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Sep 27, 2012
Sep 27, 2012
Apr 6, 2012
Apr 6, 2012

Codex: A Simple Single-User Reference Web Application


Codex is a simple single-user reference web application written in Ruby. Codex uses Sinatra and Datamapper to create, save, update, and delete page records from a simple Postgres database. The application is ready for immediate deployment on Heroku.

Markdown formatting is enabled for all pages, which makes it easy to write complex pages with simple markup. HTTP authentication and forced SSL for all traffic keeps your information secure. Bootstrap styling and Subtle Patterns backgrounds make your pages look clean and attractive.


I developed Codex for two reasons:

  1. It's useful. If you need a simple reference database for business or personal use, Codex is a good fit. It's simple, free, and inexpensive to maintain. (At present, Heroku's basic plan is free and has more than enough power to run Codex.)
  2. It's educational. The code at the heart of Codex contains all of the major concepts in CRUD-style application development: connecting to the database, creating records, updating records, and deleting records. It's also a good illustration of various data types, conditionals, helpers, and methods.

Codex is one of my first exercises in Ruby web application development. Developing Codex was my first introduction to good version control practices, Datamapper, Basic HTTP-Authentication, SSL, and deploying database-driven applications on Heroku.

Deploy Codex to Heroku

Clone the codex repo:

$ git clone

Add all files to a new Git repo:

$ git init .

$ git add -A

$ git commit -m "Initial commit"

Create a new Heroku application:

$ heroku create yourappname

Add the shared-database addon to your application:

$ heroku addons:add shared-database    

Add environment variables for your username and password:

$ heroku config:add ADMIN_USER=username

$ heroku config:add ADMIN_PASS=t0psecret

Push the master Git branch to Heroku:

$ git push heroku master

Run the setup command in rake:

$ heroku rake setup

Open your new Codex:

$ heroku open



A simple single-user reference web application written in Ruby. Built with Sinatra and Datamapper, Markdown-enabled, and ready for immediate deployment to Heroku.




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