SaaS is a long road to drive; without a proper direction, you can’t reach your destination on time. While a great team is needed for a masterpiece, there are many more things you must know to make a roaring SaaS product. This article unveils 5 SaaS application development best practices to help you build a thriving SaaS solution.
Practice # 1: Methodology and Process
a. 5 Common Methodologies for SaaS Application Development
Software engineers use different methodologies to build high-value products to ensure the outcomes are wondrous. The idea of working on methodologies is to help fine-tune and improve communication among the developers. That is why the DevOps teams and stakeholders opt for the SaaS application development best practices that save time, maximize productivity, and ease collaboration. After all, these factors play a vital role in software development.
However, picking up a methodology depends on the development team and past experiences. The most common ones among all are:
An agile methodology is one of the leading SaaS application development best practices. It’s the mother of all agile approaches. And due to its iterative process, the developers enjoy high efficiency with minimal waste of resources. Going the agile way assures maximized collaboration between the developers and stakeholders compared to the traditional project management approach.
However, you should know that traditional and agile methods are like the North and South poles. The traditional methods rely on a single factor in product development. The agile method gives a whole new horizon to the product-building process due to iteration, experimentation, and collaboration between the team.
The waterfall was once a cherished model among developers. But due to its firm structure and lack of flexibility, it failed companies to attain the dynamic requirements of the software industry. The waterfall methodology is based on linear progression (step-by-step process), where the next task starts after the previous one wraps up. Since it’s a traditional model, it is not commonly used for software development.
The iterative methodology is made on agile principles. In this approach, developers persistently refine, adjust, and review the development process to enhance performance. The iterative approach is ideal for creating regular improvements and evaluation opportunities in product development.
When iterative and waterfall models are combined, they form the spiral methodology. The spiral approach is mostly used for risk assessment and is mostly adopted for long-term, expensive, and complex projects.
Rapid application development (RAD) is an agile approach to software development. Developers follow this model to ensure high-quality results at limited investment. RAD focuses on prototyping, constructive feedback, and continuous iteration until the stakeholders are satisfied. Rapid is a classic approach when the projects are smaller with clear objectives.
b. Process for SaaS Application Development
After choosing the best SaaS application development methodology, the next phase calls for practical implementation. Each organization and DevOps may have a different process for creating digital products. But at Slash, we take things differently to ensure there are no loose ends.
A project manager is assigned to each new app development task and supervises and coordinates the project from beginning to end. Our team follows the process based on SaaS application development best practices to develop conquering products.
- Provision of UX/UI Design: UX and UI professionals design the current and future appearance of the platform and transfer the files to developers.
- Making Features Workable: In the next step, backend developers write codes to give life to the design and activate features.
- Uploading Design to Servers: When all the features work, the product is passed on to frontend developers, who upload the design to servers while linking it to the backend development.
- Testing and Fixing Bugs: The Quality Assurance experts test the current features of the SaaS application, determine bottlenecks, report them, and fix all the faults.
A roadmap plays a vital role in this entire process. It allows the team to build SaaS applications iteratively until the results gratify the product manager, developers, and stakeholders.
Practice # 2: Roadmapping Your SaaS Product
Monitoring is a necessary part of SaaS application development best practices. While scrum teams will be busy coding, a product owner or manager will be there to assign, guide, monitor, and provide all the required resources to make a successful SaaS product.
Roadmapping makes SaaS application development best practices successful. It answers “What” and “Who” will be developing the product, and for “Who.”
A SaaS roadmap offers guidelines for the development process. Typically, it defines your short and long-term SaaS product mission. And ways to achieve them to ensure that you are going in the right way.
So here’s a general step-by-step process to create a roadmap for your SaaS solution:
Step 1: Know the Goals and Strategies
The first step is to define the goals you want to achieve through your SaaS product in the short and long run. Once you know what you need, start preparing strategies to attain them.
Step 2: Get Inputs
Gather feedback from all your product’s stakeholders. That includes your team members for internal roadmapping. And potential customers and users for external roadmapping.
Step 3: Prioritize Inputs
After collecting stakeholders’ thoughts, the next step requires filtering out and ranking the most advantageous inputs you have received. You have to ensure that the chosen priorities will benefit your business mission.
Step 4: Plan Your Resources
You need to set the workflow and assign resources after gathering the information from the above steps. To do that, you will have to select a team and decide on deadlines and budgets.
Step 5: Making the SaaS Roadmap
When you know the goals and requirements and have the resources to fulfill them, creating a roadmap for your SaaS product will be easy and quick.
Practice # 3: Selection of SaaS Architecture and Tech Stacks
SaaS Architecture and Types
Picking the right architecture is one of the leading SaaS application development best practices. Through SaaS architecture, developers host the SaaS application on a remote server on behalf of the client. And all the optimization is done through that server.
There are four main types of SaaS architectures:
- Monolithic Architecture: One single, giant, and indivisible database built around the client-side and server-side interface.
Pros: Easy monitoring
Cons: Extremely difficult to make changes
- Microservices Architecture: A SaaS product development architecture powered by APIs with segmented functions.
Pros: Improved scalability of the solution
Cons: Complex dynamics
- Single-Tenant Architecture: Offers a dedicated unit in the server for each customer’s database.
Pros: Highly secure and customizable
Cons: Expensive and resource-intensive
- Multi-Tenant Architecture: Gives access to multiple users to use the same database but with separate accounts.
Pros: Easy integration, simple maintenance, and affordable
Cons: Complex to update
Tech Stacks for SaaS
The tech stack combines front-end and back-end technologies and databases to build a SaaS product. Each technology has its own use.
A few popular front-end technologies required for SaaS application development are:
Similarly, some of the widely used back-end technologies for SaaS are:
- Ruby on Rails
- PHP (for example, Laravel)
- Python (for example, Django)
- Java (for example, Spring)
Likewise, some famous databases used for building SaaS solutions are:
- AWS Lambda
When it’s about SaaS application development with best practices, Slash ensures to include modern technology at each step. Our SaaS engineers use the latest frontend and backend technologies, frameworks, and databases to build your SaaS solutions.
Choosing an Ideal Tech Stack for Your SaaS Product
The criteria for opting for a perfect SaaS tech stack depends on the following factors:
- Your budget
- Existing developers’ experience and knowledge
- Community size of the software platforms
- Availability of developers of the chosen tech stack when hiring
- Low learning curve. For instance, Python coding is easier compared to other programming languages
Your geographical location also plays a key role in selecting the right tech stack. You should not use a technology unknown to users in your region. For example, Python could be a popular language in the US. But it may have a fewer demand in Africa, enforcing developers to build products by choosing some alternative.
Practice # 4: Onboarding Right People for the Job
SaaS application development best practices are incomplete without the correct team structure. While the number of members in a team may be different, there are a few important roles, which must be filled, such as:
- Agile project manager: To define the project’s scope and monitors progress.
- Iteration manager: To make sure the team is following the deadline.
- Product owner: To provide a clear backlog to the delivery team.
- Solution architect: To identify technical needs and provide a SaaS product roadmap.
- Lead developers: A senior developer with knowledge of multiple stacks to solve technical difficulties.
- AI & Data engineers: To implement AI into your SaaS product.
- Quality Assurance: To perform manual and automated testing to recognize and clear bottlenecks in the product.
- UI designer: To give a highly-creative visual shape to the SaaS product.
Plus, all the team members must know how to interact with each other through the latest communication tools, especially if the team is remote.
Practice # 5: Testing Product’s Potential through MVP
Some companies take years to release the first version of the SaaS product just to add perfection. However, this strategy fails because the delay makes their product outdated and fully gathered by competitors.
Therefore, the last SaaS application development best practice is testing your product by building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). In simple words, it is the very first version of your application with basic features that interact with early adopters to gain reviews.
Building an MVP > Testing > Launch > Feedback > Relaunch
The MVP helps you to receive true feedback from the end-users, and you can use it to optimize your SaaS product accordingly.
Slash On SaaS Application Development
At Slash, we follow all the SaaS application development best practices to make your product valuable, highly interactive, and user-friendly. Our remote teams are fully capable of building high-end SaaS solutions through the latest tech stacks. We are also masters at developing roadmaps for your SaaS products to help you achieve your goals swiftly.
The outcomes are exemplary when your idea accompanies SaaS application development best practices. To make a perfect SaaS solution, you must follow the correct process and methodology, create a roadmap, and choose the best available tech stack. At the same time, you should select a great team of experts to develop an MVP so you can improve its features and gain a great market share.
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