Using appropriate tools is critical when creating a website or online application. It provides a platform to create, improve, and expand product development activities. However, all your hard work and money will be wasted on just one false move. Should you choose Ruby on Rails for web development while creating a new product?
Basecamp, GitHub, Dribble, Airbnb, and Groupon all say “yes.” These world-famous firms have successfully deployed Ruby on Rails solutions in recent years.
This framework will undoubtedly become number one for your product development due to its quick application delivery, fantastic ecosystem, and cost-efficiency.
This article unravels everything you need to know to understand what Ruby on Rails framework is about.
What is a Framework?
Frameworks are tools, code, and tools that provide an established framework for creating software.
This structure helps make your code more efficient.
The work becomes easier once you can use it properly.
What is Ruby on Rails?
Ruby is a general-purpose, dynamic, interpreted language for object-oriented programming (OOP). However, developing new software with only Ruby is an uphill task, which is why a specific tool was designed to streamline the development process – Rails.
RoR provides a pre-made solution to allow developers to save time and effort on repetitive tasks. The tasks include making menus for websites and adding forms and tables.
You don’t have to write every line of code repeatedly. Developers can look into the framework and look for the code to build websites or web applications. This is due to two main principles that are highlighted in the Ruby on Rails framework:
- Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): This idea of software development aims to reduce repetitions of information by abstracting. Automation removes the duplication in processes.
- Convention Over Configuration (CoC): is a software design concept that relies on developing a program using a fundamental language’s functions, procedures, variables, and classes. It is designed to minimize the number of choices an application developer must make and reduce the complexity when configuring each area of web application development.
It was developed to simplify the process of programming web applications, allowing developers to build websites of any complexity. This also marks the start of the enormous growth of Ruby and the rise of Ruby on Rails companies that realized its capabilities, which included us.
Basic Concepts of Ruby on Rails
If you’re an experienced programmer or haven’t written one line of code, the choice to master Ruby can open the door to different career opportunities. When Ruby was first introduced in its early days, it was one file, and it is now has become an extensive glossary of terms, including:
- Git: This is a term that is common in various programming languages. It’s a version control system that lets you save different versions of code and track who wrote what lines.
- Github/Bitbucket: The platform where developers store and host their projects. You can think of it as Gdrive or Dropbox, but only with unlimited free space.
- RubyGems: It is Ruby’s package manager. RubyGems is a standardization of formats used for the distribution of Ruby, defines a standard directory format, and permits the easy installation of gems.
- Gems: These libraries and utilities comprise the code created by the programmers’ community.
- Bundler: This keeps track of the gems you’ve used in your Ruby project to ensure that your code will not break and that your projects will continue to run when you update your gems.
- Bundler audit: Based on bundler, this gem is trusted and recommended by seasoned programmers such as Ruby Garage. Bundler audit searches your gems for security vulnerabilities.
What is Ruby on Rails Used For?
The primary objective of Ruby is to create new web platforms that are high-performance quickly. But, there needs to be a definitive answer to what Ruby can use because, as with any general-purpose programming language, Ruby is appropriate for various tasks. Any web development company wouldn’t treat code as something that exists outside of the business goals of a project. Each programming language and every technology stack were designed to address specific issues. Therefore, based on the purpose, RoR may or may not be the ideal option for your website (but rather yes than no).
Ruby and Rails apps are most widely used in the following fields of web development:
- Projects involving a wide range of complex functions;
- Large projects requiring drastic transformations;
- Long-term projects that pass through continuous variations in parameters;
- Projects that have heavy traffic;
- Little, quick projects to develop prototypes & MVPs.
- E-commerce, i.e., online stores with sophisticated options.
- Informational portals.
- Stock exchange platforms.
- Social networks.
- Non-standard complex projects.
When not to Use Ruby on Rails?
There are flexible rules in this area. However, developers don’t recommend Ruby Rails on Rails when it comes to the following scenarios:
- No drastic transformations in the project;
- A project with limited functionality and uniform operations;
- No need for immediate decisions;
- Your project requires low resource consumption.
What is the Reason Ruby on Rails is Popular?
The Stack Overflow Developer Survey calls Ruby the 14th most popular programming language globally, with 7.1% of participants being Ruby on Rails developers.
The number of live websites and platforms built with Ruby on Rails is more than 1 million worldwide (with more than 4 million existing), and the number is increasing.
RoR is also strongly developer-oriented and is well-liked by developers.
Companies that are Using Ruby on Rails
The technology is used to make a variety of web products. You can create a simple application or a more complex platform with powerful features.
Let’s look at the projects most suitable for the Ruby on Rails framework.
Ruby on Rails is among the most effective technology employed for startups. It is used to create prototypes and MVP web development, making Rails extremely sought-after.
Popular platforms like GitHub, Twitter, Airbnb, and Dribbble were primarily created using Ruby on Rails.
Naturally, new companies would like to be in the market soon. With the abundance of gems available, creating web applications using Ruby on Rails becomes more rapid and cost-effective.
One of the significant advantages of the framework is its ability to create a secure web application by default. This is a crucial feature when it comes to eCommerce platforms.
The gems mentioned above will aid you in implementing almost every aspect your e-commerce platform might require, from a payment gateway to an assistance desk. With this framework, you’ll be able to get your online marketplace up and operational in no time.
In addition, you must carefully protect the payment and personal information of both sellers and buyers to build trust in your platform. In the end, safeguarding your customers’ sensitive data can dramatically improve the customer experience. This is when Ruby on Rails for web development becomes the most appropriate option.
Shopify, Fiverr, Groupon, and Etsy were initially based on Ruby on Rails.
Security becomes a primary concern when building SaaS products/applications. Ruby on Rail is the best technology to keep your web application secure. There are a variety of safeguards that ensure your personal information is safe in this framework. These include using multiple tools for authentication, increasing password length, multiple built-in encryption libraries, skipping forgery requests, and intense parameter usage.
Basecamp, Zendesk, and GitHub are among the most popular SaaS applications built using the technology.
A Feature of Ruby on Rails
As we all know, most languages, such as Java, HTML, CSS, etc., do not cover both the front and back end. They are either designed for only the front end or the back end. However, Ruby on Rails builds both the front and back end. It’s a complete solution to making a web application. A few of the key features to be found in Ruby on Rails are:
- Model-view-controller Architecture: Ruby on Rails uses MVC architecture, and it contains three components, i.e., model, view, and controller. In this case, the model keeps the connection between the object and the database. The view is a template utilized to create the data users for web applications, while the controller is used to merge the view and model. MVC is commonly used to create user interfaces that split the information into three interconnected parts to separate the internal representation of data from how it is presented to and received information from users.
- Active Records: The active record framework is introduced in Ruby on Rails. It is a powerful library that allows developers to design interactive database queries.
- Automated Testing: RoR has its tests on the code you write, saving you time and effort when it comes to quality assurance.
- Programming Language: The language syntax in Ruby on Rails is straightforward because the syntax of the Ruby programming language is very similar to English. So, organizing your ideas and translating them into code is always simpler.
- MetaProgramming: Ruby on Rails uses the metaprogramming technique to write programs.
- Scaffolding. This feature allows the programmers to specify how the database will function. Following that, the framework generates the code following the specification. The scaffolding technique makes interfaces on its own.
- Convention over configuration. It aids in creating the corresponding advanced components by automatically sensing simple conventional elements.
- Localization. The localization option lets you integrate the code you have designed within the RoR framework for a larger project.
- Libraries. RoR offers a variety of libraries vast enough to provide developers with all the tools necessary to make quality products. AJAX library, Database Access Library, and the Common Tasks library are just a few of the libraries RoR includes in its library.
Advantages of Ruby on Rails
Recently, the cybersecurity issue has become a hot issue for many companies. The alarming data provided by Cybint Solutions show that 64% of businesses have experienced cyber-attacks on the web, and 62% of firms have suffered social engineering and phishing attacks.
The following chart shows that the latter cybersecurity problem mainly targets SaaS, financial institutions, and e-commerce sites.
This is the reason why you choose a new technology. It is essential to think about the security of your future solution.
The built-in security mechanisms of Ruby on Rails guarantee that an application or web page made with its help is resistant to vulnerabilities and prevents the following common threats:
- Cross-Site Scripting;
- SQL Injection;
- Cross-Site Request Forgery;
- Insecure Direct Object Reference or Forceful Browsing.
Use of simplicity
This technology’s syntax is very straightforward, concise, and easy to understand, ensuring the best usability for programmers.
Ruby on Rails developers can write less code, speeding up online application development. Through the framework readability, there are no grounds to add comments. As a result, code is becoming easier to comprehend for engineers.
Furthermore, because all Rails projects follow the same rules and philosophy, programmers can switch from one project to another at any development phase.
High development speed
The framework provides many free, open-source libraries referred to as gems. They can extend or adjust the existing functionality of web applications and help with various joint problems. It doesn’t matter which feature you’d like to add, and with a high likelihood you will find the perfect solution.
Today, the quantity of Ruby gems has surpassed 158700+, with over 48 billion downloaded.
Alongside tools, it offers coders a variety of library extensions and utility classes—active Support, which aims to develop both Rails applications and its technology.
The high development speed is among the main reasons startups choose Ruby on Rails. This software helps them speed up the MVP creation process and develop an excellent web application on a budget.
Ruby on Rails is famous for its vibrant community. Active members contribute to technological development, assist one another, and improve the codebase by adding new features. They develop several Ruby on Rails dedicated websites, forums, and chat rooms for developers to seek answers from fellow coders who’ve faced similar issues and come to a solution.
The Ruby on Rails community also holds RailsConf, the biggest event for RoR developers, where they can discuss their experiences with other framework users.
In addition, the team is continuously developing manuals, guides, lessons, and other educational material.
Easy implementation of business logic
Implementing complicated business logic into a web application is fine with Ruby on Rails. For instance, developers will quickly build it if your application requires an API. You have to add a front-end framework such as Vue or React, and then you’re done. Your web application is now ready.
Compatibility with front-end frameworks
We’re witnessing the increasing popularity of front-end platforms like React, Vue, and Angular. These frameworks are frequently employed in conjunction with Ruby on Rails due to the ease of integration with RoR. You can choose any framework and create front-end components quickly and easily.
Disadvantages of Ruby on Rails
Performance and speed of the runtime
Both of these parameters are vital for the app’s success. With many apps on the market, customers are becoming more concerned and expect websites to load fast and smoothly.
A Google study has shown that every second delay lowers the number of pages viewed.
The runtime speed isn’t the most appealing feature for Ruby on Rails, and it is undoubtedly sufficient for smaller applications that do not have millions of users and massive traffic. However, when creating a practical project, it could be a problem.
However, the latest versions of Ruby on Rails include significant improvements in terms of security, brand-new options, and enhanced performance.
One of the essential features that have been added is the ability to support multiple concurrent database connections. This means that RoR programmers can enhance efficiency by using two databases to divide the work between them.
Ruby on Rails is suitable for standard web applications with a strong dependency between modules and components. However, customizing an application with specific features could be challenging when discussing an application with specific features.
Configuring routing, database migrations, and other elements can make the process of making the product take more time. This means that you must select between its originality and development time.
In the past couple of years, it has seen an overall decline in Ruby on Rails popularity. Looking at the stats from Google Trends, we can observe a lack of interest in this framework.
Despite the increase in developers and the community that supports them, the framework isn’t as widely utilized as Laravel for PHP or Django for Python. This is because it is known for its arduous learning curve. People proficient in Ruby on Rails, as a majority, are proficient in at least one or two different programming languages.
Hiring an experienced Ruby on Rails development agency for business owners could be difficult, especially when finding a PHP, Java, or Python web business. At the same time, RoR coders are usually more knowledgeable and skilled.
The Myths Surrounding Ruby on Rails
A few developers who need to be sufficiently familiar with Ruby on Rails believe that digital projects written by RoR don’t scale well. Example
“Twitter case,” which at one time abandoned RoR for some of its internal reasons.
Take a look at the Kickstarter, Groupon, or Basecamp. All of these projects are developed by Rails and don’t face any issues with scaling. Whatever the case, the performance issues of any project aren’t caused by a wrong programming language or platform selection. These issues often result from erroneous project architecture, data caching, or database optimization.
Future of Ruby on Rails
Every year, new articles come out heralding Ruby on Rails’ extinction, where it’s become something of a running joke in the developer community. Why is everyone talking about it? The Ruby programming language was introduced in 1995, and the Rails framework in 2004. Things move quickly in web development, with new cutting-edge technology emerging regularly. It’s sometimes owing to the need to solve some new problems. Sometimes, it’s simply because something is popular. Like everyone else, developers are inclined to be drawn by new and intriguing trends from time to time.
The question: “Is Ruby on Rails dead?” is a popular “buzz” topic in the technology and web development worlds, but the truth is that it is far from dead. One might argue that Ruby on Rails thrives due to its stability and superior performance in various environments.
This framework may not be the ideal fit for your project. Speak with an app development partner if you want to learn more about Ruby on Rails and discover if it’s the appropriate fit for your project. They can assist you in determining which technology is suitable for your project and provide guidance based on their industry experience and technical knowledge.
Choosing a Ruby on Rails Web Development Company?
Ruby on Rails is one of our most preferred options for various projects as it offers us the possibility of rapidly creating custom software solutions. RoR is well-known as a software tool for building complex and technically challenging web applications. All its advantages show Rails is an effective tool to develop MVPs that are a hit with the market, create successful startups, and then be utilized by big corporations.
We hope we’ve explained why Ruby on Rails nowadays and listed its advantages and disadvantages. We employ the most well-known Ruby on Rails development practices and cutting-edge technologies to build products that perform flawlessly.