Which technology should your SaaS business pick to succeed? This question is not uncommon these days. Quite the opposite because the SaaS model has become a meaningful part of every business domain. The demand for SaaS software development services is higher than ever.

In this article, we will discuss frameworks suitable for SaaS development, as well as zoom in on Ruby on Rails in particular, with all the benefits it provides. So, if you’re planning to build a SaaS product, this piece will be invaluable to consider before starting.

What makes SaaS product development special?

The software-as-a-service approach compares favorably with traditional software delivery. Here is why: for app owners or providers, SaaS applications offer improved flexibility and shorter time to market. This approach also provides lower development, maintenance, and integration costs.

The SaaS model offers advantages not only for the software providers. Users are in favor too, as they can easily access the software on any device with a web browser anytime they need as long as their device is connected to the Internet.

Read also: Exploring the Benefits of SaaS: Innovate, Scale, Succeed

SaaS product development is a powerful way to deliver software, but it requires many technical challenges to overcome. First, SaaS products rely on secure infrastructure for proper user data handling. Developers must not forget about API creation, third-party integrations, and availability issues. This is why choosing the hosting provider for your SaaS application requires special attention.

Building a SaaS product implies an innovative way of managing and maintaining your database, code, and servers. Therefore, choosing the technology stack for your SaaS product requires careful consideration.

So, let’s dig into the outline of the frameworks that are the best options for developing SaaS-based products.

Further reading: SaaS vs PaaS vs IaaS: Choosing the Best Cloud Computing Model

Best frameworks for SaaS development

Technically speaking, SaaS products can be created using dozens of technologies and frameworks. However, the main question is about which framework you should use to make the app fast, performant, and smooth at the same time.

When considering a framework for SaaS development, pay close attention to the following aspects:

  • Performance the framework provides;
  • Security measures it can support and deliver;
  • Speed with which developers will be able to build a product;
  • Scalability, which determines how easy it is to grow and scale your product.

Throughout years of experience, we have cultivated a strong expertise in custom software development. Therefore, our specialists suggest Ruby on Rails, Django, and Express.js as the best tools for building SaaS applications.

Ruby on Rails

The first application written in Ruby on Rails framework, or RoR, was a project management tool Basecamp that was using the SaaS model. David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of RoR, also took part in the development of Basecamp. Being created as a framework for Basecamp internal use, the Rails framework was later released as an open-source code.

Since then, many world-known services, such as Hulu, Shopify, Slideshare, Github, Zendesk, have chosen Rails for their SaaS products. This is why it stands to reason that through the whole history of Rails’ existence, it is widely used in building SaaS products.

Rails framework provides developers with a great number of gems, free open-source libraries. Today, you can use 189,422+ gems to combine proven implementations made by a large and enthusiastic Rails community. With these ready solutions, your team will not need to develop already created features.

Ruby on Rails framework is a very developer-friendly framework. It follows the Convention over Configuration concept, making new feature implementation very easy. And thanks to DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principles, the framework ensures a clean and clitter-free code.

With Ruby on Rails, the SaaS product development gets faster and simpler, so your team delivers more secure and robust apps.

You may also like: Pros & Cons of Using Ruby on Rails for Web Development


The recent rise of Python’s popularity led to the growing popularity of frameworks based on this programming language. High on this list is Django, the most popular Python framework for building web applications and SaaS-based products.

Django is a monolithic framework that allows to develop reusable modules and applications. But keep in mind that it also limits the development speed. And we must say that, unlike other popular web frameworks, Django does not offer multiple request handling. So, the application written in Django must be optimized correctly to provide a suitable speed for SaaS.

Django home page

This framework is often used in SaaS product development due to its high out-of-the-box security protection and easy API creation. Like the Ruby on Rails framework, Django is good at avoiding common security threats.

Following the Zen of Python, the framework prefers explicit to implicit. Unlike Ruby on Rails, Django leaves less space for conventions, having no sets of web development principles. It may slow down the development process due to the configuration boilerplate.


Node.js runtime environment allows using JavaScript for both back-end and front-end development. One of the most powerful and, therefore, well-known frameworks for Node.js is Express.js.

This framework is often used for SaaS product development, included in the MEAN stack. MEAN stack, in turn, includes MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS (or Angular), and Node.js. See the detailed explanation in the image below.

MEAN stack for SaaS product development

Source: Medium

Node.js provides a great default tool for package management, NPM. It is quite similar to Ruby Gems used for the Ruby on Rails framework. NPM is a collection of reusable components installed via an online repository.

Express.js boasts good server-side rendering and performance. It can handle a significant number of simultaneous calls with extensive throughput. Beyond SaaS product development, it is used to build fast and scalable web apps.

However, Express.js does not natively support multi-threading. That means it is better not to use this framework for CPU-intensive processes. Also, using Express.js with relational databases, such as PostgreSQL and MySQL is not recommended.

Express.js is a minimalist framework without built-in security measures. That is why you need to use additional modules to ensure protection. You also need to know that only the newest version of this framework receives security and performance maintenance.

Read also: Powerful Duo of Node.js vs. Ruby on Rails: The Best Backend for Web Development

Why we choose Ruby on Rails for SaaS development?

At Codica, we chose Ruby on Rails as a reliable and robust web framework. Therefore, our developers composed a list of reasons why the Rails framework is an excellent option for SaaS development.


Ruby is an eloquent and succinct programming language with a great suite of tools, not to mention tons of gems. Ruby on Rails framework follows the MVC (model-view-controller) pattern. It allows for the modularity and extensibility of applications in SaaS product development. This is why any RoR application, no matter its complexity, can easily be extended with new functionality and business logic.

All the factors above push the boundaries for developers who can deliver more features in less time with RoR.


Being a mature framework, Ruby on Rails has a significant advantage over fresh technologies as it is fairly secure by default. It provides built-in protection against the variety of security threats like SQL injection and XSS attacks. Also, many gems solve other security issues you may encounter in SaaS product development.

Read also: 44 Best Ruby Gems That We Use

Ruby on Rails framework provides thorough documentation on securing Rails applications. It covers all common security problems and countermeasures to fight them.


With the Ruby on Rails framework, developers do not need to reinvent the wheel as they can use proven feature implementations. Authentication systems, commenting, payments, and many other services were implemented many times before. And the fantastic community of RoR developers made it to the public.

Developing applications with Rails is fast, but what does it mean for us? It lowers development costs and shortens the time-to-market when we develop your SaaS product in the early days. Also, it allows us to roll out regular application updates, gather user feedback quickly, and swiftly adapt the product to market changes.


Basically, scalability helps you meet evolving user expectations and fulfill surges in new orders to start making profit immediately. High scalability is the reason why cloud computing gained so much popularity and continues to grow.

What does scalability mean in SaaS product development? It is the ability of your SaaS application to perform well when processing increased request loads. Simply put, if your audience gets much more extensive, a scalable application can adjust to it without changes in the architecture.

Scalability in the Ruby on Rails framework is achieved by its support of modular code that can easily divide it into engines, modules, and gems.

Best SaaS product examples built with Ruby on Rails

The examples of SaaS products written in RoR create an impressive list. It includes world-known products like Github, Zendesk, and Shopify. Seeing so many products built with Ruby on Rails is simply the best evidence of the advantages of SaaS product development with this framework.


Finding a software developer who has not heard of GitHub is a challenging task. It is a web-based version-control platform that was launched in 2008. It helps developers manage their source code and collaborate with each other.

Github SaaS application built with Ruby on Rails framework

GitHub is the world’s biggest host of source code written in 316 unique programming languages. The team behind GitHub has been committed to Ruby on Rails since the company’s very beginning. Throughout the years, GitHub experts submitted over 33,000 pull requests to the Ruby on Rails repository to improve documentation, add features, and speed up performance.


Founded in 2007, Zendesk is now one of the leading cloud-based customer experience solutions, serving 160,000+ customers. Giants like Slack, Netflix, Vodafone, and Uber trust this SaaS product employing it in their operations.

Zendesk SaaS application built with Ruby on Rails framework

Clients choose Zendesk for its simplicity – in use, implementation, and integration. Built on Ruby on Rails, this software is reliable and flexible, having a huge load of 82.7 million visits in the last month.


Being the top commerce platform for small and medium-sized online stores, Shopify operates in over 175 countries. Introduced in 2004, it represents one of the most giant Ruby on Rails codebases. Moreover, Tobias Lütke, the founder of Shopify, is a former Rails core team member.

Shopify SaaS application built with Ruby on Rails framework

The scope of this RoR-based SaaS application is impressive—it processes 4 million requests per second and hosts nearly a million businesses.

Shopify is known for its good structure and user-friendliness. Not least, credit for this goes to RoR, a framework that easily handles API creation and Ruby gems implementations. According to Lütke, one of the keys to Shopify’s success was an API that allows other developers to implement the needed features quickly.

Codica's expertise in SaaS product development

Since 2015, Codica has helped numerous startups and established businesses on their way to success. And one of our significant directions is SaaS development. Codica team is always ready to take on new SaaS challenges, including but not limited to:

  • SaaS development from the ground up;
  • Integration with third-party services;
  • Existing SaaS product tweaking;
  • On-premises-to-cloud migration.

We provide SaaS development services in various domains, including automotive, healthcare, recruiting, travel, ecommerce, and more. Therefore, we have plenty of expertise in developing customer relationship management, content management, and inventory management systems.

One notable example is a SaaS platform for real estate we recently built. The objective was to develop a swift and intuitive SaaS solution to facilitate users' browsing properties and seamlessly engage with homeowners. Codica undertook a meticulous approach to the development of the SaaS, incorporating essential features and functionalities as per the requirements. We dedicated our utmost effort and technical expertise to realizing the objectives outlined in the specification.

As a result, our client received a robust solution with several cornerstones. First of all, the end product is a fast-loading cross-device platform. It streamlines user account management while providing a detailed property exploration enhanced with virtual 3D tours. Once users have chosen a property, the platform offers them intuitive property detail pages.

Real estate SaaS platform made by Codica team


Compared to building traditional software, SaaS product development is more technically demanding. It operates in the cloud and, thus, requires a solid infrastructure. Therefore, along with many other tools, we prefer Ruby on Rails, as it delivers much-needed flexibility and stability at the same time. It amplifies the main SaaS benefits by allowing us to launch the product faster and help you generate revenue faster. After all, choosing Ruby on Rails for your SaaS project gives you powerful and cost-effective solutions.

On a closing note, feel free to contact us if you share our vision of developing SaaS products with a powerful tech stack. Our expert team will be glad to help you create a successful product on time and within budget.

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Dmytro CEO | Codica
Dmytro is a software entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience focused on the Lean Startup approach. He loves helping startups build excellent custom products.
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Pavlo Business and Tech Writer | Codica
Business and Tech Writer
Pavlo is a skilled author who is passionate about innovations. He highlights complex tech and business topics with structured and thorough research.
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