Redline Software Inc. - Winnipeg's Leader in Ruby on Rails Development

Redzone Case Study on

Redzone Leagues – Scoring Touchdowns with Rails


Redzone Leagues is a complete online solution for managing sports organizations. It provides leagues with a website along with administration tools to increase the organization’s productivity. Redline Software Inc. developed Redzone by taking full advantage of the RoR framework to produce a sophisticated web based tool which is intuitive, attractive, and very flexible.


The Problem

Many amateur sports leagues are run by volunteers, and in most cases it takes up an extraordinary amount of time and resources to make the league a success. A growing number of leagues have a website but many of those fall short of being spectacular. Often the websites are created by volunteers, and sustaining the amount of time it takes to create and maintain a web application is a burden that many cannot follow through with.

A sports league website, in order to be an effective tool, merely cannot be a static website with some information on it. Players want to be able to see various statistics in the league, up to date scores, and be able to view their schedules. From an administrative perspective, having a database of your members and the ability to use that data for transmitting league news, promoting events, and for direct contact purposes is extremely important.

The initial requirements were:

  • 100% web based – No installation of any kind of software.
  • Able to support any team based sport.
  • Produce a website for the league membership that was appealing and easy to navigate.
  • Simple management of members, teams and player rosters with online registration.
  • Easy data entry for schedules and game/player statistics.
  • Built-in forum and news functionality.

Implementation of Redzone Leagues

Redzone Leagues could be developed using any number of frameworks. But since it was being developed as a product for Redline to sell to anyone, without any VC money to fund it, choosing the environment that would provide the highest productivity was paramount. Ruby on Rails was this framework.

With productivity comes momentum. RoR allows a team to sustain momentum because you can rapidly build features without having to jump through a lot of hoops. When developing a product from scratch, this is very important. If you are spending days just trying to get things like Tomcat, Struts, Spring, Hibernate, Eclipse, Ant, and (insert whatever technology that is bugging you today) all playing nice with each other, momentum will evaporate very quickly along with any dream of ever releasing your product.

The Rails framework is attractive not only because of its fairly large and constantly growing API, but also because of the community involved with RoR who are “giving back” in the form of Ruby Gems, Rails Plugins, and Javascript libraries. Redline has already released three plugins while developing Redzone and there are more on the way.

Plugins created while developing Redzone Leagues

3rd Party Plugins that Redzone Leagues Uses

3rd Party Ruby Gems that Redzone Leagues Uses

The Results

Rails has met and exceeded our expectations by providing us with increased productivity and overall developer happiness. Rails can easily be extended when needed, because of the flexibility that Ruby provides. Ruby’s powerful syntax allows developers to accomplish more with less lines of code. Concerns about Ruby being a dynamically typed language, by not having a compiler to catch various errors, have vanished with the use of unit, functional and integration testing.

Our initial production environment used Apache and FCGI, which was difficult to setup and cumbersome for deploying our application. We have since upgraded our environment to use Apache with Mongrel, and we make use of Capistrano to provide us with a seamless deployment approach.

Leagues have been using Redzone for several months now and the user feedback has been great. Our users don’t have to worry about backing up their data, security, uptime or bandwidth issues. Redzone takes care of it all for them.

Costing approximately one dollar per player, Redzone Leagues is an affordable solution with a high return on investment.

The future

Redzone’s foundation has been laid, and now the bells and whistles are being developed. Features like automatic generation of schedules will take league productivity to a new level. Event calendars, photo libraries, and league mailing list facilities are all on the horizon, and we have a few other features that we’re not ready to share just yet.

Visit Redzone Leagues to learn more.