Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the most widely-used techniques for software development. The popularity of SaaS has grown rapidly over the last decade around the globe. SaaS brings benefits not only to the users but also software companies as it reduces time and costs of development, allows scalability, seamless integration and accessibility to users.
Like all other industries, Covid-19 Pandemic has also hit the SaaS growth rate. According to GLOBE NEWSWIRE, "Software as a service (SaaS) Global Market Report 2020-30: Covid 19 Impact and Recovery" report, the market is expected to recover and grow CAGR of 10% from 2021 and reach $253 billion in 2023.
There are many frameworks available for SaaS development, but one of the most effective and highly recommended is Ruby on Rails. In this article, I will blend the technical aspects of designing SaaS using the Ruby on Rails framework to prove it is a perfect choice for your project.
Table of Contents
What is a SaaS product?
The simplest definition of a SaaS product is:
A SaaS product is online software that is available to all users.
The world’s most renowned SaaS companies include DropBox and Google Apps. Since the cloud manages the software, customers do not need to download anything on their devices to use SaaS platforms. The host side handles all updates and repairs, which are hidden from the user. The product is available every month rather than as a one-time purchase.
How is SaaS Product Software Development Different?
The software-as-a-service model outperforms conventional software distribution methods. Here are some of the pointers that differentiate a SaaS product from a product developed with conventional software methods:
- Not only do software providers profit from the SaaS model. Users can access the app through a web browser on any device with an Internet connection at any time.
- Users often do not have to wait for the software to be updated.
- SaaS product creation is a powerful way to produce applications, but it comes with many technological challenges. For starters, SaaS products rely on a stable infrastructure to properly handle user data. API development, third-party integration, and availability issues are all important considerations for developers. This is why selecting a hosting provider for your SaaS application needs extra care.
- Building a SaaS product necessitates a unique strategy for database, code, and server management. As a result, selecting a technology stack for your SaaS product takes careful thought.
What Language and Framework are Best for Building a SaaS Product?
For SaaS growth, almost any language can be used; languages like PHP, Java, and Python can easily be integrated with the frameworks or resources you will need, such as database systems or software libraries.
Some languages and technological stacks, however, are superior to others. When building your MVP, choosing a language with tested and established frameworks and libraries will save you a lot of time and money.
Here’s a list of the most common frameworks for SaaS product development.
Ruby on Rails - The first application written in Ruby on Rails framework, or RoR, was a project management tool Basecamp that was using the SaaS model. Ruby on Rails framework is a very developer-friendly framework that provides a great number of free open-source libraries.
Django - Django is the most popular Python framework for building web applications and SaaS-based products. It is well-known for its high out-of-the-box security protection and easy API creation.
Express.js - One of the most powerful and, therefore, well-known frameworks for Node.js is Express.js. Express.js can boast of good server-side rendering and performance. It can address a significant number of simultaneous calls with extensive throughput.
The question is which framework is best for SaaS and highly recommended by experts. The answer is Ruby on Rails is one of the best and highly recommended. Why? Let’s check out.
Is Ruby on Rails a good framework for building a SaaS product?
It is wise to pay attention to four critical traits of the language and framework for your SaaS product:
And Ruby on Rails has it all—here's why you should consider it when choosing a language for SaaS development.
Pros and Cons of using Ruby on Rails
Let’s discuss the pros and cons of using Ruby on Rails Framework for SaaS product development.
- It's easy to set up
- It speeds up development – Rail is a platform full of tried-and-true functionality implementations, so your developers won't have to start from scratch. Your team will have access to many libraries (both free and paid) that will be useful when building your domain.
- Debugging is easy in Rails
- The use of Ruby and RoR is continually growing.
- Since many small businesses have adopted Ruby and RoR, the language and framework are surrounded by a more experimental and exploratory user community.
- It's simple to find and recruit talented developers familiar with the framework; in reality, your developers can already be familiar with Ruby and RoR. If not, getting the devs up to speed on RoR is a breeze.
- Ruby and RoR are ideal for fast-paced environments.
- Ruby and Ruby on Rails cannot be as fast as other programming languages.
- Ruby on Rails doesn't have a built-in module for dealing with multi-tenancy if you're creating a multi-tenancy product.
4 Advantages of RoR that will make your SaaS Product Groundbreaking
At Selleo, we prefer Ruby on Rails as a reliable and robust framework for SaaS product development. Let’s dig into more details on why the Ruby on Rails framework is an excellent option for SaaS development.
# 1: Convention over Configuration
Ruby on Rails is one of the most developer-friendly frameworks which follows the Convenient over Configuration concept. The framework allows easy implementation of new functionality. Based on the principles such as DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), the framework guarantees that the code is clean and clitter-free.
Ruby on Rails framework follows the MVC (model-view-controller) pattern. It allows for the modularity and extensibility of applications in SaaS product development. Due to this reason, any RoR application, no matter its complexity, can easily be molded with new functionalities.
# 2: High Development Speed
Ruby 3.0 got significantly faster compared to its previous versions. The thread performance was measured by the Optcarrot benchmark based on NES’s game emulation workload and came back with a fantastic score.
Using this framework, developers do not need to reinvent the wheel to use proven feature implementations. The community of RoR developers has already publicized the implementation of authentication systems, commenting, payments, and many other services.
Ruby on Rails framework shortens the time-to-market of your SaaS product and lowers the development cost.
# 3: GEMS
Ruby uses “gems” to provide added functionality. A gem called Devise gives developers robust authentication functionality. Devise allows you to define which routes within your application require authentication
Ruby on Rails framework provides developers a wide variety of GEMS that are free, open-source libraries. Today, you can use 161,750+ gems to combine proven implementations made by a large and enthusiastic Rails community. When these ready solutions are available, there is no need for your developers to redevelop these features.
# 4: Security
Rails provide some solid out-of-the-box protection. Its SQL injection is handled well by the default Rails object-relational mapper (ORM), Active Record. XSS is protected by default. All string text is escaped before being sent to the browser.
Rails also have default security headers that protect applications from clickjacking, and it can be easily overlooked.
Another gem, Pundit, defines resource-level access control for REST resources. It prevents insecure direct object references, a component of broken access control.
Rails’ dependence on gems for some security functionality can be seen as a disadvantage. The gems are well-known and vetted by the likes of OWASP, so you don’t need to worry too much.
So the same advice applies here that applied for Node. Make sure you do your homework.
A definite security issue with the existing Rails framework is its default handling of user sessions. By default, Rails uses cookie-based sessions. The sessions won’t expire on the server, leaving your application open for replay attacks.
To fix this, you’ll need to change the Rails configuration to use the database to store sessions. You can do this with a small configuration change.
What SaaS Companies use Ruby on Rails?
Here’s a list of the world-best SaaS companies using Ruby on Rails framework.
The well-known web-based project collaboration tool, debuted in 2004, the same year that Ruby on Rails was formed. In reality, David Heinemeier Hansson, a member of the project's development team, extracted the structure from Basecamp. Rails are still at the heart of Basecamp, proving to be a dependable solution with scalability and speed. After its launch, the third version of the program has had a regular uptime of 99.985 percent.
In 2008, GitHub, the most common web-based version control and collaboration platform for developers, launched as a SaaS. GitHub aids developers in the development of software and the management of their source code. It's the most common choice among open-source developers today, with nearly 6 million active users and 20 million active repositories.
A leading cloud-based customer service network used by over 50,000 companies worldwide, including Groupon, Vodafone, Uber, and Disney. Customers like Zendesk because it's simple to buy, set up, and use. The platform is dependable and adaptable, allowing companies to scale their customer service operations.
A leading e-commerce site that enables users to create their online shops- Shopify helps over 300,000 retailers in 100 countries, including Tesla Motors, Forbes, and Maxim Magazine, by combining top features with a clean interface and intuitive design. Shopify customers delivered $23.7 million in monthly recurring revenue in June 2017, up 64 percent from $14.4 million in June 2016.
How to outsource Ruby on Rails Development?
There are different ways to search for a Ruby on Rails Development company and outsource them for your project. Let’s look at some of the most common ways to outsource a Ruby on Rails development company.
Option #1: Analyze Portfolios of Development Companies
The portfolio of projects that an organization has helped develop, plan, and launch is one of the best indicators of its competence.
In a portfolio, you can find case studies of completed projects as well as customer testimonials. You may compare a customer's testimonial to his or her Clutch and GoodFirms reviews to see whether it's real and acceptable.
At Selleo, we have helped many businesses in developing SaaS products using RoR framework. Our portfolio for SaaS products using RoR framework is highly appreciated in the industry and shows our expertise in the field.
Option #2: Rating Websites like Clutch
Platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms collect customers' feedback and suggestions. Since the feedback is moderated and checked by non-involved experts, you can trust it.
Option #3: Events and Conferences
Many development companies exhibit at IT conferences and other emerging technology-related events. Some development organizations not only participate in but also plan such events to share their opinions. If your project includes blockchain or machine learning, look for vendors at conferences that have successfully applied these technologies.
Option #4: Company Blogs
Analyzing a production company's blog segment is another way to assess their competence. A successful development company keeps a high-quality, informative blog section with stories and case studies about their skills and previous experiences. You can read about their software development process in articles like "Steps to Create Healthcare Web & App." You can tell whether they have experience with RoR staff augmentation by looking at their blog section and website material.
Option #5: LinkedIn Profiles
Companies in the development industry use LinkedIn to expand their online presence and remind potential clients about their background, culture, values, and all of the great products they've launched. You can learn about an organization's long-term goals and priorities by looking at the LinkedIn profile.
It is a fact that SaaS product development is more technically demanding compared to building traditional software. When it comes to SaaS development, Ruby on Rails meets all the requirements easily. By choosing the RoR framework, you get powerful and cost-effective solutions. But wait? Hiring a professionally expert Ruby on Rails development company is quite a hectic job even when your knowledge of the technology is not sufficient enough.
Worry Not! you can hire Selleo and Join 230+ tech leaders who have built their software with top Ruby on Rails outsourcing company. With expertise gained on over 150 international software projects, our developers and teams enable CEOs, CTOs, VPs of Engineering and Product Owners in startups and SMEs to design and craft quality software solutions. In doing so, we either augment clients’ in-house teams or deliver complete turnkey projects.
To get more details, you are more than welcome to contact us anytime.