by Qwilr

Qwilr is using:

  • Redeployment hooks to automatically trigger deployments to their stacks on a Git push.
  • BuildGrid to build Docker images automatically from Git source repository.
  • Cloud 66's container hosting to store built Docker images.
  • Automated server setup to spin up and configure servers as needed.
  • Load balancing to distribute traffic between their servers, to boost the reliability and performance and eliminate downtime during deployments.
  • LiveLogs to monitor the health of their applications in real time.

What is the next step for Docker at Qwilr?

Qwilr has already moved their development stack to Docker and Cloud 66, and they are in the process of migrating their production stack as well. Also, they are looking to integrate Docker deeper into their development cycle, including easier sharing of development builds around Qwilr team.

We are extremely happy to work with great folks at Qwilr! I would like to say big, fat thank you to Oliver for finding the time in his super busy schedule to chat about Docker use at Qwilr. It was a pleasure to find out more about Qwilr’s awesome product!

Are you working on something cool? Or perhaps you want to start using Docker? Get in touch!

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