Django vs. Ruby on Rails: What to Choose for Streaming/OTT App

Websites and web apps are becoming increasingly complex and functional to meet the growing demands of users and modern technology. This results in the development process requiring more time and effort from IT specialists. This also affects the cost of the final product.

Web developers use various tools and libraries to reduce the price and speed up the work. One such solution is a framework. This is a development platform that contains a ready-made structure and a set of tools. The programmer only has to adapt the product to the needs of a particular business.

  • Developer Nation survey showed that 60% of web developers use frameworks to realize digital products.

There are a huge number of frameworks. All of them are divided into different categories, each designed to solve a specific task. 

Lampa Software experts have prepared material comparing Ruby on Rails vs. Python Django – two leading platforms widely used in web development.

Django vs. Ruby on Rails: Quick Comparison Checklist

These heavyweight web development frameworks have a lot in common, but each has its own unique features. Both are written in a dynamic programming language and are object-oriented.

Before we dive into a detailed comparison of Django vs. Rails, we suggest you look at the major differences between the two.

Parameters

Ruby on Rails

Django

Language

Open-source web framework written in Ruby

Open-source framework written in Python

Architecture

Built on the Model View Controller (MVC)

Conforms to the Model View Template (MVT)

Usage


Used for database server-side application development and metaprogramming

Used to develop complex database-driven websites

Speed and performance

RoR is fast because it has the advantage of a rich repository of great libraries

Django is a bit slower than RoR but still provides excellent performance boosts

Stability

Provides a convenient approach to code reuse and minimizes dependencies

Practices a more traditional approach by sticking to any proven method


Syntax

RoR syntax is much more flexible compared to Django

The syntax is easy to read and debug

Documentation  

Ruby on Rails documentation comes with detailed explanations to help you learn the framework in detail 

Django comes with well-structured documentation that allows you to explore the framework concept in detail

Community

RoR has a small developer community compared to Django

Django has a huge community of developers

Web servers

Uses NGINX, Apache and WEBrick as the main servers

Django's main servers are NGIX using WSGI, Apache, Gunicorn and Cherokee

What Are Django and Ruby on Rails Used For?

Based on the main differences between Ruby vs. Django, let's figure out when to use them.

Django 

This open-source framework has a wide range of ready-to-use solutions that are thoroughly documented. It is designed to develop complex database-driven websites, web applications, and other digital products such as chatbots, CRM systems, messengers, e-commerce platforms, and more.

  • Many apps and web services we use daily are also developed using the Django framework, including Instagram, YouTube, Google, Pinterest, Mozilla, Spotify, and others.

The framework can work with any client environment and deliver content in almost any format (including HTML, RSS feeds, JSON, XML, etc.).

The capabilities of Django are so vast that situations where a developer cannot solve a task are simply excluded. It is suitable for both small startups and large-scale web projects.

Ruby on Rails

It is a multi-tier open-source framework for building server-side database-driven websites and web apps. It is written in the high-level, dynamic, and interpreted Ruby programming language.

The platform is used to design and build non-standard, technically complex full-featured websites and apps, build MVPs and prototypes, and for projects requiring real-time updates and scalability. 

  • Airbnb, Crunchbase, Twitter, Dribble, Bloomberg, Netflix, Zendesk, Groupon, SoundCloud, Upwork, Hulu, Basecamp, Kickstarter, Change.org, and many other well-known sites have been built using Ruby on Rails.

Unlike analog frameworks, Ruby on Rails can adapt to any changes, allowing developers to experiment with the functionality of the products they create.

The main area of use of the RoR platform is startups, small businesses that can develop and grow in the long term, and projects that require a quick launch.

Is Django or Ruby on Rails Suitable for a Streaming/OTT Application?

Django is suitable for developing streaming, OTT apps, and websites. It can work with various video file formats, databases, and client environments.

The framework comes with a complete set of features that allow for the creation of different apps. However, if a specific component for implementing a particular product is unavailable in the "out-of-the-box" version, it can be obtained from third-party sources.

To create a streaming video site using Django, additional tools and libraries designed for video processing are often required (e.g., FFmpeg or Video.js).

Ruby on Rails can also be used to create streaming and OTT apps. It is a powerful web framework with extensive functionality that provides video uploading and storage, media resource processing, user management, subscription management, and video playback system implementation.

RoR offers numerous ready-to-use libraries and plugins that facilitate working with media content and video processing (e.g., CarrierWave and Paperclip). Additional tools and services may be required to create certain streaming products.

Specific Features of Development Streaming/OTT Application

Developing a streaming and OTT application has its own peculiarities and requires consideration of the following key aspects:

  • Media content processing and storage: Streaming and OTT applications deal with a large volume of media. It is necessary to consider requirements for storing and processing audio and video files and ensure efficient data transmission for delivering content to users.

  • Video encoding and transcoding: During the development of streaming apps, video encoding into different formats and bitrates is often required to ensure optimal playback on various devices and networks. It is necessary to use appropriate tools to perform these tasks.

  • Video playback system: When developing, it is important to consider requirements for the video playback system, such as adaptive streaming, pause, rewind, video quality selection, and other features.

  • Scalability and performance: Streaming and OTT apps often experience high load due to many concurrent users and significant amounts of processed data. It is necessary to consider architectural solutions, performance optimization, and horizontal scaling to ensure stable application operation.

  • Security and DRM: If your web app provides protected content, you may need to implement Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies to ensure the security of media files and manage their usage.

Considering all these aspects, choosing suitable tools, frameworks, and services for developing a streaming or OTT app is important. This will ensure efficiency, functionality, and user convenience.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is an open-source, object-oriented framework written in the Ruby programming language. It is popular among programmers worldwide and is used for backend development.

  • According to TIOBE, as of June 2023, Ruby ranks 18th among the most popular programming languages globally.

The framework's work is based on connecting models to a database and interacting with objects in apps. The process of using RoR is simplified by the use of standardized naming conventions for files and directories.

Ruby has several advantages that set it apart from other modern programming languages. These include:

  • Speed

One of Ruby's most significant advantages is its high development speed, achieved through a simple and concise syntax and a wide selection of ready-made solutions for various tasks. Solving these tasks with Ruby on Rails can be 1.5 times faster than using other similar frameworks.

  • Data Caching

The platform is equipped with built-in data caching capabilities. This allows for easy and fast caching of code blocks or entire pages without needing third-party tools. This feature makes the language extremely convenient and useful for large-scale business projects.

  • Common Standards

Another advantage is the presence of clear and understandable programming standards that have been used in the community for many years and are documented in a special set of rules. This helps structure any projects developed in this language effectively and quickly onboard new developers or teams.

  • Code Transparency

Ruby on Rails lets you write clear and transparent code that can be easily updated and enhanced. Adhering to standards and conventions allows code maintenance by its original developers and third-party programmers.

  • Ready-made solutions for multilingual projects

The web framework comes with powerful tools for project localization. It provides the ability to support multiple languages from the start or implement later. It includes special files for term translations, tools for displaying templates in different languages, and more.

  • Code reliability and functionality

RoR development is based on the test-driven development (TDD) methodology. It allows for frequent checks of code functionality and correctness through automated tests, making the created programs more stable and maintainable. This is a significant advantage for business apps where the volume of company profits depends directly on the correct software operation.

  • Scalability

Ruby-based digital products can be easily scaled, including in cloud and server clusters. It is also frequently used for high-load software with high uptime and performance requirements.

  • High-level data security

Ruby on Rails offers a default set of built-in data protection measures, including password and personal data encryption (e.g., banking card details), protection against XSS attacks and SQL injections, and input parameter sanitization.

Ruby on Rails has a large ecosystem of open-source plugins (gems) that implement the most in-demand functionalities. These gems vary widely, from low-level ones responsible for internal application workings to high-level ones representing separate modules for solving various business tasks.

What is Django?

Django is a free web app framework in Python that follows the MVC (Model-View-Controller) design template. It offers extensive capabilities and is known for its fast and reliable approach to web development.

  • Python is currently the most popular programming language in the world, with a 27.66% share of popularity according to the PYPL index. 

The framework allows the creation of websites consisting of multiple virtually independent web apps. These apps are managed through a unified administrative interface available in multiple languages.

Developers prefer the Django web platform for the following reasons:

  • Speed

Django was designed to help IT professionals quickly implement web applications. The development process involves generating ideas, building and releasing projects, and Django saves time and resources at each stage. Thus, it can be considered an ideal solution for developers prioritizing meeting deadlines.

  • Comprehensive package

Django provides everything necessary for developing a full-fledged app. For example, it offers built-in HTML templates, URL routing, object-relational mapping, and session management. This eliminates the need for developers to tediously search for third-party tools. Hundreds of Django packages are available to help you quickly build anything from chatbots to complex GPS-enabled solutions.

  • Standardized structure

As a framework, Django establishes the structure of a project, making it easier for developers to understand where and how to add new functionality. The consistent structure across projects makes it easier to find responses to the web browser or seek help from the community.

  • Scalability

Django components are decoupled, meaning they can be added or removed as needed, like Lego pieces. Depending on your product's requirements, the project's scale can be increased or decreased by modifying the quantity and complexity of Django components.

  • Security

Django protects the app from SQL injection and common vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting, clickjacking, and cross-site request forgery. The user authentication system is key in effectively using logins and passwords.

  • Compatibility with most databases

Django's Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) is compatible with several popular databases. However, its key feature is working with multiple databases simultaneously. Moreover, Django allows switching from one database to another and performing standard operations without writing significant additional code.

Django is the foundation for many ready-made solutions distributed under open-source licenses. These include systems for managing e-commerce websites, universal content management systems, and more specialized projects.

Django vs. Ruby: A Comprehensive Comparison

So, which framework should you choose? To answer this question, let's compare Ruby on Rails vs. Django in more detail and examine these platforms' key differences and similarities.

Language

Django is written in Python, while Ruby on Rails is written in Ruby.

Language is used in data analysis, machine learning, data engineering, web development, software development, and other areas. Python is suitable for creating various digital products, including websites, AI-based services, business solutions, etc.

Ruby is a language that balances the functional programming paradigm with imperative programming principles. 

It combines a Perl-like syntax with an object-oriented approach. The cross-platform implementation of the Ruby language is distributed under open-source terms. Code written in Ruby can be understood even by someone unfamiliar with programming.

Architecture

Django follows the Model-View-Template (MVT) architecture. It allows for the independence of each element from other parts and the replacement or scaling of each of them.

Ruby on Rails follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It allows for the separation of logical parts of the application, centralizing its business logic and data manipulation rules.

Popularity

Despite RoR and Django being in the market for almost 20 years, Django has gained a large community due to its simplicity.

  • According to a survey by Stackoverflow, out of 42,279 developers surveyed, 14.2% use Django, while only 7% use Ruby on Rails.

However, both web platforms have similar growth and retention rates and almost equal market shares in their respective industries.

Django holds a market share of 31.38%, while Ruby on Rails holds 27.23%.

Popularity

(Source: 6sense)

User Interface

RoR and Django have user-friendly interfaces that provide an excellent user experience. You can create any functional website or app with numerous plugins and extensions.

Speed and Performance

Both platforms are based on interpreted scripting languages, resulting in similar development speed and performance.

However, Ruby on Rails is slightly faster. The reason is its wider collection of libraries and plugins designed to enhance speed.

When comparing Django vs. Rails performance, the latter will have a slight edge

Stability

Django follows a traditional approach and proven methods to solve problems and ensure stability. However, the framework lacks creativity and innovation.

Rails effectively combines both aspects, allowing users to reuse code to minimize dependencies. Additionally, it follows the "Convention over Configuration" methodology, which ensures stability and simplifies the development process.

Installation

Django is an easily installable and configurable framework. It takes little time to set up and can be done with just a few clicks. On the other hand, installing Rails requires using the gem command. Not every user may be comfortable with this task, so Django clearly has the advantage in this case.

Security

The web world is a highly aggressive environment where attacks happen constantly and everywhere. Therefore, any web application framework must be resilient to various attacks, such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting, etc. Django takes security seriously and helps developers avoid common mistakes while providing best-practice security measures.

Ruby on Rails also covers all basic vulnerability types but falls slightly behind Django in terms of security measures.

Scalability

Both frameworks offer excellent scalability. However, in the battle of Rails vs. Django, Rails takes a leading position.

RoR provides good application scalability due to its flexible code, architecture, and the availability of various development tools and practices.

Syntax

Python is known for its simple and clean syntax, which makes it easy to read and understand.

As for Ruby syntax, it is considered elegant, which is confirmed by the program code. Its creators tried to take the best from other languages: exceptions, operator reloading, and interactive console. Ruby does not use semicolons; a new line separates instructions like in Python.

Principles of Development

The development philosophies of both frameworks differ significantly. One of Django's main principles is DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself). This principle ensures high maintainability, ease of change, and quality testing.

RoR follows the principles of DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself), TDD (Test-Driven Development), and CoC (Convention over Configuration). These principles allow for the rapid development of efficient and innovative digital products.

Documentation of Frameworks

Both frameworks are well-documented and well-organized. Whether it's Django or Rails, their documentation is structured and user-friendly. It provides detailed explanations, guides, and code examples that help find answers, thoroughly understand the framework, and start working with it.

Maturity of Platform

Ruby on Rails was introduced in 2004 and has continuously evolved and improved. The latest release, version 7.0.5, was launched in 2023.

Django was created in 2005 and has undergone significant changes and enhancements. The current version of the framework, 4.2, was released in April 2023.

HTML Templating

With HTML templating, Django and RoR allow developers to create high-quality features with minimal programming and HTML skills.

The backend framework Ruby on Rails has a more complex template language than Django. Unlike the individual page templates Rails offers, developing web apps using Django's simple template language is preferable.

Usage

Django allows the creation of websites and web apps of varying complexity, from personal blogs to audio platforms. It seamlessly integrates with other frameworks and is suitable for creating specific Django functions and integrating them into projects.

RoR can be used to solve various tasks in multiple industries. RoR helps develop MVPs for startups where the speed of development and a simplified, secure structure are paramount.

Web-Servers

Ruby on Rails can work with any server that supports FastCGI technology, such as Apache, Lighttpd, and SCGI. During development, the simplest way is often using WEBrick.

The main web servers for Django are NGINX with WSGI, Apache, Gunicorn, and Cherokee.

Community Support and Ecosystem

Django has a large ecosystem and community. With their strong support, the framework regularly receives new libraries and plugins that simplify development.

RoR has an extensive ecosystem and a growing community, although not as large as Django's. The platform provides access to thousands of different gems that can be add-ons, libraries, or software fragments.

Learning Curve

Python is considered one of the world's most readable and beginner-friendly programming languages. Whether comparing Django vs. Ruby on Rails or any other framework, Django usually takes the lead regarding the learning speed.

Ruby's simplicity can be deceiving. Initially, the learning curve is very short, and the abundance of tutorials and guides makes it even easier. However, developing with Ruby becomes increasingly challenging as apps become more complex. If not following code-writing conventions and object-oriented design, the codebase can become scattered, making it difficult to maintain.

Philosophy

Ruby's philosophy revolves around creating simple and understandable programs that solve problems where development time, clarity, and simplicity are more important than speed.

Django follows an "all-inclusive" philosophy and provides almost everything developers may need "out-of-the-box".

Comparing Python Django vs. Ruby on Rails, it becomes clear that each has advantages and disadvantages. It's crucial to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each platform before starting product development.

Final Words – Django or Ruby on Rails for Streaming/OTT App

Both Django and Ruby on Rails can be used to create streaming and OTT apps. The choice will depend on your preferences, experience, and project requirements.

Django is a platform written in Python, known for its ease of use, powerful database tools, and comprehensive documentation. It offers solutions for building streaming apps and has robust authentication and authorization capabilities.

Ruby on Rails is a framework written in Ruby, known for its simplicity and elegance. It comes with integrated tools for web app development and includes a wealth of ready-to-use components and libraries.

Both options can be suitable if you want a framework to develop a streaming or OTT app. The experts at Lampa Software can help you choose the best solution that aligns with your business needs.

We have extensive experience developing in Ruby on Rails and Django, so we know how to turn your most ambitious ideas into effective digital products.

Need professional assistance gathering all the required artifacts to build a mobile app? Order product ideation services from Lampa!

FAQ

1. Where and when to use Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is suitable for developing various types of web applications, from small projects to large and complex systems. It excels in situations where time efficiency is crucial to avoid the need for manual configuration of application components.

2. With which framework Django or Rails can you quickly create a project?

Both platforms allow for quick project implementation but have different development characteristics. The main advantage of Django lies in its ability to handle large-scale projects and massive databases, thanks to its clear rules and various templates. Ruby on Rails is well-suited for MVP and e-commerce projects as it provides developers with more flexible and innovative solutions. Both frameworks have real advantages for fast project development. However, if meeting tight deadlines is a priority, Ruby on Rails would be the better choice.

3. Where is it easier to implement monetization tools: on Django or RoR?

Monetization tools can be implemented on Django and Ruby on Rails, as both frameworks provide development and integration capabilities for such tools. However, the ease of implementation may depend on the specific project requirements and experience working with each framework.

4. Is Ruby on Rails easier to work with than Django?

It depends on your individual preferences, experience, and familiarity with the programming languages of the frameworks. Ruby on Rails has certain standards and templates that simplify development. The platform offers numerous ready-to-use components and tools, allowing for a quick start on project implementation. Django has its advantages in terms of ease of use. The framework provides access to powerful tools for working with databases, authentication, admin panels, and other aspects of web app development, which can simplify the process. Web development will be straightforward and fast if you have experience with Ruby on Rails or Django.

5. Where and When to Use Django?

Django can be used to develop various digital products, from websites and blogs to complex web apps with APIs and CMS. It is important to consider the project requirements and the level of expertise in working with Python.

6. Which project is easier to maintain: Django or Ruby on Rails?

Django offers a clear structure that facilitates code organization and makes the project more understandable. Developers find it easier to locate the relevant components and make changes. Ruby on Rails has easy-to-read and understandable code, making maintenance easier and allowing for quicker implementation of necessary changes. Additionally, the built-in tools and functionality of the framework for common tasks enable developers to focus on developing new features and improvements.

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