Not too long ago, it was uncommon to talk about custom Web applications. Only a few years ago, the Web application world was dominated by packages—installable applications that had to be customized, integrated, and adapted to the client's needs. Thankfully, those days are over. These packages were designed to replace the earliest Web applications—custom coding. The packages supposedly saved work over a custom solution because they were already coded. All that remained was some customization during installation. Eventually, everyone realized that just 'installing' most Web software was complicated and difficult. What's more, clients had to give up many of their particular requirements—the package just didn't support them. So, the bargain seemed to be: give up your requirements to get ease of installation. But, what you really got was neither. Welcome to 2006. Finally, there exists a Web platform that solves the problem. Ruby on Rails. You might have thought I was going to say PHP. Well, it's a long story. The point isn't really the platform. Rather, the point is what's possible. Ruby on Rails provides a high-level language that makes it truly possible to avoid packages. Not only that, the language is on a high enough level that we can avoid plugins and modules. The benefit is faster coding... that meets all your custom requirements. Now, you can finally have both!