Ruby on Rails’ footprint on Microsoft


This post could also be called how David (DHH) inspired Goliath (MS).

Lately Microsoft has release a number of products and new technologies on the .NET platform. Of course this could just be seen as the way of .NET framework. I mean.. 3.0 and 3.5 are just what comes after 2.0, right?!

Anyway… We’ve had this WebForms framework for doing websites for years now, and MS never really strafed from this strategy even though the Model View Controller pattern has had alot of followers and proven itself on the Java platform. Why should we have an MVC stack when working with .NET?!? Well.. I for one find it really easy to understand. No more advanced event cycles and s… viewstate. No more postback and advanced control design… Well that’s just me. When that is said, I’ve worked almost exclusivly with WebForms since the .NET 1.0 beta was out… Of course there has been some alternatives. In the last post I linked to the MonoRails project. On the frontpage it even says that it is inspired by Ruby on Rails (just see the .rails file extension for the httphandler in all their examples).

As I wrote in the last post, Microsoft are now launching their own MVC stack… Hmmm… Why the sudden change? As with everything Microsoft goes into, they pretty much market it as something completely new and innovative. Just look at the MVC frenzy going on over at: ScottGu and (ok.. also alot of great examples… ).

So is this another MS MVC post… Well not really, I just wanted to sum up some recent stuff out of MS and then leave it up to you to decide if they are not (heavily) inspired by RoR:


As already discussed, the heart of RoR and a sudden shift from MS.


While not invented by DHH, he spoke (and) … and the world listened. This completely suprised MS. “Does people actually need this silly rest thingy?!”. Well apparently MS is now REST’ing a but with the Astoria Project.


We currently have JRuby and MS recently launched their first dynamic language (IronPython) on the .NET platform. Furthermore there are job ads like this. There is also this open source project however.

O/R Mapping

While RoR uses Martin Fowler’s Active Record pattern for its o/r mapper, Microsoft finally has something they almost can call an o/r mapper. While MS has brought the dynamic expression i c# to the table with the LINQ technology, LINQ for Entities (and SQL) is really too little too late.. I’ve been using NHibernate for years now and with the LINQ for NHibernate I might just stay there :). And also remember that this is not the first o/r mapper MS tries to bring to the market. Who doesn’t remember ObjectSpaces.

While I don’t claim that MS has picked up on o/r mappers after RoR, they certainly comes in handy with their brand new lightweight MVC package.


What do you think?! Is MS inspired by RoR?! I believe they are at least keeping a very big eye on it (Sauron style) but that’s just my to cents?

2 Responses to “Ruby on Rails’ footprint on Microsoft”

  1. dkastner Says:

    I think RoR has a lot to do with spurring MS on to jump on the MVC wagon but Java has supported MVC and some REST concepts with WebWork as well as ORMs such as Hibernate. If anything they’re finally catching up with those projects. I think what C# lacks that makes RoR so compelling is Ruby’s duck typing and simplicity. Also, they haven’t yet released any sort of utilities like Rails’ script helpers for creating MVC components.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Good post. Looks the “the Eye” is unfortunately not distracted anymore (

    It will be eerie if/when IronRuby + MVC ASP.NET + Visual Studio = a new way to develop Ruby on Rails applications. With the new FCGI implementation now available for IIS, deployment may become easier on Windows as well.

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