Ruby on Rails is a highly productive, open source web development framework to develop professional web applications for all sizes of businesses.
Since its official release of the first version in 2005, Ruby on Rails (RoR) has been tested and used by numerous large-scale websites, such as GitHub, Shopify, Airbnb and Fiverr.
Based on Ruby – a general-purpose object-oriented programming language, Rails is known for its simplicity and time-saving readymade solutions with a vast collection of code libraries. You don’t need to be an expert of Ruby syntax to begin with Rails. No compilation stage is involved in creating a database-driven web application with Rails.
It allows you to quickly build powerful and robust web applications while making the entire process easy to understand from a beginner level to the advanced stages of development. With Rails, you can accomplish more with less code as it allows you to create high-quality applications with three principles:
1. Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): Minimum repetition of code within a structure of easy-to-comprehend libraries. Rails favors that each module of code must have a dedicated and clear representation within an application. Therefore, it makes the workflow bug-free, extendable, clean and easy to maintain and troubleshoot.
2. Conventions Over Configurations: This principle allows the coders to spend more time building an application rather than configuring every bit of an application manually.
Ruby on Rails provides the developers with a flexibility of not programming the conventional logic of the applications at every single stage. Unless a deviation is required by us, Rails considers the default project files and eliminates the re-coding of repetitive tasks by automatically assuming and creating the subsequent codes/folders.
By following the established conventions in Rails, a web developer can make an application 10-times faster with fewer lines of code than using a Java framework. It is because Rails is highly capable of implementing ‘Metaprogramming’ concepts to write programs.
3. Model-View-Controller (MVC) Architecture: Rails lays down an application in app directories and subdirectories with Model-View-Controller structure. MVC separates an application into three parts:
Model: Ruby classes (Rails framework) to handle the logic and communicate with the database. The developers can modify the ‘model directories’ as per the application functionality requirements.
View: Templates which render the data from the Model classes and deal with the presentation aspects of an application, i.e., how end-users see and interact with an application.
Controller: Taking care of the flow of an application, the controllers handle the requests to change the Models, initiate user requests etc.
The ‘controller directory’ has the ruby files to guide (control) the application, while each controller has its own presentation via ‘view directories.’ According to the names of their respective controllers, the ‘View’ files are stored in .html.erb format, containing the embedded Ruby code.
Pros of using Ruby on Rails:
- The speed of programming is second to none.
- Easier to read, maintain and troubleshoot the applications.
- Rails community offers a vast collection of open source code and libraries.
- Almost all projects follow a similar structure and coding practices.
- Very-well documented support to cover all aspects of development.
- No licensing cost for most of its libraries.
- Theoretically, C (a low-level programming language) is faster than Java, and Java is faster than Ruby. However, the overall usage of a Rails web-app shows no performance issues; as many Rails-based giants like Yellow Pages and Groupon would concur.