Relevance Raises 3.6 million from Spelvin Capital

Chapel Hill – April 1, 2008 – Relevance Inc., a leading provider of enterprise Ruby application development, today announced the closing of a $3.6 million Series A investment from Spelvin Capital. The funds will be used to develop Relevance's customer service organization worldwide, and to enhance a set of new technologies that support Ruby in the Enterprise. Spelvin general partner David Agnew will join the company’s Board of Directors.

"Ruby on Rails has been very successful to date, but only for 'toy' applications," Mr. Agnew said. "Relevance's new Ruby To Enterprise Expander (R2EE) will provide the heft that Ruby needs to play at the highest levels in the Enterprise. For example, the following Ruby code would make any serious developer cringe:"

  attr_accessor :name, :balance  

It is impossible to develop an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for such code. In R2EE, the same code is automatically converted to be more scalable:

  attribute :name
  attribute :balance  
  def name
    @name
  end
  def name=(value)
    @name = value
  end
  def balance
    @balance
  end
  def balance=(value)
    @balance = value
  end

Relevance is also unveiling BoundTight, a new Dependency Injection framework for Ruby code. "Most Ruby developers think Dependency Injection is unnecessary, because Ruby's duck typing minimizes dependencies and their impacts across an application" said Justin Gehtland, Relevance founder and President. "That's true, up to a point. But enterprise software needs complex dependencies. BoundTight scans your codebase, creating complex dependencies if yours are too simple. Then we provide the tools you need to manage the complexity."

Relevance's new offerings also extend to management tools. Stuart Halloway, Relevance founder and CEO, recently described Bergeron, a new tool for development managers.

Writing software is like running an assembly line. If you care about quality, developers need to be interchangeable parts. Traditionally, the problem has been at both ends of the scale. The bottom 10% of developers are unable to perform their tasks. But the top 10% are even worse--they constantly develop new techniques, that, while powerful, are unusable by your average developer. With Bergeron, we use sophisticated statistical techniques to reliably identify both ends of the bell curve, so that you can remove them from your organization. With Bergeron, we guarantee consistent results.

Relevance is also working with industry leaders to make the Ruby language more consistent and reliable. Borrowing on their extensive experience in the Java world, Relevance developers have created a set of new options for the Ruby runtime:

  • -XXno-meta disables all metaprogramming features in the Ruby language.
  • -XXcomments requires that all methods be commented, and prevents RubyDoc from including source code.
  • -XXcompressed requires that all Ruby code be compiled down to a canonical compressed form. "This will encourage more IDE usage. IDEs written in serious languages will be able to parse the new compressed from, and we are optimistic that Emacs Lisp lacks the expressive power to translate it."
  • -XXdata-lint will identify any uses of YAML or JSON, flagging them for conversion to industry standard XML. With the :strict option, all XML must be namespaced.

"Enterprises want the same kind of quality they are used to, and we are going to give it to them," Halloway said.