Case Study: Exceeding Developer Productivity Goals With Grails

Case Study

Developer Productivity Increased by 70% With Grails

When cyber-risk management company, Brinqa, faced a particularly complex development initiative, the company turned to us for our Grails expertise and received the invaluable support and exceptional results we're known for.

The Client

Brinqa is a leading provider of unified risk management based in Austin, Texas. With its award-winning software and cloud services, Brinqa enables stakeholders, governance organizations, infrastructure, and security teams to effectively identify, measure, manage, and monitor technology risk.


When Brinqa was founded in 2008, the company’s leaders recognized the advantages of using and advancing Open Source technologies. Because Brinqa’s development team was largely made up of Java developers, the Open Source Grails web framework was selected to ease the burden of some substantial code development and configuration efforts. Brinqa’s development team was able to seamlessly transition to Grails and take advantage of its productivity-accelerating features on Day 1.

The Challenge

Brinqa needed to build a particularly complex object-mapping solution around a Neo4j plug-in for Grails. When considering the scope of the project and the estimated timeline involved, Brinqa’s leadership concluded that it would behoove them to bring in development support for their team.

Brinqa didn’t just need highly skilled coders; they had to find programmers with advanced expertise in Grails, GORM (Grails Object Relational Mapper), and Neo4j.

Given the complexity of the project, as well as the necessity that the developers they partnered with be Grails experts, the company chose to go straight to the founders of Grails at OCI.

The Solution

We supported Brinqa in quickly addressing issues and keeping implementation and upgrade efforts on track. With our developers shouldering a large portion of the preparatory work, Brinqa’s development team was able to stay focused on activities necessary to keep the company moving forward.

We assisted Brinqa with three distinct efforts:

  • First, the Grails feature set was tailored specifically for Brinqa’s needs, ultimately resulting in streamlined learning, development efficiency, and support responsiveness.
  • Second, we collaborated on an upgrade to Neo4j 2.x. This opened up technological possibilities that would not have been available otherwise.
  • Finally, our team participated in a rewrite of GORM for Neo4j, allowing Brinqa to take advantage of the capabilities of a new version of the Neo4j Bolt Driver for Neo4j 3.x.

Combined, these three projects provided Brinqa the foundation they needed to efficiently move ahead with the planned solution and complete it on time and within budget.

Grails continues to deliver on the initial promise that drove Brinqa's adoption and use of Grails to begin with: to make Java development faster and easier!

Business Outcomes

Today, Brinqa’s solutions are trusted by Fortune 500 companies around the world.

Additionally, Brinqa attributes the following benefits to the adoption of Grails and the support we provided:

  • A 50-70% increase in developer productivity
  • Significant acceleration of development efforts and upgrades, greatly improving overall responsiveness to business demand and speed to market

Over the past few years, Brinqa’s team has sponsored the development of a Neo4j plug-in that connects with GORM. In holding to its commitment to supporting Open Source development, the plug-in is available to the community at large.

Grails continues to evolve and add capabilities, and Brinqa continues to incorporate and enhance its Grails environment to aid productivity and overall business support.


  • Accelerates web application development
  • Supports exponential scaling
  • Maximizes “convention over configuration”
  • Deploys well within existing, complex environments
  • Provides necessary flexibility to develop plug-ins, and to quickly resolve issues
  • Grails co-founders lead the OCI Grails team, along with subject matter experts from around the globe
  • Engaging the Grails core team enables quicker project upgrades, improving overall speed-to-market
  • Training programs are delivered by the Grails core team, uniquely positioned to share first-hand experience with the framework & to provide customized, targeted training
  • Engaging the OCI team affords access to OCI’s network of Open Source technologists, delivering quick and seamless support for other projects

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