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The Serverless Edge
The Serverless Edge

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Is it time to combine Serverless and SaaS?

Combining Serverless and SaaS can really give your business its Serverless Edge.

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Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash.com

What is SaaS?

SaaS or Software-as-a-service delivers applications over the internet rapidly and in a self-service. You don’t need to install and maintain software, you simply access it via the Internet. This remove the undifferentiated burden of complex software and hardware management. SaaS products are typically sold, run, and maintained by Independent software vendors (ISVs). They usually host them on a cloud provider like AWS, GCP, Azure, etc.

SaaS Products typically have a subscription (pay-as-you-go) or consumption (pay-for-what-you-use) based pricing model. And they can scale easily to meet your needs.

Salesforce, Slack, Google G-Suite, Shopify, Zoom are all examples of SaaS products.

Meeting new org needs

Organisations, large and small have to rapidly meet the needs of their users. They must find product market fit and reduce their time to value. They need to be efficient with capital. And make sure their business model scales profitably as usage grows.

This is where SaaS comes in!

  • SaaS helps reduce time to value by enabling a faster feedback loop from real users. And it scales easily as your business grows.
  • Startup businesses are increasingly SaaS-only. They build their businesses on the cloud and leverage software as a service building blocks. This allows them to rapidly compile an offering to meet their customers needs.
  • Enterprises look for SaaS options first when purchasing commercial software. So that they can focus on their core business.
  • 1 or 2 person Micro-SaaS businesses now have the same access to SaaS building blocks as established enterprises. They can rapidly meet the needs of a niche set of users.

Ask these Questions

When creating a SaaS product you need to answer a set of core questions. This focuses everyone on business goals and meeting the needs of users. Tod Golding covers this and more in his amazing SaaS architecture patterns: From concept to implementation talk. We have the important points here:

Management

  • How do you manage your SaaS product? Do you have a observability and analytics in place so you can analyse trends and see how your business in performing?
  • Do you have a good handle on billing? Do you have the ability to have different subscription and pricing models?
  • How do you provision and configure tenant environments on-demand and in a self service way?

Application

  • How do you design your application to handle multiple tenants?
  • How do you implement isolation so one tenant doesn’t interfere or have access to any other tenants?
  • How do you partition data appropriately for each tenant?
  • How do you deploy infrastructure and applications? Do you share common infrastructure, or do you have completely separate silos for each tenant, or a mixture?
  • How do you route data and load to each tenant?

Tenancy

  • How do you create users and associate users to a tenant identity? How does authentication and authorization work for each user in SaaS?
  • How do you create and onboard a new tenant into the system? How do you give them an identity, a plan and configure the appropriate policies for that tenant?
  • How do you offer different tiered experiences to different tenants? Basic, Premium, Enterprise, etc.

Make it real with the Serverless SaaS workshop

The AWS Serverless SaaS Workshop guides you through building a multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. The work shop answers questions in a serverless way.

  • How do you implement tenant isolation in an AWS Lambda environment?
  • How do you support tiering and noisy-neighbor conditions?
  • How do you build multi-tenant-aware microservices in a serverless model?
  • How do you do establish Multi-tenant observability in a serverless ecosystem?
  • How do you isolate tenant data in a pooled model?
  • How do you apply tier based deployment strategies?
  • How do you enable tenant throttling and quotas?

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AWS Serverless SaaS Workshop

At the end, you will be able to build a fully functional SaaS application, which aligns closely to the SaaS Reference Architecture solution.

Attending the workshop is a fantastic way to learn how to build a SaaS product from the ground up, and how to get it to market quickly.The workshop also is a great way to get hands on with a wide array of technologies : Cloud9, SAM, CDK, API Gateway, Lambda, Lambda Layers, DynamoDB, Cognito, STS, CodePipeline, CloudWatch, Python and the brilliant lambda power tools.

Serverless and SaaS – better together

Taking a serverless-first approach lets you focus on your SaaS business and your differentiating value, without worrying about scaling and managing servers. This approach enables you to get to market faster, reduce your operational cost, keep your initial costs low, and scale as you find product market fit.

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