.NET Core vs. Node.js vs RoR: Which One Is Better for App Development

Nov 11, 2022

Have a question?

Would you like to learn which technology is optimal for app development? The answer is: It depends. It depends on the app type you are about to develop, performance specifications, supported platforms, scalability, and many other factors.

.NET Core vs. Node.JS vs. Ruby on Rails are the most popular solutions to develop an app. Thus, you will likely use one of these technologies to design an app. Discover the most significant features of each, when to choose them, and what limitations to note.

.NET Core — The Basics

.NET Core appeared in 2016 as a cloud-friendly cross-platform alternative to the .NET framework. Today, .NET Core is the primary technology used for .NET projects. It’s a Microsoft-supported framework intended to create products on Linux and macOS and reduce dependency on the Windows family.

.NET Core Key Features

Cross-platform support

You can develop and run .NET Core apps on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It gives software engineers a broad range of technologies enabling them to create truly unique solutions running across devices.

High performance

.NET is the fastest of the compared options due to being lightweight and supporting asynchronous programming patterns.

Built-in dependency injection

The decreased coupling between classes and their dependencies ensures better reusability, testability, and maintenance.

Easy localization

Its resource files enable you to customize your app for different markets. With .NET Core, you can build apps that require dates, numbers, or text localization more easily.

.NET Core Limitations

Not compatible with some technologies

.NET Core is still not suitable for all development scenarios due to incompatibility with some technologies. For example, when you utilize WPF or Windows Forms for the presentation layer, .NET Core is a poor choice.

Limited third-library support

Since not all libraries are supported, double-check your choices beforehand. It may turn out that .NET Core does not work with the library you need.

Companies That Use .NET Core

.NET Core is a part of the apps developed by Alibaba, Accenture, Microsoft Graph, Trustpilot, the Postage, and many other businesses.

Finance, Lifestyle, Travel & Tourism are the primary industries choosing this framework for their products.

NET Core industry verticals

(Source)

When to Use .NET Core?

.NET Core is ideally suited for:

  • Cross-platform apps that manage a high traffic volume
  • Cloud-based applications
  • Complex enterprise-level projects based on C#
  • IoT applications

Node.js — The Basics

Node.js is a cross-platform Javascript runtime environment Ryan Dahl launched as an alternative to Apache HTTP Server. Unlike RoR and .NET Core, Node.js is not a framework, which means it has fewer capabilities. Yet, in some cases, Node.js is the best option for app development. In particular, it’s a top choice for real-time and data-intensive apps.

Node.js Key Features

Asynchronous and event-driven

Input/output processing enables other processing operations before the transmission has finished. It makes Node.js perfect for building scalable network applications.

JavaScript-based

Since Node.js relies on JavaScript, frontend and backend developers use the same language to create apps. JavaScript is one of the most used languages, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding an engineer who knows it.

Cross-platform compatibility

Node.js solutions can run across many systems, including Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS, and mobile devices.

Fast data streaming

Node.js processes and uploads files simultaneously, saving time and improving the speed of data and video streaming.

Node.js Limitations

Not suitable for intensive processor tasks

Since Node.js is single-threaded, when you use it for CPU-intensive tasks, it will block all requests from completion until the task is finished.

Immature tooling

Node.js-related tools often have poor quality, incomplete documentation, and insufficient testing. Thus, you may have trouble finding the necessary solution if you don’t know exactly what you need.

Companies That Use Node.js

The top users of Node.js for app development are LinkedIn, Netflix, Uber, Nasa, PayPal, and Mozilla.

On the industry level, Node.js is a common choice for computers & electronics, law & government, finance, and arts companies.

Node.js top industry verticals

(Source)

When to Use Node.js?

Node.js yields the best results when used for:

    • Scalable network applications
    • Single page applications
    • Data-intensive real-time applications
    • Streaming apps
    • Location-based apps
    • Microservices architecture
    • Messaging apps

Ruby on Rails — The Basics

Ruby on Rails is a server-side web application framework created by David Heinemeier Hansson and released in 2004. Offered under the MIT License, RoR is freely available and easy to use. It’s pretty universal since you can use it for frontend and backend development.

Ruby on Rails Key Features

MVC architecture

Ruby on Rails relies on the model-view-controller pattern, enabling parallel development and considerably simplifying testing. Several software developers can work on the application simultaneously.

Convention over Configuration

Over the years, Ruby on Rails community came up with a huge set of widely-acknowledged code conventions. Using a Rubocop tool you can easily check your code in accordance with those rules, customize the rules according to the project specifics, or even automatically fix most of them. Coding by convention optimizes the work by cutting the number of decisions engineers make.

RubyGems

RoR supports over 173,000 libraries called Gems and used to reduce the coding time. They enable developers to add new features without writing code. You can find Gems for almost everything, from payment gateway integration to analytics.
Read 5 Things to Know About Ruby on Rails Development

Read 5 Things to Know About Ruby on Rails Development

Ruby on Rails Limitations

Low runtime speed and performance

These two factors are essential to developing a quick app that keeps users engaged. Although Ruby on Rails can become an excellent foundation for small and middle-sized apps, it may be slow for apps with considerable traffic.

Excessive flexibility

The base stack of the project utilizing Ruby may vary by A LOT. Some use Rails-way MVC architecture, and others build service-based applications or bring Trailblazer to the table. As a result, a legacy RoR app may rely on such technologies or methodologies that even experienced developers may have trouble joining an existing project.

Bad for beginners

As RoR automates simple coding tasks, inexperienced developers have little work to do, what leads them to being overconfident and sometimes not paying enough attention to details. Thus, you need to hire skilled engineers that know how to get the most out of Ruby.

Companies That Use Ruby on Rails

Companies using Ruby on Rails include SlideShare, Airbnb, CrunchBase, Dribble, Shopify, Bloomberg, Couchsurfing, GitHub, Hulu, Soundcloud, and Zendesk, to name a few.

Regarding the industry-level breakdown, Ruby on Rails is particularly popular for creating MVPs, various web-platforms in the finance, science, education and other fields. Due to technical reasons, it’s less popular in the computers & electronics and games industries.

top industry verticals

(Source)

When to Use Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is best used for:

    • CPU-intensive applications with lots of images and graphics
    • Ecommerce stores with advanced browsing and purchasing options
    • Web applications with a standard pack of features
    • Content management systems
    • Social media web apps

Ruby on Rails vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core Comparison Table

When choosing an app development technology, you must consider many other aspects besides use cases, features, and limitations. In particular, you need to research the development time and make sure you will easily find the necessary tech talent. The IT market is very competitive, so assembling a team may take an unexpectedly long time.

The table compares Ruby on Rails vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core. Use it for guidance to determine which framework is best for your future app.

Ruby on Rails vs. Node.js vs. .NET Core

Ruby on Rails Node.js .NET Core
Framework Type Server-side web app Ruby framework Cross-platform, backend JavaScript runtime environment Cross-platform managed computer software framework
Development Time Minimum Average Time-consuming
Performance Comparatively slower Fast Very fast
Learning Curve Easy to learn Easy to learn Hard to learn
CPU Intensive Tasks Fast Slow Fast
Scalability Average High High
Talent Finding Problematic Challenging Comparatively easy

Final Thoughts

Developing an effective app always requires a custom approach to the tech stack. If you doubt what technology suits you, you’d better ask professionals. Leobit software development company provides mobile and web app development services for any need.

Reach us for consulting, delegate challenging tasks, or fully outsource app development to Leobit. We assemble dedicated engineering teams of any size and composition based on your project specifications.

Tetiana Paratsii
Tetiana Paratsii
Marketing Analyst at Leobit
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