Guys, I am a non-technical founder with some understanding of how the web app works front end and backend, etc. I have a somewhat technical question to help me make a business decision. I hope you guys can help me.

I have two different apps built on two different platforms, Express web framework and another one in ROR. Let's call these A and B respectively.

A has close to 1 Million users, and B has over 200K registered users. Both built by the entirely separate team. A and B are complementary to each other and if it were to be combined would provide enormous value to its users, and I intend to do just that. I have the founder of A.

I am pretty sure this has been done numerous times but what do you think is the most efficient way to do it from a technological standpoint? I want to keep the team separate in the beginning and want to integrate as quickly as possible by building web APIs for application A. We do everything via web API in application B.

What do you guys think is the best way to do this from a technological stand point?

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    So you want to use A's user interface and extend it to call apis from application B. Or you want to use B's user interface and extend to call A? What will users see, A's UI extended to include B features or B's UI extended to include A features, or something else? – joshp Nov 30 '17 at 2:48
  • Thanks a good question, A is mostly front end while the application B is a lot of backend and front-end build over three years. So what if we merge the A's database into B and build the backend into B then open up API to do all the front end by team A? Or is there better options? – CoolFeel89 Dec 1 '17 at 17:27
  • Hmmm...can't write an answer now. Well...my answer would basically be a checklist. Will users move from B to A? Can A call B's api's and present a unified UX? That might be the quickest way to deliver working combined software. Is A's UI productive to work with, i.e. what you want to evolve from? Whether and when to merge back-ends depends on facts we don't have here. Other questions to ask too, but that's where I would start asking. – joshp Dec 2 '17 at 2:45

Keeping the teams separate will only sow doubt and confusion. The critical thing the teams need is a clear plan so they can reform as one new team.

Those who have invested in a way of doing things that aren't going to be done anymore are going to suffer. Since you're talking about building web API's for A I assume A is your chosen winner. That means the ROR coders need to learn a new app/language/framework/dev stack or get a new job.

This is the harsh reality here. The sooner it's made clear the sooner people get over it.

Once that's clear have the team harvest B for it's requirements and incorporate them into A.

  • Thanks for your reply, would the better approach be the following Team A and B work together, Application A's database is merged into B. All the front end of A is done through the API. The application A is mostly front end while the application B is a lot of backends and front-end build over three years. – CoolFeel89 Dec 1 '17 at 17:18

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