Node.js vs Ruby on Rails

Comparison Between Node.js and Ruby on Rails

When deciding on a front-end technology, choosing the right tech stack is not a difficult task as there are obvious choices like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript depending on your needs. The Back-end tech stack on the other end is, however, a bit more tricky. But Ruby on Rails and Node.js are increasingly becoming the more popular backend languages and to help you choose between the two of them, this article discusses their advantages, disadvantages, and their use cases to help you decide which one fits your project.

What is Node.js?

This is an open-source runtime environment based on the Chrome V8 engine, that converts JavaScript into machine code so that it is easily processed by the hardware. It is cross-platform and can be used on different platforms including Linux, macOS, and Windows. It is used in creating a variety of applications like REST API servers, real-time chat apps, and command line applications.

Some of the companies that use Node.js include:

  • Netflix
  • Uber
  • Paypal
  • NASA
  • LinkedIn

Pros of Node.js

Advantages of using Node.js.

Easy to Learn

Since it is based on JavaScript, it will be easier to learn if you have a programming background or are familiar with JavaScript. Additionaly, using nodejs best practices developers can create scalable applications. 

Seamless JSON Support

While other backend technologies can also communicate using JSON format, Node.js will do so using Javascript which is useful in creating RESTful APIs with a NoSQL database like MongoDB.

Community

An engaged community translates to good support and feedback. The Node’s package manager (npm) is a popular and rapidly expanding software registry that provides reusable templates and libraries you can use in your project.

Highly Extensible

By being highly extendable, developers can extend and customize it to meet their project’s needs.

Cons of Using Node.js

Here are a few cons associated with Node.js:

Unstable API

It suffers incompatible API changes regularly. This leads to heavy code changes making this a main downside of using Node.js.

Immaturity of Tooling

The core Node.js modules are quite reliable, but a large number of the packages in the npm repository are poorly documented and of poor quality. This makes finding the package that will suit your needs a difficult task.

Not Suited for CPU Intensive Tasks

It is best suited for I/O-related tasks. Its inability to process CPU-bound operations is a major disadvantage Node.js has.

Callback Issues

When each task on the queue is completed, the functions that run are known as callback. These are a big part of Node.js. This impacts the quality of code directly.

Besides it cons, with the help of expert nodejs development company you can build a top notch web applications.

What is Ruby on Rails?

This is an open-source web application framework written in Ruby. It uses Rails to help manage routine, data computing, and internal logic. It is popular thanks to its code efficiency and high speed. What would have taken a dozen lines in for example Java, will take between 5-10 lines only in Ruby. Its syntax is similar to that of the English language, making this framework attractive to newcomers.

Companies that use Ruby on Rails include:

  • Airbnb
  • GitHub
  • Shopify
  • Fiverr

Pros of Ruby on Rails

Here are a few pros of Ruby on Rails:

Faster Development Speed

Developers can create applications quickly thanks to its developed architecture of modules, expressive and compact characteristics of the Ruby language, and efficient package management system.

Big Infrastructure

It comes with a database with generators and a built-in web server that makes website development easy.

Large Community

It has a strong and active community. On GitHub, it is among the popular frameworks and you will find most functionalities you can think of have already been implemented by the community.

Best Practice

Since it was created to establish best practices in web development, it comes with all the necessary modules and libraries to help developers achieve these standards in web development.

Code Quality

The quality of its third-party code is superior to other languages.

Cons of Ruby on Rails

Some of the Cons of Ruby on Rails are:

Less Flexibility

It is less flexible as customizing it to create a unique app with unique features is not an easy task.

Runtime Speed and Performance

It has a poor runtime speed that makes scaling your applications challenging. This is a problem Twitter attributed to stopping using it in their search engines.

Boot Speed

Depending on your number of files and gem dependencies, it can take a long time to get started

Difficult debugging

Due to its various layers and complexity, troubleshooting its applications can be tough. Determining an error can take a more time.

Importantly, with the help of Aalpha information systems’ web and software development services you can get a highly scalable and secure web and software applications using best technology stack according to your business needs and requirements.

Comparison Between Node.js and Ruby on Rails 

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of both of them, let’s go deeper and compare them on a few parameters.

difference between node js and ruby on rails

Performance

When building large and complex projects, performance is a major factor. On the performance front, Node.js takes it thanks to its V8 engine. Since it employs non-blocking processes and employs event-driven architecture, it produces fast and scalable programs. Due to its framework’s ability to handle heavier workloads, its applications are also able to handle more requests.

Community

Both of them have a large community of developers around them. Node.js is popular in several community forums like Reddit, GitHub, and Stack Overflow. Similarly, GitHub has a large community in GitHub, Slack, and Stack Overflow.

Job Opportunities

Due to a large community of users, there are many job opportunities for Node.js and Ruby on Rails developers. Freelance developers of the two also make handsome hourly pay.

Scalability

Because of cluster module, Node.js is highly scalable than Ruby. developers prefer it for creating scalable apps. Scaling Ruby on Rails is possible too but it will require more resources when compared to the other backend frameworks.

Popularity

When building a modern application or product, the popularity of your stack should be a factor of consideration. This is because the more popular a stack is, the better supported it is. Between 2005-2009 Ruby on Rails was very popular. But then the popularity slowly began to fade out. Node.js popularity on the other hand has been on an upward trajectory since 2017. In 2023 it’s the more popular of the two.

Conclusion

Node.js and Ruby are the two most preferred for backend development. This is mainly due to their superior characteristics. They have both advantages and disadvantages. In your next project compare these and settle on the one that will best suit your needs.

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Also read : difference between nodejs and python

About The Author

My name is Muzammil K & I'm a passionate Blogger, SEO, and SMM. I share ideas and thoughts on Digital Marketing, Websites, Branding & Social Media.