Ruby on Rails, the most famous Ruby framework, has come a long way since its launch; it’s now one of the most popular and capable frameworks in the world. You might not even suspect that some of your favorite websites are built with Ruby on Rails. In fact, many websites – in the fields of music, sports, travel, real estate, social networks, education and more – are built on this framework. Recently, we talked about some of these websites in two of our articles. You can check out the first and the second part before jumping to this, the third installation. (Though to be honest, you don’t have to read them in order.)
Shopify, another well-known website, written with Ruby on Rails framework is an internet platform that lets users create a personified online store. It is designed for people who have no experience with the technical component of the site, and have no one to assist. Shopify - simple and friendly step into the world of the e-commerce: no setup fee, no fee for hosting, maximum simplicity. Its interface is both easy to use and responsive with the variety of design patterns. The Shopify team has recently presented a separate off-line application to customize the design. Furthermore, you can purchase and sell Shopify themes. Since its launch in 2004, the service has been actively developed and today numbers more than 150,000 active users.
Airbnb - the world's largest hotel reservation service dealing with private lease holders. This includes rooms, apartments, houses and even tents in a garden. Service began when a couple of students who did not have enough money for housing, rented a room and began to take daily rent for airbed in the room. The very title name Airbnb means "airbed and breakfast". Project website was written in Ruby and is actively developing offering users an intuitive interface and making payments directly through the service. Thus, anyone who signs up for the service, can pass one’s apartment to someone else or to reserve for an upcoming trip. Today Airbnb operates more than 800 000 offers in 190 countries.
Groupon, the service of collective purchases, is another example of successful idea implementation on Ruby on Rails. In 2008 the project was transferred to the wide field of activity and today attracts attention of its billion-dollar deals. The technical solution of the Groupon project is based on mailing regular special offers. Anyone is able to go to the cafe, cinema, sign up for a fitness or dance, try climbing or go carting with a 50-90% discount. Businesses have to agree for such terms to attract significant amount of potential clients.
Soundcloud is another project, which began its activity as a simple startup, created on the basis of Ruby on Rails, and later became a commercial giant. It is likely that the service will be for audio the same as YouTube is now for video content - hosting by default. All five years since site creation the developers have been accumulating functional features being ahead of user expectations. Currently, SoundCloud is great for publishing podcasts, storing personified collection of audio files, setting up an audio blog. The website was initially designed as an audio hosting and all its social functionality is nothing but a tribute to time. It includes third-party applications, social tools, API, user-friendly embedded player, so it can be placed on any website. SoundCloud now forms a network way of music thinking.
Heroku is a cloud platform (PaaS), which provides an environment for developing web applications on Ruby, and a scalable application hosting. The core of the website and its interface are based on the Ruby and Ruby on Rails framework technologies. The application lets users focus on development rather than solving various issues of the preliminary preparation. The company began to work on the project in 2008 with $20,000 investments. In December 2010, the number of Web applications has exceeded 110,000 and the total amount of investments reached incredible $10 million.
Dribble is one more interesting project - the website and a social network for designers. The main feature of this service is that its clients can only share a small sample screenshots of design and applications - so-called shots. In addition, the users can subscribe for updates of a particular designer, comment posts (shots), press "Like" and so on. From the viewpoint of functionality, Dribbble is a common social network with the news feed, commenting, voting and tags.
Hulu is a well known streaming video service. The website uses the Ruby on Rails technology and provides professional content, including popular TV shows, series and movies (sporting events since recently). The developers made a decision, which is still very unpopular when it comes to professional video - all the site content is available free of charge. Major telecommunication companies cooperate with Hulu to distribute their videos through the website. One of its interesting features is that any video from the site can be easily inserted into one’s blog or a social network.