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Top 15 tools you’ll need for your Ruby project

Here is a list of the most popular ones, listed out by categories.

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Ruby developers can code much faster than other developers. Why? Gems. These are ready-to-go, accessible tools that can be used and reused in any project and that provide a specific functionality. Using them means that the developer doesn’t have to code features from scratch. Instead, they can use existing gems and create the best possible MVP in the shortest amount of time. 

Thus, the sheer amount of gems available is great news for anyone using Ruby. That’s because there probably is a gem for any feature you might think of. That, of course, leads us to the question: how to pick the right gem for your project? There are a few things you should ask yourself to make the right choice, including: 

  • Your requirements: Requirements can be divided into functional and nonfunctional. Choosing the right tool means understanding your requirement, i.e. what do you want to focus on more. For example, if you’re going to focus on functional requirements, choose a tool that better handles primary responsibilities.
  • Expectations: Your project expectations are the results you want to achieve through that tool. Understanding this will help you create a better strategy, and you can measure results wisely. You can also use your knowledge of functional and nonfunctional requirements for this. Also, make sure that expectations are realistic. 
  • Social view for the tool: How many people have used it? Have they left a review? Is it actually solving people’s problems, or not? If there’s a bug submitted by the user, does it get fixed quickly, or do people have to wait a long time for updates?

Also, check if the tool is included in the most used list by trusted software development companies such as BairesDev or not. If it is, you can use that tool without any second thoughts.

  • Integration: Can the tool/gem easily integrate from your application? Is a gem related to that tool already being used in your application? What is the quality of supporting documents? 

Once you know these things, you can make an informed decision. Now, there are many different tools available in the market for different categories. Here is a list of the most popular ones, listed out by categories.

Code Quality

Rubocop: It is a code analyzer and a formatter. It can run with all Ruby implementations and has features such as multiple result formatting and command-line style formatting. It can be configured easily and has four sub analyzers called Metrics, Style Rails, and Lint.

Rubycritic: This tool provides a report on code quality through the use of other gems such as Rek and Flay. It creates HTML files and rates them A to F. It is one of the most convenient tools for code reporting.

Debugging

Better Errors: It’s a gem that displays the errors on a static page. It can also be used as Rack middleware. It has many features such as Stack tracing, Variable inspection, Source code inspection, and linking to error lines directly. People usually prefer to use this gem in the development module rather than a production module.

Pry Byebug: It combines the capabilities of Byebug with features of Pry such as stack navigation and steps debugging. It uses pry REPL for extra functionality. You can also set breakpoints through this. It has an option to use either IRB or Rails console for debugging. 

Authentication

Devise: It is an authentication solution for Ruby on Rails. It is based on Rails MVC stack and allows the user to sign in through different models such as email, password, referral system. It has different modules for different tasks, including:

  • Database authentication: Storing and managing passwords in a database, accessible through HTTP Authentication or Post Request. 
  • Omniauth support: To verify a user
  • Recovering and Remembering modules: For password management
  • Tracking: Timestamping, Tracking, and IP address managing. 
  • Locking: Locking user out after a particular number of sign-ins

CanCanCan: This is an authorization library that restricts the number of resources any user can use. Authorizations are divided into files and kept away from standard views and controllers. It has two main parts, authorization library (where rules are defined) and rail helpers (that perform loading and checking of models)

Rolify: This gem defines the specification of the role of user authentication. By defining users into roles, it combines user management and user security. Users are grouped into admin, the privileged user, or standard user, and resources are allocated appropriately. 

Testing

RSpec: It’s a testing framework that uses the BDD environment. You can write tests in readable DSL, so it’s easy to understand. It includes components like RSpec core, RSpec expectation, and RSpec mock, to name a few.

Capybara: It is an acceptance testing framework. It simulates how an actual user would use the application. You can check for things like click rates, form completion, and availability.

Capybara Screenshot: You can use this with Capybara. It sees the user source and takes a screenshot for a failed capybara test. It will also store the HTML page, which can then be used for further RCA.

File Upload

CarrieWave: You can use this tool for file uploading as well as image processing. It also caches files, so that you can use pre-uploaded files and save time. It has a testing option and saves all data into different files allocated for uploading so as not to move the production code. 

Minimagick: This tool provides the functionality of Rmagick while saving your RAM resources. It allows the function of Imagemagick through the use of the command line. 

Global location

Geocoder: This tool has functionality such as reverse and forward geocoding, geocoding IP address, and the ability to connect to other APIs. Along with these, it has extra features like caching for performance enhancements. 

Globalize: This tool can translate the application into different languages and add translations to ActiveRecord. This tool also avoids content duplication and keeps the code simple.

Payments Gems

Stripe: This tool provides access to the Stripe API. This API has a customizable payment flow for all different types of devices (mobiles and laptops). It also has Apple Pay and Amex checkout. This gem is useful as a robust and effective e-commerce payment solution.

Paypal Express: This gem allows for recurring payments and single transfer through the use of the PayPal API. Transfers are done instantly, and this gem can be used for digital goods too.  

Conclusion

Here are the top 15 tools/gems you need while working with a Ruby application. Ruby developers use many different gems to solve complicated problems, and easily integrable gems help avoid writing complex code and creating solutions from scratch. Of course, you have to understand which to use and which not to use when you have so many choices. It’s your responsibility to understand your requirements and use the correct gem accordingly. 

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