RAD stack for small projects

A modern, flexible stack for web development (hosted & in the cloud)

The last 10 years I work with Delphi & MS-SQL Server for building desktop apps and back-end systems in Windows. The last years I have considered some web-based projects but the distance from the tools I ’m familiar with to a decent stack for web apps is huge - sure I can build the back-end in Delphi but then deployment get’s complicated, especially for small projects that do not worth setting app a complicated CI/CD tool chain.

So I was in search for a more suitable stack, my requirements were more or less the following:

  • Small set of new languages
  • Easy setup of the development environment
  • Deployment options.

After some consideration I decided to go with the following stack:

  • MS SQL Server
  • Node.js
  • HTML & Javascript

HTML & Javascript is a no-brainer, a website can target most of the devices that are used today.

Node.js was also an easy choice, it uses javascript so I can leverage what ever I learn for the front-end, and is popular enough to be deployable in almost all cloud platforms as well as both in Apache & IIS and both under Windows and Linux. Also as it is a new, hot technology there are a lot of guides and has a very active community. Setting up the developing environment is also very simple.

MS SQL Server is a rather strange choice but in my case it has some advantages, first of all it’s a tool that I’m familiar with, I have it already available in my dev machines and I can re-use a lot of tooling that I have available. There also many options for deploying MS SQL Server (Managed in Azure, unmanaged in Google Cloud, Local installation in windows & linux)

This stack allows me to develop and deploy either to my dev-machine or completely managed in azure.

Sure some tools of this stack may not be optimal for large-scale web projects but the issue of this post is to describe a stack for small projects which may or may-not move forward to become large-scale enough…