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What is Rails?

Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.
Rails is a tool in the Frameworks (Full Stack) category of a tech stack.
Rails is an open source tool with 45.1K GitHub stars and 18.2K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Rails's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses Rails?

Companies
3075 companies reportedly use Rails in their tech stacks, including Airbnb, Twitter, and Instacart.

Developers
5883 developers on StackShare have stated that they use Rails.

Rails Integrations

Trailblazer, RailsAdmin, RubyMine, HAML, and packtracker are some of the popular tools that integrate with Rails. Here's a list of all 55 tools that integrate with Rails.

Why developers like Rails?

Here’s a list of reasons why companies and developers use Rails
Rails Reviews

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Rails in their tech stack.

Zach Holman
Zach Holman
at Zach Holman · | 34 upvotes · 316.4K views
React
React
Apollo
Apollo
Rails
Rails
JavaScript
JavaScript

Oof. I have truly hated JavaScript for a long time. Like, for over twenty years now. Like, since the Clinton administration. It's always been a nightmare to deal with all of the aspects of that silly language.

But wowza, things have changed. Tooling is just way, way better. I'm primarily web-oriented, and using React and Apollo together the past few years really opened my eyes to building rich apps. And I deeply apologize for using the phrase rich apps; I don't think I've ever said such Enterprisey words before.

But yeah, things are different now. I still love Rails, and still use it for a lot of apps I build. But it's that silly rich apps phrase that's the problem. Users have way more comprehensive expectations than they did even five years ago, and the JS community does a good job at building tools and tech that tackle the problems of making heavy, complicated UI and frontend work.

Obviously there's a lot of things happening here, so just saying "JavaScript isn't terrible" might encompass a huge amount of libraries and frameworks. But if you're like me, yeah, give things another shot- I'm somehow not hating on JavaScript anymore and... gulp... I kinda love it.

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Russel Werner
Russel Werner
Lead Engineer at StackShare · | 22 upvotes · 511.5K views
atStackShareStackShare
React
React
Glamorous
Glamorous
Apollo
Apollo
Node.js
Node.js
Rails
Rails
Heroku
Heroku
GitHub
GitHub
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Webpack
Webpack
CircleCI
CircleCI
Redis
Redis
#StackDecisionsLaunch
#SSR
#Microservices
#FrontEndRepoSplit

StackShare Feed is built entirely with React, Glamorous, and Apollo. One of our objectives with the public launch of the Feed was to enable a Server-side rendered (SSR) experience for our organic search traffic. When you visit the StackShare Feed, and you aren't logged in, you are delivered the Trending feed experience. We use an in-house Node.js rendering microservice to generate this HTML. This microservice needs to run and serve requests independent of our Rails web app. Up until recently, we had a mono-repo with our Rails and React code living happily together and all served from the same web process. In order to deploy our SSR app into a Heroku environment, we needed to split out our front-end application into a separate repo in GitHub. The driving factor in this decision was mostly due to limitations imposed by Heroku specifically with how processes can't communicate with each other. A new SSR app was created in Heroku and linked directly to the frontend repo so it stays in-sync with changes.

Related to this, we need a way to "deploy" our frontend changes to various server environments without building & releasing the entire Ruby application. We built a hybrid Amazon S3 Amazon CloudFront solution to host our Webpack bundles. A new CircleCI script builds the bundles and uploads them to S3. The final step in our rollout is to update some keys in Redis so our Rails app knows which bundles to serve. The result of these efforts were significant. Our frontend team now moves independently of our backend team, our build & release process takes only a few minutes, we are now using an edge CDN to serve JS assets, and we have pre-rendered React pages!

#StackDecisionsLaunch #SSR #Microservices #FrontEndRepoSplit

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Kir Shatrov
Kir Shatrov
Production Engineer at Shopify · | 20 upvotes · 89K views
atShopifyShopify
Rails
Rails
GitHub
GitHub

The core Shopify app has remained a Rails monolith, but we also have hundreds of other Rails apps across the organization. These are not microservices, but domain-specific apps: Shipping (talks with various shipping providers), Identity (single sign on across all Shopify stores), and App Store to name a few. Managing a hundred apps and keeping them up to date with security updates can be tough, so we've developed ServicesDB, an internal app that keeps track of all production services and helps developers to make sure that they don't miss anything important.

ServicesDB keeps a checklist for each app: ownership, uptime, logs, on-call rotation, exception reporting, and gem security updates. If there are problems with any of those, ServicesDB opens a GitHub issue and pings owners of the app to ask them to address it. ServicesDB also makes it easy to query the infrastructure and answer questions like, “How many apps are on Rails 4.2? How many apps are using an outdated version of gem X? Which apps are calling this service?”.

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Josh Dzielak
Josh Dzielak
Developer Advocate at DeveloperMode · | 19 upvotes · 100.6K views
atAlgoliaAlgolia
Algolia
Algolia
Discord
Discord
Gitter
Gitter
Discourse
Discourse
Rails
Rails
Ember.js
Ember.js

Shortly after I joined Algolia as a developer advocate, I knew I wanted to establish a place for the community to congregate and share their projects, questions and advice. There are a ton of platforms out there that can be used to host communities, and they tend to fall into two categories - real-time sync (like chat) and async (like forums). Because the community was already large, I felt that a chat platform like Discord or Gitter might be overwhelming and opted for a forum-like solution instead (which would also create content that's searchable from Google).

I looked at paid, closed-source options like AnswerHub and ForumBee and old-school solutions like phpBB and vBulletin, but none seemed to offer the power, flexibility and developer-friendliness of Discourse. Discourse is open source, written in Rails with Ember.js on the front-end. That made me confident I could modify it to meet our exact needs. Discourse's own forum is very active which made me confident I could get help if I needed it.

It took about a month to get Discourse up-and-running and make authentication tied to algolia.com via the SSO plugin. Adding additional plugins for moderation or look-and-feel customization was fairly straightforward, and I even created a plugin to make the forum content searchable with Algolia. To stay on top of answering questions and moderation, we used the Discourse API to publish new messages into our Slack. All-in-all I would say we were happy with Discourse - the only caveat would be that it's very helpful to have technical knowledge as well as Rails knowledge in order to get the most out of it.

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Julien DeFrance
Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 16 upvotes · 1.1M views
atSmartZipSmartZip
Rails
Rails
Rails API
Rails API
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Capistrano
Capistrano
Docker
Docker
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
MySQL
MySQL
Amazon RDS for Aurora
Amazon RDS for Aurora
Amazon ElastiCache
Amazon ElastiCache
Memcached
Memcached
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Segment
Segment
Zapier
Zapier
Amazon Redshift
Amazon Redshift
Amazon Quicksight
Amazon Quicksight
Superset
Superset
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
New Relic
New Relic
AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda
Node.js
Node.js
Ruby
Ruby
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon DynamoDB
Algolia
Algolia

Back in 2014, I was given an opportunity to re-architect SmartZip Analytics platform, and flagship product: SmartTargeting. This is a SaaS software helping real estate professionals keeping up with their prospects and leads in a given neighborhood/territory, finding out (thanks to predictive analytics) who's the most likely to list/sell their home, and running cross-channel marketing automation against them: direct mail, online ads, email... The company also does provide Data APIs to Enterprise customers.

I had inherited years and years of technical debt and I knew things had to change radically. The first enabler to this was to make use of the cloud and go with AWS, so we would stop re-inventing the wheel, and build around managed/scalable services.

For the SaaS product, we kept on working with Rails as this was what my team had the most knowledge in. We've however broken up the monolith and decoupled the front-end application from the backend thanks to the use of Rails API so we'd get independently scalable micro-services from now on.

Our various applications could now be deployed using AWS Elastic Beanstalk so we wouldn't waste any more efforts writing time-consuming Capistrano deployment scripts for instance. Combined with Docker so our application would run within its own container, independently from the underlying host configuration.

Storage-wise, we went with Amazon S3 and ditched any pre-existing local or network storage people used to deal with in our legacy systems. On the database side: Amazon RDS / MySQL initially. Ultimately migrated to Amazon RDS for Aurora / MySQL when it got released. Once again, here you need a managed service your cloud provider handles for you.

Future improvements / technology decisions included:

Caching: Amazon ElastiCache / Memcached CDN: Amazon CloudFront Systems Integration: Segment / Zapier Data-warehousing: Amazon Redshift BI: Amazon Quicksight / Superset Search: Elasticsearch / Amazon Elasticsearch Service / Algolia Monitoring: New Relic

As our usage grows, patterns changed, and/or our business needs evolved, my role as Engineering Manager then Director of Engineering was also to ensure my team kept on learning and innovating, while delivering on business value.

One of these innovations was to get ourselves into Serverless : Adopting AWS Lambda was a big step forward. At the time, only available for Node.js (Not Ruby ) but a great way to handle cost efficiency, unpredictable traffic, sudden bursts of traffic... Ultimately you want the whole chain of services involved in a call to be serverless, and that's when we've started leveraging Amazon DynamoDB on these projects so they'd be fully scalable.

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Bryam Rodriguez
Bryam Rodriguez
JavaScript
JavaScript
Bit
Bit
Python
Python
Next.js
Next.js
React Native
React Native
Redis
Redis
MongoDB
MongoDB
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
RSpec
RSpec
react-testing-library
react-testing-library
Jest
Jest
Create React App
Create React App
Redux
Redux
React
React
Rails
Rails
Ruby
Ruby

I'm working as one of the engineering leads in RunaHR. As our platform is a Saas, we thought It'd be good to have an API (We chose Ruby and Rails for this) and a SPA (built with React and Redux ) connected. We started the SPA with Create React App since It's pretty easy to start.

We use Jest as the testing framework and react-testing-library to test React components. In Rails we make tests using RSpec.

Our main database is PostgreSQL, but we also use MongoDB to store some type of data. We started to use Redis  for cache and other time sensitive operations.

We have a couple of extra projects: One is an Employee app built with React Native and the other is an internal back office dashboard built with Next.js for the client and Python in the backend side.

Since we have different frontend apps we have found useful to have Bit to document visual components and utils in JavaScript.

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Rails Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to Rails?
Django
Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
Ruby
Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.
Sinatra
Sinatra is a DSL for quickly creating web applications in Ruby with minimal effort.
React
Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
Laravel
It is a web application framework with expressive, elegant syntax. It attempts to take the pain out of development by easing common tasks used in the majority of web projects, such as authentication, routing, sessions, and caching.
See all alternatives

Rails's Followers
6059 developers follow Rails to keep up with related blogs and decisions.
Fernando R
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softskillpro
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