At re:Invent 2020, Amazon announced the preview of AWS SaaS Boost, an open source tool that helps software developers migrate their existing solutions to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model. Think of AWS SaaS Boost like a space launch system for your applications, with all the ground operation and rockets to help you propel and manage your software as a service in the AWS cloud. SaaS Boost significantly offloads development effort by accelerating application transformation to SaaS, freeing up software developers to focus on features that differentiate their product. After receiving interest from hundreds of developers in the project, today we’re pleased to announce its public availability on GitHub.

Sharing good patterns and practices

All SaaS products need the foundational capabilities to onboard users, provision infrastructure for tenants, monitor consumption trends, configure tenant profiles, integrate with a billing system, and surface key metrics. These functions are critical for helping SaaS providers to scale. If every SaaS company needed to invest in building these capabilities before building their actual applications, it would consume valuable development resources, thus burning finite capital and slowing down their time to market.

AWS SaaS Boost provides these capabilities with only environment configuration effort required to get started, allowing your developers to focus on new features and experiences for your customers. Furthermore, we have integrated AWS services such as AWS CloudFormation, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon Route 53, Elastic Load Balancing, AWS Lambda, and Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) to ensure that your product not only uses best practices, but also provides security and isolation.

Through hundreds of engagements with SaaS builders, we have learned that capabilities such tenant isolation, data partitioning, monitoring, metering, and billing, are foundational, and we have developed useful architectural patterns. Although the need for these elements is universal, the implementation is not. For example, technology dependencies such as databases and file systems are different for each application, metering units change depending on customers, and billing systems differ by geography. Because AWS SaaS Boost was released under the Apache-2.0 license, the code can be customized to meet your businesses requirements and redistributed as needed.

SaaS applications are highly distributed, integrated pieces of software that are constantly evolving. Many of them use industry standard protocols and other open source technologies, such as OAuth for authorization, Open Policy Agent for control, and OpenTelemetry for observability. They also interface with other SaaS products, for example Ping, Okta, Auth0 for identity, Stripe for billing, and New Relic or Dynatrace for monitoring. The extensibility of AWS SaaS Boost allows users to build connectors to these technologies.

Why open source?

Throughout the preview period with developers all over the world, we received interest from large industry-leading software companies who want to offer their traditional products in an easier way, startups who want to build new products with it, and systems integrators modernizing enterprise software of behalf of customers. Our objective with AWS SaaS Boost is to get great quality software based on years of experience in the hands of as many developers and companies as possible. Because SaaS Boost is open source software, anyone can help improve it. Through a community of builders, our hope is to develop features faster, integrate with a wide range of SaaS software, and to provide a high quality solution for our customers regardless of company size or location. For these reasons, we have proposed a charter and a set of guiding principles for SaaS Boost.

We’d like to build a vibrant community of developers using AWS SaaS Boost for production workloads, and contributors donating code to enhance and optimize its features. As the project matures, we plan to invite other maintainers to take active roles in determining the project’s direction.

We are excited about the future of SaaS at AWS and the SaaS Boost open source project. We welcome your feedback and, by maintaining a shared sense of purpose, over time we hope to develop the best open source SaaS software.

To learn more about SaaS Boost, read Transforming Your Monolith to SaaS with AWS SaaS Boost.

Partner quotes

“AWS SaaS Boost is a feature-rich offering that helps ISVs reap these rewards faster, saving weeks, if not months, of time moving to a SaaS model when combined with NTT DATA’s SaaS services.” —Aater Suleman, VP Cloud Transformation at NTT DATA

“Users can quickly customize their pricing models and fully automate payment support using Stripe. We are excited to work with AWS to help power internet businesses globally with the launch of AWS SaaS Boost.” —Kenneth Chestnut, Global Head of GTM Technology Partnerships at Stripe