Rails began as an internal framework used at a company called Basecamp, within its eponymous project management platform. In July 2004, David Heinemeier Hansson, Ruby on Rails creator and Basecamp founder, extracted Rails from Basecamp and made it available to the public. The framework gained popularity in 2005 when Hansson, known as DHH in the Rails community, showed off Ruby on Rails’ awesome capabilities and speed by live-coding a completely functioning, database-backed blogging engine in under 15 minutes. Apple further legitimized the Rails framework when it shipped Ruby on Rails with its Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard operating system in October 2007.
Rails gives developers a quick way to get started building a web application with opinionated scaffolding, which generates the model, view, and controller for a new database-backed resource in a single command-line operation. Rails also includes much of the boilerplate code that connects the various pieces of modern database-backed web applications, such as Active Record (the ORM, responsible for mapping database records to application objects), and the Rails router (links incoming requests to actions in the controller). This contrasts with earlier languages used to write applications for the web, like Java, Python, and PHP.
Without a framework like Rails, a developer has to write a lot of code to achieve what Rails could do in just a few lines. Rails also includes live reloading, which means your changes are immediately reflected as you edit your application files.