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Dishing on America’s Test Kitchen & NoSQL

Who Likes Food? I know I do. That’s why the announcement of America’s Test Kitchen as one of MarkLogic’s newest customers is especially exciting to me. I get jazzed about all new customers, but this one in particular makes me salivate. Just its Twitter page alone makes my stomach start to growl.

Developing foolproof recipes from its 2500 sq foot kitchen.
Developing foolproof recipes from its 2500 sq foot kitchen.

America’s Test Kitchen is a gargantuan 2500 square foot kitchen in Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers (product testers? Like taste testers!?), with a mission to develop the best recipes, and deliver those recipes to its print and broadcast audiences. Managing all this rich and enticing content was challenging as prior technologies just couldn’t get the job done. The team carefully vetted MarkLogic, held their breath and committed.

Frank Rubino, MarkLogic’s Technical Solutions Director, was tasked to create a new searchable repository for ATK that would house thousands of recipes, reviews, taste tests and kitchen tips. It needed to provide access to editors of its magazines, cookbooks, websites and TV series. He also knew that they needed to see some quick progress to assure them they made the right choice.

The old way of developing software was tedious and slow – you had to think through every type of search parameter so you could model the data for a relational database. That process alone could take six months of work – and if the team guessed wrong – well, it would set the project back again.

With MarkLogic’s Enterprise NoSQL platform all that upfront angst disappears. And indeed with a schema-agnostic database and an Agile workflow methodology – Frank was able to give the team a quick preview of the final product in just four weeks. He compressed the already four weeks development time into a 7-minute presentation at our San Francisco MarkLogic World The 4 Week Content Challenge” lays out the process for choosing content, optimizing it and exposing it through MarkLogic.

The cooking process really is akin to MarkLogic’s content process – a little sampling, a little tweaking, and the ATK team was now the one salivating! MarkLogic’s platform will allow them to create an application for real work, and a foundation for the future.

As an aside to ATK: Let me know if you need any more “product testers” in that kitchen of yours!

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