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What Is Ruby on Rails Used For?

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Ruby on Rails is a framework using a general-purpose programming language (Ruby), which is one of the most popular options available.

If you hire Ruby on Rails developers, they’ll normally use it to:

  • Create online stores with advanced buying and browsing.
  • Design social networking and stock marketing platforms.
  • Develop SaaS solutions and applications.

The web app is designed to consolidate the coding process of building a new app and offers a productivity rate of up to 2.5 times higher than Java.

Let’s look at how Ruby on Rails works, what it’s good at, and some pointers to help you pick between Ruby on Rails versus Node.js.

What Does Ruby on Rails Do?

Ruby on Rails–Rails for short–provides a structure for web developers to construct and edit all the codes that feed into an application.

Why is Ruby on Rails Important?

The concept is to simplify each component, streamline the programming process, and predict requirements. Rails needs less coding than competitor frameworks but offers a big dose of capability. That prediction method works via opinionated software–it assumes the best way to achieve something and signposts a developer down the right route.

How Does Ruby on Rails Work?

Without getting deep into the technicalities, Rails uses a basic architecture called MVC (Model, View, and Controller).

  • The model is the lowest part of the pattern that manages the app data, receiving user input.
  • The view displays the data (or some of it) in the selected presentation layout.
  • The controller is the software code that performs interactions and responds to user input.

The advantage of MVC is that it achieves separation of concern. The app is essentially split into different functions, and a developer can work on each element independently or concurrently. Most web, mobile, and desktop apps are built on MVC as a standard structure. It aids in faster development, makes it easy to update and debug an app, and allows multiple developers to collaborate.

When is Ruby on Rails Used?

The easy-build features and open-source framework make Rails one of the most popular options for dynamic app development. Some predominant uses include creating digital storefronts, stock management, and social networking. 

By usage volume, you’ll find Rails behind the following proportion of all apps:

  • Business and industry: 10.14%
  • Arts and entertainment: 3.72%
  • Retail: 2.56%
  • Internet and telecoms: 2.53%
  • Other industries: 81.05%

One of the big positives is that Rails is open-source: anybody can download the source code and make contributions if they see a way to improve a feature. The large community of highly skilled developers continues to develop freebie add-ons you can choose to integrate, so it’s feature-rich.

Which Global Brands Use Ruby on Rails?

Let’s look at some of the brands you’re likely familiar with and how they leverage Rails to operate their apps.

  • Airbnb: an online accommodation marketplace that allows users to find, book, and list properties in any destination worldwide. Airbnb operates in 191 countries and 65,000 cities.
  • Basecamp: this project management system is used by businesses to track work, set deadlines, share updates, and handle team collaborations remotely. One of the Basecamp programmers, David Heinemeier Hansson, was also the creator of the Rails framework.
  • GitHub: a platform for developers to review or host code, track projects, and build software apps with other developers, facilitating international collaborations with over 66 million active projects.
  • SoundCloud: the digital music platform used to promote, upload, record, or share original music and tracks–often a place where industry experts discover raw demos and new podcasts or performers.
  • Slideshare: this slide-hosting app is used throughout education and web conferencing, supporting webinars, videos, PDFs, and documents. Users can share, view, rate, and comment on the content. LinkedIn bought out Slideshare in 2012 and has ramped up 70 million users.

Here, we’ve listed just a snippet of the brands that use Rails as the background web development framework to offer functional, scaleable, high-powered apps catering to huge user bases. Other apps built on Rails include Crazy Egg, Shopify, GoodReads, and Hulu, so if you decide that Ruby on Rails is the right solution for your new web application, you’ll certainly be in good company! 

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