As promised, here are the slides from my RailsConf talk on Asynchronous Processing. The slides don’t always make sense without the context, so I’ve added a few labels here and there. If something doesn’t make sense, feel free to ask about it.
Summary: if your web app has any sort of complexity, you’ll likely have some operations that are best processed asynchronously. In particular, any operation that takes a long time, is resource-intensive, or isn’t naturally triggered by http or by a human is a good candidate for asynchronous processing. You can build your own solution, but before you do, check out Bj for most uses, workling/starling for high performance or scalability, Amazon web services for distributed processing, and plain old cron for basic cases.
I also gave a lightning talk called “How not to present at RailsConf in 14 easy steps” – it’s just 2-3 minutes long, so I think I’ll turn it into a screencast. Look for that later this week.