10 Best Ruby Gems for Ruby on Rails Development in 2023
Published at June 06, 2023

Ruby on Rails is a well-known web development framework used to create robust and dynamic web applications. 

It is built by leveraging the powerful and flexible Ruby programming language, which provides developers with a wide range of tools and features.

According to a StackOverflow survey, 6.05% of software engineers say Ruby is the programming language they use the most for their projects. Ruby engineers are also among the top five highest-paid software developers.

Let’s take a look at how Ruby Gems is the most effective way to increase Rails development efficiency.

What are Ruby Gems?

Ruby gems are pre-written code packages that can be installed and used in Ruby on Rails projects. These packages contain code that provides additional functionality to Rails applications.

Ruby gems can be installed from the command line using the gem command, and once installed, they can be used by simply adding them to the Rails project's Gemfile.

Benefits of Ruby Gems on Rails Development

1. Rapid Development

Ruby gems offer pre-built components that can be easily incorporated into Rails applications. This speeds up development by removing the need to create functionality from scratch.

Gems provide ready-made solutions for common tasks such as user authentication, database interactions, payment processing, and more. This allows developers to concentrate on features specific to the application.

2. Community-Driven

Ruby on Rails has a lively and engaged community. This community takes part in developing and maintaining numerous gems.

The community-driven ecosystem guarantees that gems are updated frequently, well-documented, and tested for reliability. Developers can count on the community's expertise and support when using and troubleshooting gems, which saves time and effort.

3. Best Practises

By utilising established best practices and coding conventions, developers have access to a plethora of popular Ruby gems.

Experienced developers have carefully reviewed, tested, and optimised the code that makes up these gems. This not only helps to improve the overall quality of the code but also mitigates the risk of bugs and enhances the maintainability and scalability of Rails applications.

4. Integration with Third-Party Services

Ruby gems often include integrations with popular third-party services, APIs, and platforms. This simplifies the process of connecting Rails applications with external services, such as cloud storage providers, email services, social media platforms, and more.

Using pre-built gems reduces the development effort and ensures smoother interactions with external services.

What are the Lists of Ruby Gems?

1. Devise

Devise is a popular Ruby gem used for user authentication and authorization in Rails apps. It is customizable and offers features like password encryption, email confirmation, and recovery. 

Devise provides an efficient way to manage user sessions and accounts. This saves developers time and effort, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their projects.

2. CarrierWave

CarrierWave is a Ruby gem that simplifies the process of handling file uploads in Rails. It provides a range of features, including image resizing, file validation, and storage in cloud services like Amazon S3.

CarrierWave makes it easy to integrate file uploads into Rails applications and is highly configurable to suit a wide range of use cases.

3. RSpec

RSpec is a testing framework that provides a simple and intuitive way to write and run tests for Rails applications. It allows developers to write tests in plain language, making it easy to understand and maintain test code.

RSpec also provides a variety of features, such as test duplicates, matchers, and shared examples, that makes it simple to write exhaustive and effective Rails application tests.

4. Capistrano

Capistrano is a free and open-source Ruby gem that automates deployment for Rails applications. It simplifies the deployment process and doesn't require technical expertise. 

Capistrano can manage server configurations, run database migrations, and restart servers. Capistrano guarantees uniform and dependable deployment across various environments, reducing the risk of errors and downtime. It provides a rollback mechanism to revert to a previous release if needed. 

Capistrano is essential for any Rails developer who wants to simplify and streamline their deployment process and deploy their applications faster and more efficiently while minimising the risk of errors and downtime.

5. SimpleForm

SimpleForm is a Ruby gem that provides a simple and intuitive way to build forms in Rails applications. It allows developers to define form fields using a simple syntax and provides a range of features, including automatic label generation, error handling, and input validation.

SimpleForm makes it easy to create complex forms in Rails applications and can save developers a significant amount of time and effort.

6. PaperClip

PaperClip is a widely-used Ruby gem that offers a simple and efficient solution for managing file uploads. It streamlines the process of attaching files to ActiveRecord models and offers many features like image resizing and file type validation.

With Paperclip, managing file attachments in Rails applications is a breeze. It enables easy uploading, processing, and storage of files of various types, including images, documents, and videos.

7. CanCanCan

CanCanCan is a Ruby library for authorization that enables developers to define user roles and permissions and restrict access to resources accordingly. 

It simplifies role-based access control (RBAC) implementation in Rails applications, allowing developers to easily manage permissions for different types of users and restrict access to specific pages or resources.

CanCanCan is highly customizable and can be integrated with other Ruby gems and tools, such as Devise, to enhance application security and functionality.

8. FactoryBot

FactoryBot, which was previously known as FactoryGirl, is a gem that streamlines the creation of test data. It enables developers to easily define and generate sample data, making it an excellent choice for testing and development environments.

9. Kaminari

Kaminari is a flexible pagination utility that provides ActiveRecord queries with simple and customizable pagination. It permits the intuitive and efficient manipulation of enormous datasets across multiple pages.

10. Bullet

Bullet is a useful gem that helps Rails developers identify and optimise their database queries.

Bullet identifies common N+1 query problems, eager loading issues, and other potential performance bottlenecks, making sure that database usage is efficient.

Wrapping Up

Ruby Gems provides a variety of benefits for Rails development. They give developers the ability to quickly and easily add new functionality to their applications.

Ruby gems offer a level of abstraction that makes it simpler to work with complex functionality, and the community is constantly updating and improving them.

By using these gems, Rails developers can improve the speed, efficiency, and quality of their development work.

As a business owner, the decision is all yours! But Ruby on Rails is worth considering for the future. If you're interested, you can get in touch with VirtualSpirit, an application agency that specialises in Ruby on Rails. Contact us now!

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