What is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)?
SaaS or Software as a service, is a software delivery model over the internet which saves the user the cost of installing, configuring and using the software, on their machines.
The most popular example for SaaS is Gmail, the Google email service, Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, and several web-based CRM, ERP, and others.
But the most popular and daily used SaaS platform is Netflix which is basically a SaaS company that follows a subscription model to deliver movies, and TV series on demand.
SaaS by default supports multiple customers, subscription plans, and often come with a payment gateway to manage paid subscriptions, and several other tools.
Building a SaaS platform
Building a SaaS platform can be costly, it may cost between $50k to $500k to build (onix-systems.com). Moreover, the cost is even higher if it is built from scratch.
What is a Starter or a Boilerplate?
A boilerplate project or a starter is a packed software with the basic function over a framework or a programming language.
The primary goal for a starter is to save developers time and lower the cost of repeating the same development tasks and code blocks over and over again.
Benefits of using a starter or a boilerplate
The Starter project it often comes with the common features of the intended software. It lowers the cost of the development, and offers the common workflow, with development tools, starter configurations, and documentation.
1- Staart SaaS Stack
Staart is a complete open-source SaaS backend based on Node.js. It is consisting of an API, UI, and native mobile apps that are ready to build a strong SaaS platform on top of them.
Staart primary components are:
- Staart API: A headless API system that offers users management system, authentication, JWT-based authentication, Stripe-ready billing system, invoicing, GDPR-compliant data export, and API gateway.
- Staart UI: is a front-end starter that has landing pages, user authentication code, settings pages, user profile templates and many more. Start UI is built on top of Next.js and Vue framework.
- Staart Native: The Staart Native is a smartphone app starter in React Native using Expo with built-in authentication and Start UI webviews.
- Staart.css is a minimalist CSS framework with UI components powering Staart UI.
- Staart Site is a static site generator for helpdesk or documentation websites. It creates beautiful, accessible, and ultra-lightweight websites that score 100/100 on Lightbox.
2- Wave (Laravel)
Wave is a free open-source starter kit that designed to help developers build their own SaaS systems with ease. It is built on top of Laravel/ PHP, and uses the Tailwind CSS framework.
Wave offers an advanced user management system, with authentication, user profiles, subscription, custom subscription plans, built-in notification and a ready to use admin panel which is a custom of the Voyger Admin.
Wave comes with a developer-friend documentation, a seamless API, and customizable themes.
Wave can use MySQL, MariaDB, or PostgreSQL as a database store.
3- SaaS Boilerplate
This SaaS Boilerplate is an open-source project of Async-Labs. It is built using React, and MongoDB.
By default, it supports Server-side rendering for fast loading and better SEO, support Amazon AWS S3 for file management, Mailchamp for email operations and newsletters, WebSocket with socket.io, and comes with a custom logger.
Unlike other system on this list, the SaaS boilerplate supports team creating and team management, alongside a rich user and customer management system.
The default SaaS payment, and subscription module uses Stripe in the backend.
4- Graphile Starter (Next.js)
Graphile Starter is an opinionated SaaS quick-start template with pre-built user account and organization system for full-stack application development in React, Node.js, GraphQL and PostgreSQL.
It is powered by PostGraphile, TypeScript, Apollo Client, Graphile Worker, Graphile Migrate, GraphQL Code Generator, Ant Design and Next.js
The frontend uses the AntD design framework to accelerate development. The entire stack is written in TypeScript, with auto-generated GraphQL types and operations thanks to the Graphql-code-generator.
5- Awes.io (Nuxt.js)
Awes.io is a free open-source platform and boilerplate for building multi-user/ customer business apps. It designed to aid developers build business systems as SaaS solutions faster, and decrease the development cost.
It is built on top of Vue, Nuxt, TailwindCSS, and uses Laravel for the backend REST API.
Awes.io is not only suitable for building SaaS apps, it is also can be used to build ERP, CRM, HRM, and control dashboard for multi-user/ customer platforms.
Awes.io's source-code is released under the MIT license.
6- Saas UI (Next.js)
The Saas UI is an open-source (MIT licensed) React component library for building SaaS apps. It is originally based on top of Chakra UI and written entirely in TypeScript.
It comes with 2 editions; the open-source free edition and the pro one which offers better support and more SaaS components for billing, onboarding, sign-up flows, AIM implementation, and more. The pro version also comes with full Electron boilerplate that uses Next.js
7- SaaS Boilerplate for Laravel
This SaaS boilerplate built on top of the Laravel framework. Built to provide developers with a template to kick off their SaaS application, without the hustle for repetitive tasks such as user account setup, subscriptions and role management.
It features users authentication workflow, two-factor authentication, subscription with Stripe, accounts management, complete subscription workflow, admin system, developer panel and a rich developer-friendly API.
8- SaaS with Vue.js
This is a Vue based starter that comes with a full-featured SaaS frontend app. It supports multi tenant/ organization setup, workspaces, multiple projects, multiple themes with Tailwind, and comes with a built-in Google authentication.
If you want to use a backend quickly, you can use the developer's recommended .NET 5 backend which uses PostgreSQL or MySQL as a database store, and comes with full Stripe integration.
Despite its rich feature set, the project is deprecated, but it still used by many developers.
9- Next SaaS Starter (Next.js)
The starter comes with dozens of landing pages, built-in SEO tool setup, a blog, a Tina CMS integration, Sendbird email integration, Mailchimp newsletter integration, and optimized for Web Vitals.
10- Nextacular.co (Next.js)
Nextacular is an open-source SaaS starter kit. It uses Next.js framework and manages user authentication workflow, database integration as PostgreSQL, MySQL, Aurora, supports multiple teams and workspaces, manages billing and payment subscriptions using Stripe.
Nextacular comes with a rich developer-friendly documentation, as it uses Tailwind CSS, dozens of built-in SEO features, and allows the user to choose any email services for email management as SendGrid, Mailgun or Sendbird.
11- Bullet Train (Ruby)
Bullet Train is an MIT-licensed Rails-based framework that saves you months of development by starting you off with all the features that are the same in every product, so you can focus on what makes your app unique.
It offers a REST API for building a front-end SaaS app. It aids developers in managing user authentication, templating and more.
12- SaaS Fast-API stack (Python)
The SaaS FastAPI Stack is a full stack, modern web application generator. Using FastAPI, PostgreSQL as database, Docker, automatic HTTPS and more.
Vue frontend with user authentication, login, dashboard, Docker-ready setup, and JWT-based authentication.
13- Open-source SaaS Boilerplate
A Flask/ Python SaaS open-source boilerplate project, that comes with a rich frontend and dashboard written in React.
- Python (Flask) - backend
- PostgreSQL - database
- ReactJS - frontend
- CSS/SCSS for styling
- Webpack/Babel - frontend building
14- Flask App Builder
The Flask App Builder is a starter Flask package for building enterprise business apps. It is an ideal solution for developers who want to use minimal setup for building scalable business apps.
The Flask App Builder comes with auto CRUD generation tool, detailed setup and development documentation, and supports multiple database options as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, and MongoDB.
Ignite is a Python/ Flask based project for building SaaS business apps. It features user authentication workflow management, built-in support for OAuth Login (Google, Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, GitLab), team and groups management, customer subscription workflow and lifecycle.
Even though, the code is released on GitHub, it is not a real open-source project as it requires a commercial license to use it in enterprise commercial projects.
16- SaaS Golang Starter Kit
The SaaS Startup Kit is yet another open-source SaaS boilerplate. It is the only SaaS-ready project on this list that is written with the Go programming language.
It features a responsive web application, sign-up/ login management, SaaS CRUD operations, and comes with a rich REST-API service.
It is an ideal solution for developers who want to use AWS Serverless infrastructure, and GitLab CI/ CD integration.
Using an open-source SaaS starter or a boilerplate lower the cost or building a SaaS platform from scratch. Especially most of the solutions come with all basic structures that any developer need.
However, every project has its own custom features and setup, so you need to evaluate your project requirements and the preferred tech stack of the starter kit before choosing the right one for current project.
If you know of any other open-source SaaS starter or boilerplate that we did not mention here, let us know.