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    What does it take to build a cloud-based SaaS Web app?


    Hi everyone, I joined this forum because I was hoping to learn from experts in programming. I know next to nothing about it.

    I want to develop a web app for lawyers, and plan to outsource it's development to a programmer. But I have no idea what I should look for, what language I want it to be programmed, what things I need to start a SaaS company. Can anyone help please?

    I didn't know what topic to post this in so I posted it here, please let me know if you would like me to post this somewhere else.

    I guess I'll organize this into a number of questions

    1) What requirements are needed to have a SaaS website? I heard I need a server so I was planning on using Amazon's cloud service. But I hear I need something like an SSL (don't know what that is).

    2) Should I look for a specific language that I want my programmers to program in? If so what would be the best language to save on time for it to be built?

    Thank you guys.
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    I haz teh codez!
    Devshed Frequenter (2500 - 2999 posts)

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    What you need to provide is a detailed spec of what you want the site to do. You don't constrain your developers by language. You let them evaluate the detailed specifications of what functionality you want to incorporate into your site. The developers then architect and construct a solution based upon satisfying these requirements. Any developer worth his salt would be able to hash out the hardware and implementation details based on what you want the site to accomplish.
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    Thanks a lot for the reply... A lot of people on other message boards were very rude... All I did was ask a question and they degraded me saying if I didn't know then what the hell am I doing... Like wtf this IS my my effort to learning.

    Anyway, thanks again for the reply. I guess I'll have to ask my developer what he or she thinks is the best option for what I want to do. I plan to make a keynotetopia mock-up so that I can be as detailed as possible.
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    There are a variety of different ways of building SaaS applications, and each one has its own design considerations. Overall it's not that different from building a normal application, but it is something the architect needs to be aware of while designing the application as it will affect decisions they make about the architecture. There isn't really a list of requirements that you could come up with in advance though since it depends pretty much wholly on what features the application has.

    Operating a SaaS business requires a lot of technical knowledge. Keep in mind that your clients are literally going to be contracting you as their IT department. It sounds like you have business knowledge, which is equally important, but I highly recommend finding yourself a partner who has technical knowledge as well and letting them lead the technical side of this.

    The other people may have been rude, but they may actually have your best interests at heart. Building and launching a SaaS application is not a minor investment by any means, and having poor technical direction at the top level is virtually guaranteed to make it fail. I don't mean to be rude myself, but it sounds like you're at least several years of experience away from being able to successfully lead the technical side of the development of a major SaaS application. I just don't want to see you invest hundreds of thousands of dollars and walk away with nothing (I've seen it happen).

    Major projects are pretty much never done with just a single developer. First because it would take forever to finish, and second because code quality will suffer significantly if there is no one keeping the developer in check.
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