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Grails vs Rails: What are the differences?

Grails: An Open Source, full stack, web application framework for the JVM. Grails is a framework used to build web applications with the Groovy programming language. The core framework is very extensible and there are numerous plugins available that provide easy integration of add-on features; Rails: Web development that doesn't hurt. Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.

Grails and Rails belong to "Frameworks (Full Stack)" category of the tech stack.

"Groovy" is the top reason why over 44 developers like Grails, while over 822 developers mention "Rapid development" as the leading cause for choosing Rails.

Grails and Rails are both open source tools. Rails with 43.6K GitHub stars and 17.5K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Grails with 2.48K GitHub stars and 945 GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Rails has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2321 company stacks & 796 developers stacks; compared to Grails, which is listed in 47 company stacks and 22 developer stacks.

What is Grails?

Grails is a framework used to build web applications with the Groovy programming language. The core framework is very extensible and there are numerous plugins available that provide easy integration of add-on features.

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.
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    What are some alternatives to Grails and Rails?
    Play
    Play Framework makes it easy to build web applications with Java & Scala. Play is based on a lightweight, stateless, web-friendly architecture. Built on Akka, Play provides predictable and minimal resource consumption (CPU, memory, threads) for highly-scalable applications.
    Groovy
    Groovy builds upon the strengths of Java but has additional power features inspired by languages like Python, Ruby and Smalltalk. It makes modern programming features available to Java developers with almost-zero learning curve.
    Node.js
    Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.
    ASP.NET
    .NET is a developer platform made up of tools, programming languages, and libraries for building many different types of applications.
    Django
    Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Grails and Rails
    StackShare Editors
    StackShare Editors
    Rails
    Rails
    Node.js
    Node.js
    Python
    Python
    React
    React
    Java
    Java
    Ruby
    Ruby
    Go
    Go
    Swift
    Swift
    Objective-C
    Objective-C
    jQuery
    jQuery

    By mid-2015, around the time of the Series E, the Digital department at WeWork had grown to more than 40 people to support the company鈥檚 growing product needs.

    By then, they鈥檇 migrated the main website off of WordPress to Ruby on Rails, and a combination React, Angular, and jQuery, though there were efforts to move entirely to React for the front-end.

    The backend was structured around a microservices architecture built partially in Node.js, along with a combination of Ruby, Python, Bash, and Go. Swift/Objective-C and Java powered the mobile apps.

    These technologies power the listings on the website, as well as various internal tools, like community manager dashboards as well as RFID hardware for access management.

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    Spenser Coke
    Spenser Coke
    Product Engineer at Loanlink.de | 9 upvotes 228.2K views
    atLoanlink GmbhLoanlink Gmbh
    Rails
    Rails
    AngularJS
    AngularJS
    .NET
    .NET
    Node.js
    Node.js
    React
    React
    GitHub
    GitHub
    Trello
    Trello
    Zapier
    Zapier
    Mailchimp
    Mailchimp
    Google Drive
    Google Drive
    Vue.js
    Vue.js
    HTML5
    HTML5

    When starting a new company and building a new product w/ limited engineering we chose to optimize for expertise and rapid development, landing on Rails API, w/ AngularJS on the front.

    The reality is that we're building a CRUD app, so we considered going w/ vanilla Rails MVC to optimize velocity early on (it may not be sexy, but it gets the job done). Instead, we opted to split the codebase to allow for a richer front-end experience, focus on skill specificity when hiring, and give us the flexibility to be consumed by multiple clients in the future.

    We also considered .NET core or Node.js for the API layer, and React on the front-end, but our experiences dealing with mature Node APIs and the rapid-fire changes that comes with state management in React-land put us off, given our level of experience with those tools.

    We're using GitHub and Trello to track issues and projects, and a plethora of other tools to help the operational team, like Zapier, MailChimp, Google Drive with some basic Vue.js & HTML5 apps for smaller internal-facing web projects.

    See more
    Russel Werner
    Russel Werner
    Lead Engineer at StackShare | 22 upvotes 520.6K 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

    See more
    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
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    MySQL
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    Amazon RDS for Aurora
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    Amazon ElastiCache
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    Memcached
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    Amazon CloudFront
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    Segment
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    Amazon Redshift
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    Amazon Quicksight
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    Superset
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    Elasticsearch
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    New Relic
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    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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    Francisco Quintero
    Francisco Quintero
    Tech Lead at Dev As Pros | 7 upvotes 257.1K views
    atDev As ProsDev As Pros
    Node.js
    Node.js
    Rails
    Rails
    Amazon EC2
    Amazon EC2
    Heroku
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    RuboCop
    RuboCop
    JavaScript
    JavaScript
    ESLint
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    Slack
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    For many(if not all) small and medium size business time and cost matter a lot.

    That's why languages, frameworks, tools, and services that are easy to use and provide 0 to productive in less time, it's best.

    Maybe Node.js frameworks might provide better features compared to Rails but in terms of MVPs, for us Rails is the leading alternative.

    Amazon EC2 might be cheaper and more customizable than Heroku but in the initial terms of a project, you need to complete configurationos and deploy early.

    Advanced configurations can be done down the road, when the project is running and making money, not before.

    But moving fast isn't the only thing we care about. We also take the job to leave a good codebase from the beginning and because of that we try to follow, as much as we can, style guides in Ruby with RuboCop and in JavaScript with ESLint and StandardJS.

    Finally, comunication and keeping a good history of conversations, decisions, and discussions is important so we use a mix of Slack and Twist

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    Alex A
    Alex A
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    atPRIZ GuruPRIZ Guru
    Grails
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    Scala
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    Groovy
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    Gradle
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    Some may wonder why did we choose Grails ? Really good question :) We spent quite some time to evaluate what framework to go with and the battle was between Play Scala and Grails ( Groovy ). We have enough experience with both and, to be honest, I absolutely in love with Scala; however, the tipping point for us was the potential speed of development. Grails allows much faster development pace than Play , and as of right now this is the most important parameter. We might convert later though. Also, worth mentioning, by default Grails comes with Gradle as a build tool, so why change?

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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
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    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 聽for cache and other time sensitive operations.

    We have a couple of extra