Advantages and Disadvantages of Ruby on Rails

When you are in the market for building an application, choosing the right framework and tools makes all the difference. There are lots of technology stacks to choose from, like Python, Java, PHP, Ruby and several more for back end development. It is important to know more about the pros and cons of each of the frameworks to know which one would be suitable for your application. 

In this article we will be talking about Ruby and Ruby on Rails. 


Ruby is a programming language developed in the 1990s and the main purpose of the framework was to deliver applications with high performance. The programming language was named after the gem, Ruby by Yukhiro Matsumoto. Ruby on Rails or RoR was launched in 2004, and became instantly popular. The performance level of RoR impressed everyone that Python and PHP also copied this principle in their frameworks. 

Ruby on Rails was intended for fast software development, and is hence often called the startup technology. Operating on the MVC model or the Model-View-Controller, the framework was the first of its kind when it was first developed. 

MVC model

  • M – Model, which is for handling data and business logic 
  • V- Views for the graphical user interface objects and presentations
  • C – Controllers for handling user interface and application

It happens in this way:

The browser sends the request for a page to the Controller on the server

The Controller responds to the request and retrieves the data from the Models

The Controller sends the data to the View

The View is rendered and the result is sent back to the user’s browser for display

Noted facts about the framework:

RoR speeded up app development greatly, and the ease with which web application development was done was remarkable. 

A major milestone about RoR was when Apple incorporated the framework as its default install in their Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard , which was launched in 2006. 

RoR is an open source framework that focuses on simplicity and refined output.

Many companies adopted RoR like GitHub, Dribble Airbnb, Groupon and so on.  Even so, it is important to know about the pros and cons of the framework before deciding if it is the right one for you. 

1. The app code is cleaner with fewer bugs

RoR follows a certain principle that states that every code snippet has a single, authoritative and unambiguous submission within the system. This makes the app code cleaner and with fewer bugs. Developers find it extremely easy to restructure or refactor the code.

2. Much more secure 

Cybersecurity issues are a serious thing that threaten the very fiber of businesses. If you look at the recent statistics citing cybercrime, you would be appalled. Hence, it is important to choose a technology that protects the security and safety of your businesses. RoR has built in mechanisms that protect against such vulnerabilities and other common threats. 

3. Has an extensive ecosystem

RoR has a superior ecosystem that allows excellent solutions for developers and aids in streamlining the development procedure. The community’s gem hosting services allows access to a number of ‘gems’ that could be add-ons, libraries, snippets and so on. 

4. Excellent time-saving framework

RoR is integrated with so many tools that can accelerate and simplify the coding experience of developers. The framework itself is an easy one to master, to understand and unlock the true capabilities will take some time. But once that is done, it improves the effectiveness and the speed at which app development is done. The community is also pretty impressive and fast, so there will always be some new tools to try and experiment with. 

5. An impressive array of tools and libraries

Ruby on Rails is named after a gem, and so you can expect several community-created gems in their libraries. There are so many tools that you can experiment with, to help improve the over software design experience. There are tools you can use in debugging, some for optimisation, some for testing your product and so on. 

6. Has impressive backing of web standards

RoR is pretty well known for its excellent strong adherence to standards and cater to certain software design paradigms. Examples could be Coding by Convention, DRY and Active record pattern (this is a specific way of handling and managing the data in the database) 

7. Has the best Industry standards

RoR is believed to be an opinionated framework, and it guides the developer into their way of doing things. One of the main pillars of the framework is the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle, which entails a clear separation of concerns and maintainability of the application. If you want to scale your application, you can easily do that and extend the same with new features and business logic. Did you know that GitHub, one of the largest repositories of source code in the world, is managed with ease through the RoR framework? It has a complex architecture that the framework manages without a glitch. 

8. The speed of development is amazing

RoR has a well-developed system of modules , an efficient package management system and these allows the scaffolding of complex applications in a matter of minutes. 

The expressive and concise nature of Ruby and access to several open source libraries makes it possible for quick application development and prototyping. Developers can easily put application and data logic together to deploy a completely functional prototype and later, improve on that and expand with new features later on. 

If RoR is so good, what are the cons of the framework?

1. Slow Runtime speed and performance

It is the slow runtime speed of the framework that makes it harder to scale your applications when compared to other frameworks like Node.js and Django. So if you have a very skilled engineering team you can solve the performance issues and of Cours, the server or database architecture. 

2. Not easy to fix structural deficiencies

Since Rails is an open framework and the components are tightly coupled and dependent on each other, wrong architectural decisions can lead to serious problems.

3. Opinionated, but not flexible

RoR has a lot of hard dependencies and modules, but it still isn’t flexible. Developers can configure routing, data migrations and other default modules, so they would be good if you are okay with the default modules, but when you have to create something unique, Ruby wouldn’t be a good choice. There isn’t a lot of room for creativity. 

Ruby is continuously evolving, and changes happen to the tools and libraries as well. While old features are being improved upon, new ones are created and so the developers have to be regulars in the community in order to stay updated. 

4. Documentation

It might be a little tough to get good documentation for the less used gems and libraries. You may be left with a test suite that acts as documentation, and that may not be enough when you need written documentation. 


RoR has definitely earned a positive reputation over the years, and a lot of huge projects still depend on the framework. 

The framework is just perfect for creating prototypes, MVPs, small and medium sized websites. So while it still has its pros and cons, it can still allow startups to launch their products quickly, so long as you stay within the limits of what it is designed for. 

Interesting links:

Pros and Cons of Ruby on Rails
More information about Ruby on Rails

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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