If you have decided to develop a SaaS application, the main focus is to build your domain functionalities and take your MVP(minimal viable product) to market. It is not easy though to build a SaaS application just like that as the entire paradigm of SaaS demands the Non Functional Requirements (NFRs) to be superlative. For example,
- Security has to ensure protection against data crossovers
- ACL has to be configurable by tenant
- Application has to be highly scalable as the volume expected in SaaS is quite high
- Availability has to be 99.999% minimally
- Maintainability and testability has to be very high as the releases are expected to be frequent
- Integration needs to be seamless with on premise applications
- Application has to be exceptionally configurable as per the need of each customer
A SaaS application also needs to comprise of SaaS specific features required for successful SaaS operation. Example of SaaS specific features are Subscription management, Self Signup, Self Service Portal, Customer specific analytics, Invoicing and Payment. These SaaS features are required right from day 1 as they are mandatory to run your SaaS application profitable and to attract more customers.
It might be surprising for you to know that the expertise/effort needed for weaving the SaaS NFRs to the business functionalities and to build the SaaS features are multi-fold compared to building your business domain functionalities. One should also understand that any flaws in the SaaS specific features or NFRs can pull down the overall product no matter how solid your business functionalities are.
With our experience on building and maintaining several SaaS applications we have identified 4 major ingredients for a successful SaaS recipe in addition to your business domain modules,
- A proven SaaS framework that realizes a robust SaaS architecture that can fulfill the required NFRs of a SaaS
- SaaS modules that realizes the operational and maintenance needs of a SaaS application
- SaaS testing framework that ensures that the NFRs of SaaS are met
- Release framework that automates the release process to production ensuring minimum maintenance window
In case of any queries please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org