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SaaS Development Guide

The Complete SaaS Development Guide in 2024

Software Development

SaaS application development is the next reasonable step on your way to business success. However, the transformation of your existing solution into SaaS or forming it from scratch needs a SaaS essentials understanding, besides developing the SaaS application’s best practices and possible drawbacks you must avoid. This article will further help you get deep insights into SaaS development and outsourcing to allow you to transform the technical benefits of SaaS into your business growth opportunities.

According to Precedenceresearch, the SaaS market size evolved from USD 276.11 billion in 2022 and registered at a CAGR of 13.92% throughout the forecast period of 2023 to 2032, and is further anticipated to reach around USD 1,016.44 billion by 2032.

SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SAAS) Market Size 2022 to 2023

Source: precedenceresearch

What is Software-as-a-Service?

SaaS applications offer services directly to users through the web, excluding the requirement for device software installation. SaaS solutions often work in public clouds but can also be hosted over local servers by software. In a SaaS model, it is necessary to hold a value system where all clients obtain an integrated experience. This involves running the same software version for every client, installing updates concurrently for all, and ensuring a reliable onboarding and management process.

What is a SaaS application development?

As discussed above, a SaaS app is a cloud-based software delivery method involving a flexible and customized set of features reliant on the user group’s different requirements that allow data access from any device and web browser using an Internet connection.

Its subscription-based and on-demand nature releases your clients from locally installing on their devices, besides upgrading the hardware required to keep it working. SaaS solutions are usually by clients from connected devices using an Internet browser or different APIs while the software provider works on the overall maintenance. Normally, its substructure is retained by a third-party cloud-computing supplier.

SaaS vs. Traditional Software Business Model

As a system, SaaS apps can be made with the assistance of extensive technical approaches and methods. However, SaaS comes first as a business model, and technology comes second. That’s why comparing the SaaS business model with the traditional software business model is needed.

Types of SaaS apps

As subjected to the industry, SaaS apps are designed for and are categorized into the following types:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM systems, such as Salesforce, are utilized to organize and manage customers’ data and operations that are appropriate for eCommerce businesses from both B2B and B2C divisions.

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

An ERP system supplied according to the Software-as-a-Service business model lets enterprises pay as they go, personalizing the necessary ERP system’s features according to the existing business requirements.

  • Billing and Accounting

Billing and accounting SaaS applications aren’t generally customized to the business industry. Instead, they derive adaptable subscription packages to let each company choose the one relying on its number of employees, size, partners, and customers.

  • Project and Task Management

Most project management and collaboration tools, such as ClickUp, Jira, and Monday, are distributed as software-as-a-service (SaaS).

  • Communication Tools

Slack is one of the most known and used communication tools designed according to the SaaS business model, which allows one to choose a subscription plan reliant on the team size and progress to a more advanced one, responding to the team scaling.

Advantages of SaaS Development

The following are the pioneering advantages of making SaaS app development or Custom Software Development a favorable business idea in 2023.

  • Development Flexibility

SaaS applications allow you to change your system easily as your needs change. With traditional software, you need to wait for the developer to announce an update, which can take months. However SaaS makes such modifications more easily since the development process is tracked in the cloud. For the same reason, you don’t have to pay again for additional hardware to create such a solution. The users, in turn, can measure it from anywhere using an Internet connection.

  • Win-win pricing for both developers and users

Most SaaS companies own an extensive range of price plans, beginning with small and scaling up as your business progresses. The key task is to precisely customize the feature set according to the subscription plan, depending on the users’ demands, besides setting a reasonable price for a particular market.

  • Predictable sales

With SaaS for external usage, your sales profit and volume become more anticipated since the users either subscribe monthly or pay in an annual subscription that is in one installment.

  • Higher performance

With traditional software development, there are frequent blockages in performance due to deliberate response times or delays during data access from remote servers. But with SaaS applications, everything happens over a single central server so that there is no pause time in communication between users and the system itself.

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SaaS Development: What to Consider

The following are the technical and non-technical factors you must consider when building a SaaS application.

  • Databases

The database is an essential element. It should not only be sufficiently far-reaching, adaptable, and secure but also of a particular kind aligning with your business aims. The database type selection is inclined by an assembly of factors, such as the nature of data, anticipated load, scalability requirements, the programming language used, the balance of read-to-write actions, and budget limitations.

  • Scaling

Scalability integration from the base of your SaaS development process is essential. The application must have the ability to scale both vertically and horizontally to ensure the extension’s seamless alignment with your business development. Given that client anticipations and needs are destined to advance, it’s vital to design a SaaS application with anticipation into scalability predictions.

  • Frequent Updates

Regular SaaS solution updates are based on user feedback and are obligatory for maintaining significance and addressing growing requirements. These updates should not only emphasize on new feature additions or functionality improvement but also work on determining any bugs or security liabilities, thus certifying a smooth and secure user experience.

  • Third-party Integrations

The capability to integrate with third-party applications involves significant value, besides improving the overall user experience through offering additional functionalities and smoother workflows. These integrations can assist data exchange, advance interoperability, and outspread your SaaS application competencies, making it more adaptable and pleasing to a broader user base.

  • Performance and Reliability

Performance is a keystone for user satisfaction. The application must expose rapid load times, improved resource usage, and constant reliability to adopt user engagement and preservation. The architecture must be planned to handle the highest loads efficiently, making sure that the application remains receptive even under increased demand.

  • Security Measures

According to the nature of SaaS applications, security is the utmost. Employing stringent security protocols involving secure authentication, data encryption, and consistent security audits is necessary for user data security and trust preservation. Security considerations should be integral to the development process, addressing potential vulnerabilities and compliance with relevant data protection regulations.

  • Customization and Configurability

Providing users with the capability to personalize and design the application according to their particular requirements, improving user satisfaction, and expanding market demand. This adaptability allows for a more custom-made experience, providing different business requirements and user preferences.

  • User Interface and Experience

A well-designed, in-built user interface combined with a positive user experience is required for user adoption and sustaining. The application must be user-friendly, with clear direction and a visually appealing design, ensuring that users can efficiently interact with and use the application’s features.

By directing on these technical individualities and integrating them effectively, a reliable and robust SaaS application can be developed, holding the capability of meeting the varied requirements of your user base and adjusting to the ever-developing technological setting.

Non-technical characteristics of SaaS applications

Being a robust piece of software is only half the equivalence for your SaaS application success. The other half rests in its non-technical characteristics, primarily focusing on being user-friendly and market-oriented. These characteristics form your SaaS identity support, impacting its growth and approval in the market.

1. Market Fit

Before boarding on the SaaS application development journey, make sure that there’s an actual requirement for your solution in the market. Directing detailed market analysis and imagining your solution’s placement helps in situating realistic expectations and casting your strategies successfully at the initial level. This forethought is helpful in escaping the drawbacks of product creation with little or no demand, saving enough time and resources.

2. Client Acquisition Process

Recall that you’re building a SaaS application for users. It’s significant to ensure that it is built, visibly appealing, and directed toward the right demographic. Promoting your clients goes beyond just the user interface and encompasses increasing a seamless subscription lifecycle and creating a fair and clear pricing policy. These elements are important to building trust and developing lasting relationships with your users.

3. Subscription Plans Variety

Proposing a range of subscription plans not only just adds adaptability to your offering but also expands your audience range. The subscription’s adaptability to apt different financial shifts is something users value prominently, assuring continuous engagement and loyalty. The wide-ranging plans are proficient at complying with a diverse set of requirements, ranging from inexperienced startups to established enterprises, resulting in greater market access.

4. Customer Communication and Support

Incomparable customer service creates the foundation of every successful SaaS application. Making sure that users can aim for prompt and effective help raises their overall experience and satisfaction. Open discussions regarding updates, modifications, and addressing inquiries adopt a sense of community revolving around your proposal, provoking a feeling of unity and belonging amid the user base.

5. Repetitive Enhancement over Feedback

User opinion integration is necessary for constant improvement and your application’s progress. A solid system for feedback simplifies the acknowledging of the opportunities for development and innovation, ensuring the continued application and product’s affordability. The obligation to enduring refinement, well-versed by user insights, marks as a solution exceeding the market’s expectations.

6. Instructional Materials and Comprehensive Documentation

Delivering comprehensive instructional content and thorough documentation allows users to influence your SaaS development’s full potential. These resources act as an introductory guide, helping users in directing and understanding the wide-ranging capabilities of your SaaS that minimize customer service support and promote user independence. By doing so, users can discover the platform at their own leap and gain a profound understanding, contributing to a more adequate user experience.

By providing considerable attention to these non-technical aspects, you’re paving the way for a well-designed SaaS application that can leave a mark in the marketplace. With these crucial components in place, you’re completely prepared to submerge yourself in the worlds of coding and development, thus rotating your vision into reality.

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Steps of Building a SaaS Application

The process of building SaaS applications follows the given steps:

1. Design

By chance, SaaS design best practices don’t differ much from designing a traditional solution. Usually, you need to advance a clear and instinctual UI that assures solving user tasks more effectively.

Also, remember that according to Relevant, mobile-first SaaS was one of the robust SaaS programming trends back in 2022. Therefore, paying closer attention to your mobile mockup designs is necessary as, according to Security Boulevard, 87% of companies allow their employees to access business apps from mobile devices. Moreover, for a suitable design, your future app must have extra protection and role-based access features.

2. Choosing tech stack and engineering

The next step is picking your software development tech stack, which becomes your web app’s base. The following are some of the trendy and prominent technologies used for SaaS software development:

  • js

Angular.js is one of the most widespread front-end development frameworks utilized for creating web solutions. However, it can easily be appropriate for developing SaaS apps as well. Angular.js modules are designed as perfectly recyclable to allow your SaaS development process to run faster with this technology.

  • Ionic

Ionic refers to a hybrid development framework that allows for creating SaaS solutions for Android, web, and iOS utilizing a single codebase. It can also prove to be a good choice for creating a mobile-first SaaS app, besides improving development speed and optimizing costs.

  • Symphony

Symphony is a backend framework written in PHP. It is among one of the top enterprise SaaS platform development picks specifically due to its gradual or brick-by-brick approach.

  • Docker and Kubernetes

These are the knowledge at the core of microservice architecture, which is a rational choice for building flexible infrastructure.

  • MongoDB

The main advantage of this SaaS development database is that it gathers data in documents as an alternative to records to allow faster exchange of large data sets.

Engineering is the largest amount of work in SaaS software development. Building a SaaS application from scratch demands months of time and an entire team of committed experts, with everyone specialized in their field of expertise.

  • Partition

To account for future modifications to the software, from improving performance to operational flexibility and better security, you must distribute your software’s data into distinct data store partitions. This way, it is much easier to hold each partition individually without dealing with the entire database’s complexity.

There are diverse types of partitioning strategies, including vertical, horizontal, and functional, each holding its benefits and negotiations.

3. Testing

SaaS software testing is all about ensuring that it meets your user’s before and after the release date needs; besides, it has fewer bugs as much as possible. Incorporating both manual and automated testing approaches within your quality assurance procedure is a good idea for managing the whole software entirely. Furthermore, beta testers can assist in realizing some unimportant use cases that you never ever think of. You can also include cloud security valuation in this process.

4. Deployment

Think of software deployment as a front door opening of your store. Everything should be in its correct place so users can use your software, find extensive documentation with ease, and be able to contact your upkeep right away. And to keep it the same way, the arrangement requires automation comparable to a factory’s production line. Real-time even-out software updates are released free as soon as they’re ready.

Speed and adaptability make the automated deployment approach diverse from repetitive updates. Instead of announcing one major update every once in a while and driving your entire system on hold, you are allowed to arrange small changes at a time when needed.

5. Managing, monitoring, and optimizing

The service and business assessing your solution providers are as important as a SaaS product itself. That’s why after it is cautiously verified and launched, you have to manage, observe, and optimize its performance to meet your customers’ anticipations better and quickly modify to their changing needs. At this stage, you have to sensibly track possible security gaps, fix the user experience concerns, and keep your solution prepared for rapid scaling.

6. Migrating from on-premise to cloud

Unless your SaaS development framework was cloud-based from the beginning, you are required to move it there. Contingent to your server type, adequate downtime, and amount of data, you will be provided with numerous migration options to choose from:

  • P2V (physical-to-virtual)
  • P2C (physical-to-cloud)
  • V2V (virtual-to-virtual)
  • V2C (virtual-to-cloud)

Thinking of investing in a SaaS application development? Consider Progatix SaaS app development services and get assistance in creating robust and scalable apps accommodated with the cloud and monetized through a subscription model.

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