At Koombea we believe that the Ruby on Rails (RoR) framework is one of the best alternatives these days to build great apps. In fact, we like it so much that in this post we explain why RoR is a great web and mobile app development framework.
In a previous post I discussed three features that explained some of the most important uses of Ruby. I mentioned how it was a great ally for achieving reduced development timelines, sharing knowledge, and helping companies scale. In this post I will continue the discussion along those same lines in order to show why the world’s greatest apps are developed using Ruby on Rails. This time I will consider three of its strongest characteristics and explain how they help position it as a strong app framework. These are its active community, its project diversity, and its maturity.
I will never get bored of highlighting how important Ruby’s community is. Since it was released, more than 15 years ago, one of RoR’s main features has been its appeal to a dedicated and active community of developers. The community’s active involvement shows not only that it cares about maintaining RoR, but also that it wants it to keep evolving and becoming better. Few coding frameworks and languages can brag about this.
Two examples of the community’s proactivity are Ruby’s own website and the RubyGems platform. I know the saying goes that you should not judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, we all prefer a book with a nice cover. The same goes with Ruby. Its website is not only easy to navigate, it also looks good and, above all, is useful. Its blog, guides and other sections have relevant content and are constantly being updated to give users the latest news and tools to keep making RoR a state of the art tool for developers.
The same goes for RubyGems, RoR’s gem repository. A ‘gem’ is the name developers have adopted for Ruby software packages. As with its website, that the community is dedicated to sharing and uploading software packages says much about RoR. Developers can easily find solutions to their app development needs.
Like any good coding language, RoR is stronger when it is used for specific industries, like for example web development, one of its strongest markets. However, its scope goes far beyond this. Although its functionalities vary widely depending on the project, most RoR developers focus on industries like eCommerce, FinTech, marketplaces, enterprise software and even backend for mobile apps, amongst others.
Most RoR developers are currently focusing on dynamic web apps. A dynamic web application is one where the content is not static. Instead, it is defined on the server-side of the application. This means that the content is not predefined beforehand, but varies according to each user. Social networks are a great example of dynamic web apps; they deliver content based on the preferences of each individual user. Dynamic web apps will only become more popular in time as personalization becomes the norm for various types of apps and machine learning evolves. It is expected that as this segment grows, RoR’s demand will also grow.
Moving past this segment, one can also observe that RoR has become very popular within the startup community. Some of its benefits like ease of use, scalability, speed, security, and resource-saving potential, help explain why.
Despite its popularity amongst startups, companies that have moved beyond this stage have also found it attractive. Here’s a list of companies that have chosen to build their platforms on RoR:
- Bleacher report
- Shopify (we are a preferred Shopify partner)
After a long evolution, Ruby is now a mature product that has developed its own fan base, but most importantly, maturity has brought stability. This is a very important characteristic that guarantees its future as a great app coding framework.
One of the major concerns regarding coding languages is that they might become obsolete. This is understandable from a business perspective. No one wants to have an app whose code is outdated, or even worse, no one wants to be unable to deliver high value to its users. Luckily, this is not the case with RoR.
RoR’s coming of age means that it has reached a point where it will most likely keep on growing and evolving in a stable way. It appears to have already crossed the threshold of volatility that characterizes many new coding languages. This has been in part thanks to its strong and active community of developers who continuously work to make it better. As a result, one can expect it to keep on reinventing itself in order to adapt to whatever challenges the coding environment might pose.
If you ask me, a language’s resilience is one of its greatest assets, and RoR is resilient enough to meet the industry’s challenges. It has proven many times in the past that it can indeed adapt to changing environments, and there is no reason to believe it will not be able to do so in the future.
Ruby on Rails has generated a great hype since day one. Its resourcefulness and adaptability have only increased since then, making it stronger which each day that passes. One can only expect this trend to be maintained and its positive evolution to speed up.
Ruby is certainly the best at what it does. As long as it keeps focusing on doing the things it has been doing throughout the past decade, it will remain as one of the best alternatives for developing great web and mobile apps.
At Koombea we have +12 years of experience working with Ruby on Rails. Contact us so we can help you build that great app!