What is Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails (ROR) is a web development framework developed in Ruby. It simplifies and abstracts repetitive tasks and aids in speedy application development. Programmers love this language because of its simplicity, agility, elegance and speed.
The key principle of RoR is convention over configuration. Rails comes with a set of conventions which saves programmers time in configuring files in order to set-up.
Why ROR for App Development?
Rails is a start-up friendly language. It is easy to use and understand and provides ample scope for development and scalability. Many startups in the recent decade have opted for Ruby. These include names like GitHub, Basecamp, SlideShare, Groupon etc. Rails is so loved because of it’s developer friendly command line and online support. To ease it for you, we have listed some of the most prominent plus points of Ruby on Rails.
Speed is the biggest competitive advantage of RoR. Rails is developed to support rapid application development(RAD). The Modal View Controller (MVC) in ROR is beautifully implemented and it focuses on (DRY) Don’t Repeat Yourself. These principles reduce the time consumed on app development and help programmers work at fast pace. Availability of good testing frameworks also helps in bug fixing. The ease of accommodating changes makes Rails the best pic for fast application development.
The code in rails is more like read as you go type. If properly written, the code needs very less documentation. This means that it is easier for new developers to catch-up on the project and start working. The self-documentary feature saves developers time spent in writing documentations.
Agile is the use of incremental, iterative and empirical processes to respond to project uncertainties. There is a wide gap between the thinking of a developer and the client, on how development works. Agile methodology is the way to improve communication and handle changing client’s requirements in real time. It is an alternative approach to traditional sequential development.
Rails is built on a completely open source platform. The combination of Linux and Ruby (both open source) provide great incentives for start-ups as they are always tight on budget. Since Rails and most of its libraries are open source, there are no costs involved in licensing. Not to forget, savings in development time are also cost cuts.
The only two downsides of Rails are the lack of experienced professionals and compatibility issues. Finding an experienced programmer is difficult as there are very few techies who are good with Rails. Many experienced professionals in Java and PHP have still not adopted RoR completely. ROR is developing at a very fast speed and its techie friendly nature aligns with the skilled developer's mindset.
RoR is much more resource intensive as compared to PHP thus many hosts are yet to develop support for it. Rails is usually not a good bet for low-end shared hosts. But this by no means is an end in itself. Heroku and EngineYard are among the best hosts providing such services. Alternatively, you can host it on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) with Amazon EC2, Rackspace, or Linode. You can then enjoy complete control over your server and can allocate resources to your application as needed.