All posts tagged technology



We have a confession to make.

We, businessmen, have kind of been old fashioned in the way we keep our financial documents. Some are hardcopy, some are soft, some are in emails, some are receipts lying in our wallets. This kinda suck, right?

Today, we introduce a new feature in Gaurilla – Basket. Basket is there whenever you need to store anything.

Possible Use Cases

  • You need to handover all your bank statements, bills, receipts to your accountant, but this is a tiring job, for you as well as your accountant. You can keep these documents updated in your Gaurilla account, add your accountant as collaborator and voila, she can filter through them whenever she needs to.
  • You and your co-founder live in two different cities (or two different countries), keep the documents you each have in one common place, i.e. Basket, to have a hassle-free journey.
  • You go out and get many receipts that you have to add in your financial data, simply click the image and upload in your account.

Use cases are many and even we are eager to see how creative you all get in using Basket.

How to use Basket

From now on, you will see a big Basket button on the dashboard. Click on the it to reach to your Basket.

Now, you can upload files in your basket using the “New” button.

Basket through Email

We understand that how we keep receiving bank statement, card statements in our inboxes, and they always stay there. It’d mean so much more if there existed an easy way to keep them in one place. Well, now we have.

You can forward those emails directly from your inbox to your Gaurilla account and all the attachments will be added in your basket.

To leverage the feature (along with many others), you will need to first create the brand name for your company, which you can do so by clicking on the company’s name in the top-left corner.

Once you have your brand name in place, click on the “New” button in the Basket to reveal your unique email address. Anything that we receive on this email address will be added to your Basket, hence, we recommend you to keep it safe.

Tip: You can add the email address in the contacts of your email client to quickly send emails.

While sending email, please keep the subject descriptive as it will become the description of the items (which you can edit later, obviously). After we add the items from your email into the basket, we will send you a confirmation email.

We hope, you now have a hassle-free management of the documents that earlier used to lie in several different places.

Gaurilla’s Dashboard – “Blocks”

Let me declare this, once and for all: I am very excited about Gaurilla!

We are still a few days away from the public beta launch of the product but I am so excited that I couldn’t hold myself back from showing off a sneak-peek of the product to all of you – Gaurilla’s Dashboard.

When I showed it to early-users they got super-excited, so I am sharing this publicly so that anyone who still wants to join us on this wonderful journey, can.

This is an actual screenshot of the new revolutionary dashboard we are working on. We call it – Blocks. Dashboard is made up of little pieces called Blocks. Although they are fixed for the public beta version but we are working to make them configurable and customisable. Just be prepared for the awesomeness to blow your mind away.

Note: Most of the portion below this line is taken from the Guide and gives a walkthrough in Dashboard.

We tried to create the dashboard by putting all the numbers and stats one might find useful in a single place. We, ourselves, use Gaurilla to manage our businesses and this dashboard helps us make some decisions quickly.

“Today” Block

On the top left corner, there’s a block showing today’s date. We have found ourselves and others struggling to recall date, so, always having it in front of your eyes save a second in every 10 minutes.

Tip: Keep dashboard open when not working as it contains all the important bits of information.

“Clients” Block

In block, adjacent to date, you will be shown the number of clients you are dealing with. We have found in our researches that the urge to move this number high, results in business growth. With Gaurilla, we not only want you to manage efficiently, but also want to see you grow.

And in the same pursuit, we have the next block – Streak!

“Streak” Block

Generally, a streak is the duration of continuous activity. In case of Gaurilla, the streak tells the number of continuous days you invoiced your clients. Now, there are two numbers – one is the ‘longest streak’ you ever had and another is the ‘current streak’.

Tip: Keep increasing your streak as your streak tells you how good your business is going. Work to invoice at least one client every day. There’s nothing more hurting than seeing your streak going from 43 to 0. So, do not let a day go by without creating an invoice.

“Create” Block

The fourth block is the first action you can take from the dashboard – to create an invoice. Click on it to get straight to the business and send a beautifl invoice to your client.

“Nerd Stats” Block

The big graph shows the stats any business owner should be interested in – how much money you have earned, spent and left. Nothing fancy, just what you want, right on your dashboard.

Also, there are three variants of the graph, which can be switched between from the top-right corner of the graph. Month’s graph shows you how much you made in the current month, Year’s graph shows the stats for current financial year and Overall shows the stats from eternity to eternity (see how you progressed over years).

Tip: For quick decisions, refer the Month’s view, to track progress refer Year’s view and to track growth refer Overall’s view.

Other Blocks

Adjacent to graph and below “Guide” block, there are the two ways to get in touch with us – Ask for help when you think you are stuck or Report a bug if you find something broken. We don’t break your experience by taking you to another page for contacting us, it all happens right from your dashboard.

Mega Tip: You need us? We are always just a click away from you. Head over to dashboard and tell us how may we help you. :)

“Awesome” Block

And on the lower right corner there sits a gentle message reminding you how awesome you are.

We all are pretty excited to bring this product to you. Let me tell you, there might will be several thing broken in it, so, feel free to get in touch with us regarding the same. Feedback of any kind is more than welcome.

Let’s make a better product, together!


Gaurilla Tech Stack

I am always curious what technologies companies are using and the reason behind choosing those technologies – just can’t help it but googling for hours until I reach to a satisfactory answer. I always thought Facebook just uses PHP, but when I stumbled upon this slide-deck, I understood other technologies that work along with PHP and let us stay connected with friends 24×7.

I am sure, there are other curious minds out there too. Like you. Yes, you are one of them, that’s why you are reading this post. Whenever, we see some cool application working, our first intuition is to get to know what’s running under the hood. As a web developer, my first action is to open developer tools whenever I see any such thing.

So, today, I am officially listing out the technology stack we are using for Gaurilla. Besides quenching curiosity, it will also serve as a guide to people willing to work at Owlgrin to evaluate themselves.

Language: PHP

Most part of the application is written in PHP. I know it is the most hated language in the industry because of the inconsistency in it.

For example: “to” versus 2: ascii2ebcdic, bin2hex, deg2rad, strtolower, strtotime

Just google “php sucks” and you’ll know what I am saying. But at the same time, everyone knows working in PHP. Or, most of them. It is super-easy to get started with PHP. And sometimes, this super-easiness made people to use it in the wrong way. It is so easy to use the language that people mostly use it wrong way. By ‘wrong’, I mean mixing HTML with PHP.

But still, you can quickly find people who’ve experience working in the language and it becomes easy to make them quickly pick up on a project. Also, the steady improvement in the language made it better. Version 5.3 introduced some amazing features like closures and namespaces while version 5.4 introduced traits and shorter array syntax.

Modern PHP is not HTML and PHP logic mixed together into a pile of “code” (please note the sarcasm) that smells.

Tools like Composer and frameworks like Laravel have given a new life to the language that is hated as much as IE is hated by web designers.

Backend Framework: Laravel

“If you are not using any framework, you’ll eventually end up creating one.”

Yes, we could write everything from scratch but why reinvent wheel? Laravel is the awesomest framework I have used. Created by Taylor Otwell, this framework not only lets you get things done quickly, but it makes you use the best practices, making you a better developer overall (I, personally, never knew about Dependency Injection before Laravel). With laravel, you can’t write a smelly code (as easily as plain old PHP!).

Laravel is just a collection of composer packages and there are thousands other available on Packagist. Composer to PHP is what cheat codes are to games. You want something? Before building it, just search a package and there are high chances you’ll find one.

Besides this, even if you are a beginner, getting up to speed with Laravel is easy because of so many resources out there. Including the amazing documentation.

There’s no reason to not use Laravel.

Database: MySQL

We use MySQL, a lot, for the same reason that it is easy to find people knowing MySQL. But thanks to Laravel, that we are not stuck with this choice. Once we will feel that there’s some better choice out there, we can simply change Laravel’s config and voila!

Frontend Framework: AngularJS

We have built Gaurilla as a API driven app. Backend serves as a stateless API and the front-end app is the one which handles all the logic of managing state and communicating with the API.

We wanted the experience of user to be first-class. He should get best feedback for his action in the interface and AngularJS made it quite simple for us with it’s two-way data binding.

It was a tough choice to choose between EmberJS and AngularJS, but due to poor reputation of Ember at that particular time, we chose to bet on Angular and I guess, we are happy to use it. Angular also keeps different parts of the app decoupled and uses the concept of Dependency Injection (just like Laravel). This one thing was the key-deciding factor. ;) (Sorry Ember!)

However, finding Angular developers was the task that went in vain, and we ourselves had to invest time and resources to learn this framework. But now, when we are done, we are happy that we did.

The Glue

Although these are the major tools that we are using, there are other small pieces which acts as glue and fills out the gap. We are using other tools like Memcached for caching, Amazon’s Web Services for hosting and queuing, Mandrill for sending emails among others.

Using these amazing technologies, we were able to build Gaurilla quickly and intelligently. These also helped us in keeping the project very loosely coupled, so, scaling and managing won’t be a problem. Ever!

With great powers, comes great responsibilities.

If you are someone who is thinking of building a huge app, and decided to choose some great tools, I would like to remind you just one thing, “With great powers, comes great responsibilities.”

I hope, you enjoyed peeking under the hood cape of Gaurilla. If you want to work on these amazing technologies with us, we are always hiring! Simply shoot us an email at careers[at]owlgrin[dot]com telling how you can add value to the company and let’s get talking. :)