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  • Writer's pictureEmilian Maliszewski

What technology stack would be the most suitable one for your web application development?

Do you know what’s the common denominator of TDCM, Airbnb, and Twitch? All of these firms (and many more, to be listed in this article) have chosen Ruby on Rails as their preferable framework for web development. If you’re interested in why so many companies speak of it so favorably and why it may be the best pick for your project - keep on reading!

The framework, released in 2004 as open-source software in the Ruby programming language, has so far proven itself to be an effective tool for the creation of over 420 thousand global websites. Nowadays, due to the combined knowledge of over 5000 developers, software engineers are at the disposal of RoR version, which is even better suited for building a variety of applications (from small prototypes to large-scale enterprise systems) and which makes it even more seamless to scale up apps quickly and efficiently.

What exactly makes Ruby on Rails so popular? There are many pros to using this framework. Here, we would like to present you with some of its most evident strengths:

  • Versatility: Ruby on Rails is a full-stack framework, meaning that it provides everything needed to build web applications from the front-end user interface to the back-end server-side logic. This means that Rails can be used to build almost any type of web application, from simple websites to complex, data-driven applications.

  • Cost: Ruby on Rails can be a cost-effective choice for your software project, especially if you are working with a tight budget. Its simplicity and ease of use can help to reduce development costs, and its large set of pre-built libraries and tools can help to reduce the time and resources needed to build your application.

  • Speed: Rails are designed to make development faster by providing a structure and conventions that allow developers to build applications quickly. It also has a large library of open-source code, called "gems," which provide pre-written code that can be easily plugged into a Rails application. This can save developers time and effort by providing them with ready-made solutions for common tasks.

  • Testability: Ruby on Rails comes with built-in support for testing, which can help ensure the quality and reliability of an application. This can save time and resources by making it easier to catch and fix bugs before an application is deployed.

  • Scalability: Ruby on Rails is designed to be scalable, meaning that it can handle a large volume of traffic and data without performance issues. This makes it a good choice for building applications that are expected to grow over time.

Now, you might wonder if it is possible to build what you intend to within this framework. As it is versatile, chances are very big that the answer to this question is “yes”. Although Ruby on Rails is most commonly used for developing web apps, there are virtually no boundaries to its usage. Let’s explore what, precisely, can be done with Ruby on Rails:

  • full-stack software development,

  • web scraping & crawling,

  • static website generators,

  • command-line media player (using FFI + libVLC) & other command-line tools,

  • automation, Backup & DevOps tools,

  • servers,

  • parsing, data cleaning & filtering,

  • API Clients (like Twitter API or Github API).

At this point, we can tell you that it can be used for developing almost every kind of software imaginable… That being said, it’s worth noting that Ruby on Rails is known primarily for being a perfect match for web development. Are you curious about what popular web pages/web apps were built with Ruby on Rails? To give you a better idea of this framework’s capabilities, we encourage you to take a look at the list of the most popular examples of the companies whose core products have been developed with it:

You are probably familiar with some of them. As you can see, the companies behind those applications differ when it comes to their functionalities and target users. This is what we meant earlier by mentioning Ruby on Rails’ flexibility.

It may also be interesting for you to read what people who incorporated it into their software development processes say about it. Let’s dive into some of the quotations!

“Ruby on Rails is well known for its quick iteration cycle and the plethora of magical tools that speed up development and simplify prototyping. Those benefits are focused on improving the development process, but in some cases make maintenance of the production system more difficult. In terms of the way payments work, some of its shortcomings mean trouble.”

  • Michel Weksler, Senior Staff Software Engineer at Airbnb

“It’s crazy people are suggesting Shopify has been successful despite Rails. Shopify has been successful because of Rails.”

  • Tobias Lütke, the CEO of Shopify

“Rails is the most well thought-out web development framework I’ve ever used. And that’s in a decade of doing web applications for a living. I’ve built my own frameworks, helped develop the Servlet API, and have created more than a few web servers from scratch. Nobody has done it like this before.”

  • James Duncan Davidson, the creator of the Tomcat webserver and the Ant build framework

“Ruby on Rails is a breakthrough in lowering the barriers of entry to programming. Powerful web applications that formerly might have taken weeks or months to develop can be produced in a matter of days.”

  • Tim O’Reilly, the CEO of O’Reilly Media

“Rails have done more for startups than a whole boatload of Venture Capitalists. Rails have had an incredible impact on the startup ecosystem.”

  • Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startups

“You want to enjoy life, don’t you? If you get your job done quickly and your job is fun, that’s good, isn’t it? That’s the purpose of life, partly. Your life is better.

I want to solve problems I meet in daily life by using computers, so I need to write programs. By using Ruby, I want to concentrate on the things I do, not the magical rules of the language, like starting with public void something something something to say, “print hello world.” I just want to say, “print this!” I don’t want all the surrounding magic keywords. I just want to concentrate on the task. That’s the basic idea. So I have tried to make Ruby code concise and succinct.”

  • Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, Ruby’s creator

Ruby on Rails has proven to be a reliable and powerful tool for building web applications. If you're considering developing a web app project, we believe that this framework may be your best shot. Why? Because it is evident that the companies that have all relied on Rails managed to build successful, high-quality applications that have stood the test of time… and because we are experts in this domain and would be more than happy to tell you more how you, by partnering with us, can capitalize on its superbness and create an impeccable piece of software.

The last thing that we would like to stress in this article is that because each software project is different, it is a technology that should be carefully chosen for it - based on the requirements. Not the other way around. If you are not sure what technology would be the most suitable one for developing your idea - let us know. We are here to assist you!

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