Ruby on Rails Q & A


How to profile a Rails application?

Profiling a Rails application is an essential practice to identify performance bottlenecks and optimize the application’s runtime. By using profiling tools, developers can gain insights into how the application’s code is executed, how long each method or SQL query takes, and where the performance issues lie. Here’s a guide on how to profile your Rails application:


  1. Rack Mini Profiler: This is a middleware that provides a visual speed badge on your Rails app pages. It shows you how long each page takes to render, how many SQL queries were executed, and more. To use it, simply add the gem to your Gemfile (`gem ‘rack-mini-profiler’`) and bundle install.


  1. Bullet: Bullet is designed to help you increase your application’s performance by reducing the number of queries it makes. It notifies you of N+1 queries and unused eager loading, helping you optimize database calls. Integration is straightforward: add the gem (`gem ‘bullet’`), enable it in a specific environment, and heed its warnings.


  1. Ruby-prof: Ruby-prof is a fast code profiler for Ruby. It provides information on method calls, call trees, and more. To use it, wrap the code you want to profile with `RubyProf.start` and `RubyProf.stop`, then process and print the results.


  1. New Relic RPM: This is a comprehensive Application Performance Management (APM) solution. While it covers various platforms, its support for Rails is particularly strong. It provides insights into everything from controller actions, views, and database queries. It’s an external service, so you’ll need to sign up, add the gem (`gem ‘newrelic_rpm’`), and configure it.


  1. Rails Panel: An extension for Chrome DevTools, Rails Panel displays Rails development logs in your browser. It gives a clear representation of server processing, rendering times, and active record databases.


  1. Skylight: This is another APM service similar to New Relic. It provides beautiful and easy-to-read visualizations of your app’s performance, emphasizing problem areas and bottlenecks.


Profiling is all about gaining visibility into your application’s performance. Regularly profile your Rails application, especially after significant code changes or before deploying to production, to ensure optimal performance and user experience.

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Senior Software Engineer with a focus on remote work. Proficient in Ruby on Rails. Expertise spans y6ears in Ruby on Rails development, contributing to B2C financial solutions and data engineering.