April 24, 2023

SaaS API Architecture (Benefits And Examples)


SaaS API (Software as a Service Application Programming Interface) is a combination of technology and a business model. The API is a way of sending and receiving the data, which doesn't require a frontend app. And SaaS is a subscription-based business model for software accessible through the Internet.

A good example of a SaaS API that is widely known is Twilio. It is software utilized by a wide variety of applications (using the API) to send email and SMS messages.

What is the best way to build SaaS API?

Low-code technology is currently the best option when building SaaS APIs for several reasons:

  • Developers are 3X more productive compared to traditional programming
  • It takes only 1-2 days to learn (fast learning curve)

These two features allow it to spread like wildfire and will ultimately result in low code being the most influential and disruptive technology of this decade.

SaaS API Backend

Creating a SaaS, especially API is incredibly fast with low code. For example, all you need to do in order to have a fully functional, production-ready, and scalable API is to:

  • Define your data model by creating DB tables
  • And you're done

All the necessary endpoints are automatically created for you, together with filtering, pagination, etc.

This means you can deploy a working API (quite literally) within 10-15 minutes. And this is why low code technology is unavoidable for anyone involved in software development.

How Does It Work?

Low-code technology doesn't introduce any new exotic programming language or some never-heard-of frameworks. Instead, it leverages existing technologies but in a much more productive way:

  • JavaScript
  • MySQL
  • GraphQL
  • AWS

This is why it's possible to learn it in just 1-2 days; because there is almost nothing new to learn. And there are 17+ million JS developers that can start using low code right away.

That is why this technology has the potential to change an entire industry. Because what project, company, or development agency wouldn't want to become 3X more productive within 2 days from now?

Perfect Match For SaaS

Multitenancy and a role-based system are the hallmarks of any SaaS platform. And low code was built from the ground up with this idea in mind.

Building those from scratch is not an easy task, but it was an absolute necessity for anyone developing a SaaS project using traditional programming over low code.

It is no wonder low-code technology drastically increases productivity when all the most complex (yet frequently used) parts of the app are automatically generated. And in the case of user roles, in just a few clicks, you can define what role gets to see/edit what data. 

SaaS API Customizations

Even though the default GraphQL API is automatically generated, it is still customizable. In fact, it's so customizable you don't even have to use it. You can use the REST API instead.

However, the reason GraphQL is used in the first place is to allow the frontend faster development without requiring constant changes from the backend. This way, the frontend can get any combination of resources in a single API call.

To learn more, read this article on the differences between GraphQL vs. RESTful API.

If you're building purely an API-based SaaS, you may think GraphQL is unnecessary, and this doesn't apply to you. But potential users of your API might care a lot.

And they don't have the option to call you in the middle of the night from the other side of the world to make a quick fix on your API. So using GraphQL can seriously improve your user experience.

The key to remember is that everything built with low-code technology can be customized.

What To Build?

The biggest problem becomes what kind of API to build. You can start with this API business ideas article to get your creative juices going.

However, the biggest insight is that the best ideas are not ideas at all. They are just solutions to constant complaints or problems you've experienced working in a specific industry.

But for that, you have to first have industry experience. If not, it's best to team up with someone who does in order to build a product the market is already craving for.

Low-Code SaaS Architecture

Low-code technology provides several architectural benefits over traditional programming, where all these features have to be manually built:

So let's explain each of these in a little bit more detail.

Unlimited Scalability

Applications built on low code are automatically scalable from one to a million users (and beyond). There is no need to change anything in your app to make it "more optimized" as you scale.

Even though this technology enables you to build things 3X faster, it only allows you to build things properly from the very beginning. So whatever you've built, even though it was fast, the quality never suffers.

Automatic Architecture Handling

Not only do you not need to change anything in your code to scale, but there is no need to change your architecture. Everything is automatically handled by the low-code platform.

This means you don't need to dedicate part of your team (DevOps) to manage servers, load balancers, etc. As your SaaS grows, the architecture automatically adapts to serve your users without any interruption or delay in service.

To Sum It Up

Low code is slowly getting the status of "impossible not to use" technology when it comes to SaaS development. The productivity unleashed is hard to compare with traditional programming, but we can safely say it's at least 3X improvement.

On top of that, features like auto-generated APIs, an in-built role system, automatic scalability, and architecture handling with no need for DevOps make it a perfect technology for building SaaS APIs.

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