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What is Rails API?

Rails::API is a subset of a normal Rails application, created for applications that don't require all functionality that a complete Rails application provides. It is a bit more lightweight, and consequently a bit faster than a normal Rails application. The main example for its usage is in API applications only, where you usually don't need the entire Rails middleware stack nor template generation.
Rails API is a tool in the Microframeworks (Backend) category of a tech stack.
Rails API is an open source tool with 5.2K GitHub stars and 294 GitHub forks. Here鈥檚 a link to Rails API's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses Rails API?

Companies
7 companies reportedly use Rails API in their tech stacks, including Stessa, smartzip, and aac.digital.

Developers
59 developers on StackShare have stated that they use Rails API.

Rails API Integrations

Public Decisions about Rails API

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

Julien DeFrance
Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter | 16 upvotes 1.6M views

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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Rails API Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to Rails API?
Grape
Grape is a REST-like API micro-framework for Ruby. It's designed to run on Rack or complement existing web application frameworks such as Rails and Sinatra by providing a simple DSL to easily develop RESTful APIs. It has built-in support for common conventions, including multiple formats, subdomain/prefix restriction, content negotiation, versioning and much more.
Django
Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
Flask
Flask is intended for getting started very quickly and was developed with best intentions in mind.
Sinatra
Sinatra is a DSL for quickly creating web applications in Ruby with minimal effort.
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.
See all alternatives

Rails API's Followers
93 developers follow Rails API to keep up with related blogs and decisions.
Imputes
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Marie Y
Alvaro Urbaez
Ahmet Sar谋do臒an
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