March 27, 2023

Best SaaS Frameworks for Agencies

8base
@8base

In the fast-paced world of SaaS development, speed is of the essence. While popular frameworks like React, Vue, Angular, Laravel or Django each have their merits, they frequently don't measure up when it comes to flexibility and time-to-market.

The game changes dramatically when you step outside the confining walls of these traditional frameworks. So, what really unlocks turbocharged development in SaaS?

Low code is emerging as a flexible, agile and fast way to develop incredible SaaS applications. Let's find out why low code is the best SaaS development framework on the market today.

Why do traditional SaaS frameworks fall short?

First, the requirement for boilerplate code and extensive configuration in traditional SaaS development frameworks impacts your speed-to-market, slowing down initial development. Second, each of these frameworks has a unique learning curve and programming language requirements, which narrows your available talent pool (and can drive up your costs!). Whether it's Python experts for Django or PHP specialists for Laravel, the choices become limited.

Scalability introduces another layer of complexity, as not all frameworks handle growth with the same level of efficiency. Compounding this issue is the inherent complexity of these frameworks themselves. They adhere to specific conventions and best practices, which, although designed to streamline development, can become burdensome for cross-functional teams. Additionally, the longer you're caught in the development cycle, the more you bleed resources, both in terms of time and money.

The rigid nature of these frameworks makes migration a significant undertaking, demanding further investment of resources. You're also compelled to stay updated with the latest versions, which may necessitate frequent code refactoring, potentially introducing bugs into the system. Lastly, although these frameworks come with some security features, they're often not comprehensive enough, requiring you to implement additional, custom security measures.

What is the best WAY to build SaaS apps today?

Low-code technology offers a 3X boost in development productivity both in building frontend and backend apps, from web development to SaaS applications and more. On top of that, this increased productivity does not come at the cost of flexibility.

Low-code projects are completely customizable. This is not one of those platforms where you can quickly build 80% of the project and then find out the last 20% is nearly impossible to do.

(Almost) no learning curve

But low code's absolute superpower is the ease of learning it. Any JavaScript developer can start with zero low-code experience and, within 1-2 days, become 3X more productive.

But how is this even possible?

Low code is just an extension of existing technologies like JS, MySQL, GraphQL, and AWS. So there's very little to learn. Most developers already know everything there is to know about low code.

This means anyone can test these productivity claims with very little risk. And if they prove to be even remotely true - you’ll know you just stumbled upon something huge. A complete paradigm shift.

Limitless customizations

Since low-code technology is just an extension of existing technologies, developers can always "drop into code" and customize/edit any part of the project they need.

By default, developers can do most of the work using a drag-and-drop graphical interface directly in their browser. And the majority of customizations can be done through detailed options fields.

On top of that, here are some specific things developers can do on the backend and frontend.

Backend customizations

Setting up a backend is really easy. All you need to do is define your data model by creating database tables, and you're done.

All the GraphQL endpoints are automatically created, and the entire backend is live and ready for production.

For anyone who had to deploy a backend app to production, the simplicity of this process feels surreal.

But the benefits don't end there. For example:

  • Custom Filters and Role Based Access Control gives you fine-grained data control of who gets to see/access what information.
  • Autogenerated GraphQL API can be extended with custom resolvers, so you're not stuck with the default ones.
  • On top of that, you don't even have to use GraphQL. Custom REST endpoints can be created with webhook functions.
  • And server-side data validation can be done through trigger functions.

Frontend customizations

The frontend is just as powerful and versatile as the backend. Numerous pre-built components can be included in your app using drag-and-drop functionality. And this all makes frontend development extremely fast.

Every component can be edited through an extensive options interface. Everything from position, size, borders, colors, etc.

And if that isn't enough, you can add custom CSS to any component, which removes all obstacles to a complete UI customization.

With handlebar notation, it is possible to dynamically set any attribute/property within a component. These are simple inline JavaScript instructions that allow any component to display dynamic content.

Even more important, custom JavaScript functions can be executed for every property and event in the application. This gives developers complete freedom in customizing how the frontend app behaves.

External frontend libraries can be easily added because low code gives you access to all key components like headers.

In short, everything you can do with traditional programming, you can do with low-code technology - just faster.

Scalable by default

Aside from being highly customizable, low-code technology is built to be automatically scalable. This makes it perfect for agencies because it can fit projects or clients of any size.

No additional DevOps team is required because architecture management is handled by the low-code technology.

And apps built with low code can scale from one to a million users (and beyond) without developers needing to do anything. They can just focus on building core functionalities for the end users.

Overall, this lowers the entire project's cost and gives agencies that use low code a competitive advantage. Because agencies can now offer a lower-priced solution to their clients without decreasing their profits.

Additionally, you can read this article on how to build a saas application to learn more about the practical uses of low code.

To sum it up

Low-code technology is the most productive and flexible way of building SaaS applications. It is much more than a framework. But at the same time, it requires less time to learn than any framework currently used to build SaaS apps.

Any project started right now that is not using low code has an immediate market disadvantage. Because it's very hard to catch up to someone who is 3X faster in building SaaS. Or someone having the same development speed but spending 3X less capital on building the project.

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