Why Ruby on Rails (RoR) is Still a Great Choice for Web Development in 2023
Ruby on Rails, or simply Rails, is an open-source web framework that has beenaround since 2004. It is written in Ruby, a dynamic and expressive programminglanguage that emphasizes readability and productivity. Rails allows developers towrite less code and focus more on the business logic of their applications.Critics of the framework may believe it’s dead, but it is still widely used by many companies and developers for various types of web applications, such as content management systems, e-commerce platforms, social networks, and more.
One of the main reasons why Rails is still popular is its productivity. Rails allows developers to create web applications faster and easier than many other frameworks. This is because Rails provides a lot of features and tools out of the box, such as:
- A built-in database abstraction layer called Active Record, which simplifies data access and manipulation.
- A powerful routing system that maps URLs to controller actions and views.
- A templating engine called ERB (Embedded Ruby), which enables dynamic HTML generation with Ruby code.
- A testing framework called Minitest, which supports unit testing, integration testing, and behavior-driven development.
- A command-line interface called Rails Console, which allows developers to interact with their application and database in real time.
- A scaffolding feature that generates basic code for CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations.
- A rich set of libraries and gems that extend the functionality of Rails and Ruby
With Rails, developers can follow the agile methodology and deliver working prototypes and MVPs (minimum viable products) quickly. They can also iterate and improve their applications based on user feedback and changing requirements.
Rails can handle high traffic and large user bases with ease, thanks to its modular architecture and support for various deployment options. Rails applications can be scaled horizontally by adding more servers or vertically by upgrading the hardware resources. Rails also supports caching, load balancing, background jobs, and concurrency features that improve the performance and efficiency of web applications. Here are some examples of scalable Rails applications:
- GitHub: A leading source code hosting service that has over 1.8 million companies using it. GitHub uses Rails as its core technology, alone with C Shell, Ruby, and MySQL.
- Airbnb: An online marketplace that connects travelers with hosts who offer accommodation. Airbnb uses Rails for its back-end development, along with React for its front-end development.
- Shopify: An e-commerce platform that allows anyone to create an online store and sell their products. Shopify uses Rails as its primary framework, along with Node.js, React, GraphQL, and PostgreSQL
Rails has a large and active community of developers who contribute to its development and maintenance. There are thousands of open-source projects built with Rails on GitHub, where developers can find code examples, tutorials, best practices, and solutions to common problems. There are also hundreds of blogs, podcasts, newsletters, books, courses, and conferences dedicated to Rails and Ruby. The community is friendly and helpful, offering support and guidance to newbies and experts alike.
The community also creates and maintains a vast collection of gems, which are reusable packages of code that add functionality to Rails applications. Gems can be easily installed and managed using a tool called Bundler, which handles dependencies and versions. Some of the most popular gems are:
- Devise: A gem that provides authentication features such as user registration, login/logout, password recovery, email confirmation, etc.
- Pundit: A gem that provides authorization features such as defining policies for different user roles and permissions.
- CarrierWave: A gem that provides file uploading features such as resizing images, generating thumbnails, storing files in cloud services like Amazon S3, etc.
- RSpec: A gem that provides a behavior-driven development (BDD) framework for testing Rails applications.
- Sidekiq: A gem that provides background processing features such as queueing jobs, scheduling tasks, monitoring performance, etc
Rails follows a set of conventions that make web development easier and more consistent. These conventions include:
- MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern: A design pattern that separates the application logic into three components: models (which handle data), views (which display data), and controllers (which process requests and responses).
- RESTful (Representational State Transfer) architecture: An architectural style that defines a standard way of designing web APIs (application programming interfaces) based on HTTP methods (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.) and resources (nouns that represent data or entities).
- Convention over configuration (CoC): A principle that reduces the amount of configuration and boilerplate code by following sensible defaults and naming conventions.
- Don’t repeat yourself (DRY): A principle that avoids duplication and redundancy by extracting common code into reusable modules and methods.
These conventions help developers to write clean, maintainable, and readable code.,They also make it easier to collaborate with other developers, as they follow them same standards and practices.
Rails 7.2 is the latest version of Rails, which was released in September 2022. It introduces some new features and improvements that make web development even more productive an enjoyable. Some of these features include:
- WebSockets: A feature that enables real-time communication between the server and the client, using a bidirectional and persistent connection. WebSockets can be used for creating interactive web applications such as chat rooms, online games, live updates, etc.
- Cloud storage: A feature that allows developers to store files in cloud services such as Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure Storage, etc. Cloud storage can be used for storing large files such as images, videos, documents, etc.
- Encryption: A feature that provides encryption and decryption features for sensitive data such as passwords, tokens, keys, etc. Encryption can be used for securing data in transit and at rest.
Our clients continue to have confidence in Rails for creating amazing web applications quickly and easily.