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Active Admin vs Administrate: What are the differences?


In this Markdown code, we will discuss the key differences between Active Admin and Administrate, which are both popular Ruby on Rails frameworks for creating and managing administration dashboards.

  1. Customizability: Active Admin provides a highly customizable interface, allowing developers to create their own custom views and configure the dashboard according to their specific needs. On the other hand, Administrate focuses more on convention over configuration, providing a simpler and less customizable interface out of the box. It aims to provide a consistent and opinionated design for ease of use.

  2. DSL vs. Object-oriented: Active Admin uses a DSL (Domain Specific Language) approach, where the dashboard configuration is done using a dedicated set of DSL methods and syntax. Administrate, on the other hand, takes an object-oriented approach, relying on Ruby classes and inheritance for setting up the dashboard. This difference in approach can affect the learning curve and flexibility of the frameworks.

  3. Active Record vs. Not tied to ORM: Active Admin is tightly integrated with Active Record, the default ORM for Ruby on Rails. This means that it provides seamless integration with Active Record models and supports many Active Record specific features out of the box. In contrast, Administrate is not tied to any specific ORM and can work with different object-relational mapping libraries, giving developers more flexibility in their choice of ORM.

  4. Ease of Setup and Configuration: Administrate is designed to be easy to set up and configure, with minimal configuration required out of the box. It follows convention over configuration principles, automatically inferring dashboard configurations based on the ActiveRecord models. Active Admin, while also providing some default configurations, may require more manual setup and configuration for more complex scenarios.

  5. Gem Dependencies: Active Admin has a larger number of gem dependencies compared to Administrate, which can affect the size and complexity of the project. Administrate aims to have minimal dependencies, making it a lightweight choice for projects that require simplicity and maintainability.

  6. Community and Maintenance: Both Active Admin and Administrate have active communities and are actively maintained. However, Active Admin has been around for a longer time and has a larger user base, which often translates into faster bug fixes, more contributions, and a wider range of available extensions and plugins.

In summary, Active Admin offers high customizability, a DSL-based approach, and tight integration with Active Record, while Administrate prioritizes simplicity, convention over configuration, and a more lightweight approach with fewer dependencies. The choice between the two frameworks depends on the specific needs and preferences of the project.

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Pros of Active Admin
Pros of Administrate
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  • 3
    Easy Integration
  • 2
    Powerful Admin Portal
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    What is Active Admin?

    Active Admin is a Ruby on Rails framework for creating elegant backends for website administration.

    What is Administrate?

    Administrate is heavily inspired by projects like Rails Admin and ActiveAdmin, but aims to provide a better user experience for site admins, and to be easier for developers to customize.

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    What companies use Active Admin?
    What companies use Administrate?
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