This article was originally posted on Codica Blog.
Today many businesses wonder which technology to choose for a SaaS app. The right technologies can help companies stand out in a highly saturated market with a stable and reliable cloud solution.
In this article, we will cover the key factors you should pay attention to when choosing the right framework for your software-as-a-service product. Also, we will discuss the pros and cons of the top 3 frameworks for building a SaaS app.
The software-as-a-service model has obvious advantages over traditional software delivery. First of all, it brings SaaS apps owners the required flexibility and shorter time-to-market. Other benefits of this approach include reduced costs on development, maintenance, and integration.
It is worth noting that not only software providers but also users can benefit from the SaaS model. It gives customers easy access to the software from any device anytime, provided that their gadget has a stable internet connection. Besides, they do not have to worry about the updates.
SaaS product development is a powerful way to deliver software. It means that it implies many technical challenges you need to overcome. They include:
- Building a secure infrastructure for proper data handling;
- API creation;
- Third-party integration;
- Fixing availability issues.
These challenges serve as a solid reason why choosing the hosting provider for your SaaS application deserves your primary attention.
There are nearly 269 programming languages and even a larger number of frameworks. As you can see, there are plenty of tech stack options to choose from. That is why sometimes it is can be difficult to find a reliable SaaS development company.
Besides, you should remember that even the most popular framework cannot guarantee that your SaaS app will be working fast and smoothly. How so? The thing is that there is no one-size-fits-all technology. For example, some frameworks like React.js are geared towards front-end development.
When choosing the right framework for your SaaS project, pay attention to the following qualities:
- Development speed;
So, let’s proceed to the top three frameworks suitable for SaaS product development.
Ruby on Rails
As you probably have heard, the first application written on Ruby on Rails was Basecamp. It was a project management tool that adopted the SaaS model. Since that time, many prominent services, including Slideshare, Github, Zendesk, Shopify, and Hulu, have been using Rails for their SaaS solutions. It is safe to say that the whole history of the Rails framework is closely related to software-as-a-service products.
Rails framework provides developers with a great number of gems that are free, open-source libraries. Today, there are 162,021+ gems created by the enthusiastic Rails community. With these ready solutions, your team will not need to develop already implemented features.
Ruby on Rails can be called a very developer-friendly framework. It follows the Convention over Configuration concept, which allows for easy implementation of new functionality. Owing to DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principles, the framework guarantees that the code is clean and clitter-free.
In light of the growing popularity of Python, it is not surprising that frameworks based on this programming language are popular as well. The first tool that comes to our mind is Django. It is a sought-after Python framework best suited for web development and building SaaS products.
Django is noted for its high out-of-the-box protection against common security threats and easy API creation.
A specific feature of this framework is that Django leaves less space for conventions. It means that there are no sets of web development principles. As a result, the development process can be cloud down because of the configuration boilerplate.
However, by contrast with other famous web frameworks, Django does not offer multiple requests. So your task is to optimize your SaaS app written in Django properly to ensure its suitable speed.
This framework is another popular option for SaaS product development. Together with MongoDB, AngularJS (or Angular), and Node.js, Express.js builds up the MEAN stack.
The image below provides you with a detailed explanation of this term:
Express.js is famous for its good server-side rendering and performance. It can address a large number of simultaneous calls with extensive throughput. Apart from SaaS product development, it is used for building fast and scalable web applications.
At the same time, Express.js does not support multi-threading. Therefore, this framework should not be used for CPU-intensive processes. Also, you would better not use it with relational databases, such as PostgreSQL and MySQL.
Being a minimalistic framework, Express.js does not have any in-built security measures. This fact forces you to use additional modules to guarantee data protection. Besides, only the latest version of the framework offers maintenance of security and performance.
At Codica, we have chosen RoR as our core technology for its reliability and high development speed. According to Builtwith, there are 3+ million websites ever made with Rails. This fantastic statistic only proves the fact that we have made the right choice.
So why RoR is a good option for SaaS development? Let’s find out!
Ruby programming language is eloquent and succinct. It comes with a great suite of tools, apart from countless gems. Ruby on Rails framework follows the MVC (model-view-controller) pattern. It allows for the modularity and extensibility of applications in SaaS product development. That is why RoR applications, regardless of their complexity, can easily be extended with new functionality and business logic.
A clear benefit of Ruby on Rails over brand-new technologies is in-built protection against the most common security threats such as SQL injection or Cross-Site Scripting. In addition, there are numerous gems that are aimed at solving other security issues that may occur in the process of SaaS product development.
Ruby on Rails offers detailed documentation on securing Rails applications where common security problems and the best practices to fight them are described.
High development speed
When RoR developers need to implement some new features, in most cases, they do not have to reinvent the wheel. There are gems for all key functionality, including accounting, order processing, and shipping. They had been created by the active members of the fantastic Ruby on Rails community.
High development speed can reduce development costs and shorten the time-to-market of your SaaS product significantly. In addition, the application receives regular updates. Meanwhile, you get quick feedback from users and swift market change adoption.
Scalability means the stable performance of the SaaS app when processing high request loads. In simple terms, if your audience increases, a scalable application should be able to adjust to new loads without any changes in its architecture.
How the scalability is achieved in the Ruby on Rails framework, you may wonder. It is ensured owing to the support of modular code that can be easily split into engines, modules, and gems.
As you can see, SaaS product development is more technically demanding in comparison with traditional software.
Speaking of the requirements for building a SaaS app, Ruby on Rails meets them in full measure. With this framework, you will be able to launch your product and generate revenue much faster.
To learn more about the benefits of Ruby on Rails framework for SaaS product development, read our full article: SaaS Product Development: Why Choose Ruby on Rails Framework?