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As Easy as 1, 2, (Beef) Pie

At a recent Gartner show in London, one Dominic Spitz built an application on MarkLogic. In under 10 minutes. Without having ever done it before.

You should probably know that Dominic Spitz is not a developer. In fact, he works between the sales and marketing teams of MarkLogic. Prior to this, he’d never before built an app in his life. Keen to learn more about the product he pitches to prospective customers, however, he wanted hands-on experience in the ease and speed of creating an application with MarkLogic. What did this entail?

Recipe for Dom’s 10-minute App
1 Technical Guide (Paul Preuveneers, if possible)
100 documents…cooking recipes, in this case
1 data upload
1 search refinement
1 dashboard customization (for analytics)
1 eager non-developer to build the app

dom-appIt took just 1 second to upload 100 recipes – all of which were immediately searchable, from facets and charts to ingredient specifications. The application could then run queries like “Show me all recipes that contain chicken and/or beef, and do not contain black pepper” or “ I have spinach, beef, and eggs in my fridge – what can I cook with these ingredients?”

Let’s rewind a bit. How did Dominic come about creating this app? “All of this comes down to Paul [Preuveneers] saying, ‘Hey Dom, do you want to learn how to build an app on MarkLogic?’” Dominic recounts, “I accepted the challenge.” Because he had Paul guiding him through the process, Dom didn’t need any reading materials. However, he does say that “Paul’s instructions, start to finish, would probably fit one side of an A4 sheet of paper.”

Even without a technical background, Dominic was surprised by how easy it was to get started with MarkLogic: “For a basic application, it’s very straightforward. I was very satisfied to have been able to build something in such short time.” He encourages all curious non-developers to try it. In fact, if he had time, he’d build a news aggregation app (it would be customizable, it would have search features, and it would offer up personalized content), a mobile coupon app (with loyalty and location services), and a picture de-duplication app that classifies photos based on location and metadata (with photos on a map, he’d be able to see all the photos he’s taken within 500m of a beach in, say, France). When asked if there’s any application development in his future, he replies with a promising “I will definitely continue to explore the art of the possible with MarkLogic. Watch this space.”

Dom (far right) and Paul (far left) pause for a photo shoot at the Gartner BI&A Summit, where Dom first tapped into his inner developer.
Dom (far right) and Paul (far left) pause for a photo shoot at the Gartner BI&A Summit, where Dom first tapped into his inner developer.

Dominic says Paul wants everyone to know how MarkLogic works. For a slightly more technical read on this story, check out “Who says you have to be technical to build an app?

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