Why Ruby on Rails is experiencing a renaissance in 2021?

Paweł Dąbrowski - Chief Technology Officer
outsourcing, rails, ruby, saas development, web

Ruby on Rails has been our technology of choice since the earliest days of iRonin.IT. We enjoy working with this web framework, which is both modern and mature enough to offer top reliability and security to our clients. As such, we’re glad to see that RoR is going through another spike in popularity, but we’re not surprised. Here’s why.

We’ve already written an article recommending Ruby on Rails as the perfect choice for business that need to go digital very quickly. It really is a great, stable solution for most web projects. Rails has a long list of benefits for business, but we’re going to focus on the three biggest ones to help you gain a quick understanding of what the framework has to offer.

Speed of development

Rails’ main advantage is that it’s fast to write. It’s a pleasure to write in and doesn’t negatively affect developer motivation, but more importantly, it offers a vast suite of ready-made tools and pre-written, functional pieces of code. They are called gems, and they are an incredible invention.

Imagine that you’re working on a website with the login functionality, where a logged-in user gets access to additional content and features. It’s really nothing new. It has been done thousands of times. So, why would you need to build this functionality from scratch, when it’s only going to perform the standard functions? This is when you would use a gem.

Gems are, of course, modifiable. If you want your log in functionality to have extra steps, they can be easily added to the standard skeleton of this feature. It’s easy, fast, and incredibly cost-efficient. Additionally, Rails frollows the convention over configuration software design paradigm. Simply put, it offers sensible default options to developers, and only requires writing additional code when there’s a need to deviate from these defaults. It’s another way to speed up the development process.

Framework maturity

Ruby the programming language was created in the mid 90s, while Rails the web framework has been around since 2004. Both have had a lot of time to develop. Most of the kinks (security issues, for example) have been ironed out. Ruby on Rails is a popular choice among corporate clients because it’s not hiding any unpleasant surprises at this point.

Additionally, the Ruby and Rails communities are still going strong. They’ve had time to mature, too, which has resulted in a wealth of know-how, premade solutions and good practices. The possible downside of this is that it takes a lot of time and learning to become a true Rails expert.

A trove of resources

Working with Ruby comes with access to well-tested gems, toolsets and pipelines for a diverse spectrum of uses. This has many benefits. Development speed and code quality are greatly improved. If there’s an issue, the Rails community can be trusted to help with finding the best solution to it. And, importantly, Rails has become a highly versatile framework with well-known benefits and drawbacks. This allows us to confidently advise our clients on when to use Rails for the best results.

Here are a few examples:

  • Pre-built integrations to a payments vendor or gateway,
  • Gems and APIs for app monitoring and event logging,
  • Bot protection solutions.

In each case, the resource is ready for setup and use and easy to add to existing code - if you’re an experienced Rails developer, that is.

Who is using Rails, and what for?

Let’s take a look at some common Ruby on Rails use cases. One is the MVP version of a product - a barebones early-stages app that need to be produced quickly, maybe within a few weeks, because the goal is to test the concept and begin gaining traction now, or to impress potential investors. Because RoR supports rapid development, it’s great for this purpose.

Many larger companies need specific internal products to make their everyday operations more efficient and less costly. Sometimes, a standardized SaaS just doesn’t cut it. Rails can help with this, too, due to its incredible flexibility and range.

Ruby on Rails also works well as an interface between various services - an integration proxy. It can help you customize your company’s work environment to better reflect the needs of your team and your clients. Integrating external systems with RoR can involve web apps or SaaS platforms. For example, you could integrate your HR department’s applicant tracking system with a reporting tool.

Finally, Ruby on Rails is a great framework for building new SaaS products, both B2C and B2B. RoR makes external APIs easy to create, scales easily (if set up correctly from the start), supports thorough testing and is highly performant. These characteristics allow it to support large SaaS tools with a lot of traffic seamlessly.

Do you think Ruby on Rails is the technology for your business? Now it’s time to find the right Rails development team. iRonin.IT’s experts have beed delivering successful RoR products for over a decade. Get in touch.


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Author's Bio
Paweł Dąbrowski

Chief Technology Officer

Open source fan and growth seeker with over a decade of experience in writing for both human beings and computers. I connect the dots to create high-quality software, valuable relations with people and businesses.

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