Ruby vs Ruby on Rails: differences between both technologies

March 17, 2023

Tags: Technologies

ruby on rails


Among the most widely used programming languages today, it is common to find Ruby on the preference lists made by developers and experts in the field. Popular for its simplicity, it is an open source technology known for its simple syntax and producing elegant and natural code.


Ruby is used to develop many of the web pages and applications we interact with today, but when it comes to choosing a framework to work with, do you usually use Ruby on Rails? Beyond the name, both technologies have different characteristics.



ruby on rails


What is Ruby on Rails?


Ruby on Rails is open source software that users can use to develop applications and collaborate to change their code. They focus on optimizing their system for developers, choosing convention over configuration, which has been risky, but it certainly works. This framework works great with many other technologies and allows HTML, CSS, and Java to help display the user interface.


Due to its name, it is almost always associated with Ruby, but both technologies are used for different purposes. Ruby on Rails is a framework based on Ruby, the programming language we mentioned at the beginning.


This would be their main and most important difference, but is a framework so different from a programming language? We are going to delve into this topic first and thus clarify any doubts that may arise.


ruby on rails


What are the differences between a framework and a programming language?


A programming language and a framework are two different things that serve different purposes in software development.


A programming language, like Ruby, is a set of syntax and rules that a programmer uses to create software applications. It provides the fundamental building blocks for developing software, such as data types, control structures, and functions.


On the other hand, a framework, such as Ruby on Rails, is a pre-built set of tools, libraries, and guidelines that help a developer create software applications. A framework provides a structure for organizing code and simplifies the development process by offering pre-built libraries and components that can be used to perform common tasks.


In other words, a programming language is a tool for writing software, while a framework is a tool for organizing and simplifying the development process.


To give an example, Python is a popular programming language that provides a syntax and a set of rules for creating software. Django, on the other hand, is a framework built on top of Python that provides pre-built components and libraries to help a developer build web applications faster and easier.


Knowing this, there are key differences between Ruby on Rails and Ruby that separate both technologies and give each one its own personality, let's explore each one.


ruby on rails


Key differences between Ruby and Ruby on Rails


  • Ruby on Rails is a fullstack framework, so it includes all the features and modules to create complete web applications without having to resort to other technologies. For its part, Ruby is a limited programming language that is used to create, for example, command lines or simple desktop applications.
  • Developing in Ruby on Rails is much more complicated than using Ruby alone, since it is a framework with a clear set of conventions that the developer or user must strictly follow. This makes it faster, but it can also be a great limitation when it comes to choosing it for any project.
  • When developing in Ruby on Rails, it is not necessary to write SQL code since this framework uses ActiveRecord to access the database, while developing with Ruby if you have to write SQL or use a library to access the necessary databases.
  • Ruby on Rails has built-in testing, Ruby does not. When developing with Ruby on Rails, testing can be done quickly and without complications, whereas when developing with Ruby, several steps must be followed for this procedure.


ruby on rails


Our work with Ruby on Rails


As one of the most consolidated software agencies in the market, Rootstack has a team specialized in Ruby and Ruby on Rails, capable of using both technologies to work on innovative, scalable and complex projects, adapting to the needs of today's business world: competitive and always at the forefront.


Contact one of our consultants to guide you through everything we can do for you and give your company that push it needs to surpass its competitors and be successful, as well as maximize the productivity of its employees.


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