Technologies evolve rapidly. Web application technologies, in particular, are growing at a high speed both in numbers as well as in features. This trend makes it very difficult to choose a particular technology to suit a particular web requirement. Some of the key features that technology must meet are:
- ease of use and installation
- learning curve
- ability to scale up
- availability of learning resources
- efficient documentation.
Oftentimes, when a new project is being developed, the team chooses the most popular or the absolutely latest programming language. They may or may not even consider other lesser-known languages that may be more apt for their requirement. Ruby has an array of distinguishing features that makes it rise above its peers as a choice for building new web products.
Ruby, developed in 1995 by Yukihiro Matsumoto, really gained momentum as a full-fledged programming language in 2004 when it was integrated with the Rails framework. Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. Rails is a server-side web application framework that uses the Ruby programming language. The Rails framework comprises a wide range of tools to simplify the process of creating a new product.
Ruby on Rails gained its fame in 2005 when David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) was working on a project management tool called Basecamp, during which he envisioned a controlling library over the programming language Ruby. This was how the Rails framework originated. This framework was eventually made extensible, flexible, and made available as an open source web app framework for programmers. Its ease of use and speed of development made it quickly popular among the development community for web app programming. Check out more insights on Ruby on Rails development.
The Ruby on Rails (RoR) framework reached its peak when Apple Inc. launched Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard” in 2006 which included RoR in its default installation. This boosted the popularity of Rails immensely.
In this article, we will discuss the principles on which this framework rests, and some of the advantages of this framework.
Basic Principles of Ruby on Rails
The Ruby on Rails framework follows the MVC design principle structure, comprising the Model, View and Controller structures.
- The Model contains the main logic of the application, high level classes, and all the essential data.
- The View module is the UI representation of the data present in the Model. The View module provides the interface using which the users interact with the application.
- The Controller module connects the Model and the View modules. It receives input and makes decisions about how to process the input, and make the results available to the user through the View module.
The framework follows two major design principles that focus on simplicity and ease of use.
- Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): “Every piece of logic must have a single, unambiguous representation within a system” (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_repeat_yourself ). This means that it focuses on avoiding redundant parts in the application, which may lead to chaos in the code and slowing down development. The RoR framework discourages the user from writing the same piece of code multiple times. This makes the code lean, efficient, and less prone to bugs.
- Convention over Configuration (CoC): The aim of this principle is to cut down on development time and costs of shipping the code. RoR contains native functions and high level classes, procedures, and routines that are reusable. These common underlying procedures make it easy for the developer to reuse the code, thus reducing the time to develop the product.
Benefits of the Ruby on Rails Framework
Owing to the architecture of RoR and the design principles on which it is based, there are many advantages in using Ruby on Rails to develop web applications.
Simplicity: Ruby on Rails provides its users with a simple and easy to read syntax. This enables the developer to understand the framework faster and be productive using it. RoR reduces the learning curve for a beginner.
Shorter time to develop: RoR is a dynamic and object oriented framework that has many inbuilt functions, free open-source libraries called Gems, universal variables, and reusable code which help speed up development at a low cost.
Security: Ruby on Rails has unique, inbuilt security mechanisms that make it well equipped to resist any cyber security threats and attacks such as Cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, Cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and Forceful Browsing to name a few. This helps develop secure code faster.
Budget friendly: RoR is a free, and open-source framework. Anyone can use this framework for free for any purpose whatsoever. This brings down tool costs for development since nothing can beat free.
OS agnostic: RoR runs on a wide range of platforms such as Linux, Mac, and Windows. This reduces the cost of acquiring and maintaining product licenses thus slicing down project costs considerably.
Enhanced code quality: RoR not only shortens development time, and makes it cost effective, but it also ensures high code quality. This is possible because of the high quality code procedures and reusable libraries that Ruby on Rails contains. Incorporating these well tested, robust, built-in classes and libraries ensure code quality and lesser product defects in the product. This, in turn, enables rapid releases as the time to test and release the product is considerably shortened.
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a versatile tool for developing a vast array of solutions across a wide range of industries such as eCommerce, social media networks, blogs, real estate, healthcare, sports, and retail, to name a few.