Why choose Ruby on Rails?

By John Cleary

When creating a new web application, it is important to consider which programming language and framework the application is built in. This is because the choice of language and framework will have far-reaching consequences for you and your business in terms of the cost of development, security, maintainability and the ability to scale the application should the need arise.

Ruby on Rails is one of many available frameworks, but why should you choose it over other options?

What is a Framework?

A framework is a set of libraries and code that together make the process of building an application easier. You can build applications without a framework or build your own framework, but this will add time and cost to your project, so most modern applications are built using a framework of some kind.

In all cases the framework is tied to a programming language, so when you consider a framework you are by default selecting the programming language as well.

What is Ruby On Rails?

Ruby on Rails is a framework written in the Ruby programming language that was developed by Basecamp (formerly 37signals). It later rose to prominence when Twitter used it for their front-end and is now used by many high-traffic sites such as Airbnb, Shopify and Bloomberg.

Rails was one of the first frameworks to advocate convention over configuration. This simply means that in most cases the framework has made the decision how things should look and operate, freeing up the development team to concentrate on the business domain. This, coupled with the succinct nature of the Ruby language means that developers can become very productive when compared to other frameworks. It is the reason many choose the framework, and why other languages have emulated the convention over configuration model.

Of course, there are other considerations when choosing a framework, such as security, support and performance. For example, the next major release of the Ruby is expected to be three times faster than the 2.0 release – and much progress has been made on that front already.

What’s the benefit of using it over other application frameworks?

The Ruby programming language enables a developer to write easily understandable, clear code. This is a huge benefit to developers as they can spend upwards of 70% of their time reading through lines of code. A simple to understand language and framework can make finding solutions, issues and simply understanding an application so much easier.

Ruby on Rails benefits from a large community that helps it stand out over other frameworks. This helps to ensure that Rails is incredibly well supported and allows it to remain a versatile and approachable framework, which is why it’s so popular.

The active community share solutions and fixes to different problems and issues, meaning you can save time when dealing with bugs and problem solving by not reinventing the wheel and making use of an established and sound solution. This allows developers to work on projects much more efficiently, drawing on the shared experience and skillset of the community. There’s also a very strong focus on testing, with a range of well-established tools to help ensure everything works correctly.

Having a focus on convention over configuration means that Rails provides enough familiarity for developers to work on a variety of different projects seamlessly. The platform is actively developed for, meaning there are always new features and technologies to help improve and refine projects. While this might sound costly the majority of libraries for Ruby on Rails are open source so there are no licensing fees required.

How can Createk help you with Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is a fantastic platform for developing a variety of web applications and helps to underpin and enable effective ways of working and software standards.

At Createk we develop primarily in Rails for a number of reasons:

  • Speed and RAD – Allows us to more effectively follow an Agile philosophy
  • Outsourcing – Allows the flexibility to adapt and work on different projects – perfect for outsourcing
  • Project health checks – Conventions and testing make conducting health checks on projects more efficient, helping us to make recommendations quickly

To find out more visit our Ruby on Rails page or to see how Createk can help you with application development get in touch.

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