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Ruby on Rails vs Node js: Assessing Two Popular Technologies


July 10, 2023

Category Node, JavaScript

As technology advances, selecting the right frontend and backend tools becomes more important and confusing. Especially when it comes to backend technologies, there are multiple choices available of which two names are quite popular and in constant comparison – Ruby on Rails vs Node js.

Both these technologies have been garnering rave reviews from the IT fraternity and are well-accepted all over. Node.js is more of a runtime environment that helps users in converting the client-side code to server-side.

This article discusses the pros and cons, the alternatives, and the differences between them, to assist in taking the final call. Before we investigate further details, let us have a fleeting glance at their overall characteristics.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Rails is a full-stack framework. It ships with all the tools needed to build amazing web apps on both the front and back end. It compresses the complexity of modern web apps.

Ruby on Rails is often referred to as Rails. It is an MVC and web application framework that is written in Ruby. It offers default structures for web applications, web servers, and databases. It makes the best use of web standards like XML or JSON for transferring data, HTML, and CSS for UI and styling. It has a short, clear, and flexible syntax.

It leverages software engineering patterns including Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY), Convention over Configuration (COC), etc., and showcases code efficacy and high speed with features such as database table creation and migration, scaffolding of views, etc. Rails is known for database-related MVC web applications, data computing, routine management, etc.

What is Node js?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine.

It is a popular JavaScript framework that writes JS on the client side as well as the server side and helps big time in the creation of scalable network apps. It is event-driven, asynchronous, light-weighted, effective, and follows a non-blocking process. The server-side runtime is a real-time JavaScript application that works across operating systems.

Hence Node.js application development is ideal for applications that are data intensified across different devices. It is single-threaded and can be installed on various platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux. It makes use of an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model. It is light weighted and ideal for data-intensive, real-time apps that execute through different devices.


Ruby on Rails vs Node.js: The Pros and Cons

Pros of Ruby on Rails:

  • Reduced development time
  • Cost-effective and saves on licensing fees
  • Extensive community support
  • Fewer errors with smooth production
  • Easy to learn for novices
  • Highly secure, with Rapid Application Development
  • Abides by standards and regulations
  • Follows MVC architecture
  • Active Record pattern
  • Convention over configuration
  • Automated deployment to the server
  • Enriched libraries and gems
  • Huge infrastructure with inbuilt web server
  • High-end code quality

Cons of Ruby on Rails:

  • Not fit for complicated applications
  • Less flexible and scalable
  • Slower as compared to others
  • Lack of a static typing system

Pros of Node.js:

  • Freedom to code your own way
  • Non-blocking I/O system
  • Easy to learn for novices
  • Faster response time with no code re-execution
  • Writes frontend and backend in JavaScript
  • Fast engine support with high-speed code
  • More scalable, easier, and faster development
  • Knowledge of JavaScript sufficient for the creation of effective apps
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Connected community support
  • Smooth JSON support
  • Extendable to suit project needs
  • Faster Microservices development
  • Modular and reusable code

Cons of Node.js:

  • The constant change in API
  • Not fit for CPU-intensive tasks
  • Difficult security issues
  • Few poor-quality packages in the npm repository

Node.js vs Ruby on Rails: Key Alternatives

Ruby on Rails Alternatives:

Django, Laravel, Sinatra, Express.js, Hanami, Yii, Laravel, Symfony, ASP.Net, Restify, Flask, Koa, Phoenix, AdonisJs, etc.

Node js Alternatives:

Some of the Node js alternatives are Python, Deno, Java, ASP .NET Core, Ruby on Rails, Ext JS, AngularJS, Elixir, Perl, Go, Ruby, Rebol, Ceylon, etc.

Good Read: Top 10 Node.js Alternatives Gaining Traction In 2023-24

Organizations Using Ruby on Rails and Node.js

Companies That Use Node.js:

NASA, Twitter, Netflix, eBay, Trello, PayPal, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Walmart, Uber, New York Times, Medium, Hapi, Yahoo!, GoDaddy, Twitter, Citibank, Capital One, etc.

Companies That Use Ruby on Rails:

GitHub, Hulu, Dribble, Basecamp, Airbnb, SlideShare, Couchsurfing, Bloomberg, Fiverr, Shopify, Kickstarter, Zendesk, Groupon, Coinbase, Square, Netguru, Heroku, etc.

Ruby on Rails vs Node js: The Clash of the Backend Tools

Parameters Ruby on Rails Node.js
Overview A Ruby-based development framework, best fit for developing a complex and large application. Offers quick development of web apps and websites with Ruby. A JavaScript runtime framework, best fit for developing a fast application. Offers fast and scalable network applications with Chrome’s JavaScript runtime engine.
Programming Language Ruby JavaScript
Use Cases eCommerce and social networking apps, content management systems, SaaS-based projects, database-driven projects, MVPs, cloud apps with complicated databases, web apps, prototypes Collaborative tools, data streaming web apps, real-time chat apps, social media apps, single page apps, publishing apps, eLearning platforms, Microservices, IoT-based apps, API development, games
Application Development Backend application development Frontend and backend application development
Number of Threads Multi-threaded, hence more responsive and user friendly Single-threaded, hence faster in execution
Type of Framework Opinionated with less control Non-opinionated with more control
Development Time Faster with fewer commands Slower with more lines of code
Performance Slower than Node.js because of the time-consuming garbage collection process Faster than Rails because of a conducive environment for smaller tasks
Scalability Not as scalable as Nodejs since it needs a lot of resources and hence cannot scale resources as per need, with ease. More scalable than Rails because of the non-blocking I/O model and clusters with abstractions that can spawn processes with minimal CPUs.
Installation Needs a lot of generators for installation Easy to install with some archive files
Learning Curve Easy to learn but needs knowledge of objects, classes, etc. Easier to learn, flexible and understandable
Application Architecture Developers can use MVC architecture Developers can use MVC/MVP architecture
Testing Capabilities Inbuilt testing system and hence simple and effective testing Lot of third-party libraries and hence helps in effective testing
Deployment Rails is speedy and light and hence tasks can be performed in no time Node.js may take little time for integration and searching modules
CPU Intensive Tasks Fit for CPU-intensive tasks such as data processing, image processing, and RAD – Rapid Application Development. Will cause a hung of web applications when handling CPU-intensive tasks as it uses a single thread. It will take a long time.
Resource Availability Difficult to get access to good Rails resources as very few have detailed knowledge about RoR Easy to get access to good Node resources as there are many with experience in Node.js

Ruby on Rails vs Node JS – When to Use What?

You can select RoR when:

  • There is a need to create full-stack applications, eCommerce/social media platforms with more traffic, content management systems, informational apps
  • You want to implement MVP
  • You want to create a SaaS platform with multiple APIs
  • Rapid Application Development is significant
  • CPU-intensive tasks are a priority
  • You wish to create a stock exchange platform

You can select Node js when:

  • There is a need to create web applications for streaming content, single page applications, web apps with data processing competencies
  • You want to build a real-time multiuser web application, browser-based game apps
  • There is a need for real-time apps like messengers, online games, collaborative apps
  • Performance and scalability are important
  • There is a need for REST API development
  • There is the management of hundreds of concurrent requests

Which one is Better? Ruby on Rails or Node js

As you compare Ruby on Rails vs Node js, both Node.js and Ruby on Rails are powerful frameworks for applications and websites. It is a tough call to make when one of them must be finalized. Organizations must look at their own project scenario, business models, resource availability, costs involved, project deadlines, etc. before taking the final decision.

The above criteria could be of great help while deciding on the choice, based on the available situations. It also depends upon the strength of your organization in terms of a number of years of experience and resources. Both these technologies – Ruby on Rails vs Node.js have their own pros and cons to showcase. What really matters is the support and proficiency that you get from experienced IT partners to carry on your assigned software development tasks.

As a leading Node JS development company, SPEC INDIA makes skilled talents easily accessible to global businesses that want to enhance their marketability and accomplish their objective. We are your one-stop shop for providing enterprise-grade, performant web, and mobile solutions.

Our NodeJS developers are apt at exhibiting the best of industry and technology standards, offering the finest Node JS application development, be it any kind of project execution methodology. Hire Node JS developer from SPEC INDIA to acquire maximum potential from the Node.js framework with expertise drawn from years of experience.

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