Ruby on Rails Development – Understanding the Benefits and the Pitfalls

For any web developer, it is essential to understand how various parts of digital design and development are connected. Each element is like a pillar supporting a bridge, and even if one of them fails, the whole bridge collapses. A bad design can affect a well-written code and a poorly written code can mar the most sophisticated design solutions. Each element works in coherence to produce the desired outcome – a user-friendly product.

Introduction to Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is a dynamic, object-oriented, and open-source web application framework that relies on simplicity and productivity as its main traits. First developed in 2003, it now powers some of the biggest names in the tech industry today like Basecamp, Twitter, Hulu, etc. A number of companies, like Cisco, JP Morgan, NASA, and Yahoo!Prefer to hire Ruby developers in some capacity as the framework provides a very high level flexibility in web development services.

A Brief History of Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails became open source in 2004 and gained massive support when it reached its first big milestone with 1.0 release in 2005.The language gained further momentum when Apple announced in 2006 that Mac OS X Leopard will use it. The language assures sustainable productivity of the programmers by promising optimal usage.

Ruby on Rails is an ace development tool that allows web developers to access libraries and give a finite structure to their code. Better regarded as a server-side web app framework, it operated on a model–view–controller (MVC) pattern. A Ruby on Rails development company can easily create websites or web apps by writing code which is made concise and simple by doing away with repetitive tasks.

Pros and Cons on Ruby on Rails

Just like every other tool or software available today, Ruby on Rails has its own unique set of pros and cons that any business owner needs to consider before choosing it as the framework for their development architecture. Let us take a look at the most important benefits and pitfalls of choosing Ruby on Rails:

Benefits and shortcomings of Ruby on Rails

Benefits of Ruby on Rails for Developers

1. Large Community

Ruby on Rails is not just a development tool but it comes with a large community of dedicated developers and information resource as well. Members of the community support each other by sharing notes and pulling each other out of difficult situations. The informal community provides developers information on jobs available, matches recruiters with talent, organizes meet-ups and conferences, and much more. Ruby on Rails is also very popular on social coding resource – Github.

2. Ruby Gems

Ruby gems are software packages that contain a Ruby app or a Ruby library. These gems are usually used to extend the functionality of Ruby on Rails apps. There are even certain gems that help automate tasks or speed up the developer’s code-writing process and are available publicly.

3. Cost-effective 

Cost is a very important factor when developing an app or building a website and every developer must consider it for sustainable development. One of the best things about Ruby on Rails is that is runs on a free operating system and works well with most of the free databases and web servers. With the help of these features, the development hours get reduced which lower the overall cost of the project.

4. Code Quality

Ruby on Rails programming language is extremely readable, which leads to increased productivity. This is because the developer need not create a separate document or list of comments for the code. Also, the developers can pick up existing projects and start improving them without going through multiple sheets. 

5. Testing

Testing is one of the most important aspects that every developer considers when taking up any project. No project is complete without it. Ruby on Rails has been developed with a focus on testing and boasts of a great built-in testing framework.

6. Diverse Set of Tools

Ruby on Rails offers a wide range of tools that allow developers to create more features in lesser amount of time. It has a number of built-in templates as well that make common functions and solutions accessible.

7. Flexibility

The biggest strength of Ruby on Rails is that it is highly flexible and easily interacts with other technologies and frameworks. Thus, it allows developers to create separate layers of an app and use multiple technologies within the same setup.

Potential Pitfalls of Ruby on Rails

1. Performance

The apps based on Ruby on Rails often develop a bloat, which affects their speed. However, a skilled programmer can help do away with this glitch and fine-tune the code to improve performance. 

2. Hosting

There are a limited number of hosts that support Ruby on Rails based web apps as they can be more resource-intensive as compared to their PHP-based counterparts. 

3. Popularity

Ruby on Rails lags behind in popularity when compared to Java and PHP as the language is relatively difficult to learn and very specific. 

4. Lack of Documentation

A lot of Ruby on Rails “gems” as well as basic libraries lack proper documentation which can be frustrating for any developer as it wastes their time. 

To sum up, Ruby on Rails is a massive web app framework that offers a large number of built-in features. It can be easily used to create a variety of small as well as large apps. However, it has a tendency to use greater memory and resources as compared to other frameworks that sometimes slows down its performance. In most of the cases, Rails is composed of a large number of files that make up models, views, and controllers. The framework is gaining even more popularity today as it is future-proof, powerful, flexible, and well-established.