Transform your business into an online platform. Why Rails is a perfect technology for this?

Monika Otulakowska - HR Generalist
business, rails, web, coronavirus

The COVID-19 global crisis has pushed new businesses to move into the digital commerce sector. Luckily, a many of them have the ability to conduct their business online. To do so, they need attractive, reliable online platforms built quickly in reaction to changes on the market. If you need a web platform to support your business, Ruby on Rails can be the perfect framework for you: it’ll help you build almost any web app, and it has built-in support for all stages of development.

If you’ve never heard about Ruby on Rails before…

The world of programming languages and frameworks might seem overwhelming to newcomers, but don’t worry - you don’t need to be an expert to make the right choices for your business. Ruby is a mature (about 25 years old) programming language used as a backend technology. Ruby’s creator wanted a language which would allow for fast development while remaining pleasant to read and write.

Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a web framework that offers a number of features, such as many reusable bits of code known as gems, good testing support and close alignment with the best software development practices. Ruby on Rails is seen by many as a startup technology, because it’s perfect for quickly turning business ideas into working products.

“Ruby on Rails speeds up development and guarantees a quick project launch.”

The RoR revolution of 2004 - why Rails is suitable for all businesses

Ruby on Rails (the framework, not the language) was released as an open source technology in 2004. Its fresh approach to building web applications, as well as its beautiful code, made it very popular among businesses of all sizes. Startups take advantage of RoR’s speed, while established companies use it to build highly scalable, advanced systems. Prototyping with Rails is a breeze, and the same is true for building MVPs, as well as websites of low to medium complexity.

It’s likely that Ruby on Rails is the most mature modern framework currently available. Major players, such as Twitter, Airbnb, Dribble, GitHub, Etsy, Shopify and Groupon were built with RoR.

What you can build with Ruby on Rails

The types of apps and platforms that can be built with Ruby on Rails is not a closed list. However, rather than saying that the possibilities are endless, let us look at the most common cases in which this framework excels.

  • Online content providers - such as blogs or news portals with thousands of users,
  • E-commerce platforms - online shops and marketplaces,
  • Fintech systems - payments, lending, banking apps, and more,
  • E-learning platforms - software for corporate training or huge MOOC platforms,
  • Advanced statistics tools - Rails can handle complex data calculation and presentation,

These are only some of the examples of Rails in action. If you have an idea on how this framework could benefit your business, share your idea here.

What makes RoR excellent as a web technology?

Let’s take a closer look at Ruby on Rails’ benefits for online businesses.

  • Free to use - Rails is an open-source technology, which means you won’t have to pay for a license to use it. Thanks to this, the development process can be significantly less costly and it can begin quickly.
  • Effective testing - Ruby has many features for deep, advanced testing. It makes it easy to create tests for existing features, add new ones for new code, and maintain a growing test suite. Most Ruby developers know how to test an app properly and do so often - it’s part of the RoR programming culture.
  • Easy debugging - Rails provides detailed error logs, making it easier to debug applications.
  • High quality, reliable solutions ready to use at no cost - Rails helps developers deliver more features in less time without sacrificing code quality. It provides a standard structure for web apps, taking care of all the common patterns.
  • Easy to use components - Components offer the option to store reusable code and modularize templates.
  • Scalable development - Rails promotes software development practices and conventions that help programmers create readable, high quality code. Projects end up well-structured and well-written almost as an afterthought, thanks to good communication, vertical slices, writing simple code over smart code, sharing ownership, and similar practices.
  • Rapid development - thanks to its modular approach to software development and its encouragement to reuse bits of code, Rails is perfect for developing apps very, very quickly. In fact, you can create an ecommerce platform in only weeks with RoR.

This is an impressive list of benefits for a technology that is also cost-effective and powerful. If you’re still not sure whether RoR is a good fit for your project, contact us.

Why you should use Ruby on Rails to develop your software product

Building applications in RoR is fast, making this framework a perfect choice if you’re on a budget or need to meet a looming deadline. Let’s take a look at how Rails can help you tailor the development process to your needs at every stage of building your product.

Planning

  • Team size: One person using RoR can build a fully realized MVP (minimum viable product) in a reasonable amount of time. Other technologies, like Java, would require a larger team, and still often mean a longer development process. Rails’ architecture and built-in mechanisms are well-tested and ready to use. Developers can focus on solving problems specific to your business, rather than on reinventing the login feature.
  • Estimation: Rails is a mature technology and its application architecture is very predictable, as it follows industry best practices. This allows for more accurate estimations.
  • Tech stack: Rails works well with most frontend solutions (including all of the most popular options, such as Vue.js and React). The same is true for other backend technologies and database engines. Elements of a RoR app can be written in Node.js or Go. You just don’t have to worry about integrations with Rails.
  • Flexibility: Rails can be used to build any type of web app. It’s a good fit for fintech, content creators, and even social media solutions.

Development

“iRonin.IT’s team has been involved with the XbyX project since August 2019. We delivered an MVP within 3 months, and continue a successful cooperation to this day.”

  • MVP product development: Rails is among the best technologies for building minimum viable products very quickly. This approach can help you validate your business ideas, gather feedback from real users or prepare a demo for investors.
  • Methodology: Any software project management methodology can be used to build a successful product. Rails is well-suited for both the Agile approach, where fast delivery of small portions of code is important, and the Waterfall model, because it allows for making quick changes to larger features.
  • Testing environment: Tests are integral to the culture of Rails-based application development. The framework supports it out of the box, allowing your team to easily test small portions of code. It also promotes integration tests, which verify the product’s broader use contexts.

Launch and maintenance

  • Continuous support: Rails is regularly updated, to make sure that no security issues put projects at risk, and to optimize performance.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, your application will need to accomodate larger volumes of traffic and support more complex services. If you build your app with Rails, the code won’t be any harder to maintain regardless of its scale, thanks to the framework’s clear conventions and project structure.
  • Flexible teams: Maintaining an application after launch is crucial, and can be the job of either your internal team, or a team of outsourced experts that work remotely. The latter option tends to be more cost-effective. Rails makes it easy for new team members to quickly familiarize themselves with an app’s code and structure. The number of available programmers on the market won’t be a concern, either, as Rails is a mature, popular technology.

Ruby o Rails for every business

One of Ruby on Rails’ most convincing advantages is its cost effectiveness, followed closely by its speed and reliability. The framework is a great choice for almost any industry, can be combined with other technologies for the best effect, and receives regular support from both its creators and the community.

But if you are still struggling to choose the technology for your project, drop us a line for a free consultation with our CTO. Perhaps a free trial week with one of our Ruby on Rails experts will help you fall in love with this framework.


Let’s get in touch
Author's Bio
Monika Otulakowska

HR Generalist

As an HR Generalist at iRonin.IT I'm trying to be a friend and HR professional at the same time. I'm developing an HR strategy of our 100% remote company, by adapting internal communication, HR tools and processes like onboarding or recruitment, organising events, and by trying to make our team happier. After work I never forget about relaxing in its best form - MTB riding.

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