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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Node.js a framework like Ruby on Rails?
Q: Can Ruby on Rails handle real-time applications like Node.js?
Q: Which is better for a beginner?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Node.js vs Ruby on Rails

Author Gunjan Batra
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Node.js and Ruby on Rails are both popular server-side frameworks used to build web applications. While they share some similarities, such as being open-source and great for rapid development, they have several differences that might make one more suitable for a particular project over the other. 

Node.js vs Ruby on Rails

This article aims to highlight the differences and provide practical examples to help you decide which is best for your next project.


Node.js: A JavaScript runtime environment that executes JavaScript code outside of a web browser.

Ruby on Rails: A web application framework written in Ruby that follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern.



1. Non-Blocking I/O

Node.js is known for its non-blocking, event-driven architecture. This means that I/O operations don't halt the execution of other operations.

2. Fast Execution

Built on Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, Node.js compiles JavaScript to native machine code, making it extremely fast.

3. Single Language Stack

Since Node.js uses JavaScript, both on the client and server sides, it simplifies development.

Example: Simple HTTP Server

const http = require('http');
const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
  res.end('Hello World\n');

server.listen(3000, () => {
  console.log('Server running at http://localhost:3000/');

Ruby on Rails


1. Convention over Configuration (CoC)

Ruby on Rails emphasizes the use of conventions to avoid unnecessary configuration, making it easier to write clean code.

2. Rich Libraries and Community

Ruby on Rails has a wide array of libraries (called "gems") and a vibrant community that makes development smoother.

3. MVC Architecture

It follows the MVC pattern, making the separation of business logic, user interface, and data easy to manage.

Example: Simple Blog Application

# app/controllers/articles_controller.rb
class ArticlesController < ApplicationController
  def index
    @articles = Article.all

# config/routes.rb
Rails.application.routes.draw do
  resources :articles
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Comparison Table

Feature Node.js Ruby on Rails

Language JavaScript Ruby

Architecture Event-Driven MVC

Speed Fast Moderate

Community Large Large

Learning Curve Moderate Steeper

Also see, Difference Between Controller and Restcontroller

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Node.js a framework like Ruby on Rails?

No, Node.js is a runtime environment, whereas Ruby on Rails is a framework.

Q: Can Ruby on Rails handle real-time applications like Node.js?

While Node.js is generally better for real-time applications, Ruby on Rails can handle them using tools like Action Cable.

Q: Which is better for a beginner?

This might depend on personal preferences and project needs. Rails offers more conventions, while Node.js might be simpler for those already familiar with JavaScript.


Both Node.js and Ruby on Rails have unique strengths and are suited for different kinds of projects. Node.js provides a fast, non-blocking environment with a unified language across the stack. Ruby on Rails, with its rich libraries and convention-driven approach, can streamline development and is excellent for creating maintainable code.

Choosing between Node.js and Ruby on Rails depends on the specific requirements, existing technology stack, and team expertise. While the decision might not be straightforward, understanding the characteristics of both can guide you towards the best choice for your project.

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