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Active Admin vs RailsAdmin: What are the differences?

Key differences between Active Admin and RailsAdmin in Markdown

Active Admin and RailsAdmin are both popular Ruby on Rails gems that provide administration frameworks for building backend interfaces. While they have similar aims, there are several key differences between the two that set them apart.

  1. Customizability: Active Admin is designed to be highly customizable, allowing developers to easily modify the generated admin interface to suit their specific needs. On the other hand, RailsAdmin provides a more opinionated framework with fewer customization options, making it simpler to use but less flexible for complex requirements.

  2. DSL vs. Metaprogramming: Active Admin utilizes a declarative DSL (Domain Specific Language) to define the admin interface, making it more readable and easier to understand for those familiar with Ruby and Rails conventions. RailsAdmin, on the other hand, heavily relies on metaprogramming techniques, resulting in more dynamic but potentially more complex code.

  3. Default User Interface: Active Admin provides a sleek default user interface that aims to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing out of the box. RailsAdmin, on the other hand, focuses more on functionality and provides a basic, minimalist default interface that may require additional styling to match the project's design.

  4. Authorization and Authentication: Active Admin includes built-in authorization and authentication mechanisms, allowing developers to easily control access to the admin interface based on user roles and permissions. RailsAdmin, on the other hand, delegates these responsibilities to external gems, giving developers more flexibility in choosing the authentication and authorization solutions that best fit their application.

  5. Integration with Third-party Gems: Active Admin has a strong ecosystem of extensions and integrations with other popular gems, making it easier to add additional functionality and features to the admin interface. RailsAdmin, while still extensible, may have fewer readily available integrations and extensions due to its more opinionated architecture.

  6. Community and Documentation: Active Admin has a larger and more active community, which often results in better support and more readily available resources for developers. RailsAdmin, while still widely used, has a smaller community and may have slightly less comprehensive documentation and support.

In summary, the key differences between Active Admin and RailsAdmin lie in their customizability, approach to code generation, default user interface, built-in authorization/authentication, integration options, and community support. The choice between the two ultimately depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the project at hand.

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Pros of Active Admin
Pros of RailsAdmin
  • 6
  • 3
    Easy Integration
  • 2
    Powerful Admin Portal
  • 8
    Easy setup
  • 4
    Easy implementation
  • 3
    No configuration required
  • 2
    Tolerable UI (default Bootstrap)
  • 1
    Search and filtering
  • 1
    Export data to CSV
  • 1
    Export to JSON
  • 1

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Cons of Active Admin
Cons of RailsAdmin
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    • 1
      Not easy to customize

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Active Admin?

    Active Admin is a Ruby on Rails framework for creating elegant backends for website administration.

    What is RailsAdmin?

    RailsAdmin is a Rails engine that provides an easy-to-use interface for managing your data.

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