Best Tech Stack for SaaS Applications in 2023
Why is it important to consider the technology stack when it comes to building web applications?
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Why is it important to consider the technology stack when it comes to building a web application? As all roads lead to Rome, the tech stack defines everything – at least, everything that matters for SaaS application development. How much time and money will you invest in the project; what features will your app have; if it will be easy-scalable and cost-efficient – these are just a few questions your developers can answer as soon as you compose the list of technologies for building your SaaS product. Here are some others: What will be your application's time to market? How much time will it take to hire developers, and what will it cost? How many resources will you need to keep your software product debugged and up-to-date? Picking the right technology is crucial for building a SaaS application and making it successful as a business.
Find out which tech stack is the best for 2023. You can also learn about the factors that influence the tech stack that you decide to use. Continue reading as we will also discuss the main mistakes you want to avoid.
What Is a Tech Stack?
A tech stack is the list of all the technology that is required to develop and maintain software products. This includes a combination of frameworks, languages, and software. The tech stack is the foundation of every application. So picking the right type is important if you don't want the application to fall apart later on.
A tech stack includes two main components: the frontend and backend. The front-end is the technology on the client's end, while the backend is what keeps the application running behind the scenes. Let's discuss these two in more detail.
Why Is Tech Stack Important?
The best favor you can do for your project and your team is not to slip up while choosing technologies, programming languages, frameworks, and other tools to develop an application. Without exaggeration, every aspect of app development, performance, and maintenance, including budgeting, depends on your decisions on SaaS technology stack. Since a software application is a complex product, let’s ponder on the different facets of its creation and usage in the context of tech stack optimization.
What Is a Tech Stack by StarNavi
What Is Tech Stack’s Impact on the SaaS App: From Development to Maintenance
First, let's consider how the tech stack affects the app in the different stages of its lifecycle, from development, through the functioning process, to updating, modifying, and troubleshooting.
How Tech Stack Influences the Process of App Development
An optimal set of technologies and tools allows development at a higher speed and increases cost efficiency. Your developers can get rid of routine tasks by choosing frameworks with pre-built functions. Such tools speed up the process, reduce the risks of errors and malfunctions, and let devs focus on complex tasks requiring higher expertise. Technologies and tools with flatter learning curves reduce the time developers will spend handling these tools; it entails fewer expenditures on devs’ salaries.
How Tech Stack Influences App Performance
That’s what you expect from your application – high responsiveness, the system’s ability to provide a smooth workflow for a large number of concurrent users, and the lowest error rates. Your team can considerably impact the app’s performance depending on the tech stack it uses. If your app implies working with loads of semi-structured data, your team can improve app performance by implementing a NoSQL database instead of the relational one. A properly configured Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps deliver content quickly and protects the system from DDoS attacks. Cashing technologies allow reusing previously retrieved or computed data to speed up responses.
How Technology Stack for SaaS Product Influences App Maintenance
App creation is just a part of the story. Keeping your product up-to-date, making retooling, adding new features, and scaling the project up could be challenging unless a strong community supports the technologies you use. Widely used languages, frameworks, libraries, and software are backed up by detailed documentation; updates are regular and easily implemented. Developers can rely on tech support provided by tools’ creators. It’s vital to choose technologies compatible with each other to add features and functions within the shortest terms and without errors.
What Is Tech Stack’s Impact on the SaaS App: the Software Layers
The need to handpick tools meticulously is vital for both front-end and back-end development facets. How an app interacts with the users and how it performs depends on technologies that represent the app’s side a user contacts directly and the server side, i.e., processing the data. Let’s consider the examples of how front-end stack affects the app performance:
- lightweight technologies such as Vue.js or Svelte increase app responsiveness;
- tools that work well through different browsers increase users’ retention level;
Back-end technologies contribute much to app’s characteristics as well:
- the microservices architecture, in contrast with the monolithic one, provides a background for easy project’s scalability;
- such HTTP servers as Apache or NGINX can handle the enormous volumes of traffic, providing sustainable application work; both are compatible with popular deployment and administration tools;
- the technologies with built-in security modules provide sensitive data protection.
While composing the technology stack list for your SaaS software product, align your knowledge of tools’ advantages with requirements to app’s technical parameters. Which framework, database, or server is the best option depends primarily on your app's characteristics.
A Short Summary: What Is Tech Stack Influence On SaaS Projects Capabilities
What do you expect from your app in terms of opportunities for a user and your business? "Opportunities" is in no way an abstract term; one can describe the app's advantages using certain criteria:
- Cost-efficiency. When it's appropriate, give preference to open-source frameworks and tools instead of proprietary ones to avoid licensing costs. Pick technologies with a comfortable learning curve and a strong community around them to save resources on developers' payoff, app development, and maintenance. Consider using cloud technologies to reduce hosting costs. Try to reduce the budget for scaling an app up by choosing microservice architecture.
- Longevity. Do you expect the users will use your software product in five years? What about ten years from now? Widely-used technologies and tools with solid community support give more chances for smooth, cost-efficient, and quick updates. Make sure the chosen tech stack gives your team an opportunity to update or upgrade an app without extra staffing and within the shortest deadlines. It's sensible to prefer technologies that are compatible with other popular frameworks and tools; it helps add new features and modules easily to keep an app appealing to users.
- Scalability. Think about scaling up your application from the very beginning. Appetite comes while eating. Sometimes you can't just add some new features by system extension; you may need an overall rebuilding, which is costly and time-consuming. The better option is to use technologies with the intrinsic potential to grow the number of users and data flow.
- Maintainability. As already mentioned, it's up to you to make the app updating, fixing and retooling easy-going by choosing the tech stack that meets the requirements for maintainability. The bigger the community around each technology, the higher the chances of finding developers with appropriate skill sets to update an application or troubleshoot it. In most cases, widely used tools are beneficial if you put things into perspective since they help to keep an app stable and reliable over time.
There are no silver bullets when defining the perfect SaaS tech stack. What languages, frameworks, databases, servers, and other tools are optimal depends on your project's functionality and technical parameters vital for app security, responsiveness, and stability.
Front-End Tech Stack
HTML stands for a HyperText Markup Language. This shows how the information will be displayed on a web browser. The latest version, HTML 5 is the best option.
The main difference between HTML 5 and previous versions is the availability of audio and video support. It simplifies the process of creating web applications.
Angular is the best framework for SaaS applications with advanced logic supported by Google. Development on Angular is more time-consuming and complex than on React. Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and built-in dependency injection system enhance the app’s maintainability. Angular’s powerful testing infrastructure allows to run units, integrations, and end-to-end tests easily, ensuring the app’s stability and reliability. One who inclines to programming on Angular should know that finding a senior Angular developer is a more complex task than in the case of React since the learning curve is more challenging. However, the vast framework’s community makes hiring a developer with relevant expertise more than possible.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) determines what HTML pages should appear like on a screen. The latest version, CSS 3 offers several advantages such as increased functionality. For example, it gives engineers the chance to create a responsive design.
A responsive design is important when you want an application that can be viewed on different devices without any issues. Another advantage is it is easier to use than the older versions.
Back-End Tech Stack
Everything that runs the web application but cannot be seen by clients is the backend. The backend is responsible for running the app. It can be divided into three components:
- Server infrastructure
- App server
A server provides a place where developers can write code. Server architecture provides a safe environment for integrating and deploying apps. Server architectures vary greatly. Some architectures offer a place where the entire environment is placed on one server. Others have a system that separates the server from the entire architecture. Examples include:
Most companies use cloud servers. Popular cloud server architectures include:
- Microsoft Azure,
- Amazon Web Services,
- Google Cloud Platform services.
Developers need to pick a server based on functionality, scalability, and costs. For a successful development of a SaaS app, choosing the best-suited backend tech stack is essential.
Programming Languages and Frameworks
When pondering on the best languages and frameworks for the server-side of SaaS application, the same criteria work out as for choosing the front-end tech stack. Firstly, tools should meet the requirements of app responsiveness, the ability to work with different browsers, reasonable terms and cost of development, the system's stability, and data security. It's a plus when there is a robust community under the technology since it entails an easy process of hiring the programmers with expected skill sets. For programming languages, a wide community factor amplified by a large number of frameworks and libraries results in a rise in maintainability, i.e., the probability that an app will be fixed and updated within the shortest terms. In addition, the large list of pre-written modules reduces the time and cost of development.
We'll mention the most popular languages and frameworks, focusing on their advantages and specific features. One should keep in mind that the list of technologies and tools can be extended significantly; your developers can choose the most appropriate stack keeping balance between budgets, ambitions towards project, and your team's expertise. So, the following languages and frameworks can ensure your SaaS project’s seamless flow, stability, and versatility:
- Python. You won't have any difficulties with hiring a developer since the pool of developers skilled in Python is tremendously huge. The code in Python is easy to read, so you can expect a high level of maintenance for your app. Python is highly portable and can be run on different OS. The biggest language's advantage is a large number of libraries and pre-written modules, including libraries for data processing in Machine Learning. The most popular frameworks are Django, Flask, Pyramid, and Falcon.
- Java. The server-side language which dates back to 1995 follows the philosophy "Write once, run everywhere": it can be executed on any OS. IDEs for coding in Java contain integrated debuggers and decompilers; it speeds up development and increases the quality of the code. More than two decades of existence yielded a vast collection of libraries for all programming purposes. One of the greatest tool's advantages is multi-threaded processing, which is crucial for applications demanding towards CPU's capabilities. By processing each server request within one thread, Java allows performing several tasks simultaneously without piling up the events. The most popular frameworks for Java are Spring, Hibernate, Struts, Google web toolkit (GWT), and JavaServer Faces (JSF).
- C#. The programming language's predecessors are C and C++, so developers versed in these languages can easily handle C#. Its syntax and architecture are close to Java, making it easily adaptable by coders versed in Java. Created for Windows, today it's a cross-platform language – you just run the code inside .Net Core to use C# for Linux or other OS. It's lightweight. In most cases, you'll get fewer lines of code in C# than in Java. (However, to write a PrintName program, a developer will write two lines of code in Python and ten lines in C#). NuGet, the repository of reusable components, contains plenty of written code fragments. The language is easy to read due to its static coding nature; it entails reduced time for debugging and troubleshooting. C# got the stature of an extremely fast language; that's the reason why it's considered a holy grail for game development. Remaining the language with an easy syntax, C# is more complex for coding than Python; hence, its learning curve is more challenging.
A database is simply a collection of information that is stored in an organized format. There are different types of databases. The type you select depends on the industry of a client. Generally, databases can be divided into two main groups:
- Non-sequence databases.
Sequence, also known as relational databases, use a template that determines the format in which data will be stored. Data is stored in tables and rows. Good examples include PostgreSQL, Oracle, and MySQL. PostgreSQL works well with web applications in the financial sector. Any large application can use this database as it allows for the fast processing of large amounts of data. MySQL is scalable and highly functional. It is good for different types of applications, especially banking apps.
Non-sequence databases deal with unstructured data. Sometimes you just can't put your data into a table. For example, SQL doesn't fit the needs of Facebook messenger. The data here is too variable, and every next input can go beyond the established templates – that's what developers call the semi- or unstructured data. NoSQL database looks like a folder with JSON documents; one document refers to one entity.
The key advantage of the technology is the ability to process any data without architecture modification. NoSQL databases are flexible and allow horizontal scaling (unlike SQL tools with their potential for vertical scaling). Sharding is one of the technology's strengths. MongoDB, in particular, divides data and distributes it to different servers so that interactions can be performed without activity halts. Such databases as DynamoDB provide data protection by encrypting documents and high speed of data retrieval due to cashing. Redis is a key-value database that stores data in memory instead of storage – it speeds up loading the data and improves app performance. Working with unstructured data can be challenging, but with NoSQL database peculiarities in mind, one can benefit from its advantages and mitigate difficulties with the optimal choice of technology.
How to Pick a Tech Stack for SaaS
The tech stack that you choose will greatly have an impact on development costs. Using a structured framework promotes productivity while reducing the chances of errors. Ultimately, the technology stack you use will depend on factors such as the size of your project or the security level that's required. Here are some of the most important factors to consider before picking the best tech stack for SaaS applications in 2023.
The size of a project will play a major role in determining which tech stack you choose. Project sizes can be divided into three groups:
- Small projects — these include blogs and presentations. All you need is a single framework and the project will be launched.
- Middle-sized projects — such projects are usually interactive web applications. Examples include online stores and banking applications. Middle-sized projects require a multilayered framework and interact with various APIs.
- Large projects — these are highly interactive and therefore require different frameworks, coding languages, and software tools. Large projects are highly dependent on security. Examples include marketplaces and social media.
Time to Market
A great way to minimize costs is to use ready-made products. This also reduces the time it will take before you can launch a fully functional application. The best way is to find products that are close to the ones you are trying to develop. That way, you won't have to write code from scratch. Instead, you can simply make changes that would suit your app.
Large and interactive applications require a high level of security. Users need to feel; safe while using financial or shopping applications. The tech stack you use should use approaches that promote security. Some common approaches include authorization algorithms, using trustworthy servers, frequent backups, and limited periods of access to data.
Your Team's Skills
The skills that your developers have will also affect the tech stack that you use. The level of knowledge that developers have will determine how they can circumvent different coding problems. So you should choose a tech stack that works in favor of the skills of developers on your team. This reduces the time it takes to complete projects and prevents you from making unnecessary expenses.
Cost of Maintenance
Factors that impact the cost of maintaining an application include the coding language and architecture. You can greatly reduce maintenance costs by using open-source software. Open-source software also gives room for reusing products and improves consistency. Maintenance can be simplified when you use a scalable architecture.
How to Avoid Mistakes When Picking Tech Stack in 2023
When it comes to creating apps, there are so many ways you could make mistakes. This could lead to increased costs, delays in launching the app, and poor functionality. Here are some ways to make sure you get the optimum results.
Set Clear Goals
Whenever you have a project, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want the app to be like and how much you are willing to spend. Any uncertainty could lead to an overly expensive project. Uncertainty will only lead to more complications down the development cycle. So always make sure that your development team has all the specifications about the project.
The process of web app development is long and ongoing. Do not just focus on your current needs. Keeping in mind that your goals may change or expand over time helps you prepare for anything that could happen in the future. Support in the future will not be an issue if you use a scalable framework and tools. This will also help you to identify business risks early on.
Use Ready-Made Solutions
Creating everything from scratch only means that you will spend more money and time when developing an application Instead, you can use a ready-made solution. These usually have the features that you need. For example, you can use different libraries or third-party integrations.
Use Cloud-based Servers
It is always better to use cloud-based services to store data. These offer different pricing options, so you can find one that is compatible with your budget. Also, you only have to pay for the services that you use. This pricing model is favorable for startups since you won't have to incur unnecessary expenses.
Best Tech Stack for SaaS Applications in 2023
What technologies are best for your application in 2023? The answer depends on several factors associated with your software product and dictated by technology development. You can combine two strategies to compile the final list of tools for your SaaS application.
What Is the Best Solution? Learn Trends
Take trends into account. More popular tools are backed up by the larger community; hence, you’ll find programmers to develop an app and keep it up-to-dated within shorter terms, and, hopefully, the cost will be lower. A descending trend is a red flag. Ruby is a vivid example. Google Trends shows that in 2022, the popularity of the programming language has decreased, especially compared to its peak in 2010; however, even within a 5-year perspective the difference is noticeable. And, really, according to the Stack Overflow survey, in 2022, the number of Ruby’s fans in the developers community decreased to 6,7% in comparison to 2021. Perhaps, Google Trends is not the primary tool for learning trends. Consider addressing to respected developers’ platforms such as Stack Overflow or GitHub. Here are the examples of frameworks compared by their popularity, according to Stack Overflow observations:
Such statistics can hardly be considered a guide to action. However, it’s fodder to ponder.
What Is the Best Solution? Turn Your Head Towards Your Application
As we’ve already mentioned, your application is your god. As far as you made up your mind on the app’s functionality, it’s a starting point. Other determinators are budget, deadlines, your intentions towards business growth, and opportunities to hire offshore and manage the remote team (unless you’ve already got a team of developers with the versatile tech stack which means that your devs gang is almighty). Here are two examples of tech stacks for SaaS applications that are expected to be in demand in 2023:
For some projects – in the social media domain, in particular – you may want to add Machine Learning and AI tools to provide personalization and deep analysis. For many enterprise applications, microservices architecture will be a must since the technology offers high flexibility, scalability, and maintainability for a software product. More companies are expected to move their applications to the cloud to benefit from the technology by making their projects more scalable, flexible, cost-efficient, and reliable. For many projects, the multi-cloud strategy will become the optimal solution.
Choosing the right technology stack has a huge effect on how effective your application will be. Select one based on your budget and the needs of your project. It would also be useful if you could pick technology based on the expertise of your team. The right stack will allow you to make upgrades should there be a need in the future. It should promote business growth as well. Calculating the maintenance costs will also be a deciding factor. Using cloud-based solutions and ready-made solutions helps you reduce costs and increase the development speed. Always make sure you have a clear goal before you pick your technology stack.
Choose STARNAVI to hire developers for your SaaS applications. We'll offer you the staffing services which will fit your projects perfectly and let you avoid extra costs. Consider team augmentation if you already have developers with the required experience, and there is a little (yet crucial!) dip in your team's expertise. We'll be happy to hire a dedicated team for you at a reasonable price to reach impressive productivity within the shortest terms. You may be interested in hiring developers on demand if your project needs a couple of gems to make the collection of talents complete. We'll connect you with developers with a mindset close to yours for smooth communication. We'll provide vetting so that your team can benefit from collaboration from the very beginning. The first step is yours. Make it by contacting us. Let's talk now!