What is Ruby on Rails used for?

Whether you are an established developer or just learning the art of web development, you might have heard of Ruby on Rails. The clients who want their website to be developed and heard about Ruby on Rails, often asks questions about it. They want to know the reason for opting Ruby on Rails over other languages and frameworks. We can tell you that Ruby on Rails is actually not a language, it is a technology for web developers.

So, before jumping into the reasons for using or the advantages of Ruby on Rails, let’s check out, what Ruby on Rails really is-

What is Ruby on Rails?

Rails is basically a development framework. A framework represents a tool or a platform in which developers get to write, compile and publish their codes. The Rails framework provides the ease of development to the developers abstracting the common repetitive tasks, such as creating forms or building menus. This makes the development process as smooth and simple.

Rails framework is written in the Ruby language. Ruby language is meant to be used on the Rails framework, just like PHP can be used for Zend or Symphony frameworks. Web developers can find the code from the libraries of the framework common tasks and can create an object of the code chunk and use it. They do not have to write everything from the scratch.

Ruby on Rails offers flexibility to the developers to keep their code clean, organized, simple and less prone to bugs generated from coding mistakes.

Why should developers choose Ruby on Rails over other web programming languages?

Experts say Ruby as a language is not that beneficial without the Rails framework. But, the author of the Rails framework chose Ruby as its ‘on the top’ language deliberately. He knew the power of Ruby. It can make the life of the developers easy as well as the code they write more lively. So, let’s check out the advantages of Ruby on Rails and how Ruby with its Rails framework can make a significant difference in the programming world-

* Ease of Use – In the Ruby language, you do not have to make anything sacred. That means you can call a string just as you define an object or an integer, write a line of code for error messages as if you were writing it in simple English. For example:

“1”.to_i
#=> 1

class String
def to_i
raise ‘foobar’
end
end

“1”.to_i
#=> RuntimeError: foobar

Also, you have overridden an existing class with this simple 5 lines of code and showed error message as well.

* Versatile

According to the best developers around the world, Ruby is quite a versatile language. You can do anything with Ruby that you can imagine of. It gives you the flexibility to use the classes and override their behavior as you like. Below is such an example:

class String
def to_i
self.to_f – 1.13
end
end

“2”.to_i
#=> 0.8700000000000001

* Elimination of Lame and Repetitive Tasks

By ‘lame’, we mean same tasks which have to be done many times all over the application. For example, certain database communications, processing of the Ajax updates, and handling of page layouts have to be done many times while you are developing a web application. These repetitive tasks can be done easily with Ruby on Rails. It provides templates and plugins that encapsulate the internal code for this task and you can call them wherever you want.

* Awesome Community

One of the most important benefits of Ruby on Rails is the community behind it. You can get best practices of coding, continuous help from expert coders and learn so many new ways to do a certain job done by the community itself.

For a beginner, learning to build a complete web application can be daunting. But, Ruby on Rails make it easier for the developers. Also, the application that is built with this robust and flexible language framework, is faster, easier to debug and well built within a smaller time-frame. It reduces both time and cost of developing a heavy-weight web application.