Top 5 Ruby Integrated Development Environments for Ruby on Rails in 2023

Choosing the ideal integrated development environment for Ruby coding may take some experimentation.

Why? This is because it can be a dreary task. There are numerous Ruby IDEs available, each with its own peculiarities and benefits.

The abundance of choices can create confusion when selecting the appropriate integrated development environment (IDE) for Ruby on Rails.

The ideal approach is to experiment with each of them. This is the most effective method to ascertain which one is most suitable for your Rails web development project.

If you are not well-acquainted with Ruby Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), we have collated our opinions on the most commonly used IDEs, highlighting their benefits and the distinguishing features that set them apart from the others.

What exactly is meant when someone mentions “IDE?”

Developers can employ integrated development environments (IDEs) to transform their project ideas into a functional application. These IDEs offer an assortment of tools and features, including code editors, debuggers, and automated testing, to help developers bring their vision to life. Some of the popular IDEs are Eclipse, IntelliJ, NetBeans, and Visual Studio.

Code editors and integrated development environments (IDEs) possess various similarities, causing them to appear indistinguishable.

A code editor by itself is insufficient to generate a high-quality output. However, third-party plugins and features can be incorporated to transform it into an integrated development environment (IDE).

What are Ruby and the Rails framework, and how are they related?

Ruby is regarded as the most advanced, imaginative, and eloquent programming language globally.

Right from the start, the key objectives of this platform have been to offer sophisticated web application development and improved legibility for end users. It employs the Ruby on Rails API, making it possible for web designers and developers to conveniently integrate the latest features and functionalities into their projects.

This is an object-oriented scripting language that employs dynamic typing and can be utilized for developing web applications supported by databases.

Ruby, along with its connected MVC framework, Ruby on Rails, presents a highly efficient development environment. Ruby on Rails, in particular, has played a pivotal role in the widespread acceptance of Ruby, owing to its numerous beneficial elements such as Gem, Rails migration, action controllers, and metaprogramming.

Ruby on Rails was created with the purpose of easing the handling of tasks such as data computation, internal logic, routines, and other related tasks.

Companies such as Github, Airbnb, and Bloomberg, which are recognized software firms, have used Ruby on Rails during the development of their products.

Why Choose Ruby on Rails for Web Application Development?

When developing web applications, Ruby and Ruby on Rails excels in producing efficient solutions that eclipse even Python, Django, JavaScript, and Node.JS.

This is because the fundamental philosophy behind these technologies is based on the notion

  1. Compare and contrast with configuration

    to reduce setup difficulties
  2. Don’t repeat yourself (DRY).

    This enables programmers to author their codes just once and have them function on any platform.
  3. Instances of activity in a record

    necessary for constructing objects containing data that needs to be preserved over time

Below are some of the benefits of using Ruby on Rails.

Minimal Time to Reach the Market

Ruby prioritizes convention over configuration, enabling developers to build Rails applications at an incredibly fast pace.

The Ruby on Rails framework facilitates the quick and simple creation of applications, thanks to its use of succinct code and Ruby’s object-oriented features.

Effortless Verification

Ruby facilitates automated testing, enabling the developer to create a testing framework while building new code, modules, controllers, and features.


Thanks to the significant talent pool of ROR developers available, finding ROR developers from anywhere in the world is simple and cost-effective.

Abundance of Unique Discoveries and Reference Material

Over the years, the Ruby community has produced a plethora of valuable resources, such as libraries and RubyGems. By providing developers with convenient access to these tools, they can build applications more efficiently while spending less time searching for relevant information.

Resources for Developing Applications with Ruby Programming Language and Ruby on Rails Framework

Now, let’s explore the selection of integrated development environments (IDEs) and text editors (TEs) available for Ruby on Rails development.


Developed by JetBrains, a leader in software development tools, RubyMine is the top choice Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for fast web development, equipped with a variety of state-of-the-art features.

Not only is this IDE compatible with popular frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Angular, RubyMotion, and Puppet, but it also offers code refactoring, debugging, and unit testing features. Additionally, its capabilities extend to front-end technologies like JavaScript, SAAS, Less, Typescript, HTML5, CoffeeScript, and more.

In addition to compatibility with popular version control systems (VCSs) like GitHub and Subversion, databases/SQL, Vagrant, Chef, Taskrunner, Bundler, and Zeus, RubyMine supports RVM Gemsets, Rubocop, and Docker.

Despite being state-of-the-art, its expensive license price restricts its accessibility to a limited number of professional programmers.

Image courtesy of JetBrains, used with permission

The RubyMine community provides assistance through every stage of creating a Ruby on Rails application, from drafting and debugging initial code to testing and deploying a fully functional website.

Code Maintenance Considerations for Rails Applications

The IDE’s code insight capabilities have been substantially enhanced by Ruby on Rails’s automated detection of database fields, associations, method names, and resource routes. These features provide a significant advantage when utilizing RubyMine.

Editing in ERB, HAML, Slim, and Liquid

The ERB view in RubyMine offers various editing tools, including syntax highlighting and code completion, among others. Syntax highlighting is also available for Ruby programs embedded in HAML or Slim views, and coding assistance for HTML code is present.

Advantages of Utilizing an MVC-Style Navigation Framework

With RubyMine’s built-in Navigate | Related Symbol command, one can easily switch between Rails controllers, Action Models, Database Schemas, and Tests.

Generating Rails with Rails Generator

The user-friendly interface of RubyMine grants context-sensitive and convenient access to Rails generators. As a result, integrating Rails components like models, controllers, and migrations into your project is a piece of cake.

Rails Internationalization is a Reality

Through Rails’ built-in editor functions, users can achieve internationalization by creating and modifying local attributes with the editor’s specific operations. Furthermore, the editor allows users to look for missing keys, preview localized values, and perform other tasks.

Aptana Design Lab Tool

Aptana Studio is a free and open-source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Ruby that is widely renowned among Ruby on Rails developers for providing an Eclipse-based feature set in a web development environment.

Aptana is a feature-packed development environment for Ruby on Rails that comprises a code editor, outliner, and debugger. Following its merge with RadRails software, web developers can now take advantage of an extensive selection of languages, including HTML5, Javascript, PHP5, CSS3, Ruby on Rails, and others, in their projects with Aptana Studio 3.

Thanks to its new features and enhanced performance, Aptana Studio has emerged as a robust tool for enhancing developer productivity.

Setup Assistant: Capabilities

Capistrano streamlines the automated deployment of Ruby on Rails applications to hosting services like Heroku and Engine Yard, providing support for continuous and one-off synchronization deployments, as well as numerous protocols including FTP, SFTP, FTPS, and Capistrano itself.

Embedded Debugging Tools:

Built-in debuggers that enable breakpoint configuration, variable inspection, and execution control, are crucial tools for troubleshooting.

Integrated Terminal:

Developers can execute OS system commands, languages, and utilities directly via the terminal integrated into Aptana Studio, including but not limited to rake, gem, and other tools.

Git Syncing:

Integrating Git, Aptana makes Ruby on Rails development effortless, allowing developers to utilize version control for their applications.


Emacs is a fast and lightweight text editor and Ruby IDE that has been extensively optimized for Ruby on Rails applications, and is available for free.

For Ruby scripting and web applications, Emacs is an incredibly adaptable and customizable text editor and Ruby on Rails IDE that is open source and offers GNU characteristics.

Developers who work with Ruby value its simplicity and efficiency.

Emacs in Action:


  • Comprising several coding-focused editing modes, including syntax highlighting for numerous file formats.
  • Helpful tutorials and user guides available for beginners.
  • All human-written content can be expressed using Unicode.
  • Modifiable with either Emacs Lisp code or a graphical user interface.
  • Includes a range of features such as a calendar, IRC client, news reader, email client, and project planner.


VIM is a renowned text editor among Ruby on Rails developers, praised for its efficacy in Facebook’s early developmental stages. This traditional integrated development environment (IDE) was originally crafted with the Linux operating system in mind.

To facilitate Ruby scripting and Ruby on Rails development, plugins such as vim-ruby and vim-rails can amplify and strengthen its functionality.


  • Features a multi-tiered undo history that persists over time.
  • Comprises of a comprehensive plugin architecture.
  • Offers the capability to support numerous languages and file types.
  • Boasts of sturdy replace-all functionality.
  • Can effortlessly collaborate with a diverse range of programs.


Cloud9 is a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) used for building software in a variety of programming languages, including Ruby. Its services enable you to generate and troubleshoot your code in the cloud.

Cloud9 is progressively becoming more widespread among medium and large-sized firms due to its user-friendly characteristics and its interoperability with cloud platforms, such as Mozilla and Heroku.

You will have access to a file manager, preview mode, Unix shell, in-application messaging for team collaboration and much more. Essentially, you will have everything at your fingertips to create using Ruby on Rails.

Amazon Web Services Hosts Cloud9.

Functions as a Comprehensive Source Code Editor.

Cloud9 is a Ruby programming language web-based command-line interface (CLI). It offers convenient services, such as code completion and recommendations, aiding developers in writing their code quickly and accurately. Furthermore, the in-app text editor enables you to personalise the interface layout and panel locations to better suit your needs.

Customizable Default and User-Defined Execution Settings.

Cloud9 supports over 40 programming languages, including Ruby on Rails. Its default run settings and built-in configuration support make Ruby on Rails development more manageable. Additionally, developers have the freedom to design their own run settings by defining their environment variables, files, and command line parameters.

Embedded Debugging Tool.

Cloud9-hosted programs written in PHP, Ruby, or Python can take advantage of the built-in debugger to define breakpoints, navigate through the code, and examine variables.

The Device has an Integrated Terminal.

Cloud9’s Ruby IDE has a built-in terminal that allows developers to compile source code, send changes to Git, and view server command output. Furthermore, it provides a pre-authenticated CLI for efficiently managing and interacting with AWS instances.

What is the Best Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Ruby on Rails?

To determine which Ruby IDE is the most appropriate for your individual needs and project, business owners and developers alike must assess several integrated development environments.

Cloud9 and RubyMine provide extensive functionalities for Ruby and Ruby on Rails programming. However, the cost of using these integrated development environments (IDEs) should be taken into account. Cloud9 utilizes Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cloud storage and has a pricing plan, while RubyMine operates on a subscription model. It is therefore essential to consider your financial situation when selecting an IDE.

You can use Aptana Studio, Emacs, or VIM as your Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for your Ruby on Rails project without incurring significant expenses.

It is worth noting that, with the exception of Cloud9, all Ruby Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are presently unavailable. Cloud9 provides cloud-based development and can be used for cloud-based Ruby and Ruby on Rails development if desired.


Ruby is a potent language that possesses a variety of beneficial extensions and capabilities, including Gems, active controllers, metaprogramming, among others. To take advantage of these features and create a diverse range of Ruby on Rails applications, a Ruby IDE is necessary.

All of the top-rated Ruby on Rails development platforms (RubyMine, VIM, Emacs, Aptana Studio, and Cloud9) are equipped to handle your project regardless of its scope.

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