RoR for new apps, PHP for existing (?)

I’ve been evaluating frameworks, technologies, etc. for my company for a
little while now. This is what I’m about to conclude for my report:

  1. RoR is a good fit for new applications where we can define the DB
    schema.
  2. PHP is a good fit where the DB schema already exists, or the “pieces”
    needed for the application exist all over the place. (ie: MS SQL
    Database for some info, Postgresql for more info, etc.)

Is this a fair conclusion? Personally I like Rails alot, I just don’t
see how it can be as strong as PHP with existing DB schemas (especially
ones that cannot be modified). I know there are things a person can do
to rig Rails to more than one DB and also to tie into existing legacy
schemas but those are more a long the lines of hacks than anything else

  • they are not the “Rails” way.

Am I off base here?

From my experience, the benefits you get from using Ruby and Rails (yes,
and, not ‘on’) far outweigh the hassle of configuring ActiveRecord to
use a legacy database. While Rails is the strongest in starting from
scratch, it is very possible to make AR work for any schema, and once
that is done, the rest of the application comes together as fast as any
other Rails application.

And it’s very easy to have multiple database connections in
ActiveRecord:

class PgSQLModel < ActiveRecord::Base
connection ‘my:pgsql:connection:string’
end

class MySQLModel < ActiveRecord::Base
connection ‘my:mysql:connection’
end

You then subclass either PgSQLModels or MySQLModel depending on what
database the given table is in.

Prototype out a part of the current website in Rails and see how well it
transforms over. In the end, you can’t decide just on what someone says,
you have to try it out and see if it works for you.

Jason

Wesley L. wrote:

I’ve been evaluating frameworks, technologies, etc. for my company for a
little while now. This is what I’m about to conclude for my report:

  1. RoR is a good fit for new applications where we can define the DB
    schema.
  2. PHP is a good fit where the DB schema already exists, or the “pieces”
    needed for the application exist all over the place. (ie: MS SQL
    Database for some info, Postgresql for more info, etc.)

Is this a fair conclusion? Personally I like Rails alot, I just don’t
see how it can be as strong as PHP with existing DB schemas (especially
ones that cannot be modified). I know there are things a person can do
to rig Rails to more than one DB and also to tie into existing legacy
schemas but those are more a long the lines of hacks than anything else

  • they are not the “Rails” way.

Am I off base here?

I migrated my existing PHP application using migrations. It worked well
and forced me to confront a number of underlying issues in my data
model. In the end, I have a much more functional, extendable
maintainable system. The PHP code was very bloated.

Once the hard work was done on the model, the code for the application
almost falls into place naturally. It seems like I wrote more lines of
migration code than my entire app required.

One really nice thing about this is you don’t have to argue with anyone
about naming conventions in the DB – just do it the RoR way.

Another approach I heard about at the local Rubyists meetup was the use
of Views in MySQL to give a RoR-friendly view into the legacy DB.

I think it would be vastly more instructive and productive to use RoR in
a re-engineering of a legacy system… particularly if it really has
some life and value left in it.

Greenfield development is less challenging.

Steven

Its boring to see often repeated discussion on Rails vs. PHP, or Struts
vs. Rails, etc.

There is already enough material out there on them, and any seriously
interested person will search google and blogosphere before posting.
Besides,
this topic has been repeated so many times.

Please don’t unnecessarily add to volume in this list.

Thanks.


Surendra S.
http://ssinghi.kreeti.com, http://www.kreeti.com
Read my blog at: http://cuttingtheredtape.blogspot.com/
,----
| “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
| – Orwell, Animal Farm, 1945
`----

On 7/21/06, Wesley L. [email protected] wrote:

ones that cannot be modified). I know there are things a person can do
to rig Rails to more than one DB and also to tie into existing legacy
schemas but those are more a long the lines of hacks than anything else

  • they are not the “Rails” way.

What do you base this on?

Am I off base here?

Yes.

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