Ruby on Rails is an exceptional framework for building the most elegant and performative websites with rich sets of features. And the entire credit goes to its unique functionality, called the Ruby on Rails Gem, which seemingly allows the creation of rapid mockups and testing for effortless coding and faster product development.
Ruby Gems enable developers to create functionality without having to write code. It functions similarly to a plugin, which works alongside any functionality such as authorization, authentication, testing, and payment processing.
But what advantage do they hold for advancing your Ruby on Rails website development? Find out in this article of Rails gems list.
What is Ruby and Ruby on Rails?
Ruby’s guiding principles have always been power, elegance, and expressiveness. Ruby has always placed a high priority on making its code easily readable so that developers can comprehend codebases.
It is an open-source, dynamic, object-oriented programming language with an emphasis on productivity and simplicity. It has a simple learning curve and elegant syntax.
The Ruby programming language is used in conjunction with the Ruby on Rails platform, which allows programmers to write only new code.
Ruby on Rails is easy to get started with and follows its core principles such as –
Convention over configuration – for reducing configuration hassles
DRY(don’t repeat yourself) – to code once and execute everywhere
What is a Gem?
Similar to other programming languages, Ruby leverages a wide set of third-party libraries. And all these libraries are released in the form of gems. It’s a packaged Ruby library or app that is installed with a tool known as RubyGems.
Ever since Ruby version 1.9 the Ruby gems functionality comes by default. These gems are perfect for adding new functionalities without the hassles of code since they are code libraries built to advance website operations.
Where to Find Ruby on Rails Gems?
Image Credit RubyGems
The Ruby on Rails gems are mainly hosted on rubygems.org which is a public repository that can be installed on your computer. It has an inbuilt API that lets developers browse available gems and publish and install their customized gems for wider accessibility. Read our guide on how to build a Ruby on Rails API.
How Do I Download RubyGems?
To download the top Ruby on Rails gems, you have to install the package management framework for Ruby. For this, you have to visit their official website, rubygems.org, and download the latest version according to your operating system.
If you already have RubyGems installed on your machine, you can update it to its latest version using the following command. You can hire Ruby on Rails Developers to make the best use of RubyGems. We have prepared a guide to hire ROR Developers in 2023 to help you choose the perfect candidate for your projects.
$ gem update –system
Image Credit GitHub
Apart from being a cloud hosting service for accessing repositories, GitHub is another place where you can find gem libraries. It comprises Ruby content and gem source code so developers can understand how the gem code works and accordingly choose a compatible Ruby gem version for their project.
How to Install Gems
By the time you decide which Ruby on Rails gems are compatible with your project, installations of Ruby gems are not that hard.
Follow the below steps to get a hold of the installation process. We chose Ruby as a gem to give you a clear idea.
$ gem install ruby
You can also install a specific Ruby gem version using – – version or -v flag:
$ gem install ruby –version 7.0
Top Ruby on Rails Gems
Our top spot for Ruby gems is held by Draper. It was developed to add an object-oriented layer of presentation to a Rails application. This object-oriented layer might have been stuck in adding procedural helpers or bulk to the Rails model if it hadn’t been for Draper.
The Draper decorators help developers wrap a Rails model with presentation-related logic to organize and test the Rails app layer much more effectively.
One of the issues designers face is integrating the library and binding the gems while generating specific codes. In such scenarios, they have to manage multiple errors.
Pry is one of the Ruby on Rails gems that is ideal for eliminating these errors by troubleshooting them, this again allows developers to set breakpoints and initialize code debugging bit by bit.
It encompasses key features like source code browsing, documentation, a live help system, syntax highlighting, command shell integration, Gist integration, etc.
Figaro is regarded as the best gem application setup for Heroku. It was written to ease the secure configuration process of the Rails application.
These configuration values may have some sensitive data, and to ensure the data is safe, Figaro encourages a convention that keeps configuration out of Git.
Moreover, it’s one of those Ruby on Rails gems that portrays a performance capable of holding arrangement and SCM information separate from one another. It analyzes the YAML document that occupies ENV with its contents.
The Ruby gems devise is used to ease the authentication process. For example, if you build any type of application, the developers have to provide the authentication and authorization for that particular app.
This means the developers have to code a lot if they are using a different tech stack than Ruby.
However, Ruby on Rails developers can just use the Devise gem, which has 20 modules like Database Authenticatable, Confirmable, Trackable, Lockable, Timeoutable, Rememberable, FriendlyId, and Validatable, to easily authorize and authenticate different parts of that application.
Ahoy is among those Ruby on Rails gems that hosts and creates visit tickets consisting of traffic sources, the location, and customers’ device data. Customers can also try the UTM parameter of their site visits and keep track of visits and events with the software.
6. Active Record
Active Record is another gem in the Ruby gems list. Developers can use the ActiveRecord import to easily embedded bulk records. It executes its task as suggested and requires minor SQL-embedded statements.
It helps in removing the problem of the N+1 insert. To insert 10 records the Active Record is the ideal option.
However, inserting more than 10 Active Records can become problematic. Hence Ruby on Rails developers can import external sources using Active Record Import, the most beneficial part here is the reduced speed of conversion.
SimpleCov is another rails gem that is used for code coverage analysis. It utilizes Ruby’s built-in coverage library to gather code coverage data.
However, it makes processing those results more straightforward by using an API that lets developers filter, group, merge, format, and display the results. It offers a complete code coverage suite that gets easily set up with shorter lines of code.
You may want to review the overall coverage results of your projects, including multiple tests. SimpleCov gem automatically merges and caches the results when creating reports.
This again ensures that your report has coverage across your test suites and a more obvious picture of blank spots.
Slim is a lightweight and quick templating engine for the Rails. It aims to reduce the view syntax to the essential parts without becoming cryptic. Every major Ruby implementation has been tested rigorously. Slim pareses and compiles with Temples are included with Tilt and can be utilized alongside Sinatra or Rack.
Slim offers a wide array of features like elegant syntax, safety, high configuration, extensibility, and high performance.
RSpec is one of the popular Ruby gems for writing unit tests, particularly in TDD and BDD environments. Unit testing is a type of software testing that tests every single part to ensure they are suitable for required purposes.
RSpec’s syntax is easy to understand and to write unit tests. It is also extremely efficient at testing the behavior of precise models and libraries. Its greatest benefit is its usability and can install the config files or spec helpers to make it function.
10. Rails dotenv
The Dot-env is gaining popularity rapidly. If developers want to save credentials for email, API keys, and authentication data, Dot-env is useful and one of the top Ruby gems.
It is one of the most popular Ruby gems for creating an.env file before uploading data to the Git repository and protecting sensitive data for Ruby on Rails development.
Moreover, private information is saved as environment variables and is not kept in a public repository.
11. Geocoder Gem
Geocoder is the best geocoding code library in the Ruby gems list. Geocoding is used to retrieve a user’s precise location in order to provide them with the appropriate information.
Geocoding in Ruby converts coordinates of specific locations to street addresses and vice versa, as well as estimating distances for ActiveRecord records.
As its capability doesn’t rely on database processes, finding different and separate geocoding objects in a region works out as default for databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.
It is one of the most popular Ruby gems used for assessing code quality.
It guarantees that the code of the web application is standardized and follows the Ruby Style Guide for writing quality programs. One of the most attractive aspects of RuboCop is that it fixes simple errors by itself with line breaks, syntax, gaps, and more.
Pundit is one of the top Ruby on Rails gems for handling authorization using an API. Authorization is different from authentication: authentication is the process of confirming that you are who you say you are. Authorization indicates that you have specific permissions to access any information.
In authorization, the system looks at a user’s credentials to make sure the system it’s using is able to perform specific actions or use certain functionality. Pundit is used just for this; it operates close to that phase and allows you to limit certain areas of your app only to authorized users.
Ruby gems are the foundational components of Ruby on Rails. And they aim to simplify development difficulties like testing, authorization, authentication, payment processing, etc.
With active community support and a huge number of contributors, the number of gems are likely to increase over time and give Ruby developers the ease of Rails application development.
If you are a company looking to hire RoR developer to develop web applications with Ruby on Rails, then these top 13 Ruby on Rails gems will help you extend and customize your Ruby on Rails application with greater efficiency.