Pros and Cons of Using Ruby on Rails for your Minimum Viable Product

When you decide to build a new software product, you need to choose the programming languages, frameworks, and tools to bring it to reality. It is particularly applicable to the server-side of your future web app.

Why is it so important? The thing is that the back-end technology is responsible for your app’s performance, its updates, and changes.

If you are at a loss over what technology to choose for your future product, consider using the Ruby on Rails framework.

This technology is a good choice when it comes to building server-side web applications.

The most popular websites built with its help are Airbnb, Shopify, Fiverr, GitHub, and Basecamp.

In this blog post, we will define the main pros and cons of this framework so that you can understand whether it is a suitable option for your MVP.

Advantages of Ruby on Rails

1. Fast Development

Ruby on Rails usage shortens the development time by 20-25% if we compare it to other popular back-end technologies.

This quality makes RoR a good choice for building Minimum Viable Products where development speed is one of the key factors, and only basic functionality should be implemented.

The fewer lines of code, the lean code base, and modular structure speed up the development time significantly.

Another strong benefit of the Ruby on Rails framework is a great number of gems. These free open-source libraries extend or modify the existing functionality.

Apart from that, gems offer solutions to basically all common issues. 

According to the latest data, there are over 167,582 gems that have been downloaded 79,780,460,957 times.

2. Security

Advanced security is a strong point of the RoR framework. Owing to out-of-the-box mechanisms, RoR protects web apps against the following common threats:

  • Cross-Site Request Forgery;
  • SQL Injection;
  • Forceful Browsing.

Apart from that, Ruby on Rails developers take specific measures to secure users’ sessions. These actions are covered thoroughly in their Security Guide.

Finally, Ruby on Rails provides a transparent policy for reporting vulnerabilities. It also clarifies how to get updates when patches fixing these vulnerabilities are released.

3. Strong Community

Ruby on Rails is noted for its strong community. Since 2004, its active members have been contributing to technology development and improvement. 

The framework has a great time of long-term contributors. These professionals are responsible for release management and pull-request evaluation.

In addition, they do the groundwork on the key new functionality.

Apart from that, enthusiastic community members create detailed technical guides, manuals, and lessons. They often host conferences and workshops. 

Ruby Conferences offers a list of the past and upcoming conferences, both online and offline.

4. Compatibility with Front-End Frameworks

Today we are witnessing the rise of such front-end technologies as React, Vue, and Angular. Easy integration makes it easy to match Ruby on Rails with mentioned frameworks.

You can take any front-end framework to your taste and build frozen-end components of your minimum viable product with the least effort.

5. Simplicity in Use

The core idea behind the Ruby on Rails framework lies in helping developers become more productive.

To achieve this goal, David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of RoR aimed to make it as simple as possible. He succeeded in this task, we should say.

Ruby on Rails is noted for its simple, concise, and very flexible syntax. That simplicity helps developers complete more tasks with less code.

Besides, since RoR development supposes writing fewer lines of code, the process of building an MVP is getting much faster.

Finally, Ruby on Rails also has a readable syntax. Thanks to this quality, developers avoid adding comments for most code that has been created.

As a result, newcomers can easily read the code of their predecessors and take up the project any time.

Be aware that apart from the clear benefits that cannot be denied, Ruby on Rails has its drawbacks as well.

Take them into account when choosing this framework for building the server-side of your app.

Disadvantages of Ruby

1. Runtime Speed and Performance

Pretty often these two parameters define a web app’s success.

The great ability of applications available makes users more demanding. They don’t want to wait and choose those solutions that load instantly.

Google study shows that each second delay reduces the number of page views.

Until recently, the runtime speed of Rails left much to be desired. Surely, the framework’s performance was enough for small applications without millions of users.

However, when dealing with complex solutions, providing high runtime speed was sometimes quite a challenge.

Luckily the Ruby on Rails 6.1 version released in December 2020 addressed this issue. 

For example, developers improved multiple simultaneous database connections. This important feature appeared in the previous Ruby on Rails version 6.0, which was released in August 2019.

It can boost performance by allowing developers to use two databases to switch between them.

2. Insufficient Flexibility

If you want to build a web application with some generic functionality, the RoR framework will suit you well. However, its default, set objects make it difficult to build something unique.

So when choosing the most relevant framework for your minimum viable product, think carefully about the core elements you are going to build. Define whether they are standard or unique ones.

3. Decrease in Popularity

In terms of popularity, Ruby on Rails is easily outplayed by Laravel for PHP and Django, which is a Python framework.

This fact is proved by the recent data provided by Google Trends. The statistics show a lack of interest in the RoR framework in comparison with other mentioned technologies.

Conclusion

Ruby on Rails is a powerful back-end framework that allows building reliable and secure applications quickly and effortlessly. 

It is not a coincidence that such big names as Airbnb, Fiverr, Shopify, and Github use this technology to build their websites.

Therefore, even though this framework has both pros and cons, Ruby on Rails is a great choice to build a minimum viable product.

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