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Ruby on Rails vs. Java: Which Language is the Best for Web App Development?

by Pranisha Rai
ruby on rails vs java
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The debate over whether Ruby on Rails (RoR) or Java is a better choice for web app development goes on so often. It becomes hard to select one, and if you’re stuck in this dilemma, rest assured! In this article, we will walk you through RoR vs. Java. So, by the end, you can pick the right one for your web app development. But before moving right into the depths of these technologies, let’s first understand the key differences between these two.

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Understand the Difference between RoR and Java

Java is an open-source, object-oriented programming (OOP) standalone language, and RoR is a framework. Since RoR is written in Ruby, it inherited the OOP features from it. While Java is renowned for building enterprise-level applications, the RoR framework is best suited for full-stack web development. Moreover, RoR supports rapid application development and lets developers prototype their ideas quickly, whereas Java is used to build complex applications with robust backends. 

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Why Do We Need to Use A Framework Like RoR?

why do we need to use frameworks

A framework is a set of prewritten code or libraries that provide functionality and structure for the application. The main idea behind using the framework is to speed up development by using the functions and features that have been tested. Frameworks are extremely beneficial while working with the Model-View-Control (MVC) architecture, as it make the task a lot easier, especially for new developers to comprehend the code and get started with it. It can seamlessly support any high-level programming language via code modularity. Plus, common tasks like login, database handling, and business logic are separated. Moreover, it provides extra features without being implemented manually. Some of the frameworks are free to use, and some of them are open source. Similarly, Java also has numerous frameworks, some of which are popular and mostly used, including Spring, Springboot, and Hibernate. To learn more about the Java framework, check out this The Top Best Java Framework in 2024.

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Side by Side comparison between RoR and Java

comparison between ror and java

Development Speed

When it comes to backend development, speed and productivity are the top priorities. RoR provides convention over configuration, so programmers don’t need to deal with database configurations, structures, and naming conventions. This gives programmers more time and accelerates the development speed. Alternatively, Java OOP features promote code reusability, which reduces a lot of redundant work and simplifies the development process. But its inflexible compilation process requires a programmer to plan it carefully. As a result, this makes the Java program run slower during the initial development process than RoR. Therefore, in terms of development speed, RoR excels in Java. 


Java outperforms RoR in terms of performance, all thanks to its bytecode, which results in fast execution. RoR falls short due to line-by-line execution. Though its performance has improved over the years, Java still holds the crown of great performance. 

Use cases

Both are used in diverse domains. Ruby on Rails is commonly used in web development and excels in interactive and database-driven websites. Moreover, there are startups, social media, and entertainment that use RoR. Simultaneously, Java’s scalability and wide range of libraries make it perfect for building complex applications. Furthermore, it is hugely used in cloud computing, big data, AI, banking, and finance. This shows both languages have equally tons of benefits to industries and multiple use cases.

Security and User Experience

Java’s robust security features, byte code verification, runtime security checks, JVM, and regular updates make it more secure than RoR. Although RoR has some in-built libraries for encryption, its dynamic nature makes it vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, the best coding practices and secure development methodology can make the language secure. If you prioritize security, then Java is the ideal choice for you. In terms of responsiveness, RoR on Rails is better than Java.

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Applications built using RoR

Agile Project Development

RoR’s MVC architecture pattern allows developers to partition the business logic into three different parts, i.e., model, view, and controller. Besides, its features like scaffolding, REST (pattern), conventions over configuration (COC), and rapid feedback loop contribute to agile development.


Security is paramount when building an e-commerce site. In this regard, RoR applies salted and hashed user passwords by default. Plus, you can add more functionality and features using Gem. This way, you will be equipped with all the necessary third-party tools and services to build scalable e-commerce sites. 

Cyber Security Applications Development

It’s secure nature, highly secure libraries, and CSRF protection, make it the ideal choice for building cyber security applications. Moreover, token-based authentication and secure cookie handling add a security layer to the framework.  

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What types of applications can be built using Java?

Android Development

Java is the official language for Android mobile development. Its OOP concepts promote modular projects and code reusability. Also, a wide range of libraries for designing patterns along with independence, agility, and compatibility give the language an edge. 

Desktop Application

Java is by far one of the most popular languages for developing desktop applications. You can use Java frameworks like Spring, Spring Boot, Vaadin, and Play. 

Backend Development

With features like typechecking, dynamic linking, platform independence, automatic memory management, multithreading support, and an open-source library, it’s perfect for building the backend of your web applications. So, the list goes on and on, we’ve already covered Java and its applications, so head over to this page and uncover more about Java.

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Final Words

It’s quite hard to pinpoint or say that one language is superior to another. Since both languages are widely used in web development while adhering to the principles of OOP, both languages work well with databases and other technologies. The best possible way to find out the best language for web app development is to compare each of the languages based on their performance, productivity speed, learning curve, use cases, security, and many more. Thus, the final decision largely depends on the type of project you’re working on and its requirements.  

But Java has a decade-long popularity. When it comes to creating a complex web application with a solid backend, businesses often seek the assistance of Java app development services. It is much faster than RoR and also takes less time and energy, which makes it perfect for a large project. Some of the major benefits of Java are its robust security protocols, cross-platform compatibility, high scalability, and performance. Java is also the top choice for enterprise applications and mobile app development due to its scalability, platform independence, and robustness. However, Java is not preferred for quick prototyping as it takes a lot of time and becomes expensive. 

And RoR, on the other hand, is the best choice for start-ups. And someone who wants to develop prototypes in a short period of time without investing in a big developer team. Some of the benefits of RoR are lighter code, faster development, and detailed documentation.  

Therefore, RoR is ideal for building applications that are less complex and smaller projects. Java is best for large-scale web applications that require a high degree of scalability and good speed. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Java and Ruby are best for different and specific projects. Java is best for developing complex projects, and RoR is the ideal choice for startups and projects with tight budgets. So both are best in their respective domains; to say that one will replace the other is not easy. Around 500 companies use Java, which is popular for building complex applications. Similarly, Ruby is also famous for having fewer lines of code and is popular among professional developers. 

If you want to go for Android development, you can learn Java first. But if you’re just starting out and want to learn easy programming languages with OOP features, Ruby on Rails is the best.

Ruby on Rails’s fewer coding lines and dynamic nature make it less difficult than Java. Java’s strict coding styles and concepts, like interfaces and packages, make it quite complex, especially for someone with no experience. 

Ruby and Java are both object-oriented languages, but they differ in several properties. Ruby is a dynamically interpreted scripting language, whereas Java is a statically typed, compiled programming language. 

Ruby provides flexibility in syntax and supports functional programming concepts. But Java has better scalability and supports dynamic functions. 

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