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Ruby on Rails vs Node.js: Which Is Better?

Ruby on rails vs NodeJS which is better

When comparing Node.js vs Ruby on Rails, there are plenty of things to bear in mind. To start with, they aren’t identical and they aren’t in the same categories of comparison. This is often because frameworks are different from runtime. Nevertheless, in this article, we’ll closely look at the two and will attempt to identify which is better.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is an asynchronous event-driven JavaScript runtime that's designed to build a scalable network application. It is built on top of Chrome’s V8 engine and runs on the server side. It performs a non-blocking I/O operation through the assistance of an event loop.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails, or Rails, is a server-side web application framework written in Ruby under the MIT license. It uses the model-view-controller (MVC) framework that gives default structures for databases, internet services, and sites. It encourages and facilitates the utilization of web standards like JSON or XML for data transfer and HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for user interfacing.

Additionally, Rails emphasizes the utilization of other well-known software engineering patterns and paradigms, including convention over configuration (CoC), don't repeat yourself (DRY), and therefore, the active record pattern.

Features of Node.js vs Ruby on Rails

Let’s compare some of the features of these technologies side-by-side.

Node.jsRuby on Rails
Single-threaded: The single-threaded event loop model architecture underlies this programming language. The event loop technique aids the server's increased scalability by enabling the Node.js server to execute all non-blocking tasks with no issues.Node.js can manage several client requests, in contrast to Apache HTTP servers.Active Record: Active Record is a dependable framework used by Ruby on Rails which makes it simple for developers to make database interaction queries. This is often due to the fact that they create the query in the Ruby programming language which is then automatically translated into an SQL query that accepts the result and produces an object. It's quite uncommon to create an SQL query because the current record library can handle the majority of the work.
Extremely scalable: The scalability of Node.js is superb. The single-thread architecture and operation are the key reasons. An invitation is processed by a single thread as soon as it is received. The method starts over once the client has received the response. Node.js divides programs horizontally using child processes. It helps businesses to more easily alter app versions to suit the interests of certain clients.MVC architecture: The model-view-controller pattern, a well-liked online application design, is the foundation of Ruby on Rails. Therefore, Rails can also be used easily by developers who are accustomed to working with other frameworks that employ MVC conventions. With this design, the presentation layer, data layer, and resource layer maintenance codes are separated.
Asynchronous: Application programming interfaces in Node.js are intentionally asynchronous. To place it another way, one thread processes every request that a client sends to a server. The response is sent across if there is no database interaction with the request.Convention over configuration: Since configuration files are unnecessary for conventions, reflection, and dynamic runtime extensions, Ruby on Rails doesn't use them. Assigning value automatically without user input is the notion underlying the phrase "Convention over Configuration." It’s a particularly laborious need for some software systems like Java web application frameworks. It involves several configuration files, each with a variety of options. Since you do not have to spend time setting up config files, the convention function boosts productivity. You do not need to debate where things go and what names to give them.
Event-driven architecture: Events is the name given to Node.js' notification system. It's used to collect and maintain track of the server's past API calls. The callback technique utilized in asynchronous programming is analogous to how the event-driven mechanism works. The program will declare its functions, start setting its variables, then wait for the event to happen after Node.js has finished launching the server.Easy testing tool: RSpec, a unit testing solution that's included with Ruby on Rails, is likewise fairly simple to use. Since it's just normal Ruby, you'll use it to test the application's functionalities by calling each one independently. It helps ensure that the application has undergone adequate testing.
NPM: The most complete online repository for the Node.js JavaScript runtime environment is the Node Package Manager, better referred to as NPM. It's used by developers to create, set up, and publish node programs. There are already 1.3 million unique packages within the registry. NPM also enables new firms to efficiently manage private development.Automated deployment: With the assistance of its libraries, Ruby on Rails enables faster and easier transition of code to the assembly environment. Every modification you create to production is deployed with only a single line on the command interface after the initial one-time setup.
Performance: Node.js is made on top of Chrome's V8 JavaScript Runtime engine which accelerates code execution. The JavaScript code utilized in the V8 engine is translated into machine code with the aid of C++. The code implementation is now more simplified and speedyEasy language for programming: The simplicity of the Ruby programming language is also embraced in its adaptable framework, Ruby on Rails, which is more akin to English.

Pros and cons of Node.js vs Ruby on Rails

Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks of Node.js and Rails.

Advantages of Node.js

  • Node.js is predicated on one of the fastest engines, Google V8, which earns it the power to write high-speed asynchronous code. This is considered a truly killer feature.
  • Node.js applications are scalable.
  • It is often used for web, mobile, and desktop applications.
  • The possibility of using JavaScript both at the frontend and backend makes development faster and easier.
  • You only need to learn JavaScript and you’ll be ready to build mobile, web, and desktop applications.

Disadvantages of Node.js

  • It is inconsistent. Its API changes constantly.
  • Unlike Ruby on Rails, it is not suitable for CPU-intensive applications.
  • Not too good on the security front.

Advantages of Ruby on Rails

  • It’s very easy to learn, making it a good choice for beginner developers.
  • It’s known for its security capability.
  • It forces you to stay with the standard.
  • It accelerates development
  • The massive community makes it easier to seek help if you encounter an issue while debugging.
  • It’s quick and straightforward.

Disadvantages of Ruby on Rails

  • Not the best for complex applications.
  • It’s slower than Node.js.
  • It isn’t scalable.

Uses of Node.js

Node.js is used for collaborative tools, data streaming applications, and real-time applications.

Collaborative tools

Node.js is capable of building an application that needs real-time updates, such as collaborative tools. An example is the famous project management application, Trello. This real-time flow is possible because of Node.js’s feature, which is an event-driven and non-blocking model.

Data streaming applications

Node.js’s writable and readable feature makes it great for transmitting and receiving an outsized amount of data in a smaller package instead of a single batch. This is super helpful for audio and video streaming applications. The in-built modules make the task simple. Companies like Netflix leverage Node.js’s streaming capability.

Real-time applications

Node.js is popular for its speed and performance, making it useful for creating real-time messaging and chat applications. For instance, WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook Messenger, etc. There’s enormous support for the heavy traffic of multiple short messages or chat rooms when messages are shown to several users in real-time.

Uses of Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is used for ecommerce applications, social networking applications, and content management systems.

Ecommerce applications

Rails is known for its simplicity. It also provides plenty of helpful gems to accomplish specific tasks. This is why building an ecommerce application with it is easy and straightforward.

Social networking applications

Rails is used to build social network apps. Even Twitter uses it. What sets it apart is that there’s no need to write too many lines of code to make the implementation work.

Content management systems

For anyone wishing to develop a content-focused website, Rails is the solution. Thanks to the extensive material available, anyone can easily create an internet site with ready-to-use tools that are excellent for producing and disseminating content. The libraries are chock-full of plugins and extensions.


1. PayPal

Ruby on Rails vs Node.js.webp

Well-known fintech company, PayPal, is written with Node.js. The platform allows users to swiftly and conveniently conduct financial transactions with each other online in more than 100 different currencies.

2. Yahoo

Applications built with Node.js and Ruby on Rails.webp

The multinational technology firm headquartered in the United States is best known for its online portal, program, and related services. The program accounts for 1.65% of the 4.57 billion consumers who use search engines worldwide.

3. LinkedIn

Difference between Node.js and Ruby on Rails.webp

LinkedIn allows both companies and job seekers to post positions and is usually used for professional networking and career advancement.

4. Netflix

Node.js vs. Ruby on Rails for Mobile Application.webp

Among the companies employing Node.js, Netflix is perhaps the most well-known to people. It offers consumers a streaming service for television and movies.

5. Uber

Detailed Comparison on Node.js vs. Ruby on Rails.webp

Uber is another name that uses Node.js. It provides ride-hailing, food delivery (via Postmates and Uber Eats), package delivery, courier, and freight transportation services.

Ruby on Rails

1. GitHub

Famous Applications Built with Ruby on Rails.webp

GitHub is a web hosting solution for Git-based version control and software development. It offers each project access control, bug tracking, software feature requests, task management, continuous integration, and wikis in addition to Git's distributed version control.

2. Airbnb

Ruby on Rails apps.webp

This is a popular web marketplace with a focus on experiences and short-term homestays. As a broker, the business takes a commission from each reservation.

3. Shopify

Node.JS vs. Ruby on Rails for Apps.webp

Through one streamlined interface, Shopify's user-friendly ecommerce platform enables small businesses to make an online store and conduct online sales.

4. Zendex

Node js vs Ruby on Rails For Web apps.webp

Zendex offers software-as-a-service (SaaS) items for customer communications, sales, and customer support.

5. Hulu

Node.js and Ruby on Rails compared.webp

This is a popular American subscription streaming service with a majority of it owned by The Walt Disney Company. NBCUniversal, a Comcast company, owns the remaining shares.

Which is better?

Node.js is a very advanced technology that is continually developed and updated. It is frequently used for large-scale applications. In contrast, Ruby on Rails is a simple-to-learn framework that is ideal for small IT businesses. It can be used for both frontend and backend development. As for which is better, we can only draw one conclusion: the more Node.js and Ruby on Rails expertise you have, the better. The choice to use either technology should be based on the needs and goals of your project. Having knowledge of both will also open up numerous opportunities for Node.js developer jobs and Ruby on Rails jobs.


  • Author

    Ignatius Sani

    Ignatius is a contributing technical writer for hacker noon. He writes articles that cover a wide variety of programming topics. His current professional interests include web/mobile app projects and other similar topics.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is entirely up to your business. If performance is the only factor, Node.js is the best option for you. However, if all your business needs is a CPI-intensive activity, Ruby on Rails would unquestionably be the better choice. In the end, each technology performs a certain task better than the other.

Ruby on Rails is best used for developing a reasonably modest application. It’s mostly used by small IT businesses.

Yes, since Node.js has features like the Google V8 machine, single-thread, and event loop.

The single-threaded event loop design is supported by Nodejs.

Node.js is the way to go if you want to create a project that is both fast and scalable.

Ruby on Rails supports the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture pattern.

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