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Product Strategy

Node.js vs. Ruby vs. Python for eCommerce Application Development

Nisha Gopinath Menon
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February 24, 2022

Albeit popular opinion, eCommerce application programming is more than a few HTML and CSS syntax, along with some Java integrated user interface widgets and backend data.

In reality, eCommerce apps earn more than 40% of their profits due to their accessibility, fast response, compatibility with various operating systems and search engines, and the ability to store large amounts of customer and business data. Convenient payment gateways, product navigation, and a comprehensive user experience are equally significant in determining the popularity of an eCommerce application.

Node.js, Ruby, and Python are some of the most commonly used programming languages for eCommerce app development. As each language has its advantages, it can be challenging to decide which one to choose for eCommerce application development.

We have compared the three languages based on our team’s experience working with Node.js, Ruby, and Python for various projects. The comparison is based on our experience with multiple tools and developing platforms while creating eCommerce applications.

Node.js

Voted as the most preferred tool among programmers for fast and scalable applications, Node.js is an open-source JavaScript runtime platform built on Chrome’s V8 engine.

  • It is popularly used to build fast processing web applications and provides an alternative for Java users to create a backend server for ample data storage.
  • Its single-threaded framework can handle multiple simultaneous requests thus can multitask without blocking the functionality of the runtime environment.
  • Due to its efficient processing and cross-platform programming, Node.js is also the go-to choice for companies like Netflix and Paypal that require interactions using cloud-based servers and client applications.

Non-blocking, event-driven input-output framework combined with a plethora of interactive developer tools and libraries by NPM makes Node.js the best choice for developing data-intensive, server-side applications.

ADVANTAGES:

Flexible Scaling
Supports cross-platform programming
Great for microservices
Responsive and fast architecture
Optimized for speed and performance
Comprehensive plugins with over 350,000 packages
Cost-effective with full-stack JS.
Community support
Quick Caching for an improved performance

DISADVANTAGES:

Node.js has taken the world by storm with its high-powered capabilities and impressive libraries and tools; however, a few notable performance glitches make programmers think twice before using the platform for eCommerce application development.

  • Its diminishing effectiveness with an increase in heavy computations makes it difficult for applications to run without crashing.
  • Additionally, its unstable API incurs a lot of changes in the backend code, making programming on the platform time-consuming and monotonous at times.
  • Its asynchronous approach is a limitation causing multiple callbacks, thus impacting the performance and the quality and maintenance of the code.

That said, Node.js is perfect for projects that require multitasking and simultaneous server connections. To conclude, the platform promises quality performance and is best suited for companies developing a forum or a gaming application that needs exclusive and rapid I/O exchange.

Ruby

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is the high point of development, where programmers enjoy creating interactive interfaces with the freedom to re-use the code innumerable times in other applications.

Ruby is a popular, general-purpose ‘scripting language’ that leverages OOP and promotes rapid application development with its simple syntax and other features. It is a versatile, open-source, and portable language commonly used for creating desktop applications, data processing services, web servers, and DevOps.

Like Javascript, Ruby also has an open-source web development cross-platform for developing Rails framework database-dominated applications, Ruby On Rails (RoR). The environment offers pre-written codes in Ruby for file handling communication while taking care of unnecessary repetition with ‘DRY’ - Don't Repeat Yourself. It is one of the critical concepts of Rails, enjoyed by many global websites and applications such as Shopify, GitHub, Airbnb, and Twitter.

ADVANTAGES:

Secure platform for applications with built-in security measures.
Fast delivery at runtime for light apps.
With DRY, Ruby saves a lot of programming time and reduces code length, making it lightweight.
Cost-effective, open-source, and compatible with Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, and macOS
Easy to maintain codes with effective debugging and testing.
Built-in test automation process for hassle-free program testing
Consistent and reliable full-stack framework for all industries.

DISADVANTAGES:

In most cases, Ruby is the perfect choice for eCommerce application development combined with RoR, which provides a specific eCommerce-oriented environment with dedicated features that developers just can’t say no to. A customer management system, preprocessors, templates, and exclusive libraries or “gems.”

However, when needing a super-fast processing speed for heavy applications with millions of users, Ruby tends to lag. Another demerit that application developers often face while working with Ruby on RoR is that their flexibility to customize the UI and migrate databases is marred, thus making it a little tedious to create an interactive application with steady backend data.

Python

Python is a widely used server-side, high-level, object-oriented programming language developed in 1991. It has a wide variety of libraries, ancillary tools, and APIs available for developers to choose from.

It provides an extensive environment specifically for heavy business applications, strong community support via platforms, and a universal syntax that is easy to comprehend. The language is renowned for its multi-purposes and popularity in the development domain.  

ADVANTAGES:

Massive range of third party libraries for fast and convenient programming
Automated testing, scripting of web browsers, and handling databases can be done effortlessly with the help of Python Package Index- an archive for frequently used components in software programs.
Port code that can run on different OS with zero modifications. Python programmed applications are supported by all operating systems- Windows, macOS, Linux, and UNIX.
Full-stack web frameworks like Django, microframeworks like Flask, content management systems, and database management systems are also available for Python app development.

DISADVANTAGES:

Even though Python is known for its quality performance in the development of heavy applications, it is infamous for lagging at runtime since it uses an interpreter for the code. Additionally, the source code is compiled during runtime, which decreases the processing speed of the application.

To quote, Python’s age-old philosophy of “everything you need is built-in already” affects the computer's memory usage. It is a trade-off for the vast libraries and functionalities offered to the user.

In the present times, when the popularity of a business is partially based on the availability and accessibility of its mobile application, the fact that Python does not offer sufficient avenues for developing a whole application makes it an unpopular choice.

Conclusion

Before deciding on a programming language and developer platform for an eCommerce application, there are a lot of criteria that need to be considered. There is never a clear winner when comparing Python, Node.js, and Ruby; all three make excellent choices in tackling various business choices and providing the best coding experience to developers.

Reach us here to help us help you decide what is best for your next project.

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Nisha Gopinath Menon
Bangalore