Saas design considerations

Anybody here working in the saas application using ROR? I have few
questions for you.

  1. How do you manage the scalability? Do you use multi database
    connection or database clustering. Which one is best?
  2. What application server you are using? How many mongrels in the
    backend?
  3. How to make the configurable application. For example, workflow
    configuration differs for the tenants. How can we configure the workflow
    for the tenant?
  4. How the security is implemented? I mean, how the subscription model
    is implemented? How ca we protect the datas of one tenant from other
    tenant?
  5. How can we monitor the performance?

Any other suggestion in desigining the saas application?

Regards,
John

This is, of course, shameless self promotion, but the SaaS Rails Kit
that I
created could definitely point you in the right direction with some
working
code: http://railskits.com/saas/ (n.b., it’s not free).

To generally answer your questions, though, it’s not that different from
your typical Rails app. You can use a single database with appropriate
query scoping to restrict tenants to only seeing their data.


Benjamin C.
http://railskits.com/ - Ready-made Rails code
http://catchthebest.com/ - Team-powered recruiting
http://www.bencurtis.com/ - Personal blog

On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 9:50 AM, John John
<[email protected]

Benjamin,

Not only do I think that what you are doing is indeed “shameless self
promotion”, but I think that you are seriously misunderstanding the
concept of SaaS and promoting bad information about RoR and SaaS on the
web.

Did you read through the points John asked about above?

He is asking about:
-Scalability
-Multi-tenant database design
-Configurability
-Security

These points are expressed in more detail in the article at
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa479069.aspx
but unfortunately there is little RoR specific information about them on
the web.

From what you write on your website, the only thing you are providing is
a billing system. Labeling that as “SaaS” is misleading in the extreme.

Victor

Benjamin C. wrote:

This is, of course, shameless self promotion, but the SaaS Rails Kit
that I
created could definitely point you in the right direction with some
working
code: http://railskits.com/saas/ (n.b., it’s not free).

To generally answer your questions, though, it’s not that different from
your typical Rails app. You can use a single database with appropriate
query scoping to restrict tenants to only seeing their data.


Benjamin C.
http://railskits.com/ - Ready-made Rails code
http://catchthebest.com/ - Team-powered recruiting
http://www.bencurtis.com/ - Personal blog

On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 9:50 AM, John John
<[email protected]

I’m sorry if I misunderstood the purpose of your plugins then. I’ve come
across your site several times before through Google searches (on RoR
and SaaS) and from the descriptions, the focus seemed really on the
billing aspect.

That being said, I don’t buy the “common sense” argument when designing
SaaS with RoR – I do think there’s more than that when we move to more
serious applications, with many users, especially (though not only) in
an enterprise setting.

For small apps, true, common sense says things can be nice and easy. But
go to thousands of users, hundreds of tables and simultaneous requests
and you got a different set of needs.

Yes, I did read through his points. Did you read my response, basically
saying that a SaaS application is not much different from any other
typical
Rails application? Indeed, that is true, as I’ve experienced time and
time
again in building and deploying my own SaaS applications, and in seeing
others deploy theirs.

The one point that he did ask about that is specific to SaaS
applications is
the database design behind multi-tenant applications, and this is the
point
that I chose to address. Again, it is true, that it is a simple matter
of
using Rails’ association scoping to achieve the desired result of having
all
customer data in one database but easily restricting the queries so as
not
to allow one customer to view another customer’s data. Futher, I
mention
the SaaS Rails Kit because it is relevant to the question. This product
demonstrates rather clearly how to use Rails’ association scoping to
achieve
that outcome. While the SaaS Rails Kit does provide a billing system,
it is
not just a billing system, but an example of framework of how to build
the
type of application that was the subject of the original author’s
inquiry.


Benjamin C.
http://railskits.com/ - Ready-made Rails code
http://catchthebest.com/ - Team-powered recruiting
http://www.bencurtis.com/ - Personal blog

On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 2:01 PM, Victor Al
<[email protected]

On 29 Sep 2008, at 05:41, Victor Al [email protected]
wrote:

SaaS with RoR – I do think there’s more than that when we move to
more
serious applications, with many users, especially (though not only) in
an enterprise setting.

My 2 cents is that SaaS is a buzzword. It’s not actually anything new
as far as web apps are concerned (eg hotmail was SaaS 10 years ago).
There aren’t much in the way of new problems.

Fred

Thanks saljamil. Plz let me know your messenger id. We will have the
detail discussion on this. My messenger id is [email protected]

I used an organization_id in most of the models to stripe data. I use
a better_nested_set to have a hierarchy of organizations. If the user
is assigned to an organization, they can do CRUD on that organization
and its children. I used named scopes in the model to pass the user_id
from controller and get back data specific to that user (his org and
children orgs). Send me an email if you need some code examples.
In terms of scalability, I am thinking at some stage I will figure out
a trigger point to have another saas instance once we get close to
that threshold.

On Sep 29, 2:36 am, Frederick C. [email protected]

hi saljamil

and its children. I used named scopes in the model to pass the user_id
from controller and get back data specific to that user (his org and
children orgs). Send me an email if you need some code examples.

   I would like to get some code examples. Please send your mailid. 

My id is to.tom.mak at gmail.com

Thanks
Tom

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