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  1. #1
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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 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.

  • #2
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    Do you know what features you want in this application that cause you to want to use the SaaS model? If you're not the technical/programmer type, typically you would be focused on the feature set that you want, and let your programmers define whether it warrants a SaaS solution, what language to develop in, etc. It's hard to imagine you knowing very little about programming, but then hiring programmers that are even less qualified to make these decisions.

    1. Come up with a great idea
    2. Put together a business plan
    3. Hire developers, marketing guys, whatever is needed
    4. Develop the application
    5. Watch the money roll in

    Dave

  • #3
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    You're going to have to give some more details on just what the site will do before we can effectively answer you.

    You don't need anything as powerful (and as expensive) as Amazon's cloud service until/unless you get at least thousands of clients (the actual point at which you need more than a single server depends partly on how complex your service is).

    You can get started with an el cheapo shared server (e.g., GoDaddy.com) for less than $10 a month. But even a dedicated very powerful server will only set you back $200 a month or so.

    As for specific language: You mean languague*S*. Because your programmers will need to know HTML, JavaScript, SQL (some variant of it), *and* the server-side language. So I assume you are really asking about server-side language. Personally, I'm prejudiced: ASP.NET gives you a choice of server-side languages and they can be intermixed even in the same web page. VB.NET and C# being the two most likely choices, but there are others. And ASP.NET is, I think, by far the most powerful platform out there. It *does* have a steeper learning curve than, say, PHP. There's just so much in it that it's hard for somebody to know it all.

    But there's no doubt that you can get something small and fast and cheap using PHP. I'm just not convinced that it scales well to larger projects. (Though there are plenty of companies out there trying to make a liar out of me.)

    And therein we get to perhaps the funniest part of your request:
    I ... plan to outsource it's [sic] development to a programmer.
    *A* programmer. So if this is any sort of really powerful app, one that presumably lawyers will be willing to pay big bucks for, that means you don't care if it takes 3 to 5 years to get to the testing stage? Because, quite frankly, if you are talking one programmer for a few months, what you will get may be an app, but it's unlikely to be one that will earn big bucks, unless you have some proprietary information you can package with it that will be worth the money.

    If you are really serious about this project, you need to be prepared to write a multi-page business plan, which would include detailed specifications of what you expect the app to do [and I do mean detailed! else you will get the trash your would deserve, more than likely], and post it here:
    http://www.codingforums.com/large-projects-new-web-application-complex-features-etc/
    and probably in many other similar places around the web. And then be prepared to be deluged by proposals from India, China, etc., made by one-and-two-person "companies" with no experience in large projects. (Meaning you need to do a thorough job investigating the backgrounds of those who respond.)

    Oh... and finally: Were I you, I would *NOT* specify the server-side language/platform. Let the bidders propose it. And then see how many holes you can find in their proposals.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.

  • #4
    Supreme Master coder! Old Pedant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracknut View Post
    5. Watch the money roll in
    Heh...or, more likely, roll out and out and out. Because you don't know how to manage a large project and/or you hired incompetents.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.


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