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Django vs. Ruby on Rails: What’s the Difference?

Comparison Between Django and Ruby on Rails

by Pranisha Rai
Rails Vs Django What’s the Difference
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Introduction

Selecting the right framework will help you create a successful and robust web application. In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, Ruby on Rails and Django are the stalwart frameworks of web development. Although they share some features like dynamic nature and object-oriented features, these frameworks are used to build entirely different project preferences. This blog sheds light on the difference between Django and Ruby on Rails (RoR). So, in the end, you can choose the one that suits you best.  

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What is Django?

Introduced in 2005, Django is an open-source, general-purpose framework for Python. It helps Python developers simplify complex, database-driven web development with a clean and practical model. Some of the features that contributed to Django Framework popularity are object-relational mapping (ORM) and a vibrant community. This ORM lets developers directly work with Python objects instead of raw SQL, which improves code reusability. Its community provides extensive documentation, third-party packages, and support resources.

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What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails, also referred to as Rails or RoR, is the backend framework for Ruby. It follows convention over configuration principles, and don’t repeat yourself (DRY). Developers favor RoR on its simplicity, syntax, and magic conventions. This in return emphasizes the productivity of developers by minimizing the need for explicit configurations and focusing more on writing clean code. Apart from this, its scaffolding feature generates a basic structure for models, views, and controllers, providing developers with the default server, web services, and page structures. 

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A Brief History of Django and Ruby on Rails

Django is a Python full-stack web framework developed by Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison. Since its first release, it has started to gain a lot of fame. With its clean design, rapid development capabilities, and extensive documentation, Django started to gain a lot of fame among developers. Another reason that made Django highly popular was its out-of-the-box and comprehensive sets of libraries. This provided developers with all the common requirements for development tasks, allowing them to focus more on building innovative web applications. 

David Heinemeier Hansson created Ruby on Rails. Initially, it was a project management tool, but it was later released as an open-source project in 2004. Back in those days, conventional approaches with extensive configuration and repetitive code were difficult to handle and inconvenient for developers. But Rails, with its simplicity, convention over configuration, productivity, and elegance, provided convenience. Now, Ruby has a rich ecosystem with a vast array of gems, tools, and resources. Its thriving community contributes to continuously sharing knowledge, best practices, and new advancements. 

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Ruby on Rails vs. Django: Difference

Factors Django Ruby on Rails
Architecture Model, View, Template (MVT) Model, View, Controller (MVC)
Web Server Apache, Cherokee, and Gunicorn WEBrick, NGINX, and Apache
Installation Quick Slow
Performance Quite slower than Ruby on Rails Faster than Django.
HTML Template Simple template. Complex Template
Principle of Development Follows two principles DRY and Explicit is better than Implicit DRY and Convention-over Configuration
Database Server PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQLite, and MySQL. MySQL and PostgreSQL.
Usage Complex data-driven and web apps. Database backend for web apps
Scalability Limited scalability Highly scalable
Communities More than 10000 with 5000 ready-to-use packages It has over 6000 community
Security Robust security features Provides SQL injection, cross-site (XSS) scripting, and reliable security option
Learning Curve Lower Steeper
Syntax Less flexible Highly flexible
Must Read: DJANGO IN PYTHON
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Comparison Between Ruby on Rails vs. Django

Django and Rails

Both frameworks do share some similarities, like object-oriented features, the MVP approach, and being an open-source platform. Regarding them, they’re used for different cases and projects. To know the main difference between them. Rail is highly scalable, in contrast to Django projects with MVPs; web applications, eCommerce, and metaprogramming do well with Ruby. Whereas Django is the ideal choice for data-heavy applications. Now let’s take a closer look at its comparison: 

Popularity

In terms of popularity, both frameworks are thriving and growing at their own pace. However, Django’s popularity slightly overshadows Rails. On StackOverflow, it has over 14.65% of votes from product owners, and 185,161 live websites use it. But that does not mean Rails is lacking. It has over 638,562 live websites, and 3,182,630 sites were recorded in the past. Similar to Django, it has 5.83% of the votes of product owners on StackOverflow. Though its votes seem to be comparatively lower than those of Django, it still shows the influence of this framework. According to Google Trends data, Django and Rails are expected to grow more in 2024 and create more opportunities for project owners. 

Architectural Pattern

Rails follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture pattern; which separates the business logic of an application, and Django follows Model-View-Template (MVT); this represents the database in the data structure. While working with MVT Architecture, developers can choose and customize their approach to solving logical problems. Not only that, but they can use their skills to build cool and innovative web applications. However, accomplishing the same thing using the RoR architecture is not possible. 

Scalability

Both of these frameworks are heavyweight, considering scalability. But Ruby on Rails features like flexibility and high scalability outperform Django in scaling the application. Therefore, RoR is beneficial for apps that deal with high traffic and an increased user base. However, some of the new features of Django are simplified templates for form field rendering, support for PostGIS 3.2, and a new database backend API that allows Django developers to add real-world application features such as a mapping application or a real estate search engine, use the new database backend API in older versions of Django, and write simple and maintainable templates.

Speed

Django follows a single coding style instead of a multiple approach. This makes development and debugging way faster, but developers must have good skills and expertise in Django and Python. In this case, Rails comes with a rich repository of Gems plug-ins and libraries that give developers the flexibility to include anything they like in their projects. Therefore, this led to faster development for Rails. Hence, Rails has the upper hand in terms of speed, whereas Django is comparatively slow.

Performance

Both of these frameworks are even regarding performance, so it’s hard to pinpoint one and say it’s superior to another. Both equally offer comprehensive tools and libraries for rapid development. Having said that, RoR is more compatible with general purposes and high performance, while Django, on the other hand, is more suitable for specific-use applications. While comparing these two in performance, some have observed that RoR is quite faster than Django. This is due to the extensive set of libraries and plugins that RoR adds to the execution process. 

Libraries and Tools

Using Rails, developers don’t need to go through complex coding. It provides a wide range of libraries and tools that allow them to do rapid prototyping of the product, testing, and development. Plus, Ruby Gems lets them add more additional features and functionalities. Some of the libraries are Pry, Devise, Sidekiq, and RSpec. On the other hand, Django provides substantial libraries and packages that provide enough efficiency in applications. Apart from that, it provides numerous options to support and back you up in your web app development journey.

Security

Python is praised by many developers for its high security and functionalities. Django inherited its secure features from Python due to esteemed organizations like NASA, Instagram, and National Geographic uses Django. Meanwhile, Rails also offers decent security for building applications. Some of the security features are SQL Injection and cross-site Scripting (XSS) which help to safeguard the data. Top companies like Airbnb, Github, Shopify, and many more use Rails. But in case you’re working on web applications that require robust security, Django is a preferred choice.

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Django vs. Ruby on Rails: Which is a Good Option for Web Development?

Both the Django and Ruby on Rails frameworks are suitable for developing a wide range of web applications. These frameworks have their own unique strengths and weaknesses; thus, some applications may be better suited for one framework and may not work the same way with the other applications. Django is best for working with complex web applications that need lots of data and content management. With its built-in ORM and admin interface, creating custom content and managing data would be super easy. Also, its Rest Framework provides developers with all the essential API frameworks, so they can easily build web APIs. On the other hand, Ruby on Rails is ideal for rapid development and prototyping. Its standout features are built-in scaffolding and convention-over-configuration, which provide ease of working for Ruby on Rails developers 

All in all, both frameworks offer the best features and provide convenience to developers. These frameworks are equally competitive and do share some similarities and roles in the various developments. The best one depends on your needs and which project you’re developing. If you’re a full-stack developer and searching for a top job  opportunities, then sign up with Olibr.

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FAQs

Ruby on Rails and Django are both easier to work with, but with flexible code and conventions over configuration, Ruby on Rails is preferred over Django. 

Ruby on Rails will be excellent for creating quick solutions, simple projects and MVPs, quick prototyping, and various eCommerce projects. 

Yes, you can. Ruby on Rails is ideal for creating quick MVPs and eCommerce projects. Its development speed is three times faster. And the Django framework is best for large-scale projects with databases. 

Generally, Django has a rich ecosystem and offers a wide range of libraries and third-party packages. This gives developers the convenience to handle various aspects of web development; therefore, it is easier to integrate monetization tools in Django. Well, Ruby on Rails with Gem libraries implementing monetization tools makes it easy for developers. The choice between the two depends on team preferences, project infrastructure, and other factors. 

If you’re working with complex database-driven websites, projects that require math and complex computing, or creating REST APIs, then you should choose Django. 

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