We access and use software differently than the way we used to do it ten years back. Traditionally, we would purchase a software and install it on our system. Today, we have started using the software without installing it on our system. Instead, we use the software and pay according to the subscription model we have opted.
What Is SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is just like any other service we have subscribed to, and we make monthly, quarterly or annual payments for using the software. SaaS is one of the three major constituents of Cloud Computing, others being IaaS(Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS(Platform as a Service).
Saas removes the need for organizations to install, run, update and manage applications on their systems and data centers. It reduces the expenses of maintenance of the data centers, human capital and saves time. SaaS offers high scalability and allows its clients to pay according to the subscription plan they use and not necessarily for all the features. Some of the instances of SaaS are Google Apps, Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Suite and Salesforce.
How are SAAS applications developed?
It can take a long time for a large enterprise to release a software to the end users. It makes the projects incredibly complex, and that’s why tech companies first develop an MVP(Minimum Viable Product). With MVPs, they can release a working product quickly, validate assumptions, minimize risks, identify usability and technical issues, generate new ideas and reduce project complexity.
– Pre-Development Phase
During the Pre-development phase, it is important to define the core features of the software. Security is paramount to any software company. Software must be extensible to add more features in the future. It is important for the software to integrate well with the existing solutions and preferred platforms.
– Technology Research
It is critical to adopt the agile methodologies to ensure maximum flexibility. It is important to incorporate automated testing to reduce the number of manual tests and save time and money.
It is crucial for a SaaS application to use a Continuous Integration(CI) Environment and merge all the developer’s working pieces on a shared mainline. CI helps in the ongoing delivery of the service with bug-fixes, updates, and security.
To maximize the productivity and to keep the software code free from unnecessary clutter, it is necessary for all team members to follow the same coding practices. A manual code review is needed to reduce the bugs and improve the quality of the code.
– Post-Development Phase
After building the MVP, the Beta-testing stage comes. The feedback you get from beta-testers can significantly help you in improving your software. After this step, necessary changes are made, and the MVP is launched.
After the launch, monitoring, providing support, maintenance and further development of the software continues.
SaaS Developer Tools
SaaS projects are a complex undertaking. A SaaS developer needs a range of different tools, libraries, frameworks, etc. to build a SaaS application.
There is no silver bullet set of tools that you must use for SaaS development. Most programming language inclined towards web applications will be able to build your SaaS app the way you need. You can use different sets of tools according to your preferences and requirements.
- Ruby On Rails – Ruby On Rails is a popular server-side development framework. Its large community, a suite of tools and ability to handle common web application issues makes it a suitable choice for developing a SaaS product.
- Python – Python is widely used programming language designed to emphasize the code readability. It comes loaded with a large number of frameworks, for, e.g., Django, for any kind of web app you want to build.
- PHP – PHP is considered as one of the grandfathers of the modern apps. It has a large community and a large number of libraries and frameworks to make the development process faster and easier.
- MongoDB – MongoDB is a document-oriented database suitable for easy scalability and high performance. Scaling is extremely important from the SaaS perspective, and that’s why MongoDB is a great choice.
- MySQL – MySQL is world’s most popular open-source relational database management system. It is widely used as a tool of database management for the web apps.
- PostgreSQL – For Ruby on Rails applications, you will have to use PostgreSQL for the databases. It supports JSON objects, and that’s why it is a great choice over many other database tools.
Tools For Testing
- qTest – qTest is a scalable test management solution. It can be implemented on OnDemand, on-premise and locally hosted web applications.
Version Control Tool
- Git – Git is a mature, actively maintained open-source version control system that offers you all the necessary features to work in collaboration with your team.
Hosting and System Administration
- Heroku – With Heroku, you don’t have to worry about system administration, and you can focus on development. Its scalability features make it a perfect choice for web application development.
- Amazon Web Services(AWS) – AWS is a cloud services platform where you can host your web application and scale it with the growth of the user base.
To Sum Up
A SaaS developer can choose the tools that he prefers. There is no particular set of tools; every web application needs to stick with. You must decide the stack of tools you would like to use and plan the development of your SaaS product while keeping the target market in mind.