Ruby on Rails, commonly known as Rails, is a popular web development framework that provides developers with a robust set of tools and features to build powerful and scalable web applications. One of the major strengths of Rails lies in its extensive ecosystem of gems, which are pre-packaged libraries that can be easily integrated into your Rails application to add functionality, save development time, and enhance the overall development experience.
In this article, we will explore the top 10 best Ruby on Rails gems that you should consider when building web apps. These gems have gained widespread popularity in the Rails community due to their reliability, usefulness, and ability to solve common development challenges. Let's dive in!
What Are Gems in Ruby on Rails
In the Ruby on Rails framework, gems are libraries or packages that provide reusable code and functionality to enhance the development process and extend the capabilities of your Rails applications. Gems can be thought of as pre-packaged collections of Ruby code, often distributed and managed through RubyGems, the package manager for Ruby.
Gems can serve a wide range of purposes, from providing basic utilities and helper methods to offering complex features and integrations. They are designed to be easily installed and integrated into your Rails application, saving you time and effort by leveraging existing solutions developed by the community.
Here are a few key characteristics of gems in Ruby on Rails:
1. Reusability: Gems are built to be reusable components that can be shared across multiple projects. They encapsulate specific functionalities or solve common development problems, allowing developers to benefit from the work of others and avoid reinventing the wheel.
2. Modularity: Gems promote a modular approach to development, enabling you to include only the gems that are necessary for your application's requirements. This modular nature allows you to keep your codebase clean and maintainable by separating concerns and leveraging the specific functionality provided by each gem.
3. Easy installation and management: RubyGems, the default package manager for Ruby, provides a straightforward way to install, update, and manage gems. You can easily specify gem dependencies in your application's Gemfile and use the bundle install command to fetch and install the required gems from the RubyGems repository.
4. Diverse functionality: Gems cover a wide range of functionality, including authentication, file handling, testing frameworks, database connectivity, caching, background processing, and much more. They provide a way to extend Rails' core functionality and integrate with other libraries or services seamlessly.
5. Community-driven: Gems are typically developed and maintained by the open-source community, which means there is a vast ecosystem of gems available for Ruby on Rails. The community actively contributes to the development and improvement of gems, ensuring that they stay up to date and compatible with the latest versions of Ruby and Rails.
To include a gem in your Rails application, you generally add it to your application's Gemfile, specifying the gem's name and version. Then, running bundle install will fetch and install the gem along with its dependencies.
Gems have played a significant role in making Ruby on Rails such a popular and productive framework. They provide developers with a vast array of tools and functionality that can expedite development, improve code quality, and enhance the overall user experience of Rails applications.
10 Best Ruby on Rails Gems for Web App Development
Developers generally face the integration of library difficulties or issues in binding these Ruby gems while creating the code. During that moment, they have to transact with abundant errors. Therefore, it is better to hire RoR developers with a good amount of experience.With a view to eradicate these concerns and debug the blunders, Pry is considered to be a perfect choice.
This gem permits its developers to make the breakpoints and device a code debugging gradually. Pry has an exclusive collection of traits, which comprises runtime invocation, syntax highlighting, exotic object support, command shell integration, flexible and influential command scheme.
Devise can be used to simplify the authentication process. For example, suppose you create an application on one of the social media platforms or build an eCommerce solution. In that case, the developer will need to provide authorization and authentication for the particular application. While some developers prefer to write their code, you can also do this in Ruby. Devise is the ideal gem for the job. Devise is one of the best Ruby on Rails gems that includes more than 20 modules such as Omniauthable, Database Authenticatable, Registrable, Confirmable, Trackable, Recoverable, Lockable, Timeoutable, Rememberable, FriendlyId, and Validatable.
RSpec is a widely-used testing framework for Ruby on Rails applications. It provides a domain-specific language (DSL) for writing expressive and readable tests, making it easier to ensure the correctness and robustness of your application. RSpec encourages behavior-driven development (BDD) practices and integrates well with Rails, allowing you to write comprehensive test suites for your application.
It is one of the most popular RubyGems to evaluate code quality. RuboCop is a favorite of nearly every committed RoR developer. It guarantees that the code of the web application is in line with that of the Ruby Style Guide for writing the most efficient program. One of the most appealing aspects of RuboCop is that it can fix basic errors by itself line breaks, syntax, gaps, and more.
Kaminari is the number one Rails Gem with approximately 5,000,000 downloads. You can paginate everything by employing this gem. Such pagination can be executed from ActiveRecord imports to simpler arrays by utilizing an easy-to-use scope-based application programming interface (API)
This Ruby on Rails gem is used to insert large amounts of records. It is among the top gems in this list of RoR gems that generates minimal SQL insert statements. It assists in removing the problem of inserting N+1. As one of the best Rubygems, the ideal practice is to insert 10 records using ActiveRecord.
However, adding more than that could be problematic. Ruby on Rails developers can effortlessly import data from external sources using ActiveRecord Import. The most significant benefit is the reduced speed of conversion.
Read more: 10 Best Ruby on Rails IDEs for Web Development
SimpleCov is a Ruby code coverage analysis tool. It uses Ruby’s built-in Coverage library to collect code coverage data. However, it makes processing those results easier by providing an API that allows you to filter, group, merge, format, and display the results. It gives you a complete code coverage suite that can easily be set up with only a few lines of code. You will likely want to see the overall coverage results of your projects, including various tests. SimpleCov automatically handles this by merging and caching the results when creating reports. This ensures that your report includes coverage across your test suites and a clearer picture of blank spots.
The usage of Dot-env is increasing rapidly. If you’re looking to save credentials for email, API keys, and authentication information, Dot-env is a helpful RubyGem. It is among the best Ruby on Rails gems that allow developers can make a .env file before uploading the data to the Git repository to help in protecting sensitive data information in Ruby on Rails development.
Private data is saved as environment variables. However, the file must not be kept in a public repository.
Pundit is a Ruby on Rails gem that handles authorization through a simple API. It’s crucial to keep in mind that authorization isn’t the same thing as authentication: authenticity is the process of proving that you are who you say you are. Authorization involves proving that you have permission to act. In the process of authorization, the device looks at a user’s credentials to make sure the device it’s using can perform specific actions or use certain features. Pundit operates within this cycle and allows you to limit certain areas of your app only to approved users.
Ruby on Rails gems play a vital role in enhancing the development process and adding essential functionality to web applications. This list highlights just a handful of the best Ruby on Rails gems to build web apps and other software development projects. The top 10 gems mentioned in this article are widely recognized and trusted by the Rails community. By utilizing these gems, you can significantly accelerate your development process, improve code quality, and create feature-rich web applications.
Remember that these gems are just a starting point, and there are numerous other gems available that can address specific needs or preferences. As you gain more experience with Ruby on Rails, exploring and experimenting with different gems will enable you to discover even more powerful tools to enhance your web development projects.
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