Monday, June 25, 2007

Ruby on Rails

There comes a time in every software developers life that the joys of programming can become hindered by writing line after line CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) procedures just to make your nifty new Killer-App work. Enter Ruby On Rails! I have been using the framework for about a month now and let me tell you, it blows visual studio out of the water! For instance, in VS (I'm a C# programmer) if want to create a database and then insert, update, and delete data from it through a convenient interface it requires me to:

  1. use the visual tools to create the SQL statements to design the table metadata (columns , primary and foreign key constraints etc)
  2. create a data table and table-adapter with these tools (which will have to be heavily customized for each CRUD operation)
  3. hand code sql queries to get something useful out of the data.
It doesn't really seem like that much eh? Well what if you are not just writing an app for your personal used sock collection? If you need to start from a what-information-do-I-already-have, the tools in VS are not very adaptive to existing databases. On my last project i had to redesign the Human Resources Database Management System databases from an old Access MDB. Now, I went with what I know, C#. But what if I went with the Rails way instead? What if I had taken advantage of Ruby's convention over configuration principle?

What is to follow over the next however-long will be a series of Ruby on Rails posts (as I discover more about this exciting language) to help get more people into this fast-growing open-source community of developers. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions on topics you might be curious about!