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Blog

Extending your SaaS with PaaS-hosted applications

28 Jun, 2023
Vincenzo Russo
Vincenzo Russo
OEM Business & Technical Development Manager in Sales

In today's rapidly changing technology landscape, businesses need to adapt and evolve to stay competitive. One trend that has gained momentum is the shift from Platform as a Service (PaaS) to Software as a Service (SaaS) models. This article will discuss the challenges and opportunities PaaS vendors face when moving to a SaaS model and how Platform.sh can help in this transition.

What are hosted applications?

The trade-offs of moving from PaaS to SaaS

Transitioning from PaaS to SaaS can undoubtedly streamline maintenance, decrease customer expectations, and minimize support challenges. 

However, it's crucial to comprehend the trade-offs associated with this shift. A primary drawback is that certain features might be lost during the transition, constraining the software's extensibility and customization possibilities for developers. Thus, businesses must evaluate the implications of this change and weigh the potential benefits against the limitations it may impose on software flexibility and adaptability.

The new frontier: Third-party applications

One way to address the limitations of moving from PaaS to SaaS is by incorporating third-party applications into your SaaS offering. They can help you reach a broader audience, enable merchants to create new projects, and allow for innovative solutions that cater to ever-changing markets. Furthermore, third-party apps can provide valuable insights into feature usage, enabling developers to fine-tune their offerings to better meet customer needs.

An architecture like the one described above is also a response to the challenges posed by cloud environments. With every line of code potentially impacting the stability of user instances, a more decoupled interface between the instances of your SaaS application and its extensions is needed.

Managing risks in third-party development

However, opening up your SaaS to third-party developers comes with its share of risks, which need to be addressed to ensure a secure and compliant ecosystem. To address these challenges, consider the following:

  • Standardize hosting, development practices, and project structures
  • Ensure security, compliance, and privacy
  • Monitor performance and promote transparency regarding carbon footprint

The Platform.sh advantage for hosted SaaS apps

Leading PaaS provider Platform.sh is ideally suited to assist SaaS companies in overcoming their challenges with the following benefits of third-party applications:

  • Comprehensive PaaS with global infrastructure
  • Consistent workflows and Git-driven development
  • Environmentally-conscious hosting and built-in containerization
  • Seamless integration and security

Additionally, adopting Platform.sh as the go-to platform for hosting and managing your SaaS solution can lead to significant financial and business advantages. As a unified, secure, and enterprise-grade cloud platform, Platform.sh is an end-to-end solution for managing up to hundreds of thousands of websites and applications.

In fact, a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study commissioned by Platform.sh found that organizations experienced increased efficiency, reduced operating costs, and enjoyed faster iteration and deployment after their move to a PaaS. The financial analysis revealed a composite organization experiences benefits of $1.62 million over three years versus costs of $509,000, resulting in a net present value (NPV) of $1.12 million and an ROI of 219%.

Leveraging Platform.sh's polyglot ecosystems

One of the key strengths of Platform.sh is its ability to support polyglot environments, or software composed of several frameworks and programming languages.

By accommodating a wide variety of programming languages and frameworks, Platform.sh empowers third-party developers to create applications using their preferred tech stacks, without being limited by the core technology of their primary product. This versatility fosters a vibrant ecosystem that encourages innovation and creativity.

Language support at Platform.sh includes PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, Java, and nearly every current, available web technology, along with a multitude of frameworks such as Symfony, Laravel, Express, Django, and Rails. This extensive range of supported technologies ensures that developers can efficiently build and deploy applications tailored to their needs and expertise.

Furthermore, Platform.sh provides comprehensive documentation, examples, and templates for each supported language and framework, offering a solid foundation for developers to start building their applications. This wealth of resources helps streamline the development process and facilitates seamless integration with your platform, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.

Extend your SaaS with Platform.sh’s hosted applications

In conclusion, extending your SaaS through PaaS-hosted applications offers a multitude of advantages, including:

  • Streamlined development and maintenance processes for your software
  • Well-defined separation of roles and responsibilities
  • Effective risk management
  • Assured extensibility
  • The ability to create and monetize an app marketplace

By providing a consistent development environment and support for polyglot ecosystems, Platform.sh enables third-party developers to build applications using their preferred tech stacks without constraints. This flexibility fosters innovation and allows for a diverse range of templates and SDKs, providing robust blueprints for developers to build upon. Standardized workflows and comprehensive documentation also encourages the development of high-quality, reliable applications, strengthening your product's overall value proposition.

Embracing Platform.sh also leads to increased user satisfaction, higher customer retention rates, and the creation of a thriving marketplace that can drive additional revenue streams and foster long-term growth. Furthermore, Platform.sh's eco-friendly approach to hosting not only reduces your environmental impact but also enhances your brand's reputation for sustainability, attracting environmentally conscious clients and partners.

With Platform.sh, your SaaS offering can benefit from increased efficiency, reduced operating costs, and faster iteration and deployment, as demonstrated in the Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study. By choosing Platform.sh as your PaaS solution for third-party application development, you can effectively manage risks, unlock new opportunities, and future-proof your business.

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