What Is Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails is one of the best-known open-source backend web application frameworks. Initially released in 2004, it acts as a development tool that provides the structure developers need to build their code on. With it developers can build applications as well as websites.
What is Ruby on Rails – Explained
The framework uses the Ruby programming language, which is one of the major languages of software development alongside PHP and Python. It’s built on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and runs on Linux.
As a backend or server-side framework, Ruby on Rails enables developers to build a site’s functionality so that it provides an optimal experience to users. It was designed to make writing code a more efficient process and streamline app creation. With it, developers can build a website or app faster than if they coded it from scratch.
Ruby on Rails is based on the Agile development methodology focused on iterative development between multiple collaborative teams. It uses libraries of code known as gems that developers can use as needed to save time, reduce repetitive work, and speed up development.
What is Ruby on Rails – Why Use?
This framework has been a favorite of many developers for over 15 years. What are some of the secrets to its success? Let’s look at the main advantages of this framework.
Ruby on Rails offers developers plenty of plugins (gems) that reduce development times. What’s more, gems help reduce some of the more repetitive aspects of coding an app or website and can simplify the process of maintaining and updating the code.
The framework runs on Linux, which is free. That makes the initial cost of developing an app or website with it affordable without scarifying performance or quality. It also allows for building scalable websites that can be upgraded in time.
Great for Long-Term Projects
Ruby on Rails’ stability, extensive resources, and strong community backing make it a dependable choice in the long run. What’s more, the framework makes changing or modifying existing code a fairly intuitive process.
Works Well with Front End Frameworks
Ruby on Rails is a backend framework that can integrate with front-end frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js when building for example single page applications (SPAs). This makes it suitable for a wide range of projects.
A concise programming language, it can be a useful tool in the arsenal of any developer who constantly works against a tight deadline. Add to this the many third-party libraries available for it, and it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that it’s one of the most productive platforms around.
Ruby on Rails is backed by a large active community of developers and software engineers who can answer questions and help solve problems.
What is Ruby on Rails – Limitations
Developers who use Ruby on Rails sometimes complain of its runtime speed, which can be slower compared to other backend frameworks. Also on the subject of speed, using plenty of gems or plugins can reduce the boot speed—another issue developers frequently complain about.
Lastly, when used for web development, it may not be the most user-friendly solution—newer backend frameworks are more accessible for average users.
What is Ruby on Rails – Usage Examples
Ruby on Rails has been used widely over the years. GitHub, the biggest code repository in the world and a favorite resource for developers, uses the framework. Other big names that use it include the leading travel service Airbnb, ecommerce platform Shopify, and news site Bloomberg.
The Bottom Line
Although there are plenty of other backend frameworks around, Ruby on Rails continues to be relevant today. Its extensive library of gems, robust features, and good scalability make it a leading choice for developers around the world. For big, long-term projects especially, it is a reliable choice that allows for extensive customization. It’s one of the frameworks developers can’t ignore.
What is Ruby on Rails – Additional Resources
- RubyOnRails.org – Learn just what you need to get started, then keep leveling up as you go.
- GitHub – The official Ruby on Rails hosting on GitHub
- Getting Started on Rails – guide covers getting up and running with Ruby on Rails