• Parul Negi

Ruby vs Ruby On Rails: A Web Application Development Framework


What Is Ruby?


Yukihiro Matsumoto created Ruby, an open-source, interpreted, object-oriented programming language, with the gemstone's name implying "a jewel of a language." Ruby is intended to be straightforward, complete, extensible, and portable. Ruby, which was developed primarily on Linux, works on a wide range of platforms, including most UNIX-based platforms, DOS, Windows, and macOS.


What Is “Rails” Or “Ruby On Rails”?


Rails is the popular name for Ruby on Rails. Ruby on Rails was founded in 2015 by David Heinemeier Hansson. Rails is a web application development framework written in the Ruby programming language. It is designed to make web application development easier by making assumptions about what each developer will need to get started. It allows for less code to be written while accomplishing more than many other programming languages and frameworks.


Rails is an opinionated piece of software. It assumes that there are “best" ways to do things and is designed to encourage - and in some cases, discourage - alternatives.


The Rails philosophy includes two major guiding principles:

  • Don't Repeat Yourself: It is a software development principle that states that "every piece of knowledge within a system must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation." Because we don't write the same information over and over, our code is more maintainable, extensible, and bug-free.

  • Convention Over Configuration: Rails has opinions about the best way to do many things in a web application, and it uses these conventions by default rather than requiring potential clients to specify minutes through endless configuration files.

Ruby v. Ruby on Rails:

  • Ruby is a general-purpose programming language, whereas Ruby on Rails is primarily designed for database-driven web applications.

  • Writing feature-rich web apps in Ruby can be challenging. Meanwhile, it is much easier to create and maintain a web application in Ruby on Rails.

  • Ruby makes use of the C programming language. The Ruby programming language is used in Ruby on Rails.

  • Ruby can be used to create desktop applications. It is used in the development of web apps for Ruby on Rails.

  • Ruby adheres to the user interface design principle, whereas Ruby on Rails adheres to the DRY and COC principles.

  • When developing apps in Ruby, the most commonly used languages are C++, Java, and Vb.net. HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and XML are the most commonly used in Ruby on Rails.

Why will Ruby on Rails become a popular choice among developers in the near future?


Low Budget- The use of Ruby on Rails reduces development time and thus costs. It also enables rapid prototyping. The MVC structure and ready-made plugins allow users to quickly build web apps.


Community- The Ruby on Rails framework community has made significant contributions to the development of the current technology ecosystem. Their significant contribution to expanding the framework's information has greatly aided the students. The developers are eager to fix the bugs and problems.


Easy Testing- Ruby on Rails has some of its built-in testing frameworks, the framework makes testing easier for developers.


Ruby on Rails Architecture


The Model View Controller, or MVC, architectural pattern is used by Ruby on Rails. The Model manages the business logic, the View manages the display logic, and the Controller the application flow. It also adheres to the rule of convention over configuration, also known as coding by convention. This means that it has already made some decisions for programmers. This architecture is the basis for structuring our web applications.


MVC Architecture:

  • Model- The Model layer contains the application's business logic as well as the rules for manipulating data. Models in Ruby on Rails are used to manage interactions with their corresponding database elements. The Models represent the data in the database and perform the necessary validations.

  • View- It keeps the view display logic. It represents the user interface. The view in RoR is the HTML files that contain Ruby code. The Ruby code enclosed in the HTML is very simple, with loops and conditionals.

  • Controller- Models and views are interacted with by controllers. Incoming browser requests are processed by controllers, which then process the data from the models and pass it to the views for presentation.

The Ruby on Rails framework is created to support database-driven web applications. It is developed in response to heavy web frameworks like J2EE and the.NET framework. Ruby on Rails uses conventions and assumptions that are considered best ways to accomplish tasks in order to speed up the development process, and it is designed to encourage them.


It has a Representational State Transfer (REST) feature for web services and supports major databases such as MySQL (MySQL, Oracle, IBM, DB2 and more)


Pitfalls of Ruby on Rails Architecture


Runtime Speed and Performance: One of the most common criticisms levelled at Ruby on Rails is its ‘slow' runtime speed, which makes scaling Ruby on Rails applications difficult. While other top environments and frameworks (such as Node.js and Django) are slightly faster than Ruby on Rails.


Lack of Flexibility: Ruby on rails is a strong framework with a slew of hard dependencies and modules. Developers should configure routing, database migrations, and other framework modules to get the project started. These default modules are useful if a developer wants to create a standard application, but they can backfire if the developer wants to create something unique.


High Cost of Wrong Decisions in Development: In Rails, poor architectural decisions in the early stages of a project may cost more money than in any other framework. Because Rails prototyping is very quick, an engineering team that is unfamiliar with Rails may make unnoticed mistakes that will erode the performance of one's application in the future.


Use Cases of Ruby on Rail


Ruby on Rails is gaining popularity as a powerful platform for creating web and cloud applications. Ruby on Rails is currently used by at least 865,472 business websites, and the number is growing.


Basecamp - Business users have the same collaborative needs as developers, therefore, Ruby on Rails based online business applications like Basecamp exist. Basecamp was founded by CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, and as a result, some of the new features in Rails are derived from Basecamp. Basecamp simplifies project management by providing a simple online environment for collaborators to chat, share files, create checklists and workflows, and track project progress. Ruby on Rails features make it easy to delegate tasks, manage schedules, handle documents, organize team members, and so forth.


Airbnb - Airbnb has become one of the most popular websites for travelers looking for a place to stay. Airbnb connects property owners with tourists and has over 65,000 listings in 191 countries. Because the site must be constantly updated with new listings and more sophisticated applications for search, transactions, and fraud detection, Airbnb runs on Ruby on Rails. Airbnb developers benefit from the agility and scalability provided by Ruby on Rails.


Bloomberg - The world's most popular destination for financial and business news that is built on Ruby on Rails is Bloomberg. Bloomberg offers a massive amount of current information, including but not limited to video content, analytics, stock information, and searchable news. Its online news website is powered by open source.


Twitter - Twitter is widely regarded as the most well-known example of a Ruby on Rails-based product. It was initially built with RoR and jQuery, allowing the platform's creators to create a fully functional product in a very short period.


Groupon - Groupon is an international e-commerce marketplace that connects customers with local businesses. Groupon is the largest player in the sector, with 50 million customers worldwide. In terms of technology, the original version of the platform was built entirely on Ruby on Rails. However, as Groupon grew in popularity, they switched to Node.JS.


Shopify - Shopify is most likely one of the most successful Ruby on Rails-based tech companies in the world. They've been rapidly expanding within the framework. Shopify's Simon Eskildsen boasted about being able to handle 80,000 requests per second.


Dribbble - An incredible directory of graphic design projects created by a community of over 500K web designers from all over the world. The platform was created using Ruby on Rails, but it also makes use of jQuery and HTML5 History API elements.


Many more companies like Couchsurfing, Ask.fm, Etsy, Fab, SlideShare, Netflix, Hulu, Kickstarter, SoundCloud, UrbanDictionary, CrunchBase use Ruby on Rails and have proven to be extremely successful.

Industry popularity of Ruby on Rails is quite high as 6.02% of Computer Electronics and IT industry software are developed on this. Ruby has a built-in protection against XSS, CSRF and SQL Injection attacks which makes it very secure and safe. It is well-liked all over the world for being a developer-friendly, simple syntax, and cost-effective language.

Programmers are pleased to use the Ruby on Rails framework because it enables them to deliver high-quality software. The popularity is also reflected in social coding websites such as shoplift, Github, and others.


The graph above depicts the growing popularity of the Ruby on Rails framework in various countries and fields which is enough to explain why the future of Ruby programming language is so promising.


USA, Japan, United Kingdom and India are the top countries by usage of Ruby on Rails in their Websites.


Future scope of Ruby on Rails Framework


Many well-known companies continue to show their support for Ruby on Rails. Many remarkable companies, such as Airbnb, which has 150 million customers, and Shopify, which powers 600,000 businesses worldwide, remain steadfast in their decision to use this framework.


After considering the benefits of the Ruby on Rails framework, we can confidently predict that Ruby on Rails development will have a bright future in the coming years. The way it reduces development time, the ease of maintenance and updating convenience it provides, the efficient testing mechanism, and large support system it possesses all work together to make it a great choice, and its popularity will undoubtedly rise in the coming decades.


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