Ruby on Rails vs Express: Which one is Better for Backend Development

February 01, 2022

Tags: Technologies

Table of contents

Quick Access

ruby on rails vs node js


When creating an application or website, developers have a very important first step to take: choose the best framework, the one that suits all the needs of said app. There are several popular frameworks for both Frontend and Backend, in this blog, we will focus on two of the best for Backend development: Ruby on Rails vs Express.



ruby on rails vs node js

What is Ruby on Rails?


Ruby on Rails is a framework written in Ruby, one of the most popular programming languages ​​today. Ruby was created by Yukihiro Matsumoto and, as his official website defines it, "is a simple and powerful object-oriented language".


In our Ruby on Rails vs Express.js battle, we can define the former as a framework “designed to make web application programming easier by making assumptions about what every developer needs to get started. It allows you to write less code while accomplishing more than many other languages ​​and frameworks. Experienced Rails developers also report that it makes developing web applications more fun."


What is Express?


Express, or Express.js as it is also known, is a framework that uses Node.js to create server-side web applications. As they define it on their official website “A fast, opinionless and minimalistic web framework for Node.js applications”. NodeJs is an open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes JavaScript code outside of a web browser.


Express also stands out for containing HTTP utility methods, as well as a variety of middleware and other features that make it easy to create and develop a web application with JavaScript.


ruby on rails vs node js


Ruby on Rails vs Express


Advantages and disadvantages of Ruby on Rails


Who better to defend Ruby on Rails in this battle than David Heinemeier Hansson, the designer of Rails. In an interview he gave in 2005 he stated “Ruby is an extremely easy-to-use programming language for creating web applications. Ruby is a general-purpose programming language that has improved syntax and doesn't require colossal extra punctuation."


Ruby on Rails has built-in support for an SQLite database, as well as being an optimized framework for web applications with several packages already included, making it quick and easy to build a standard web application. Another advantage is that the syntax is intuitive, making it easy for novice developers to understand.


On the downside, there is always some downside, Ruby on Rails can be slow and cumbersome due to the multiple packages it contains. Also, it has little flexibility and can be frustrating for a developer to work outside of the application framework. Also, Rails has very abstract code and this can make it difficult to debug because the developer is removed from the underlying functionality of the framework. An important disadvantage that must be taken into account is that several companies in the world have stopped using Ruby on Rails for the development of their applications and websites.


Advantages and disadvantages of Express


Speed ​​and lightness are two features of Express that place it on the favorites list of many developers. The framework already comes with a list of ready-to-use base packages and the necessary middleware can be added to it. It is customizable and maintains the structure of the applications.


On the negative side, one of its main disadvantages comes from the lightweight side that Express has, because of this it requires more lines of code than Rails to create exactly the same application, taking more time from the developer. Considering that Ruby on Rails comes with generators that allow you to build models faster, Express takes almost twice as long to code the application.


The decision is now in your hands about which framework to use when it comes to developing the Backend of your application, always use as a guide the needs of your website and what your client requests, if applicable. Ruby on Rails vs Express is a battle where there are no losers, only winners no matter which side you choose.


At Rootstack, our expert developers are using the best frameworks to solve the technological problems of our clients. Click here if you want to be part of a multicultural team, focused on creating today the technologies that will be trends in the future.


We recommend you on video