In our days when technologies are moving like crazy and startups have very little time to roll out their products -- the properly chosen tech stack is one of the main success factors. Some say that one of the advantages of Ruby on Rails is that it's a perfect pick for such a situation. We cannot but agree with the fact it's fast to develop on, reliable, and secure.
In this article, we'll talk about the reasons why Ruby on Rails for startups is a good choice.
What's special about Ruby on Rails?
Before diving deeper into the peculiarities of this language, it's not a bad idea to learn some basic information about Ruby on Rails. If you're an experienced user and don't need this information -- just scroll down to the essence of this article.
Well, if you're still reading this, then we should start by mentioning that Ruby on Rails (RoR) is actually a web framework based on Ruby language. Surely, this framework has some things in common with the others. For example, it uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern for app development just like Angular or Django. The difference is it comes with a variety of tools contributing to faster development process. That's one of the main reasons why Ruby on Rails is good startups that need mobile app development services.
What is Ruby on Rails used for? With it's help, developers can build the back-end of web or mobile application.
Read our post on how to promote your startup for free or watch our video underneath related to app promotion through a landing page
Originally Ruby on Rails framework was rolled out in 2004 as an open-source software (it still is). However, the technology became really popular only in 2007 when Apple said it's going to ship Rails with Mac OS X. Since then it's popularity continues growing.
Ruby on Rails web development is popular: Total number of websites built on it
Advantages of Ruby on Rails
It's high time to skip to the essence of this article and consider the most frequent reasons why Ruby on Rails is so popular among startups.
1. Faster development process
The big portion of startups are using Ruby on Rails for a good reason -- it makes the development faster. We mean that as a rule, Ruby on Rails web application development requires less time if compared to other frameworks.
This framework's philosophy lies in reducing the number of decisions that developers have to take when creating something from scratch. That's possible due to the variety of predefined configurations, as well as defaults. It doesn't only save time but focuses developers on other more important components of the project.
In other words, among other benefits of Ruby on Rails, we should single out that it takes over all the routine decisions engineers are usually faced with. Though they are able to control them if they want to.
Talking about the speed, Ruby on Rails is fast in terms of the project development. We couldn't omit the importance of fast iteration especially for startups and other organizations with limited resources and tight deadlines. The opportunity to test your project's features on early development stages saves not only time but money as well. Respectively, you'll get your MVP without unnecessary expenses.
That's just one of many ways how Rails contributes to faster development of a product. Let's skip to the next one.
Ruby on Rails rapid development: Comparison with popular languages (Source: Tim Bray)
2. Focused on bug-free coding
Nobody loves bugs. They spoil the general experience from using the product and require some time to be solved. That's why developers often write tests to check the workability of their code and avoid spending time on solving different issues. In plain language, tests are code lines the main goal of which is to make sure the rest of the project's code works correctly.
What can Ruby on Rails do in terms of testing? In general, this framework is able to generate an appropriate test file for every created code file. If your team needs more control, there are a plethora of tools that will help to keep track of the testing process all the time. For instance, a tool called CircleCI emails developers in case one of their tests fail.
Software testing is an integral part of any development process not to say that well-tuned testing can save you a lot of time and money, as well as provide your customers with the top-notch user experience. That's why another advantage of using Ruby on Rails is it's strong focus on testing.
3. Ruby on Rails security
Hackers around the world find new ways of cracking tech companies and user accounts proportionally to the growth of technologies. Rails team understands there are still too many ways to hack a website or app. So they do their best to improve the framework's security and get rid of Ruby on Rails' security vulnerabilities.
To be exact, they're constantly adding new features connected with security and keep older versions of the framework up to date. That's great news for startuppers and entrepreneurs who have no human resources or financial opportunities to update the framework version each time the new one is rolled out.
It's worth mentioning that Ruby on Rails framework is one of the most secured ones. It's built-in features allow preventing SQL-injections, cross-site scripting, and other threats. However, you and your team should take into consideration that not all the benefits of Ruby on Rails related to security are available out-of-the-box. Some features may require the installation of separate plugins. Plus, to achieve the best results developers should follow a so-called Secure Development Lifecycle.
Ruby on Rails application development: Secure Development Lifecycle scheme
The fact that Ruby on Rails provides you with the security measures on the framework level allows you not to worry about you've overlooked something important and there is a huge hole in your security.
We should also point out that such tech giants as Twitter and GitHub use Rails in their products and that's kind of quality mark.
4. RESTful architecture in Ruby on Rails
In order not to overload you with different technical terms, let's consider this kind of architecture on a simple example. As you may know, the majority of modern web services tend to communicate and interact with other ones. Let's say your business has a mobile app and a website that was built earlier. Then, it's quite reasonable not to write everything from scratch but pull the necessary data from the website (it can be some content, graphs, statistics or whatever else your mobile app may require).
To do so, your web developers should build a REST API and being a RESTful framework, Ruby on Rails allows to handle this process pretty painless.
RESTful architecture in Ruby on Rails
For you, as an entrepreneur that means when your project will grow and require interacting with the 'outer' world, your developers or Ruby on Rails web development company will cope with that task quickly and without extra waste of money (read as cheap).
5. PaaS services support Rails
PaaS stands for Platform as a service. In a nutshell, it's a third-party provider offering some software or hardware tools that are usually used for app development. Examples of well-known PaaS providers are Heroku and Windows Azure and they allow to easily manage, as well as deploy web apps.
The point is that Ruby on Rails is supported by the majority of PaaS services (e.g. Heroku) that makes Ruby on Rails app development easier and allows to push your application to the cloud without undue efforts. Besides, with the help of PaaS, you are also able to painlessly scale the computational power.
6. Ruby on Rails community
Exactly community pushes the technology forward and makes it more popular, so it's a really important component. Fortunately, Ruby on Rails community is large. For instance, another Ruby-based framework Django is also great but it's community isn't so big. Even if to look through the questions tagged as Rails and Django, there is 350K vs 160K ratio.
Some of you may think that's a minor detail but where developers should refer to in case they faced some issues? Exactly, to websites like StackOverflow or GitHub. Besides, there are a variety of guides on the official website. Such a support of the community allows solving complicated tasks faster and not to get stuck during the project development.
Except for this, there are tons of so-called gems which are reusable libraries and programs that Ruby on Rails community members share with each other. Gems have various implementations from authentication to image processing and in some cases allow to accelerate the process of development.
Ruby on Rails for app development: Official website with gems (Source: RubyGems)
When to use Ruby on Rails for your project
What can you do with Ruby on Rails? Let's consider several project categories to which this framework fits most of all from the community's point of view. However, we should point out that in the right hands this framework is capable of almost everything.
So you shouldn't consider the categories listed below as the final scopes this framework can deal with. The best way to learn what technologies it's better to use in your project is to consult with professionals.
Ruby on Rails content management
In case your project deals with the enormous amount of content, be it articles, audio files or other content friendly to a database, Rails is a good choice. That's because it offers simple navigation and facilitates content uploading and managing.
Ruby on Rails e-commerce
Ruby on Rails opens a bunch of opportunities for e-commerce websites. For example, this framework has many of user-friendly features along with the modular approach to the development of websites.
The majority of new projects are custom and respectively require well-thought-out database structure for being able to support your business model. Rails is a good framework to build a customized solution on and at the same time to save some time and money.
There are hundreds of thousands of resources where social networking, as well as membership options are used. If your project requires one of them -- we've good news for you. They are included in Ruby on Rails, while numerous plugins for this framework allow coping with practically any challenge connected with social networking with minimum efforts.
As you see, there are lots of advantages of using Ruby on Rails. If you need to know exactly whether it's appropriate for your project or not -- contact our managers and they'll consult you.
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Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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