Choosing the right technology is the most difficult task for any businesses. For that matter, most of us opt for consulting advice from the experts. Selecting the correct platform is essential as it can make or drop your online venture. To help you with this, we are here to compare these two languages: Node JS and Ruby on Rails.
Node.js and Ruby on Rails are popular server-side technologies that can do many different things. Both the solutions are being appreciated because of their simplicity, speed, and easy code maintenance; they are often put in the comparison list and are good alternatives to Python, Java, PHP or .NET, etc.
Ruby on Rails was appreciated for its simple and readable, English-like syntax, when it was first introduced. However, RoR’s popularity has been slowly decreasing over the past few years. And even though the decreasing of RoR is rather slow, we can notice that every time it tries to recover after its minor declines, it rarely gets back to the previous level.
Node.js, on the other hand, always noticed to be at its best – and it’s higher than Ruby on Rails!
Companies are switching to Node. JS
Ruby on Rails was originally used for building famous software products, such as Basecamp, Twitter, Netflix, Slideshare, Kickstarter, Airbnb, Github, and many more.
Many of them, however, are now gradually migrating to Node.js like Twitter, Netflix, just to mention few.
Let’s analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both!
Pros of Node.JS
The same language on client and server-side makes Node.js applications faster than any other that utilizes different languages. Also, writing web applications in Node.js, using JS from back- to front-end is an optimization factor that may shorten time-to-market and make the future maintenance easier.
- It’s fast
Node.js is based on one of the fastest engines – Google’s V8. The speed of code execution is also enhanced by runtime environment as it supports the non-blocking I/O operations. Node.js is capable enough to demonstrate really high runtime speed giving much faster coding experiences to the developers. Thankfully, Node.js apps are quick to develop and they serve the same amount of traffic with less hardware.
- It’s lightweight
Node.js is lightweight both for in-memory usage and data-dense real-time web applications that work on multiple devices. As it requires a relatively small amount of computing resources, it is not only fast (as mentioned above), but also more accessible for users.
- It’s scalable
There are three reasons that stand for Node JS development services scalability: it is one of the technologies natively managed by AWS, it can be simply broken down into micro services, and it includes an event-based model.
Scalability makes Node a good choice for applications that are expected to quickly grow the number of users.
- Easy working with large files
Thanks to Node’s stream modules, it is easy to handle large files. Streams are basically the collection of data – just like arrays or strings. Unlike them, streams don’t need to be available all at once. Thanks to that, they don’t have to “fit” in the memory limits – and that’s like a holy grail for the challenges of handling large amounts of data!
- It handles the requests simultaneously
The ability to handle the requests makes Node a perfect place for real-time web app development such as chats, games or collaborating tools. With Node.js, multiple users can be editing the same file, moving tasks among the boards, commenting, adding media files – all at a time.
- It is growing really fast!
A new version is released every 6 months, there is a great choice of open-source scripts, libraries, and applications supporting Node.js, and there is a wide range of hosting options and built-in server support. Also, the community of developer for Node.js is getting larger and bigger each day.
Cons of Node.JS
- No multithreading
Even though it is able to handle the requests simultaneously, we need to remember that there is no multithreading. If a real-time Node.js application is not implemented correctly, the callbacks may slow it down. When implemented correctly, however, it’s not a con anymore.
Node.js has been noticed for changing API at frequent intervals. Is it a serious issue? Well, when the API changes, developers need to make changes to the existing code base to make it compatible with the latest version of the Node.js API.
Pros of Ruby on Rails
- Speed of development
The Convention Over Configuration approach allows developers to start working on the actual products as soon as possible – with as little time spent on configuring the environment as possible. This is not only convenient for the developers but it also contributes directly to shorter time-to-market. That’s right! Ruby on Rails comes in handy if you want to build your app very fast and verify your startup ideas on the market. Once there are users, you can collect feedback, watch their behavior, verify your early assumptions and set the right path for further development.
- Simple, English-like syntax
It is often said that if you speak English, you are able to understand Ruby. While it is not literally the truth (sorry, some level of understanding of the whole concept of programming will be useful anyway), it is true that Ruby’s “natural, English-like” syntax is easy to read and easy to write.
- Good community around it
Rails is an open-source web application framework supported by an active and supportive community of developers. Not only are they able to help each other when they face some challenges, but they also ensure that the Rails framework is regularly updated, bugs are fixed, and security issues are up-to-date with the industry standards.
It’s an open-source solution with a rich set of gems
In Ruby on Rails, Gems are the libraries with specific functionalities that allow its users to extend and to build custom software and app solutions. As everyone can create one, there are thousands of them available, serving different purposes – from authentication and authorization to payments processing and testing.
Cons of Ruby on Rails
- Low performance
Let’s face the truth – Ruby on Rails is not a speed demon. As it’s not really an issue when you release the first version of your product, the problem will grow proportionally to your users’ database.
RoR’s defenders claim that in most cases, the performance issues of RoR applications depend on the server or database architecture and… the skills of your engineering team – and not on Ruby on Rails itself. Nonetheless, if you don’t work with true and experienced RoR masters in your team, performance issues may arise at some point.
- Low scalability
When you search for some information about RoR applications scalability, you will quickly learn the story of Twitter. Initially built with Ruby on Rails, then switching to Scala to handle their increasing number of user requests. On the other hand, there are apps such as Shopify, Github or Couchsurfing that scaled quite well.
To be fair, there are solutions to make a RoR application scalable. First and foremost, it can’t be a monolith. Microservices scale better, regardless of the technology. Then, there is a set of good practices but applying them usually requires a good set of skills and sometimes it’s simply not worth it. Ruby on Rails may be a perfect pick to build your Proof-of-Concept as fast as possible, but it’s much trickier in case of larger projects.
- Slow runtime speed
This point is related both to RoR applications’ scalability and performances. Ruby on Rails is slow compared to its peer platforms. It won’t be a problem if you have a small app but it may affect its scalability in the future.
- Lack of flexibility
Ruby on Rails is considered a very opinionated framework, meaning that it only lets you create your app in a specific way – the one that Rails “wants” you to. Convention over configuration, right? While this approach brings some benefits (especially when you build an app with some standard functionalities), it may be a pain while developing some more unconventional apps, forcing you to to choose between the development time or app’s uniqueness.
Node.js vs Ruby on Rails comparison: which one is a better pick for your app?
The choice of the perfect technology for your project should always start with the assessment of your challenges and needs.
If you are focused on building your application as fast as it can be, you may consider choosing Ruby on Rails. It will be a good choice if your project has tight deadlines and budget requirements. Prior this, always keep in mind, that this decision may have some negative effects when you grows with your app– Ruby on Rails is often criticized for performance and scalability issues. Also, in the long term, it may be heavy in budget to hire a good RoR developer.
If you scale it high and want your app to measure, or if you develop an innovative Mobile app development solutions or web development solutions that requires total control over the framework, modules, database integrations, and server– then the right choice would be to Hire Node.js Certified Developers is the right pick for you. It is quick, lightweight, and scalable. Combined with the way it handles large files and handle multiple requests, it’s a good choice for all real-time apps, chats, streaming applications, or tools.