Ruby vs Ruby on Rails: A Comparative Guide for Developers

Today, developers have a lot of web development frameworks as well as scripting languages to work on. Ruby and Ruby on Rails is one of them. The combination has

Ruby vs Ruby on Rails: A Comparative Guide for Developers

Today, developers have a lot of web development frameworks as well as scripting languages to work on. Ruby and Ruby on Rails is one of them. The combination has been in action since 2004, and now they are very popular with hundreds of communities across the world.

In this guide, you will get a comparison of concepts, features, and differences between Ruby vs Ruby on Rails. As both technologies are different yet, they have some common links as well.

First things First, let’s get started with their introductions:

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a scripting language based on object-oriented concepts. It is a deciphered programming language used to build up a web application at a high pace. It was created by Yukihiro Matsumoto from Japan and released in the year 1995. There are such huge numbers of adaptations that have been discharged for ruby after its underlying discharge. The last steady discharge was 2.5.1 in mid-2018. 

It was written in the C language. Ruby is an open-source, liberated from cost, and effectively accessible. It can bolster various stages like Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac. Ruby has expansions of a record as ‘RB’. Ruby has the highlights of other scripting dialects like Perl, Small talk, and Python. 

Ruby has a clear sentence structure, which is more clear and composed. For the most part, it has a comparable grammar to Perl and C language. There are numerous libraries that have been composed to broaden ruby and it basically underscores testing. 

Like other top programming languages, it iscreated with characteristics like powerful composing and ducks composing, adaptable grammar, legacy, trash assortment, a special case dealing with, over-burdening, lexical terminations, iterators, worked in help, variable degree, custom dispatch conduct, unified administration framework, executed on all stages and broadened library.

Apart from this, Ruby possesses a lot of features to focus on. Let’s talk about them more in this Ruby vs Ruby on Rails guide:

Top Features

  • Mixin

Dissimilar to other scripting languages, Ruby programming exercises on a single yet purposeful inheritance. Ruby scripting language additionally follows the idea of modules called Categories in Objective C.

Modules are assortments of methods. Modules can be ‘mixin’ by classes so that the methods can be accessed flexibly. This is better than various other inheritance properties that are excessively perplexing and prohibitive.

Ruby also utilizes a limited range of functions and syntaxes through a set of keywords. Meaning, it allows flexible naming declarations without any variable representation to signify their scope as local and global.

  • Classes

Ruby is an adaptable language since it allows developers to change a portion of codes uninhibitedly. They can evacuate or reclassify the fundamental code sections according to the requirements. Existing portions can be based upon and Ruby programming models don’t put any limitations on the coders. 

For example, the deduction is performed with a less (- ) operator. If the comprehensible word (-) is to be utilized rather, it very well may be added to the inherent the Numeric class of Ruby programming: 

  1. class Numeric 
  2. def less (x) 
  3. self.- (x) 
  4. end 
  5. end 

Another element of Ruby is its adaptability is known as the Block and is one of the most well-known highlights for developers who have recently attempted basic dialects.

  • Dynamic Typing and Duck Typing

Ruby is a unique scripting language, and so their programs are not compiled. Instead, all the modules, classes, and methods are defined and compiled when the code runs. 

Ruby factors are approximately composed languages, which implies any factor can hold any kind of article. At the point when a technique has approached an item, Ruby just gazes toward the name independent of the kind of article. This is duck composing. It permits you to make classes that claim to be different classes.

Apart from these features, the Ruby language is inherited by object-oriented concepts. So, it will be easy for developers to implement their methods in a hierarchical manner.

Besides these characteristics, Ruby has various benefits for the developers. So, let’s move on to them:

Key Benefits

  • A Priceless Language 

Given its convenient and excellent nature, Ruby programming practice is considered one of the main programming dialects of the world.

Matsumoto mixed his preferred programming dialects to make coding practice, which is a mix of Perl, Ada, Eiffel, Lisp, and Smalltalk. Ruby’s maker looked to frame another dialect that followed reasonably useful yet basic programming. 

  • An Open Source Language 

Ruby coding manners are flexible and furthermore can be utilized, replicated, and adjusted without any problem. Matt (developer of Ruby) likewise took a gander at different dialects to find the perfect punctuation.

He needed a scripting language more impressive than Perl and higher on object direction than Python. Coding with Ruby generally includes analyzing each data or code as an item with its own properties and activities. 

  • Compatibility 

Moving past Ruby, there are unique highlights of different usage in its programming too. 

JRuby is Ruby merged with the JVM or Java Virtual Machine, utilizing the JVM advancing JIT compilers, simultaneous strings, tooling platforms, a huge assortment of libraries, and junk collection.

  1. Ruby in Ruby: Rubinius is worked on LLVM and has a clever virtual machine on which different dialects are additionally being developed 
  2. Ruby with Apple’s Cocoa: MacRuby is just Ruby incorporated firmly with Apple’s Cocoa for Mac OS X clients. You can compose work area applications without breaking a sweat of utilizing it. 
  3. mRuby: This is a lightweight execution of Ruby programming dialects. It offers to connect and install inside the application.

As an open-source scripting language, Ruby can boost the code performance by merging with different technologies.

These benefits play an important role in this Ruby vs Ruby on Rails guide. Since it is only a programming language used for building dynamic web applications, it gives the scope of merging with other technologies. 

Ruby has been a perfect choice for the developers in the past few years. Let’s explore more about it in the pros and cons section explained below.


  • Memory Management & Garbage Collection

Managing memory is one of the core features of Ruby as it also allows users to do it manually. When it comes to analyzing advanced algorithms and utilizing data structures then developers find this feature very fruitful. This overcomes the issue with space vs. time trade-offs.

  • Dependency Management

Ruby programming language possesses another major benefit of managing different functional dependencies. It offers a seamless way to fetch, utilize, and execute them. Developers don’t need to use Ant or Maven, or any other class directories to settle down with additional dependencies.

  • Instant Gratification

Codes and programmers tend to build the most dynamic applications, however, they can execute a project overnight. Fortunately, using this language in Ruby on Rails allows them to write codebases for developing large applications within sufficient time as compared to other programming languages.


  • Syntax Complexity – It is not advisable to neglect syntax errors, even if the interpreter forgets to display it due to a large codebase. Ruby, sometimes, skip these concepts, and developers might get into a bad habit of avoiding these syntaxes. At last, coders give up on the interpreter.
  • Multiple Programming Paradigms – Ruby supports multiple programming paradigms, which is a benefit as well as a disadvantage. The reason behind it is that a developer can end up being confused to relate the codes while forming a module. This might create complexities in their project and they need to overcome them separately, not in just a single paradigm, which might take a lot of time.
  • Shared Mutable State – Despite being object-oriented, every object is mutable in Ruby. Even their primitives attain the same state which might result in software bugs that can go to exceptions in the end.

In comparison to other programming languages, Ruby comes forward with a strong statement of being object-oriented and open-source. It has many interesting properties and advantages that can’t be neglected easily. With multidimensional features, the brilliance of this programming language outshines in today’s era of flexible application development.

top companies using ruby

Moving further, there is a framework called ‘Ruby on Rails’, which is built on Ruby. It will be interesting to know about this framework and explore what is ruby on rails used for, what are its benefits, and how good it is for today’s way of development.

Knowing about this framework is a crucial part of this Ruby vs Ruby on Rails comparative guide. So, let’s get started with it:

What is Ruby on Rails?

Build on the model view controller (MVC) system, Ruby on Rails is popularly known as a web app development framework. Ruby on Rails keeps the information is isolated from a UI and gives you various perspectives on information. Ruby on Rails is utilized for server-side scripting and creating web applications. 

Ruby on Rails presently alluded to as Rails. Ruby on Rails was created by David Heinemeier Hansson and discharged in 2005. The most recent stable discharge is 5.2.0. It was written in the Ruby programming language. 

Creating web applications in ruby on rails has found extraordinary profitability. Ruby on Rails can be utilized to create interface contents. Ruby on Rails can be composed of HTML language in contents and it offers help to TCL/TI also. Ruby on rails can be handily associated with a database and inbuilt capacities can be utilized to assemble ruby contents. 

Ruby on Rails is centered into Modules that are Action Mailer, Action Pack, Active Model, Active Support, Active Record, and Active Resource. Ruby on Rails gives an effective method to build up the applications and simply to communicate the thoughts. 

It follows the ideas of don’t repeat yourself (DRY) and convention over configuration (COC). DRY alludes to not rehash the code or not to compose a similar code over and over. 

The code ought to be elegantly composed, viable, and extensible, with fewer issues and better execution. COC (show over setup) gives us the adaptability not to compose the huge design records instead of this arrangement of default shows that can be utilized.

In accordance with this framework, there is much more to explore in Ruby vs Ruby on Rails comparative guide. First, let’s see its core features utilized by the developers.

Top Features

  • Local Webpacker Support 

Webpacker was presented some time back with the 5.1 variant of Ruby on Rails. It makes utilizing JavaScript preprocessor simpler. 

It works truly well yet it can likewise be utilized for CSS, pictures, text styles, and resources also. Starting now and into the foreseeable future, Sprockets is being supplanted and Webpacker is the default JavaScript bundler for Rails through the new application/javascript catalog. 

Right now, in present-day applications, utilizing customary Ruby on Rails’ perspectives isn’t so regularly any longer. UIs are exceptionally intuitive, there are a lot of dynamic components that need to react truly quick. 

  • Parallel Testing 

The test’s presentation is at long last going to be improved (a great deal!). Presently you can utilize Ruby on Rails to further your potential benefit of running enormous tests a lot quicker. Each testing specialist runs in its own string – it ought to be reflected in the CPU screen. 

As you most likely know, the method of executing tests is significant. Coders can attempt to execute the same number of appropriate tests as they can. It’s extraordinary news for them as more tests will no longer have that quite a bit of an effect on the execution time. 

  • Various Database Support

Another incredible element of up and coming Rails 6.0 is the help for various concurrent database associations. It’s another, straightforward API for getting that going without the need to venture profoundly into Active Record. 

Utilizing different databases split the work process between two replicas that gives a performance increment for scaling. Developers can see different database support as an improvement in building application design.

Apart from this, there is a different set of tooling available in this framework that allows developers to make changes in their projects. Utilizing these features will help them to save huge time in building codebases, minimal resource utilization from 3rd party integrations, and ease of data handling throughout the development.

Moving along in this Ruby vs Ruby on Rails guide, these features resulted in some core benefits of Ruby on Rails. Let’s understand them one-by-one:

Key Benefits

  • Phenomenal Quality and Sans Bug Advancement.

The Minitest apparatus incorporated with the Rails center is an exhaustive test suite that gives numerous helpful testing highlights including desired sentence structure, test benchmarking, and deriding. What’s more, Ruby on Rails empowers test-driven turn of events (TDD) and conduct driven turn of events (BDD) approaches. 

  • Time Efficient Development 

Ruby on Rails contains many instant modules and modules, which permit engineers not to sit around composing standard code. It’s demonstrated that Ruby on Rails groups construct applications 30–40% quicker than groups utilizing other programming dialects and systems. 

  • Community

Ruby on Rails has a multitude of committers that ensure it remains in excellent condition. Since the framework is getting popular among other open-source tools, there are more than 2000 developer communities handling Ruby on Rails. 

It feels like the maintainers (still) genuinely care and need individuals to utilize Ruby on Rails and comprehend its advantages. 

The exploration of this framework in Ruby vs Ruby on Rails guide doesn’t stop here. There are several pros as well as cons of utilizing this framework, which can help you to dig deeper into this framework.

Here are they:


  • Secure Tool

Some security highlights are incorporated with the system and empowered of course. Utilizing Ruby on Rails development additionally implies following the Secure Development Lifecycle, which is a mind-boggling security affirmation process. 

  • Versatile 

On the off chance that you hope to get a lot of clients for your application, you should ensure that it can adapt to the requirements of your audiences. With amazing features and benefits, Ruby on Rails framework can build the most versatile and productive applications.

  • Cost-Effective

Ruby on Rails is an open-source system, which implies you don’t need to burn through cash on the structure itself. It lets you include methods without any additional concepts, so it can spare a lot of designer time and exertion, as well.


  • Runtime Speed and Performance 

Ruby on Rails is its ‘moderate’ runtime speed, which makes it harder to scale your applications. While the facts demonstrate that other top frameworks (Node.js or Django) are comparatively quicker than this system, it is improbable that your application will observe less run-time issues, except if your project isn’t huge as Twitter. 

  • Absence of Flexibility 

Ruby on Rails is an obstinate system with a lot of hard conditions and modules included out of the crate. Its default modules are acceptable for making applications with some standard functionalities.

However, they might repel if you have something different and unique for the project. For this situation, it might be more diligently to modify this framework to your project’s needs. 

  • Significant Expense in the Development

Wrong engineering choices during the underlying phases of your task may cost you more in Rails than in some other structure.

Since prototyping with Rails is extraordinarily quick, a beginner in Rails may commit unobvious errors that will dissolve your application’s exhibition later on.

These basic lacks will be difficult to fix since Rails is an open structure, where all segments are firmly coupled and rely upon one another.

Being an open-source framework, it has many benefits. Still, there are some setbacks that might make developers think about choosing it. Still, people will find it easy to code on this framework because of HTML and CSS.

There are some top brands that are using it for maintaining their applications and site. Have a look at them:

top companies using ruby on rails 1

To make the concepts easier for developers in this Ruby vs Ruby on Rails guide, let’s a face-off with the key differences between them.

Key Differences between Ruby & Ruby on Rails

ruby vs ruby on rails comparison
  • Programming.

Ruby in itself is an open-source programming language. It is functioned on object-oriented concepts.

On the other side, Ruby on Rails is a web development framework that was developed using Ruby as a programming language.

  • Framework.

Ruby is independent of any framework, as it is an open-source programming language.

Ruby on Rails is a framework used for building web applications. Developers can utilize various languages like HTML, JavaScript, etc. while working on this framework.

  • Application.

In general, Ruby is utilized for developing applications for desktop and PCs.

Whereas Ruby on Rails is used for building web applications using CSS, XML, and other programming languages.

  • Influence.

To build Ruby, Perl, and Smalltalk are the key aspects for the developers. They look forward to building a language like them with more features.

For the development of Ruby on Rails, Django, PHP, and Laravel were kept forward as inspiration as well as reference.

  • Principle.

Ruby works on object-oriented principles and fundamentals. It embraces the implementation of user interface design.

Ruby on Rails utilized the Don’t repeat yourself (DRY) and convention over configuration (COC) principles.

  • Syntax.

Ruby’s syntax modulation and analysis are similar to that of Perl and Python programming languages.

Ruby on Rails’ syntax interpretation is quite the same as Phoenix in Elixir, Python, etc.

  • Language.

While utilizing Ruby, developers mainly use C++, Java, to develop web applications.

In Ruby on Rails, developer communities prefer to use HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and XML.

Both Ruby and Ruby on Rails are open source technologies and they are very cost-saving for the developers. Even their popularity is widespread among various communities and still growing rapidly due to their immense features and benefits.

Apart from this, we have to conclude the differences between Ruby vs Ruby on Rails in a summarized way. So, let’s assess this post in a single entity:

Assessment – Ruby vs. Ruby on Rails

Each technology has its own strengths. On several specifications, programming or framework is recognized to be utilized for developing the applications according to the end-users.

It would be acceptable or simple to take a shot at Ruby on Rails if an individual has information or an essential comprehension of Ruby first. Ruby and Ruby on Rails both are getting grounds at a decent pace in the market with their most recent discharges in a market. For a just-started coder, it is a decent language to begin, as its grammar is basic and effectively justifiable. 

Ruby on Rails is by and large broadly utilized due to its system structure, which shows its quality characteristics. It gives a lot quicker programming processes than different dialects and systems. The structure likewise makes simple to suit changes while building up the application. It has basically centered around testing and has a solid testing system.

More into this Ruby vs Ruby on Rails blog is the top applications running on this framework. The list includes big and popular brands. Have a look at it:

Top Applications Running on Ruby on Rails

top apps of ruby on rails
  • AirBnB 

AirBnB is an on the web, network commercial center that was propelled in 2008. Their web application is a medium to interface explorers/vacationers to local people for a spot for housing. Individuals can list, find, and book the most appropriate convenience for them, around the globe.

This may incorporate a condo, stronghold, estate, lodging, or anything from the enrolled decisions. Right now, AirBnB has their administrations accessible in 65,000 urban communities and in 191 nations. What’s more, these consistent administrations are constructed utilizing Ruby on Rails. 

  • Basecamp 

Presented in 2004, Basecamp encourages consistent tasks on the board to the organizations. This web application worked with Ruby on Rails and has six center instruments, which help the clients in following the work, setting up the cutoff times and achievements, keeping the group refreshed about errands and updates, dealing with the work resources, and that’s just the beginning. 

  • GitHub 

GitHub is one of the famous source code boards and form control arrangements of Git. It’s a stage for designers to host an audit code, oversee activities, and fabricate programming applications for nearby coders all over the world. GitHub is structured and created to have IT anticipates and empower the engineers over the world to work in cooperation. Presently, the GitHub site has more than 66 million tasks. 

  • SoundCloud 

Soundcloud empowers clients worldwide to record, transfer, share and advance sounds that are initially made. Propelled in the year 2008, the stage is known to offer substance and highlights that are special and for associating the music sweethearts to their preferred craftsmen.

Up until this point, it has been a mainstream space online to reveal the best track, web recordings, crude demos, and so on. At the behind the stage, this astounding usefulness is being rendered utilizing Ruby on Rails. 

  • Slideshare 

Slideshare is fundamentally a slide facilitating administration that has got high inclination in the web-conferencing and training area. Close by introductions, it additionally underpins document, recordings, PDFs, and online courses.

Clients can see, remark, rate, and offer the substance through the web application that is assembled utilizing Ruby on Rails. Inferable from its ubiquity, the stage was obtained by Linkedin in 2012 and as of now has 70 million dynamic clients.

As the framework is getting popular and competitive every day, have a look at what industry has for Ruby vs Ruby on Rails developers.

Careers and Opportunities in the Industry

Regardless of the immense interest for Ruby on Rails skills, there is an immense demand for the projects and candidates in the industry. Some survey-based organizations analyzed that communities are growing more towards Ruby on Rails development.

Here are some numerical stats showing the demand for this huge framework in the industry:

  • Contributors (in no. of communities) to Ruby frameworks:
  1. Rails: 3,753
  2. Padrino: 204
  3. Hanami: 140
  4. Sinatra: 363
  • Job demands (in avg no. of job ads)
  1. Ruby on Rails developer: 1,692
  2. Laravel developer: 563
  3. Django developer: 485
  4. Ruby developer: 738
  5. PHP developer: 16,778
  6. Python developer: 5,653

Clearly, the demand for Ruby on Rails development is increasing and businesses are also preferring the framework for its immense characteristics.


Q- Is ruby on rails a framework?

Ruby on Rails, or Rails, is a server-side application development
framework. It is written in Ruby and built on a view controller (MVC) system.
It helps to build default structures to a database, web services, and site

Q- Why is ruby on rails good?

Ruby on Rails is full-grown and offers soundness that straightforwardly converts into fruitful, bother free support for a considerable length of time. Great designers will realize
how to tap the enchantment of Rails and utilize the spared
time to concentrate on business highlights and application rationale.

Q- Is ruby and ruby on rails the same?

No. Ruby was an open-source programming language before it was used as a
scripting language. On the other hand, Ruby on Rails is a web development
framework used for building web pages, server-side applications, and a lot more.

Ashish Chauhan

Global Delivery Head

Global Delivery Head at Appventurez, Ashish governs the process of software delivery operations. He ensures the end product attains the highest remarks in qualitative analysis and is streamlined to the clientele’s objectives. He has over a decade of experience as an iOS developer and teams mentorship.

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