Most people in the healthcare and medical/clinical applications universe are aware of PHP, Java, perl, .NET, C#, and especially Mumps for developing systems. However, most of you may not be familiar with a relatively new scripting language called Ruby and a full-stack framework called Ruby On Rails. If you’re developing quick-turnaround web applications to connect to existing or legacy applications you may find that working in Rails is a very good way to get quick and dirty applications completed. It’s an excellent prototyping tool and if your needs are met by the solutions you prototype you can put it into actual production use with relative ease.
I wouldn’t recommend Rails for full enterprise usage all over your company, but I would give it a shot for a few test projects. You may find that it will serve you well. And, Rails uses modern object-oriented principles, supports design patterns like MVC, and doesn’t promote bad programming practices.
By the way, almost everyone who tries Rails falls in love with it so be sure to read my “be careful about Rails” article, too. 🙂
For the quickest way to learn Rails, get the book.