What is SaaS Application Development?


The rise of cloud technology has created the perfect environment for Software as a Service (SaaS) to breed and grow, and subsequently, to the rise of SaaS based application development.

In the early days of the internet, we saw examples of the computer industry trying to implement early forms of what are now known as SaaS applications. Companies provided what was then described as Application Service Providers (ASP). These ASPs would allow users to pay for a certain application, or applications, by subscribing to them, and then accessing them via a website. However, ASPs never fully managed to catch on, and were often found to be lacking when it came to delivering on their promises of low cost, easy deployment, and easy upgrades.

Now however, thanks to the scalability and virtualization that cloud computing provides, and the rise of the IoT for consumers, SaaS application development has emerged to make ASPs not redundant. Now, when it comes to developing SaaS applications, the costs are low, time invested is much less, and businesses of all sizes are able to take advantage. In fact, by 2020, 75 percent of application purchases supporting digital business will be "build," and not "buy."

What does SaaS application development have to offer?

Just because ASPs are a thing of the past however, does not mean that every business is taking advantage of the many benefits that a SaaS application development platform can offer. Of course, using a developer and a designer, just about anyone can create a custom application to fulfill a specific business’ requirements. However, now that a SaaS application development company can provide that same service with better results by helping save on infrastructure and development effort, it is becoming a key part of IT's application development strategy.

As mentioned, among just a few of the benefits of using a SaaS application development platform are the time and money that it saves. No need to stand up infrastructure, set up backups and disaster recovery, setup security configurations, install development tools or create design components and services from scratch. Everything is available out of the box. Additionally, you don't need to hire a big team of skilled backend developers since most of the services are already provided.

But the benefits do not end there. Using the right SaaS application development tools, businesses will often find greater efficiency, integration, salability across devices, usability, and security.

Finding the right SaaS application development tools.

It is one thing to understand the importance of utilizing a SaaS application development platform, but from proven platforms that started off by offering a packaged SaaS and then commercialized their underlying platforms to emerging cloud services solutions, there are many ways to build SaaS apps today. How does one make sure that they find the right tools to provide the service that their business needs?

From the technology to the ecosystem of partners, apps and components, there are many considerations in selecting the right platform. These are some of the features that a top SaaS application development company will offer.

Fast and easy application development tools.
From open source libraries and frameworks - that can be leveraged from within framework IDEs and CLI to model-driven visual development tools—there are many ways a SaaS application can be built in. The best SaaS application development platforms will provide:

  • Simple, visual prototyping.
  • Model-driven development of business logic.
  • APIs to integrate your apps with any relevant data.
  • Easier testing and analytics.
  • Quick deployment directly to users, via web or mobile containers.
  • Flexibility to create using code, or even low or no code, depending on preference.

Advanced Security.
Just as important as how well it works, is how well protected it is. Whether it is business data or data belonging to customers, any information collected by a SaaS application will be important and incredibly confidential. As such, it is important to have the proper security protections. This means application level security, network level security, and security at the cloud infrastructure level. In addition to this, it should be able to support massive streams of data in a trusted and secure way.

Any SaaS application also needs the ability to facilitate growth and scale to thousands, sometimes millions of users and billions of transactions. Also, this scale needs to be able to support disruptive innovations, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, Events-driven IT, and more. Proper scalability means that a SaaS application is able to cope with any relevant growth, integrate with relevant programs, and function well across (and with) any kind of device. The underlying platform on which SaaS applications are built need to be able to elastically scale up and down based on the demand coming from end users.

Transforming digitally with SaaS application development takes more than your internal team of developers. To move fast and deliver what your business needs you need pre-built, off the shelf apps, components, and solutions that you can easily integrate into your existing functionality. It could be something as simple as an eSignature capability or as complex as a custom app to run a batch work to automatically encrypt your sensitive data. You need a platform that provides a vast ecosystem for you to benefit from.

Salesforce for SaaS application development.

As the creator of the world's #1 SaaS CRM application, Salesforce is the de facto choice for building any custom SaaS application. Thousands of ISVs are already building and offering these apps through AppExchange. And today, enterprise are starting to build SaaS apps for their employees and customers on the Salesforce Platform. According to Gartner, Salesforce is a SaaS pioneer, and by far the largest provider in the market by both revenue and customer base, but more importantly, when clients were surveyed, they gave Salesforce Platform huge scores for cloud support, ease of use, integration, and overall quality.
  • Take a look how the Salesforce Platform could be improving your business’ efficiency today.


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