When it comes to building complex websites with a multitude of features as quickly as possible, Ruby on Rails is the go-to choice. The powerful “gems” feature provides an efficient method of prototyping and testing, drastically simplifying the coding process and making it possible to produce new products in a short span of time.
With the help of Ruby Gems, developers can effortlessly integrate new functionalities into their projects without writing extra lines of code. Much like plugin tools, they can be utilized to enhance features such as financial transactions, testing, and authentication.
Curious about how implementing these gems can enhance your work with Ruby on Rails? All the answers are revealed in this post, which also includes a handy list of helpful Rails gems.
Ruby and Ruby on Rails: A Brief Introduction
From its inception, Ruby prioritizes strength, elegance and expression, aiming to make code easily comprehensible for developers.
This open-source programming language is both efficient and highly readable, designed to be user-friendly. With its aesthetically pleasing syntax, it is simple to learn and use.
When used hand-in-hand, the Ruby programming language and Ruby on Rails framework provide developers the ability to create entirely new software.
With a minimal learning curve, Ruby on Rails stands by principles such as –
Prioritizing convention over customization minimizes setup headaches.
DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle emphasizes writing the code once and being able to run it everywhere.
The Definition of a Gem Remains Unclear
Similar to other programming languages, Ruby utilizes a significant number of libraries written in different programming languages. These libraries are available as self-contained units known as ‘gems’. Gems are condensed versions of Ruby programs or libraries, which can be installed conveniently using the RubyGems utility.
The Gems feature in Ruby is included in the standard package since version 1.9, featuring code libraries that optimize website operations. Introducing new capabilities with Gems reduces the need for ground-up coding.
Discovering Ruby on Rails Gems: Where to Look?
Most Ruby on Rails gems are accessible through an open-source repository, rubygems.org. The repository has an integrated Application Programming Interface (API), allowing developers to search for existing gems, as well as create, share, and install their own gems for public use. We also provide a tutorial on creating an API in Ruby on Rails if you are interested in learning more.
How to Acquire RubyGems?
To access the commonly used Ruby on Rails gems, you need the Ruby package management framework. To get the latest version of the framework for your operating system, visit the official website, rubygems.org.
After installing RubyGems, you can use the command to update to the latest version. To maximize the benefits of RubyGems, it is advisable to hire a skilled Ruby on Rails developer. We have created a guide to hiring ROR Developers for 2023 to assist you in finding the right candidate for your development projects.
GitHub is an excellent destination to explore when searching for gem libraries. Apart from providing cloud hosting services for repositories, it also offers access to Ruby content and gem source code. By gaining an understanding of the code behind a gem, programmers can select the ideal version that matches their program.
How to Set Up Gems?
Installing Ruby gems is relatively easy once you figure out which Ruby on Rails gems are compatible with your project.
Continue reading for a step-by-step guide on how to set up. To give you a better idea, we will use Ruby as our example gem.
Using the – – version or -v switch enables you to install a designated version of a Ruby gem.
Top Rails Gems
Draper is widely recognized for its broad range of Ruby offerings intended to supply an object-oriented presentation layer to a Rails application. Without Draper, this layer would need to incorporate additional procedural support or complexity to the Rails model.
Developers can now efficiently structure and test the Rails application layer by utilizing Draper decorators to envelop a Rails model with presentation-related code.
Designers frequently encounter challenges when integrating the library and linking the gems while creating focused scripts. This can result in a scenario where they have to tackle multiple errors at the same time.
One of the most useful Rails utilities for identifying and resolving these issues is Pry. This utility permits developers to add breakpoints and commence debugging code in smaller, more manageable parts.
This tool offers several features, including the capability to view source code, access documentation, use a live help system, syntax highlighting, command shell integration, Gist integration, and more.
Figaro is frequently considered the optimal selection when deploying a gem application on Heroku. It was created to streamline the secure configuration process of a Rails application.
Figaro advocates for a practice that avoids storing configuration in Git as it may contain sensitive information.
Moreover, this Ruby on Rails gem can independently store and manage its own data and SCM data. It can comprehend and decipher the information stored within the YAML file saved in the ENV.
Step 4. Formulate a Plan
Ruby gems are a preferred choice for authentication due to their user-friendliness. For instance, developers need to ensure that every application has suitable authentication and permission protocols in place.
Consequently, if they’re not using Ruby, developers will have to write a significant amount of code.
Developers who employ Ruby on Rails may benefit from the Devise gem, which provides twenty modules, including Database Authenticatable, Confirmable, Trackable, Lockable, Timeoutable, Rememberable, FriendlyId, and Validatable, to authenticate different parts of the application.
Ahoy is a Ruby on Rails gem that saves and creates visit tickets that contain details such as referrals, physical location, and user devices. It’s beneficial for tracking website visitors and events, as well as enabling customers to test the UTM parameter.
Step 6. Documenting
Active Record is another Ruby gem that developers can use to integrate a large volume of records. The ActiveRecord import can be used for this purpose with just a few lines of SQL.
Using Active Record helps in mitigating the N+1 insert problem. It’s the ideal option for inserting ten records.
Yet, there can be challenges while attempting to add over 10 Active Records. Active Record Import provides Ruby on Rails developers with the capability to import data from different sources, which streamlines the conversion process.
SimpleCov is an additional handy tool for analysing code coverage in Rails. It employs Ruby’s built-in coverage library to record which lines of code were executed.
APIs simplify the process of developers filtering, grouping, merging, formatting, and displaying results. With minimal lines of code, it provides several code testing tools that can be set up quickly.
In certain cases, it’s advantageous to have a comprehensive overview and evaluate the number of tests done across several projects. SimpleCov gem can be used to generate reports easily, and the data will be collected and automatically saved in the cache.
This ensures that all of your test suites are covered, and any coverage gaps can be quickly detected in your report.
Slim is a quick and efficient templating engine for Rails. Its view syntax has been kept to a minimum while still maintaining all essential features. It has been thoroughly tested for compatibility with popular Ruby distributions. Tilt, which includes Slim parsers and compilers, can be merged with Sinatra or Rack.
Slim has several advantages, such as a concise and secure syntax, a high level of customization, the ability to include additional features, and a rapid and flexible framework.
RSpec is a well-known Ruby gem for designing unit tests, particularly in Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) environments. Unit testing is a kind of software testing that concentrates on individual modules to ensure they fulfil the specified requirements.
RSpec provides an uncomplicated syntax that streamlines unit test creation and upkeep. Additionally, it works efficiently when evaluating precise models and libraries in a testing environment. Its main benefit is that it can be used by anyone willing to set up the necessary configuration files and standard helpers.
10. Rails dotenv
Recently, more and more people have started using the Dot-env Ruby gem. Dot-env is a popular gem that helps developers securely store sensitive information like email addresses, API keys and authentication data.
SecureEnv is among the most well-liked Ruby gems for securing Ruby on Rails projects. It produces an .env file before committing code to a Git repository.
Data is saved as environment variables rather than a central database.
Geocoder, a Ruby gem, is the top geocoding library. Geocoding is the most reliable method of providing someone with precise location data.
With Ruby’s geocoding capabilities, users can convert GPS coordinates to street addresses and vice versa, as well as estimate distances for ActiveRecord data.
As its functionality does not depend on database operations, databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL can use it to quickly and easily find unique geocoding items in a specified area.
It is a popular Ruby gem for code quality checking.
RuboCop guarantees that web application code is written in compliance with the Ruby Style Guide, providing an automated solution for fixing commonly occurring issues such as line breaks, grammar errors, and spacing. This is one of its most advantageous features.
For managing permissions through an API, Pundit is among the most efficient Ruby on Rails gems. Authentication must be done to validate the user’s identity prior to granting permission. If permitted, it indicates that the user can access restricted data.
Confirming a user’s identity establishes if they have permission to access a set of operations or features. This process is known as authorization, and we use Pundit, a tool that replicates this step and enables us to limit access to specific aspects of the application only to authorized users.
Ruby gems are essential building blocks of the Ruby on Rails framework that empower developers to enhance various aspects of software development, including testing, authorization, authentication, and payment processing.
The Ruby development community is exhibiting outstanding enthusiasm, and their endeavors are expected to add to the number of gems accessible to developers, offering the same level of ease for Rails application development.
These thirteen Ruby on Rails gems are usable for expanding and customizing your Ruby on Rails application, contributing to better efficiency. If you want to recruit a Ruby on Rails developer to construct web applications, these gems might be useful.