alexis boissonnat.



Capistrano is a remote server automation and deployment tool written in Ruby.

I use it to provide continuous delivery on every Ruby on Rails projects where I cannot use an hosting cloud solution. It is a very powerful tool, easy to configure and very well documented.


Jun 2015 - Now
Characterization of housings' accessibility

ALCATRA is an application which allows a lessor to characterize the accessibility for the housings, the common areas and the buildings according to a ranking DPE like (Classes A to F) based on five disabilities: seniors, wheelchair, auditory, visual and cognitive.

The key of this application stands in a mechanism allowing experts to build complex dynamic decision trees. I am in charge of the whole development process of the application from the conception to the deployment.

The first release has been deployed in Oct. 15th, 2015. I am now focused on the mobile app development (iOS, Android).


The application is available here:, but only for our customers.


Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Javascript, JQuery, SASS, Bootstrap, Git, Bamboo, Capistrano, GitLab, Trello

Deploy RoR application on Apache with Capistrano

May 13, 2015

This tutorial assumes that you already have a working installation of an Apache server.

Install Phusion Passenger

Phusion Passenger has been by far the easiest way I’ve found for managing multiple Rails application instances on top of either Apache or Nginx. It comes as a gem and has custom modules for both major web servers.

# Install gem
$> gem install passenger
# Install passenger for apache2 (then follow the instructions)
$> passenger-install-apache2-module

Then you will need to update your apache configuration (as in the passenger instructions).

First, create a file called /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.load and input the following code :

# /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.load
LoadModule passenger_module /home/boissonnat/.rbenv/versions/2.1.5/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/passenger-4.0.59/buildout/apache2/

Second, create a file called /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.conf and input the following code :

# /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.conf
<IfModule mod_passenger.c>
  PassengerRoot /home/boissonnat/.rbenv/versions/2.1.5/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/passenger-4.0.59
  PassengerDefaultRuby /home/boissonnat/.rbenv/versions/2.1.5/bin/ruby

Then, enable the passenger module in Apache and restart the server.

$> sudo a2enmod passenger
$> sudo service apache2 restart
# Check passenger is activated :
$> apache2ctl -t -D DUMP_MODULES


Last but not least, you will need a DB engine. I mainly use PostgreSQL. Here is the installation process.

# install postgreSQL
$> sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.3
# Set the default password
$> sudo -u postgres psql postgres


First create and init a new remote on your server

Capistrano needs git to update your code source. You can use any git repository as it is accessible from your server. Sometimes you could have a repository inside your local network and a server outside this network. In this case, your server will not be able to pull your code source. You can still create a git repository on your server, add it as a remote and push to it for capistrano. Here is how :

On server

# Server side
# Create a folder with the .git extension
$> mkdir myapp.git
# Init a bare git repository
$> cd myapp.git
$> git init --bare

On local

# Client side
# Note here we call this new remote 'preprod'
$> git remote add preprod bob@your.server:/somewhere/myapp.git
# Then push your branch (use to the preprod) to this new repository
$> git push preprod master

Capify your application

Add this following code into your Gemfile

group :development do
    gem 'capistrano'

And then :

$> cd /path/to/your/app
$> bundle

And finally :

$> cd /path/to/your/app
$> cap install

Capistrano settings

Capistrano is very well documented. By following the comments, first edit your /config/deploy.rb and then your specific environments settings in config/deploy/my_env.rb

Setup Apache

You need to create and setup permissions for the folder which will be used to deploy your app.

# Create the folder
$> mkdir /var/www/myapp
# Set the group to www-data (the apache group)
$> sudo chgrp -R www-data /var/www/myapp
# Set the user to your deployer user
$> sudo chown -R yourdeployer /var/www/myapp
# Allow group to update the folder
$> sudo chmod -R 775 /var/www/myapp

Then you need to create a virtual host to your current folder. Create a new file called myapp.conf in /etc/apache2/site-available

$> touch /etc/apache2/site-available/myapp.conf
$> nano /etc/apache2/site-available/myapp.conf
<VirtualHost *:80>
        # In case of several virtual host based on path :
          # ServerName IP
          # ServerPath /path/
        DocumentRoot /var/www/myapp/current/public
        <Directory /var/www/myapp/current/public>
                # This relaxes Apache security settings.
                AllowOverride all
                # MultiViews must be turned off.
                Options -MultiViews
                # Uncomment this if you're on Apache >= 2.4:
                Require all granted

Don’t forget the .conf extension. Without this extension Apache is not able to treat it.

Finally, you need to activate your site :

$> sudo a2ensite myapp
# And reload apache
$> service apache2 reload

Deploy your application

$> cd /path/to/your/app
$> cap production deploy


Oct 2014 - Now
EcoDistricts evaluation campaign

France has been choosen to welcome the next 2015 climat conference.

One objective of this conference will be to show the positive impact of energy efficency wihtin a neighbourhood. In order to achieve this goal, the CSTB has developed a complete methodology allowing the EcoDistrict evaluation. A web application has been developed in order to hide the methodology’s complexity and favor its adoption by local collectivities.

I was in charge of the development team. We have constantly focused our energy on improving the user experience. With agility, we developed the application in parallel to the methodoly definition to help experts work on concrete cases. ‘Keep it simple’ and ‘Don’t repeat yourself’ were our key success factors to be able to refactor everywhere anytime.


Some references about our work and the methodology:


Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Javascript, JQuery, ReactJS, SASS, Bootstrap, Git, Bamboo, Capistrano, GitLab, Trello


Mar 2013 - Now
Product referencing portal to improve building accessibility for disabled people

Prathic-ERP is a platform which references products that meet the needs of disabled people in institutions welcoming visitors. This site was created on an initiative of the Ministerial Delegation for Accessibility. The Information and Advice Centre for Assistive Technology (CEP-CICAT) with its operation by managing memberships manufacturers and organizing the publishing committee. A complex publishing workflow was set up to ensure the quality of the publications and the relevance of the products.

On top of this complex workflow, we built simple interfaces both for manufacturers and visitors. I was deeply involved in every part of the project, from the product definition to the deployment. I managed the development process with agility and lead the development team. Since 2013, we have released three major versions.


You can take a tour at:


Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Javascript, JQuery, SASS, Bootstrap, Git, Bamboo, Capistrano, GitLab, Bamboo, Trello