Why Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails (ROR) was first released on December 12, 2005. Since then, it has been a hot commodity for developers and users alike. It’s an open-source web application and full-stack framework using the programming language called “Ruby,” hence the name. What are some of the engineering patterns it uses? Here are just a few:

  • Convention Over Configuration (CoC)
  • Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY)
  • Active Record Pattern
  • Modern View Controller (MVC) –organizes application programming

Why do developers choose to use ROR? For the most part, it can take hundreds or thousands of hours to create the app of your dreams. ROR cuts down on work with faster development time. Additionally, it has an extensive library of what are called “Gems,” that can add a bevy of functionality. Moreover, automated testing is available to let you test code as you write it.


What Ruby Offers

With Ruby On Rails, the learning curve is relatively short. Its’ syntax makes the constructs stream logically, and with vibrancy. Currently there are over 200,000 sites supported by Ruby On Rails. There is also the benefit if offers with its modular design. For instance, the gems library is similar to that of a WordPress plugin. You can use gems to perform actions such as creating PDF files, displaying map data, and social media interactions. Additionally, you are given login/logout options as well as integrations with email and/or text messages.


What Can It Do?

The depth that comes along with using Ruby is mind-boggling. Here are some of the features available:

  • URL – You can adapt or develop search engine adaptive URLs
  • Active Records – This development program includes database active library and will automatically map tables to rows and also classes in objects.
  • Debug Applications – Ruby on Rails gives you specific and detailed error logs so you can easily debug all your applications.
  • Tightened Security – Ruby takes away the burden of having to use the ‘h’ method. It now escapes all input by default and if you want to ‘un-escape’ data you simply use the ‘RAW’ method.
  • Bundler – This is a useful new feature to Ruby and helps you manage your dependencies. Just add a line for the gems you need within your gem file, and it will download & configure all gems you need for the project.
  • Action Mailer – This function has been simplified to send mail with ease. Default settings can now be optionally overwritten. It comes with cleaner APIs, and you can also retrieve and manipulate ‘mail’ objects before their delivery.
  • Store Components – Create modularized templates and add components or store your reusable code.


Quicker Development

Convention over Configuration does exactly as it states. With other programing languages, developers need to spend an extensive amount of time on how their code will communicate with the database. This is also true for the exact file structure for the project, and the wide variety settings needed for configuration files. However, CoC offers what is called “sensible defaults.” These are conventions that already work with a number of applications. This means you spend less time setting up the project and can focus more on any possible issues.

Moreover, with the DRY feature, you no longer have to worry about replicating code over and over again. Instead, you write the code once and can use it where needed. It also makes things more convenient for future code changes.


What You Need To Know

If you already have basic or advanced knowledge of HTML and CSS, then learning ROR should not be an issue for you. If you don’t, then you should start learning those two languages first. The good news is that they are also quite easy to comprehend and practice. Once you learn the ins and outs of ROR, it might start feel like second nature. Not to mention, it is quite enjoyable. There are a wide variety of resources available, whether it be taking online courses or reading instructional books. Most tools offer straightforward approaches to learning the structure of this dynamic language.

In addition to its many advantages, ROR can make it more cost-effective to create and maintain a site and/or application. You will be able to create feature-rich constructions without as much output as one might have expected. Then, if you want additional features, they can be added rather quickly and conveniently.

When you consider the power and convenience of ROR, it’s no wonder why they were chosen in the development of platforms such Twitter, Shopify and Basecamp. Their active community is helpful for those new to ROR, making it even more enticing for intrigued developers to test out.



Natalie Lehrer is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Twitter: @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.