How To Choose A Tech Stack For SaaS Development

Krunal Shah

Apr 23, 2021 | 9 min read

Tech stack for saas development

No technology in the software development industry remains unaffected by the other prevailing trends. Therefore, the tech stack for SaaS development should be chosen considering how it will evolve in the near future.

Before we dive into the technology options, let’s take a look at some of the most defining software technology trends in this and the coming era.

Table of Content

Your tech stack should be built so as to make the most of the following technologies:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • 5G network
  • Cloud computing
  • Blockchain
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Internet of Things
  • Digital Twins

If you want to build a next-gen SaaS product, choose a tech stack that leverages one or more of these technologies.

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Technology stack for SaaS development: Key components

Figuring out which technologies you should use for building your SaaS product is extremely crucial for its success. The tech stack is your software’s foundation that will define the entire development process. Therefore, it has a direct bearing on your development budget and the time frame.

If your SaaS startup already has a tech specialist, you’d know what makes the tech stack. But many SaaS entrepreneurs may have a limited tech background. For those, I’ll quickly explain the key components of the SaaS tech stack.

The front-end of a SaaS application

front-end development bundle

The front-end of a SaaS application is the part that a user sees and interacts with. Most web applications require three main elements for a functioning frontend:

HTML: HyperText Markup Language is a technology that developers use to finalize how to structure the content on a web page. With the latest version HTML 5, you can also easily structure the audio and video content on your app’s front-end.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), as the name suggests, styles the HTML written document in a desirable state. It basically formats the content and gives it a particular look and feel.

JavaScript: JavaScript is the programming language that enables developers to add interactive elements to the web page. It is only because of JavaScript that users are able to engage the application.

Thankfully, many tools have emerged as quick solutions for reducing manual work in building the front-end. By using frameworks, you can quickly take care of the page structure, design, and interactive elements in a SaaS application.

For example, Bootstrap is a popular HTML framework that reduces the workload manifolds. The JavaScript ecosystem is blessed with so many front-end frameworks that serve as a ready-made foundation for the app architecture.

Here are some resources that can help you pick the right front-end tools for your SaaS tech stack:

The backend of a SaaS application

Backend development components

In simple words, the backend is the part that makes the application functional. It involves mechanisms like building the business logic, creating databases to store the data, using servers to host the application, etc.

Accordingly, the backend of a SaaS application includes the following elements:

Programming languages and frameworks

Programming languages and frameworks

To create the business logic of your SaaS app, you need to decide which programming language you will use to code the logic.

Like the frontend part, you can leverage backend frameworks to give a head start to your development process.

A tech stack for SaaS development may include one or more of the following languages (mentioned along with their frameworks):

A server

Although a server is important for many functions, the most basic job is to facilitate communication between a user and the application. It receives user requests, understands them, processes them, and finally produces the desired result on the web page.

The two most common examples of servers are Apache and Nginx.

However, most SaaS companies now prefer using cloud servers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

You can choose a server to build a tech stack for SaaS development based on your functional requirements and scalability plan.

A database

Your SaaS application needs a database to store data and keep it organized. MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB are some popular examples of databases.

Depending upon your app requirements, you must first decide whether you want to go for a relational database or a non-relational database.

And then, narrow down on the options in the category suitable for your SaaS application.

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Software architecture for SaaS application development

software architecture for saas application development

Having decided on the basic tech stack for SaaS development, you must design the architecture of your app.

For SaaS applications specifically, the industry is divided into whether to use a single-tenant architecture or a multi-tenant architecture.

In single-tenant architecture, you utilize an instance of the software (and supporting infrastructure) for each user. That means, no customer has to share their database and each one has a full software instance for themselves.

On the other hand, multi-tenancy in SaaS applications enables you to use one software instance to serve multiple users. Although the users have a shared database, the data of each user is isolated and visible to only that user.

I recommend most of my clients go for multi-tenancy while building their SaaS architecture. It has some remarkable benefits like:

Multi-tenancy in SaaS is cost-effective

With quicker updates, multi-tenant architecture saves time and money as it requires no dedicated set of resources.

It requires a single codebase

Multi-tenant architecture does not have multiple code repositories for each tenant. It has one single code of trust that brings agility, eases app maintenance, and reduces complexity.

It paves the way for innovation

Because multi-tenancy uses a single codebase, it allows developers to innovate at a faster rate. Faster innovation leads to more productivity when it comes to enhancing your SaaS application with time.

It facilitates easier upgrades

Here, the vendor is not required to upgrade everything across the software in larger numbers, Instead, a single central codebase or application is updated. In addition, the process of spinning off a new cloud for a new customer is incredibly easy in a multi-tenant architecture.

Factors that influence your choice of tech stack for SaaS development

Factor that influence your choice of tech stack for saas development

Picking the right technology stack for SaaS development can ensure good base performance for your product. Therefore, companies should pay utmost attention to all the important factors that contribute to the selection of the tech stack.

Below are some of the important factors you should consider while choosing a tech stack for your SaaS application:

Code maintainability

Long-term code maintainability becomes an important factor while selecting the tech stack as it depends on various factors including codebase. Make sure that the code is not complicated or lengthy. Because in either of the conditions, it will waste the time of the developer.

Moreover, the process of debugging will become tough if the length of the code is too short. Therefore, before selecting the tech stack, make sure it uses short feature-specific codes. It would be easier to maintain and reuse these codes.

Scalability requirements

The new-age technology is very dynamic and it is changing at the rate of knots. Therefore, you should only prefer adequately scalable tools for your SaaS tech stack.

Every company wants its SaaS product to be used by a wide range of audiences. To achieve this, companies should understand the nuances of tool scalability.

For example, Angular is an excellent framework if you want to target a large number of users and build a heavy app. On the other hand, if your focus is to deliver exceptional UX in a lightweight app with no significant scaling in the future, React is a good choice.

The learning curve of the technologies

Make sure that your technology stack for SaaS development has a lower learning curve. This would make it easier for developers to get a stronghold on it.

For instance, Python language is easier to learn as it has a simple syntax. In addition, the reading code of python is very intuitive as well.

If the technology stack has a lower learning curve, it would give creative liberty to developers to do some experiments. Moreover, as the learning curve is low, the hiring process becomes easier as well. And we all are aware of how critical it is to hire the best developers for the success of your project.

The time to market your SaaS app

Time to market is one of the most important factors that impact your choice for the tech stack. The modern-day business realm has a very cut-throat competition. Thus, the faster you launch your product in the market, the more exposure it would get.

So choose a tech stack that enhances your SaaS development process.

Also, customer satisfaction is the most important thing to keep your product relevant in the market. Thus, the less time spent in developing a product will give you more time to get customer feedback. It will help you realize the shortcomings of your product and also the actual needs of your targeted customers.

Long term support available for technologies

You are building your SaaS startup to thrive and grow in the long run. So you don’t want to risk anything when it comes to building your SaaS application.

While choosing a SaaS technology stack, it’s vital to remember that new is not always the better.

New technologies keep entering and exiting the market all the time. But you must chase the ones that have been in the market for long, and have guaranteed support by their vendors.

For example, Angular and React are two popular frontend frameworks that have the backing of tech giants Google and Facebook, respectively. When you hear these names, you know that Angular and React are not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.

If you end up using a technology that becomes dysfunctional, it can have serious repercussions on your SaaS app functionality.

Tips for choosing the right tech stack for SaaS development

The key to a SaaS app’s success lies in its simplicity. Here are some tips to help you choose the right technology stack for your SaaS app:

  • Always keep your product’s requirements in mind while building the tech stack. For example, the tech stack used to build a productivity app will not be the same as the one for a video streaming platform.
  • Besides the requirement of the product, the final vision of your business dictates the selection process of the tech stack. For example, small projects wouldn’t need more than a CMS while bigger projects require deeper tools. For complex projects, the developers should use a combination of Java, C, etc.
  • Although the implementation of the tech stack depends on the skills of the developers, mismatches can be harmful. Thus, awareness about the overall stack pros and cons is important to make the product secure.
  • Always look to run the application in the subdomain. Therefore, never tie your front end to the back end. In this manner, you can have a custom-built homepage and you don’t need to hack your app to make it work.

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The Bottom Line

Building a SaaS product is a long journey with a number of crucial milestones. If you are already done with your market research and have a list of features for your SaaS app, the next step is to choose the right technologies for building your SaaS application.

The tech stack for SaaS development usually consists of frontend technologies, backend technologies, and cloud services. However, deciding on an app architecture too is a vital consideration here.

If your startup doesn’t have prominent software development expertise, I’d highly recommend seeking expert help for choosing the right SaaS tech stack. For example, an app development company like Third Rock Techkno can help you refine your requirements and suggest the right technologies to build the app.

Want to discuss your SaaS development requirements with us? Contact us today!

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Krunal Shah

Krunal Shah is the CTO and Co-founder at Third Rock Techkno. With extensive experience gained over a decade, Krunal helps his clients build software solutions that stand out in the industry and are lighter on the pocket.

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