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Difference between Node.js and Ruby on Rails

Last Updated : 05 Aug, 2021
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Before stepping into a new project, the software developing team goes through a severe discussion in order to choose the best language, framework, or methodology for their project. As we are aware, the different technologies have their different pros and cons and similarly the technology which is looking vibrant for one project might be lacking for others. That’s why declaring a specific one worthless wouldn’t be justifiable. 

The parameters of comparison are depended upon the following factors: 

  1. Performance
  2. Scalability
  3. Applications
  4. Execution
  5. Libraries
  6. Readability of Code  

Node.js Introduction: 

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript runtime environment (Framework) which is open-source(Available for commercial use) and has cross platforms functionalities. Node.js is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine(that’s openly available by Google and written in C++ language), which provides the facility to executes JavaScript code outside a web browser. In 2009 Ryan Dahl developed it, node.js allows the facility to SDE to use JavaScript in write command-line tools and deep scalable network applications (server-side scripting—running scripts server-side) to produce dynamic web page content before the page is sent to the user’s web browser. 


It allows developers to create real-time dynamic web-applications that run across all distributed systems like (Linux, Microsoft Windows, Os x). Its applications are written in JavaScript. Node.js has also bedecked with useful JavaScript rich library and most of them hosted on npm based websites, which simplifies the web-based development process very easy. Event-driven programming in Node.js allows SDE to make deep-scalable servers without using the concept of threading, it(event-driven programming) uses callbacks to signal as the task completed. In order to enable the single-threaded event loop functionality in webpages, we need to accommodate the libuv library of Node.js. this(libuv) library provides a thread pool to handle concurrent execution of requests. But there’s one downside of this single-threaded system is that it prohibits Vertical-scaling. It works efficiently with almost all internet protocols such as HTTP, DNS, TCP


Node.js = JavaScript_library + Runtime_framework(Environment)

Following are the features of Node.js:

  • Asynchronous and Event-Driven: All APIs of the Node.js library are asynchronous, that is, non-blocking. It means a Node.js based server never waits for an API to return data. The server moves to the next API after calling it and a notification mechanism of Events of Node.js helps the server to get a response from the previous API call.
  • Very Fast: It’s built on Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine, that’s why the Node.js library is very fast in code execution. Developers can write real-time applications, One can easily use Node.JS for the front end as well as for back-end development.
  • Uni-threaded with event looping: This Event mechanism provides extensive support to the server to respond in a non-blocking manner and makes the server highly scalable as compared to the traditional servers that provide only a limited thread to handle multiple requests at a time.
  • Smoothly functioning at Server-side: A developer can address and reply to an HTTP request on the computer, addressing to the traffic network and at the same time can access the database from a computer directly.
  • No Buffering: There is no buffering in Node.js as applications output the data is given in pieces.
  • License: It is released under the MIT license.
  • Open-source: Freely accessible to the public. People can access it from anywhere free of cost.

Ruby on Rails Introduction: 

It, is also known as Rails, is a server-side web application framework that’s written in Ruby language under the guidance of MIT university and accredited under its License by David Heinemeier Hansson. Rails is a model–view–controller (MVC) framework that provides the default structure for a database, a web service, and web pages. It also encourages and facilitates the use of web standards such as JSON or XML for the transfer of data and HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for providing a user-friendly interface. 


Rails framework is highly recommendable for developing a database-backed web application and its efficient management.  In addition to MVC(Model-View-Controller), Rails emphasizes the use of other well-known software engineering patterns and paradigms, including Convention over configuration (CoC), Don’t repeat yourself (DRY), and the active record pattern.

Following are the features of Ruby on Rails: 

  • MVC Architecture: Ruby on Rails is based on the Model, View, and Controller pattern, the widely used web application architecture. Hence, the developers who are well introduced to other frameworks that use the MVC patterns can also use Ruby on Rails efficiently. This architecture separates codes of different functions, i.e. presentation layer, data layer, and maintaining a resource layer.
  • Active Record: Ruby on Rails based on the powerful library called Active record, which makes it easy for developers to design the database interaction queries. This is because they are writing the query in Ruby programming language itself, which is then automatically converted into a SQL query, that receives the output and returns an object. The active record library can accomplish most of the tasks; hence, it is very rare to develop a query in SQL.
  • Simple Testing Tool: Ruby on Rails also comes with a unit testing setup called RSpec, which is very easy. Since it is plain in Ruby, you can also use it to test the functions that are deployed in the application by making calls to each separately. It also helps you to ensure your application that whether it has been tested properly or not.
  • Automated Deployment: Ruby on Rails includes some vibrant libraries to allow the code to proceed to production with fewer efforts & less time. Only in the initial one-time setup, it deploys every change you have done to the production with just a single line on the command interface.
  • Easy portability across various database platforms: web developers value Rails for its easy portability feature across various database platforms. This feature is supported by the Rails database migrations. Active Model that highlights the Rails default database Active_record can easily be abstracted in an easier manner and the differences between the various SQL back-ends too. Rather than writing schema in pure SQL language, we can use the migrations feature that allows us to use an easy Ruby DSL syntax to describe the changes to tables and records. As a result, RoR allows creating a database-agnostic schema and models simplifying the migration of Rails applications across different database environments.
  • Open-source: Available at free of cost to the public. People can access it from anywhere free of cost.
  • Legal License owner: It is released under the MIT license.

Key Differences between Node.js between Ruby on Rails: 

  Node.js Ruby on Rail

Node.js is a JavaScript run-time environment framework that is written in JavaScript.

Rails is a Ruby-based framework, which is written in Ruby language.


Node JS is the best suited for developing small size projects and for I/O non-blocking, event-based application.

Rails is a web application framework, well suited for database-backed web application in MVC pattern and for metaprogramming.


The working Node.js is very fast (page load is faster across a site) in comparison to Rails. Best recommended for developing a fast application.

Rail’s is slower than compared to Node.js. Best recommended for developing a fast application. Best suited for developing complex and large scale applications.


Node.js is easier to install with some archive files that need to be installed on the system.

But here in case of Rails, you need to install a lot of stuff along with many generators.


Node.js framework followed by LinkedIn, eBay, Medium, Heap, Sense etc.

While Rails-based applications are dribble, Airbnb, Scribd, GitHub, Shopify, Sound-cloud, Basecamp etc.


Node.js provide us facility to create web-servers on its own with a capacity to handle the all HTTP request asynchronously

Whereas Rails have to depend over the WEBrick, Apache, NGINX, Cherokee.


Developers can utilize it for the client-side and as well as for server-side purpose.

While Ruby on Rails is a server-side framework.


Huge market demand. Its users are increasing with an exponential higher rate.

Not as popular as NodeJS in a current market scenario.


Node.js consumes more time in deploying the application because here you need to search for the modules and that process follows the specific instructions for integrating them with the application.

Ruby on Rails is considered to be faster and lighter, as compared to the Node.js as here you can easily perform tasks, like the migration of database in just performing a few commands.


The learning curve is partially less than with Rails. It is flexible and understandable for developers with or without any prior background.

Though learning Rails is easy, you might need to know and understand the attributes, like objects, classes, Ruby-level methods, etc. that are important and take considerable time.


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