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Sean Cassiere
Sean Cassiere

Posted on

Railway just made it so easy

How did I get here?

Around a year and a half back, I deployed a static single-page app on Netlify and it has been working wonderfully ever since. This deployment has an exposed Netlify Function (AWS Lambda) that is used as a middleman to exchange OAuth client_credentials for an access token to be used with a third-party API.

...Fast forward to yesterday, when I felt that I wanted more information regarding who is accessing the Lambas.

I immediately knew that I didn't want to instantiate database connections from a Lambda, and I came to the conclusion that it'd be worthwhile for me to just code-up a simple server that'd do this for me. As a bonus, I could even consider using it across my other applications.

So... I did just that. Coded-up a quick Fastify server and dumped it on Github (SeanCassiere/simple-logging-server).

Now, I had one last hurdle to jump... where am I going to host the server and database?

...enter Railway

Up until a couple months back, I hadn't even heard of Railway. I came across it in one of Theo's streams and it looked pretty neat. I even signed-up for a free-account, but at the time I simply had no use for it...

...until today.

So, I needed a hosted database and a server to run my fastify app on, so I thought "heck, let's give those Railway guys a shot and see what its like".

As someone who's had previous experiences with hosting on GCP and AWS, I decided that I'd give myself around an 1 hour to sort out the provisioning of the database + server and hooking it all up... Turns out, I didn't even need 5 minutes.

My experience

Now I'm sure their docs are great, however as the arrogant know-it-all developer that I am, I just logged-in clicked on the New button on the Railway dashboard and thought, "let's see where it goes".

From there, in less than a minute and handful of clicks, I had a Postgres database up and running, with the connection string ready to copy. At this stage, it felt like it was too good to be true.

With nearly the full hour remaining, and past experiences haunting me, I braced myself for some hurdle to pop-up that'd end with me having to dive into the docs for a good 20-30 mins. Alas, this was not to be... like with the database, I clicked on the New button, and this time I chose my Github repo. Before I was even 30 seconds into it, the build process had already begun and with deployment scheduled right after it.

Together, an additional couple minutes to ensure my environment variables were set and that I had pushed the database schema, and my server was running and ready for public consumption. All of this, was before the I had hit the 5 minute mark on my timer.

Writing this entry, I am still blown away at how easy, and straight forward this entire process was. Especially as someone who STILL hasn't read through their docs.

TLDR;

I needed a hosted server and database, and in just under 5 minutes had it deployed and ready using Railway.app. The team over there have a great solution for me to simply build my apps without having to think of the underlying infra stuff. Give it a look, their pricing looks decent, and I'm probably going to be using them future projects.

If y'all have any other magic services like this, please do let me know!

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