Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ruby on Rails - The fast track web application development framework

Ruby on Rails, developed by David Heinemeier Hansson in 2003, is an Open-Source web framework built using Ruby.
The main goal was to enable developers to rapidly develop web applications backed by SQL databases.
Nearly 8 years later, Ruby on Rails has built itself a niche in the IT development world.

Here are some of the advantages for web application using Ruby on Rails Development:

* The framework is entirely built using Ruby, an object oriented language which is also very intuitive and easy to code.
* Ruby on Rails uses the Model View Controller (MVC) software architecture. The main tenet being, separating business logic from user interface (input and presentation).
* Developers spend much less time writing code for the basic functionalities and can concentrate on coding for the specific requirements of client or customer. The same project, that would take weeks, even months to develop using other languages, takes only a few days in Ruby on Rails.
* Ruby on Rails (RoR) follows a Don't Repeat yourself(DRY) rule, wherein, code for a particular functionality is written only once and not repeated at different places. This makes management of code, Debugging and maintaining future versions much easier.
* RoR generates the scaffolding for the Developer that automatically creates a CRUD application (Create new records, Read records, Update records and Delete records).
* The Convention over Configuration principle that is followed in Rails is that RoR makes assumptions about what developer would need by default and creates it; for example, if there is a class called ‘product' in the model, then a table called ‘product' is created by default. Thus the developers do not have to specify every small detail through configuration files. This is a very big time saver and avoids bugs that could be introduced. Of course RoR programming gives the flexibility to modify default behavior in case developer needs to customize.
* Lastly, Ruby on Rails follows the principle of REST (Representational State Transfer) which means every unique URL is a representation of an object, and the contents can be accessed by simple HTTP commands. This provides one of the fastest and standardized ways to develop Web applications.

There are now several web applications built using Ruby on Rails. Here are a few examples -

* Twitter -- The very popular site to pen your thoughts in short sentences used by both individuals and enterprises to be in touch with the world.
* Yellow Pages --a service that helps you search online for contact information of businesses.
* Scribd -- A site where you can read, print, also upload books and documents online.
* Shopify -- An Ecommerce site that helps you create your own online store.

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