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In Development Last updated: February 7, 2023
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Ruby is an object-oriented scripting language created by Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1995. This open-source programming language is designed to focus on productivity and simplicity. 

Developers use this dynamic language to create web applications that range from static websites to desktop applications, automation tools, and data processing services. Ruby also has its place in DevOps, web servers, crawling, and scraping. 

Ruby is used by both startups and big companies such as CrunchBase, Bloomberg, Dribble, SlideShare, Airbnb, Shopify, and GitHub as part of their tech stacks. 

These are the reasons why Ruby is popular in the modern world;

  • Easy and fun to learn: Learning Ruby is simple and suitable even for those without any programming background. Its simple syntax simplifies complex programming concepts for everyone to enjoy. 
  • Open-source: Ruby is free to use. Developers can thus use this programming language as it suits them best. 
  • Time efficient: Setting up a Ruby is easy. This programming language follows the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) to improve developers’ productivity. 
  • Secure: Ruby is ranked high in the most secure programming languages list. Ruby can effectively fight against attacks such as CSRF, SQL Injection, and XSS using a combination of its built-in functionalities and 3rd party solutions. 
  • Large community: Ruby has introduced over two and a half decades ago and has attracted a big following. If you get stuck, you will likely get help from this community. 

What are Ruby frameworks?


Even though Ruby is a powerful programming language, developers can achieve more through its frameworks. Ruby frameworks are packages of pre-written code that offer a standardized way of building and deploying web applications. 

Such frameworks come with libraries and tools that help software engineers handle common tasks such as user authentication and routing. With Ruby frameworks, developers don’t have to code such activities from scratch. 

Now, we explore some best Ruby frameworks:

Ruby on Rails 

Ruby on Rails, or simply Rails, is the most popular Ruby framework. This full-stack web framework was created in 2003 by David Heinemeier Hansson and is now used by big names such as Hulu, GitHub, Shopify, and Coinbase, to mention a few. 


Key features 

  • Follows Model-View-Controller(MVC) architecture: Ruby on Rails provides a clear separation of concerns through the MVC pattern. Thus developers can easily understand the code and maintain it. 
  • Lots of libraries and Gems: You can achieve many things when coding with Ruby through various 3rd party libraries and Gems such as Faker and Pry. 
  • Use Active Record for database management: Rails users don’t have to configure code for database access and management as Active Record takes care of most of the things. 
  • Follows convention over configuration: Rails follow a certain way of doing things. This framework also offers some defaults, reducing developers’ time to configure their apps. 

Rails is suitable for creating e-commerce platforms, multi-media apps, quick prototyping, and data-driven apps. 


Sinatra is a domain-specific language (DSL) Ruby web framework designed to build web applications using a minimalistic approach. This lightweight web framework was created by Blake Mizerany in 2007. 


Key features

  • Uses component-driven architecture: This setup breaks down the application into small, reusable components. Each component is responsible for a set of functions or a specific function. 
  • Lightweight: Sinatra is designed to be minimal but flexible. Its code base is designed to be utilized only when needed. 
  • Supports middleware: Developers can expand on Sinatra’s functionality, such as user authentication through middleware.
  • Supports templating languages: Using Sinatra, you can use Embedded Ruby (ERB) and Haml while creating web apps. These languages generate dynamic HTML content based on the data in your application. 

Sinatra is mostly suitable for building internal tools, RESTful APIs, Microservices, and prototyping. GitHub, Apple, and Heroku are examples of big names using GitHub on some of their internal tools. 


Grape is a lightweight and fast Ruby framework for creating RESTful APIs. This web framework was created by Tim Pope and Richard Huang in 2010 and has become quite famous for its modular design.


Key features

  • Simple but flexible: Grape has a simple syntax for creating APIs. Documenting and maintaining your APIs while using this web framework is also simple. 
  • Well-documented: Even though Grape was created in 2010, it is well-documented and has an active community to help you get unstuck. 
  • Modular design: Grape allows you to split your app into small and reusable components that you can easily maintain. 
  • Supports testing: You can write tests for your Grape app using frameworks such as RSpec and Minitest. 

You can use Grape to create APIs for small and medium-sized apps and prototyping and test ideas. Meeteor and GitLab are examples of companies that use Grape in their tech stacks. 


Hanami is a Ruby framework that enables developers to build web applications from multiple modular sub-components. This framework was created in 2016 and was originally named Lotus.


Key features

  • Modular architecture: Hanami allows you to split your app into small, reusable components that you easily change and maintain. 
  • Object-relational mapping (ORM): This web framework has built-in ORM that supports NoSQL and SQL databases. 
  • Supports testing: Hanami allows developers to test their apps as they build using testing frameworks such as RSpec, MiniTest, and Cucumber. 
  • Flexible routing: This web framework has a routing system where developers define complex URL patterns. 

Hanami is suitable for building web applications that require flexible and minimal architecture. You can build e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, RESTful APIs and content management systems using Hanami. 


Roda is a modular and scalable Ruby framework for creating web applications. Jeremy Evans created Roda in 2012.


Key features

  • Simple but reliable: Roda’s designs make it simple externally and internally. During production, Roda apps are frozen, eliminating issues of thread safety. 
  • Has a routing tree: Defining complex URL patterns on Roda is very easy using its routing tree. Users can thus write DRY code using this framework. 
  • Integrates with various databases: Its support for Object-Relational Mapping makes it easy to integrate with SQL and NoSQL databases. 

Developers use Roda to build a wide range of products ranging from RESTful APIs, Single-page applications, content management systems, and much more. 


Padrino is a full-stack Ruby framework built on the Sinatra web library. This web framework was created in 2008 to enable developers to code advanced web applications in a fun and easy manner.


Key features

  • Comprehensive: Padrino offers all you need to create a top-notch web application in a simple and concise environment. 
  • Modular design: Padrino allows developers to split their apps into small bits/ components that are reusable. You can thus plug-in components as the need arises. 
  • Comes with code generators: You do not have to create everything from scratch, as Padrino has various generators that generate boilerplate code for you. 
  • Integrates with various databases: You can use Padrino with various databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQLite. 
  • User authorization and authentication: You can secure and control access to your Padrino app using these features. 

As a full-stack framework, you can use Padrino to create various web apps such as CRMs, e-commerce platforms, and blogs. 


Camping is a minimalistic Ruby framework for creating web applications. This framework was created in 2005. 


Key features 

  • Minimalistic: Camping has been designed as a simple framework but still allows you to create powerful apps. 
  • Integrates with ActiveRecord: Using this framework, you can work with and manage your favorite databases, such as SQL. 
  • Follows the MVC pattern: Camping offers separation of concerns through the Model-View-Controller pattern, making it easy to build and maintain code. Developers can also derive different views from the same model. 
  • Supports middleware: You don’t have to create everything from scratch, as Camping supports middleware. For instance, you can manage sessions and cookies using Rack::Session::Cookie middleware. 

Camping best suits small applications such as RESTful APIs and personal blogs. However, you can still use this framework as a micro-framework to build certain components with a complex application. 


Scorched is a generic and unopinionated Ruby framework. This framework has a powerful set of constructs for processing HTTP requests. 


Key features 

Lightweight: Scorched is minimalistic, making it suitable for simple applications. 

Extensible: You can use Scorched with various gems and plugins to add to its functionality. ActiveRecord, Thin, and Puma are gems you can use with Scorched. 

Supports automated testing: You can write and automate tests with frameworks such as Minitest and RSpec. 

Scorched is suitable for small and medium-sized applications. This framework can also work for microservices within a larger Ruby app. 


Sneakers is a RabbitMQ background processing Ruby framework. Sneakers enable developers to create and manage background jobs for their applications. This framework/ gem was created in 2013. 


Key features 

  • Parallel processing: Sneakers framework runs multiple processes in the background, increasing your app’s performance and responsiveness. 
  • Built-in retries: If a job fails to process, Sneakers has an inbuilt feature that will push it back to the queue. 
  • Supports dead letter exchange: This feature makes tracking and handling all the failed processes/ jobs easy. 

Sneakers framework is suitable for apps with background processing capabilities such as image processing and data processing. 


If you want to create your next web application using Ruby, you now have various frameworks you can choose from. The choice of web framework will depend on the type of application you want to build and your taste. For instance, Rails is an awesome pick if you are looking for a full-stack framework. On the other hand, a framework such as Grape will come in handy if you just want to create a RESTful API

You may also explore a detailed comparison between Ruby on Rails vs. Django web framework.

  • Titus Kamunya
    Titus is a Software Engineer and Technical Writer. He develops web apps and writes on SaaS, React, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby and Ruby on Rails read more
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