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Rails vs Spring Boot: What are the differences?

What is Rails? Web development that doesn't hurt. Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.

What is Spring Boot? Create Spring-powered, production-grade applications and services with absolute minimum fuss. Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can "just run". We take an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration.

Rails and Spring Boot can be categorized as "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools.

"Rapid development", "Great gems" and "Great community" are the key factors why developers consider Rails; whereas "Powerful and handy", "Easy setup" and "Java" are the primary reasons why Spring Boot is favored.

Rails and Spring Boot are both open source tools. It seems that Rails with 43.4K GitHub stars and 17.5K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Spring Boot with 39.3K GitHub stars and 25.5K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Rails has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2320 company stacks & 779 developers stacks; compared to Spring Boot, which is listed in 326 company stacks and 585 developer stacks.

Advice on Rails and Spring Boot
Needs advice
on
Spring Boot
and
Django

I need to build a system(web app) where people will share their projects and will receive funding against those projects if someone likes the projects. The backend should be secure, and the tools that will be needed to build that system should be free. We are a startup that can't invest too much in tools right now. We need to build it in 3-4 four months.

The application should be able to support 10k users for now and should be able to scale later.

Also, please suggest what front-end technologies I should use.

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Replies (1)
Top Notch

Depending on the backend I would pick the technology you feel most comfortable with, although, my preference would go to Django with Django REST Framework considering the timeframe you mentioned.

As for the front-end, React.JS and Vue are easy to get started with.

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Leonardo Viada
Project manager and web developer at Revo Digital · | 4 upvotes · 13.9K views
Needs advice
on
Scala
Rails
and
Play
at

In the past few months, a project we're working on grew up quite fast. Since we're adding more and more features, I'm considering migrating my Express/TS REST API towards a more solid and more "enterprise-like" framework. Since I am experienced with TypeScript but not so much with Rails nor Play (Scala), I'd like to have some advice on which one could provide the best development experience, and most importantly, the smoothest paradigm transition from the JS/TS world. I've worked on some personal project with Rails, but I've found the Ruby language really distant from what the TypeScript ecosystem and syntax are, whereas on the opposite - during the brief tours I've taken in the past weeks - it's been a pleasure coding in Scala. Obviously, there are some key differences between the two languages - and the two frameworks consequently - but despite all the ROR automation and ease of use I don't despise at all Scala's pragmatic and great features such as static typing, pattern matching, and type inference. So... Please help me out with the choice! Regards

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Replies (4)
ALESSIO SALTARIN
Master IT Architect at IBM · | 5 upvotes · 11.7K views

If you are comfortable with TypeScript, why not evolve to a C# ecosystem? Asp.Net Core + Entity Framework is a mature and well supported technology. As far as I can see in the enterprise market, the most adopted choice is still Java. So, maybe you may have a look to SpringBoot - and ultimately Quarkus.

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Kevin Emery
QE Systems Engineer at Discovery, Inc. · | 5 upvotes · 11.3K views
Recommends
Rails

I don't have the Scala experience to compare the two, but I can say that Ruby is a wonderful language. For procedural programming where you don't need a lot of concurrent execution threads, it's superior to Node.JS in my opinion. All of the concepts from Typescript have equivalent syntax in Ruby, but there are fewer symbols (e.g. () => { ... }); ) and more keywords (eg 'do ... end'). It's a very flexible language and allows for a lot of different approaches to how it's written, so coding standards and careful organization is important. In the long run, however, you'll find it quicker to debug than Node.JS and just as powerful.

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malekmfs
at Meam Software Engineering Group · | 3 upvotes · 4.6K views
Recommends
Scala
Rails

This is advice regardless of your background and requirements. The Play framework has a terrible and complicated design, don't risk it. I even suggest Spring and Kotlin over it! You can use Scala for small services and Data Engineering stuff and benefit optimizations and threading of JVM. RoR, on the other hand, has a huge development speed, which I believe is a big advantage cause you can handle performance bottlenecks later. Also, Scala has another downside, which is featureful in terms of OO and FP paradigms, which makes anyone write code freely with any personal style and makes it a problem in a team, Hence a coding style has to be defined if there would be Scala development team.

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Hosam Aly
Senior Software Engineer · | 3 upvotes · 4.2K views
Recommends
Scala
Rails
Play

If software performance is your top priority, then Scala/Play is probably best. If developer productivity is your top priority, then Ruby on Rails is the best choice in my opinion.

The Rails framework is batteries-included. The framework takes care of many things by default so that you don't have to. Logging, security, etc. It's also well-integrated; for example, controllers understand models out of the box. I had a better experience with RoR than with Play.

On the other hand, Scala and the JVM are more performant in general, so they can scale to serve more requests per second on the same hardware.

If you're considering serverless functions, then Scala is probably a better choice because it would be faster to load, giving you better economics.

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View all (4)
haydenlingle

I'm going to do an independent study with React for school, and I'm looking to build a full-stack application. I have lots of experience with react, but everything else I'd need is somewhat foreign to me. What I'm looking for is to provide a back-end for a React application.

I'm trying to find a back-end framework that can provide and integrate with almost everything I need (database, API, authentication). I will also need to be able to host everything eventually online rather than just locally on my computer. I don't want to use something that is just click-and-go: I want to learn a lot but find something that has much built in functionality, so I don't have to completely re-invent the wheel.

Does anyone else have experience with a stack you'd recommend that is a happy medium of helpful features while still requiring you to understand and implement the functionality yourself? Something well documented (e.g., it's easy to find documentation regarding putting all the pieces together) would be great.

Thanks in advance!

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Replies (7)
Marcelo Escobar
Recommends
Rails

Greate documentation, lot's of info on StackOverflow and it's easy to learn, a lot of things it's already implemented on the stack. It's based on Ruby which is stable and constantly evolving.

Ruby/Rails have a lot of gems(libraries) that will allow you to connect to many DB systems, implement JWT or use a library for authentication.

I have a lot of API's created in Rails that respond to website and mobile apps, and you can create your first one without a lot of stress, responding with JSON easily.

You can use VSCode has good support for ruby and you will have all syntax help etc, I use Atom but I don't have the syntax support, didn't found a good package for that.

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Recommends
Node.js

The most popular stack that comes to mind for your case if MERN ( Mongo, Express, React and Node) I would use Nodejs + Express for backend. Easy to build dynamic and powerful REST APIs. For DB, it would be Mongo DB and front end can be React + Redux (for global state management). Plus NPM has a ton of packages for most cases. PS : Webstorm (free for students) or VS Code ( free for all) for IDE

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Alberto Mazaira
Recommends
Rails
Node.js

I would take either Rails or Node for your problem.

Rails is a great framework: super complete in regards of testing frameworks, authentication libraries, great community support.... but I would say that the latest versions are a bit of a mess for newcomers, because of the way they manage assets: if the assets are served by the framework(Assets Pipeline) vs using Webpack .

If you are already familiar with React, Node is another great framework that will require a bit more effort on selecting the dependencies but for your use case seems a great candidate.

In regards of what you are commenting about learning during the process, both can be Dockerized pretty easy and you can spend some time digging on the lifecycle of putting it into production. Rails has a ridiculous easy way of deploying with Heroku avoiding any kind of work, but if you want to get your hands dirty you can deploy either of the frameworks on a Dockerized environment to any cloud provider you like. That part is really interesting too, and if you are interested on the Devops side, I would say that Node is a bit easier and more convenient(smaller image sizes and times to build) than Rails. All in all:

Rails pros: stable framework, great community support, great testing utilities. Rails cons: How they manage the assets lately(Assets Pipeline vs Webpack), dockerize the app.

Node pros: You are already familiar with Js, simple, easy to put in prod allowing to spend time in the Devops side. Node cons: Dependency management in Js environments is a pain in the ass

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Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 4 upvotes · 4.6K views
Recommends
Rails

Rails is an easy framework to pick up, and you'll get to love all of the magic it does for you. Some of that can be a little confusing at first but once you've got acquainted, this is part of the productivity Rails offers as opposed to other languages or frameworks that sometimes tend to require developers to waste a ton of valuable time setting up their own boilerplate when starting to work on a new project. More pragmatically, Rails is still extremely popular at both startups and at large companies, you can use it to power web applications, or backend APIs, and this will be extremely valuable on your resume. There also is a very large/rich set of libraries (called gems) that will allow you to focus on your actual project/product, rather than rebuilding what already exists. I'd recommend you go with the latest versions of Ruby (3.0) and Rails (6.1.1) so you are from the get-go learning them in their most current form.

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Node.js is great if you already know Javascript. If not, JS is pretty easy to learn. There are many resources and tutorials online for JS and Node. ASP.NET (Core) is a good option if you know C# or need high performance. Node.js isn't a complete framework like .NET, so you need to add Express or another HTTP server, and Database connectors etc.

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Rogério R. Alcântara
Recommends

Although not entirely confident, as I've never used Django and I've not used ASP.NET since 2.0, but given your requirements, at first thought, I'd go with Rails.

Yet, may I ask if have you considered some BAAS such as Firebase, Hasura and the like? Although I've admittedly suffered a bit with Firebase - I'm not totally sure if I've used it correctly, tho. But I've heard really awesome things about Hasura. This slant compairson shows some Firebase's alternatives that I've never heard. In your position, I would have a look.

Cheers.

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Decisions about Rails and Spring Boot
Ing. Alvaro Rodríguez Scelza
Software Systems Engineer at Ripio · | 11 upvotes · 89K views

I was considering focusing on learning RoR and looking for a work that uses those techs.

After some investigation, I decided to stay with C# .NET:

  • It is more requested on job positions (7 to 1 in my personal searches average).

  • It's been around for longer.

  • it has better documentation and community.

  • One of Ruby advantages (its amazing community gems, that allows to quickly build parts of your systems by merely putting together third party components) gets quite complicated to use and maintain in huge applications, where building and reusing your own components may become a better approach.

  • Rail's front end support is starting to waver.

  • C# .NET code is far easier to understand, debug and maintain. Although certainly not easier to learn from scratch.

  • Though Rails has an excellent programming speed, C# tends to get the upper hand in long term projects.

I would avise to stick to rails when building small projects, and switching to C# for more long term ones.

Opinions are welcome!

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Hampton Catlin
VP of Engineering at Rent The Runway · | 7 upvotes · 100K views

Starting a new company in 2020, with a whole new stack, is a really interesting opportunity for me to look back over the last 20 years of my career with web software and make the right decision for my company.

And, I went with the most radical decision– which is to ignore "sexy" / "hype" technologies almost entirely, and go back to a stack that I first used over 15 years ago.

For my purposes, we are building a video streaming platform, where I wanted rapid customer-facing feature development, high testability, simple scaling, and ease of hiring great, experienced talent. To be clear, our web platform is NOT responsible for handling the actual bits and bytes of the video itself, that's an entirely different stack. It simply needs to manage the business rules and the customers experience of the video content.

I reviewed a lot of different technologies, but none of them seemed to fit the bill as well as Rails did! The hype train had long left the station with Rails, and the community is a little more sparse than it was previously. And, to be honest, Ruby was the language that was easiest for developers, but I find that most languages out there have adopted many of it's innovations for ease of use – or at least corrected their own.

Even with all of that, Rails still seems like the best framework for developing web applications that are no more complex than they need to be. And that's key to me, because it's very easy to go use React and Redux and GraphQL and a whole host of AWS Lamba's to power my blog... but you simply don't actually NEED that.

There are two choices I made in our stack that were new for me personally, and very different than what I would have chosen even 5 years ago.

1) Postgres - I decided to switch from MySql to Postgres for this project. I wanted to use UUID's instead of numeric primary keys, and knew I'd have a couple places where better JSON/object support would be key. Mysql remains far more popular, but almost every developer I respect has switched and preferred Postgres with a strong passion. It's not "sexy" but it's considered "better".

2) Stimulus.js - This was definitely the biggest and wildest choice to make. Stimulus is a Javascript framework by my old friend Sam Stephenson (Prototype.js, rbenv, turbolinks) and DHH, and it is a sort of radical declaration that your Javascript in the browser can be both powerful and modern AND simple. It leans heavily on the belief that HTML-is-good and that data-* attributes are good. It focuses on the actions and interactions and not on the rendering aspects. It took me a while to wrap my head around, and I still have to remind myself, that server-side-HTML is how you solve many problems with this stack, and avoid trying to re-render things just in the browser. So far, I'm happy with this choice, but it is definitely a radical departure from the current trends.

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Chose
Rails
over
Django

I have used both the tools . Both of them are super awesome , very reliable and their learning curve is also super easy. But, the reason I choose Ruby on Rails over Django is the fact that the dependency injection is super easy in Rails than Django. What I mean is the fact that, Django requires a lot of import statement to do a lot of work, which remembering is not so easy and even after that you may need to write a lot of code. But Ruby on Rails uses gem to add addition feature or dependency in the project. Which requires just copying the gem statement from github and pasting it in the Gemfile, then running bundle install(these days just bundle works super fine). And there you are with the new feature in your app. You can see this with the example of Authentication, where in Django you require several steps like adding class based views and many more, but in rails it's just as easy as installing the 'devise' gem . And if you want to make it beautiful use bootstrap_template gem to make it look prettier. Now with Rails 6 , Rails is a total developer's fervent friend because it has come up with features like Action Mail and Action Text.

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Pros of Rails
Pros of Spring Boot
  • 847
    Rapid development
  • 648
    Great gems
  • 604
    Great community
  • 479
    Convention over configuration
  • 416
    Mvc
  • 349
    Great for web
  • 344
    Beautiful code
  • 311
    Open source
  • 270
    Great libraries
  • 260
    Active record
  • 105
    Elegant
  • 88
    Easy to learn
  • 86
    Easy Database Migrations
  • 78
    Makes you happy
  • 73
    Free
  • 62
    Great routing
  • 53
    Has everything you need to get the job done
  • 41
    Great Data Modeling
  • 38
    Beautiful
  • 38
    MVC - Easy to start on
  • 35
    Easy setup
  • 26
    Great caching
  • 25
    Ultra rapid development time
  • 22
    It's super easy
  • 17
    Great Resources
  • 16
    Easy to build mockups that work
  • 14
    Less Boilerplate
  • 7
    Developer Friendly
  • 7
    API Development
  • 6
    Great documentation
  • 5
    Easy REST API creation
  • 5
    Quick
  • 4
    Great language
  • 4
    Intuitive
  • 4
    Haml and sass
  • 4
    Easy to learn, use, improvise and update
  • 2
    It works
  • 2
    Jet packs come standard
  • 2
    Easy and fast
  • 2
    Legacy
  • 2
    Metaprogramming
  • 1
    Convention over configuration
  • 1
    Easy Testing
  • 1
    Cancan
  • 1
    It's intuitive
  • 131
    Powerful and handy
  • 122
    Easy setup
  • 115
    Java
  • 84
    Spring
  • 81
    Fast
  • 40
    Extensible
  • 33
    Lots of "off the shelf" functionalities
  • 28
    Cloud Solid
  • 22
    Caches well
  • 20
    Many receipes around for obscure features
  • 19
    Modular
  • 19
    Productive
  • 18
    Integrations with most other Java frameworks
  • 17
    Spring ecosystem is great
  • 17
    Fast Performance With Microservices
  • 15
    Community
  • 14
    Auto-configuration
  • 12
    Easy setup, Community Support, Solid for ERP apps
  • 12
    One-stop shop
  • 11
    Cross-platform
  • 11
    Easy to parallelize
  • 10
    Easy setup, good for build erp systems, well documented
  • 10
    Powerful 3rd party libraries and frameworks
  • 9
    Easy setup, Git Integration
  • 2
    Kotlin
  • 2
    It's so easier to start a project on spring

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Rails
Cons of Spring Boot
  • 20
    Too much "magic" (hidden behavior)
  • 13
    Poor raw performance
  • 11
    Asset system is too primitive and outdated
  • 6
    Bloat in models
  • 6
    Heavy use of mixins
  • 3
    Very Very slow
  • 18
    Heavy weight
  • 17
    Annotation ceremony
  • 10
    Many config files needed
  • 8
    Java
  • 5
    Reactive
  • 4
    Excellent tools for cloud hosting, since 5.x

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What is Rails?

Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.

What is Spring Boot?

Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can "just run". We take an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration.

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What are some alternatives to Rails and Spring Boot?
Django
Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
Ruby
Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.
Sinatra
Sinatra is a DSL for quickly creating web applications in Ruby with minimal effort.
React
Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
Laravel
It is a web application framework with expressive, elegant syntax. It attempts to take the pain out of development by easing common tasks used in the majority of web projects, such as authentication, routing, sessions, and caching.
See all alternatives
Reviews of Rails and Spring Boot
Review of
Spring Boot

spring boot allow my team to start building web services quickly and package it in a stand alone application

How developers use Rails and Spring Boot
StackShare uses
Rails

The first live version of Leanstack was actually a WordPress site. There wasn’t a whole lot going on at first. We had static pages with static content that needed to be updated manually. Then came the concept of user-generated content and we made the switch to a full on Rails app in November of last year. Nick had a lot of experience with Rails so that made the decision pretty easy. But I had also played around with Rails previously and was comfortable working with it. I also knew I’d need to hire engineers with a lot more experience building web apps than I do, so I wanted to go with a language and framework other people would have experience with. Also, the sheer number of gems and tools available for Rails is pretty amazing (shout to RubyToolbox ).

I don’t see us ever having to move away from Rails really, but I could be wrong. Leanstack was built in Rails 3. For StackShare we decided to upgrade to Rails 4. Biggest issue with that has been caching. DHH decided to remove the standard page and action caching in favor of key-based caching (source)[http://edgeguides.rubyonrails.org/caching_with_rails.html#page-caching]. Probably a good thing from a framework-perspective. But pretty shitty to have to learn about that after testing out your new app and realizing nothing is cached anymore :( We’ll need to spend some more time implementing "Russian Doll Caching", but for now we’ve got a random mixture of fragment and action caching (usually one or the other) based on which pages are most popular.

Karma uses
Rails

We use Rails for webpages and projects, not for backend services. Actually if you click through our website, you won't notice it but you're clicking though, I think, seven or eight different Rails projects. We tie those all together with a front-end library that we wrote, which basically makes sure that you have a consistent experience over all these different Rails apps.

It's a gem, we call it Karmeleon. It's not a gem that we released. It's an internal gem. Basically what it does is it makes sure that we have a consistent layout across multiple Rails apps. Then we can share stuff like a menu bar or footer or that kind of stuff.

So if we start a new front end project it's always a Rails application. We pull in the Karmeleon gem with all our styling stuff and then basically the application is almost ready to be deployed. That would be an empty page, but you would still have top bar, footer, you have some custom components that you can immediately use. So it kind of bootstraps our entire project to be a front end project.

Instacart uses
Rails

Web has always been in Rails from the beginning, so we used Redis for caching our items, which we had, from the beginning. Rails is kind of what we were comfortable with, and we knew we wanted the front end to be really, really snappy, so we de-normalized all the item attributes into Redis, and that's how it got served out.

Tim Lucas uses
Rails

Rails 5 (beta 3) provided a nice structure for rendering responses, linking to front-end assets (compiled previously via Webpack), handling sessions w/ tailor made login links via an email button/token, background jobs, and creating an admin behind basic auth to allow managing of users and purchases.

Ngakkan Nyaagu uses
Rails

For this project rails was ideal due to new features introduced in Rails 5 that allowed us to build a lightweight "API only" project. Developer familiarity and the ability to rapidly iterate, as well as providing an accessible testing framework were additional factors.

Climate CoLab uses
Spring Boot

Spring-Boot allows us to create stand-alone web servers and helps us configure many of our dependencies with sane default, while maintaining flexibility where we need it.

Emcee uses
Spring Boot

Probably the best application framework in Java, by far. Time-proven, mature.

p009922 uses
Spring Boot

light weight server approach for REST-services

Project44 uses
Spring Boot

All services are spring-boot applications.

Vaadin uses
Spring Boot

Solid base for Java-based web app backend