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If you're not an ActiveRecord fan, there are alternatives, such as Ruby Object Mapper and Mongo Mapper for fans of MongoDB. If you want a server-side user analytics solution, the Ahoy gem from Andrew Kane is great stuff. Have a look through his GitHub repo, there's a lot of good stuff in there.

Shipping. That's the Deal.

The Rails community doesn't get too hung up on Software Architecture, but that doesn't mean they're not committed to shipping high quality software. They just don't spend too much time with Gang of Four and would rather ship things than make sure everything is DRY and SOLID.