Importance of IDE for ROR: Ruby on rails is a modern web language-framework combo to develop enterprise standard web applications on the fly. In past two years we have seen there is a stupendous popularity gain of Ruby on Rails due to its simple syntax and easy to learn approach. Web developers love the way they are developing web solutions in a much faster way than before using Ruby on Rail framework. Experts have already indicated about a bright future for Ruby on Rails in coming period. Any framework is incomplete without an IDE because, IDE provides lots of assistances to the web developer or ROR developer while developing quick websites. IDE can remember all the function names, variables, classes etc and it will assist the developer while writing the code with auto complete feature. It also helps in writing readable and maintainable codes with proper indentation. The best part is it notifies basic mistakes on the web developer’s code on the UI. Hence a web developer or Ruby developer can’t ignore the importance of IDE in rails framework. Let us have a quick look over few featured IDE for Ruby on Rail developers. Continue reading Top IDEs for Ruby on Rails
As an open source and full stack framework, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is used widely by developers to rapidly create a variety of web applications. RoR supports some of the widely used software engineering patterns and principles. So it becomes easier to easily accomplish several tasks. The web application development framework is further designed with integrated testing support.
The developers can easily write test by using the skeleton test code produced by RoR. Along with ensuring that the code adheres to the predefined functionality after major modifications, Rails also allow developers to test the application’s response by simulating browser requests. However, the developers can still use testing frameworks for Ruby on Rails to effectuate application testing.
5 Widely Used Testing Frameworks for Ruby on Rails
Despite being written in Ruby, Cucumber can be used effectively to test web applications written in several programming languages like C#, Java, Ruby, Python. So the testing framework can be used by QA engineers without knowing Ruby programming in detail. Cucumber is designed with features that execute plain-text functional descriptions as automated tests. Along with being an efficient testing tool, Cucumber also supports behavior-driven development (BDD). Thus, it becomes easier for both technical and non-technical stakeholders to verify the test code written before the original testing starts. You can use the testing framework after installing and activating the Cucumber gem inside your project.
Like Cucumber, RSpec is also a testing tool that supports behavior-driven development. So the domain experts and business analyst can analyze the test code according to the features and use of the application. The testing framework for Ruby also comes with a set of features to make test driven development more productive. While testing a Ruby application using RSpec, the testing professional can avail rich command line program, flexible and customizable reporting, extensible expectation language, textual descriptions of examples and groups along with built-in mocking/stubbing framework.
You can always use Test::Unit to test web applications by implementing the xUnit testing framework for Ruby. Once you started writing Ruby code, you will surely come across Test::Unit. Despite being bundled with Ruby, the unit testing framework is not a static part of RoR. The professionals writing new test code are further recommended to use MiniTest instead of Test::Unit.
Shoulda was originally designed as a unit testing tool. But it can be used to test Ruby applications by attaching the shoulda gem to the project. Thus, the Shoulda tests need to be added on to the Test::Unit framework. The shoulda gem is a meta gem with two dependencies, i.e., shoulda-context and shoulda-matchers. While testing Ruby applications, testing professionals can use these distinct dependencies to write test cases according to the requirements of the project.
Spork is used widely as a testing server to evaluate the Ruby applications. Each time you run a test, a copy of the server is forked. Thus, you can use RoR to reload your files without uploading them constantly. Further, Spork runs in a solid way, without being corrupted over time. Also, the testing server is compatible with several Ruby testing frameworks including Cucumber, RSpec and Test::Unit. Likewise, it also supports a number of application development frameworks. So it becomes easier for you to test different modules and meta programming.
On the whole, programmers have option to choose from a variety of testing frameworks for Ruby on Rails. Most of these frameworks are designed with features to facilitate a certain type of testing. So the developers must decide the Ruby on Rails testing framework according to the needs and objectives of the project.
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Each business evaluates the pros and cons of several web application development frameworks, and chooses the option that facilitates website development on time and on budget. A business also has option to choose from a number of widely used web programming languages including Java, PHP, ASP.NET, Perl, Python and ColdFusion. But many reports have highlighted that an increasing number of businesses are opting for Ruby on Rails (ROR) to make it easier for developers to create complex and dynamic web applications within a shorter span of time. If your business is planning to switch to the open source web application development framework that runs through the Ruby programming language, it is time to have a look at some of its prominent features and benefits.
What Makes Modern Business Opt for Ruby on Rails for Website Development?
Nowadays, websites need to be updated frequently to deliver richer user experience. So businesses often opt for a programming language that allows developers to modify and update websites without putting any extra time and effort. The flexibility nature of ROR makes it easier for programmers to modify websites, and enhance their performance by including nee features. As ROR used Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, the code can be managed effectively between different developers. Further, while writing the code, the programmers can maintain consistency in structure and methodology.
Each business has to explore ways to beat competition by developing websites rapidly. Along with adopting Agile development principles, ROR also emphasizes on convention over configuration. So the developers can use the web application development framework to conceptualize, plan and develop a variety of web application within a shorter span of time. Further, the enterprises have option to break down the larger projects into smaller parts, and complete the development in a distributed environment.
Adopt Agile Methodology
The term Agile is being used frequently be enterprisers in website development context. In addition to facilitating constant collaboration between the development team and the client, the Agile methodology further offers benefits like transparency, predictable delivery, predictable cost, focus on business values, and option to include changes smoothly. ROR is designed with features to support Agile technology. So the businesses can avail the advantages of Agile methodology to keep the development cycles short and adopt Test Driven Development.
Curtail Development Cost
Like other open source technology, ROR is also effective in reducing the overall cost of developing websites. Despite being free, ROR still comes with the features provided by other commercial web application development frameworks. Thus, it becomes easier for enterprises to optimize the speed, performance and security of their websites without investing any additional funds. At the same time, the reduced development time further helps businesses in beating competition.
Thriving Community of Ruby Developers
As open source software, ROR also allows business to avail the assistance of a large and active community of Ruby developers. Many developers even develop and share code to make it easier for other users to make their web applications interact with other APIs. Some developers even create and share innovative toolkits that help others in creating robust web applications without writing lengthy and complex code. The extensions, enhancements and new documentation shared by the community of developers further make ROR more powerful and futuristic.
Along with making it easier for developers to build complex web application within a stipulated timeframe, ROR further helps businesses in saving development cost. The efficiency of ROR can also be determined from the fact that the web application development framework is used for building many hugely popular and high-traffic websites like Twitter, BaseCamp, Scribd, Github, Shopify and Hulu.
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For development of software, there are several options available in terms of technologies to be used. However, when selecting the technology to use you have to consider the actions of the application to be developed. In case of small businesses, it becomes all the more necessary to consider all pros and cons before making the selection since they need all the help that they can get to ensure its stability. In most cases, small businesses prefer Ruby on Rails or ROR in short as it is fondly known as. In case of major web applications, the required features as well as functionality for quick development is included in this framework.
The framework ROR helps in building of websites, making the entire process of creation as well as maintenance of sites quite easy and affordable. This web framework is written in Ruby which gives it the name. It consists of a collection of libraries, tools as well as additions to the languages, enabling quick creation of web-based software. Here is a brief background to explain the reasons for its immense popularity.
Development time becomes faster- The main concept during creation of ROR was convention over configuration. In case of most technologies, developers must spend quite some time to make decisions regarding the setting up of an application. In this approach the decisions already come as being made through conventional or sensible defaults which will work well in most applications. This effectively means that a large part of the time can be spent by the developers for working on unique aspects of some problem they need to solve. The focus is not at all on the mundane setting up factors. This leads to quicker launches.
Easy changes- Another concept embraced by Rails is DRY or don’t repeat yourself which insists that your code should not be duplicated. Instead it should be organized in a manner so that the code which is required in various places is written just once and then it is shared elsewhere. The “copy/paste coding” concept is avoided, making code maintenance and changing anything quite easy later on due to leaner code-bases.
Automated testing- Testing is something which the community is quite passionate about. It is a common thing to have complex features which have to be broken up in several different parts. While building each of the components, their smooth functionality is something which has to be ensured without breaking the already working things during the building of new functionality later on. Automated testing allows you this very thing; it writes codes to test the application. A single command is needed to run the test code and all the different cases will be tested quickly to ensure the smooth working of everything.
Modular design- The modular design of Rails is yet another advantage. Commonly major programming languages have libraries to help you add particular functionality to software; ROR is no exception. All kinds of functionality can be added to web applications through the libraries. Some of the most commonly used ones are for adding of features like creation of PDF files, user logout / login functionality, information display on Google Maps, integration with third-party services like text messaging, newsletter, email services, etc.
Building plug and play applications- Building plug and play functionality blocks is literally a piece of cake and is far more easier than any other technology. Effectively, elements from the current custom application can be taken to be used in some other future projects. There is no need to build the whole thing from scratch. The apps become multipurpose as well as expandable.
Multi platform support- Each and every operating system can make use of ROR. The programming language underlying has been ported to several platforms. JRuby enables us to run ROR apps on Java Containers, enabling us deployment of it in several enterprise environments.
The ROR framework is a must-needed one for small enterprises. In fact, it is not only popular amongst small businesses but among big players as well with Twitter, Hulu and Groupon making full use of it. It is great for membership sites, ecommerce, custom database solutions, content management, etc making it a multitasking platform.
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Developers across the world rely on Ruby on Rails to build robust and high quality web applications within a shorter timeframe. In addition to being highly flexible and compatibility with multiple platforms, the web application development framework further makes it easier for developers to adopt agile development and avoid repetitive coding. However, the developers also need to understand and implement a number of best practices for Ruby on Rails applications write and maintain their code in a cleaner and efficient way.
Widely Used Coding Best Practices for Ruby on Rails Development
1) Bundle Your Code into Plugins and Gems
The web application framework allows developers to access a variety of rubygems. So the developer can always use the rubygems developed by others to solve relatively general problems. You can always consider reusing the existing code by extracting it into a plugin or gem. Also, the gem or plugin can be used more widely. You can further simplify the application design by extracting code from it. Similarly, you can consider using existing gems and plugins to avoid writing lengthy code.
2) Shift Logic Code from Controllers to Model
You can always optimize your coding by having most of the logic code on the models. It is also a good idea to move the logic code from controllers to model. The coding can be further optimized by keeping the controllers clean as these controllers remain loaded constantly. On the other hand, the models are loaded only based on requirements. So your application will use less memory when the logic code is moved from controllers to model.
3) Use Scope Access
The availability of an object can be easily determined by using scope access. Instead of using Finders, you can use scope access to gather the information directly from the object. Also, the coding can be modified to use Scope access for most of the objects created for the current project. Thus, code access will help you in reducing the number of calls, and faster execution.
4) Use Local Variables rather than Instance Variables
Ruby on Rails enables developers to access the @variable in views. Many developers even use the element in various parts of the code without evaluating the requirements. You can always optimize the coding by eliminating the instance variables. It is also important to check the instance variables, and convert them into local variables. The local variables can be further transferred smoothly from the view to the partial as part of :locals.
5) Eliminate Empty Helpers
You can always move all the Ruby code to the helpers by creating relevant methods. These methods can be called from the view to effectuate your coding. However, you must remember that additional helpers are created each time you create controllers. Despite being concise, the helpers will be loaded each time the application is launched. So the additional helpers can affect the loading time of the application negatively. You must check these helpers, and remove the helpers without any method to reduce the loading time of your Ruby application.
6) Organize Your Logic through Non-Database-Backed Models
While adopting the MVC approach, each developer has option to use both database-backed and non-database-backed models. Like other MVC development frameworks, Ruby on Rails also allows developers to use both models. However, you can always opt for the non-database-backed model to keep your logic clean and organized. Also, the virtual models can be used to adopt a RESTful controller design that facilitates data access from multiple sources. These practices will make it easier for the controller code to interact with these models.
Each Ruby developer has options to implement many coding best practices and techniques to shorten development cycles. At the same time, he can further create new best practices for Ruby on Rails applications based on his own experience and skills.
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As a full-stack and open source web development framework Ruby on Rails enables programmers to render templates out of box, while using a web server independent routing system. The web application developers, at the same time, have option to use several widely used software engineering patterns and principles to build a variety of applications rapidly. The Rails 4.0 also comes with a set of innovative features that allows programmers to rapidly build a variety of rich internet applications, membership sites, ecommerce sites, content management systems and custom database solutions. Along with making web applications that are effective and efficient yet compact, you can further avail several advantages by using Ruby on Rails.
What Makes Ruby on Rails Applications Compact?
Many Inbuilt Modules
Despite being an open source web application development framework, Rails allows programmers to use a large number of inbuilt modules. These modules are further designed specifically to perform specific tasks without requiring the programmers to write longer lines of code. At the same time, they can use the inbuilt plug-ins to save the efforts required to build features from the scratch. The combination of modular design and a leaner code-base contributes towards reducing the project development time substantially.
Easy to Incorporate Changes
Often programmers have to write lengthy code to add new features to a website after its initial launch. Unlike conventional web development frameworks, Rails enables programmers to add, modify and remove features without any hassle. The programmers can simply use the inbuilt modules and templates to add new features or modify the data model without putting any extra effort.
Support for Multiple Operating Systems
The web application is thoroughly evaluated by seasoned QA engineers to ensure that it runs seamlessly on different platforms. Often programmers have to add new code or modify existing code to make the application compatible with major operating systems. Ruby on Rails runs on the Ruby programming language that is supported by many platforms. The programmers also have option to use Rails for multiple platforms. So the Rails applications can be deployed in varying enterprise environments without writing any additional code or test scripts.
Enables Agile Project Management
Rails support several widely used software engineers principles and patterns like Model-View-Controller (MVC) and convention over configuration (CoC). As programmers have option to set convention over configuration, it becomes easier to adopt Agile along with a set of lean business and software development methods. Methods like The Lean Startup allows developers to reduce the amount of time required from planning to actual development through rapid prototyping. Thus, the large and complex processes can be broken down to reduce the development time.
Option to Avoid Repetition of Tasks
While building an application, developers have to concentrate on both current and upcoming trends in technology. Each enterprise also wants to use futuristic technologies to make the web application deliver richer user experience. As a powerful and futuristic technology, Rails is the first choice of many entrepreneurs and businesses. The impact of the web development framework can be determined by the fact that it runs popular web services like Twitter, Hulu, YellowPages, Scribd, Slideshare and SoundCloud.
On the whole, Ruby on Rails delivers quick, effective and efficient results without sacrificing performance or flexibility. But many experts have highlighted that the framework may not perfectly complement the requirements of certain projects. Therefore, each organization must implement several best practices to avail the full advantage of the framework.
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