Xojo for our new SaaS platform project?

We need advice wether or not we should choose Xojo for developing a SaaS platform out of some apps we built with Xojo.

We built and are still creating custom software solutions. Some of them present characteristics that make them candidate to be offered as general solutions. We want to regroup and offer them through a SaaS platform.

Since this project is just starting, we are unable to detail precisely the requirements. Nevertheless, we consider those aspects to be considered in choosing the development tools (feel free to comment…):

  • web apps working along with mobile applications on IOS and Androd
  • ability to achieve nice design
  • mainly database driven applications
  • can “connect” custom applications to the platform if needed
  • high quantity of hi-res pictures will have to be managed
  • consequent number of users but not “gigantic” since the platform targets a specific industry
  • database hosting will be available on client or platform servers (privacy)

We have little experience in platform development as with other development platforms than Xojo. We are wondering if we should choose Xojo as our development platform or use another one. If so, what would you suggest? What would be the limitations with Xojo? How to approach platform development? Any other advice? Some of you do have great knowledge that would be useful to us? Anything else we should consider, know? Anybody would be king enough to share their experience?


Nobody here can tell you if Xojo (or any other developement tool) is the right one for you. It will be based on the knowledge, imagination and over-all skill of your developers. There are some of us on here that can make Xojo do just about anything, but that doesn’t mean your people can do the same… This applies equally to any/all other languages.

So what I suggest… download Xojo, and “play with it”, ask specfic questions on this forum, show what you tried that didn’t work, and perhaps someone can point you in the right direction.

This sounds doable in Xojo. But also in other tools.

So maybe you spend a day or two on the tutorials and check if you get comfortable with Xojo.

Thanks Dave,

We have been already using Xojo for a couple of years now. In fact, the web applications we want to put together have been created with Xojo. Maybe I should formulate my question in a different way… Does Xojo can be used to create a web platform for SaaS? Will the platform be as performant as others built on other platforms assuming that it is adequately built?

can a volkswagen outrun a Ford?
depends on the engineers that built them, tuned them, and the driver behind the wheel.

The questions you are asking are retorical…

A company in Austria has an app used by 500+ people on a subscription base.
Seems to work fine. I helped them in development years ago.

[quote=310126:@Dave S]can a volkswagen outrun a Ford?
depends on the engineers that built them, tuned them, and the driver behind the wheel.

The questions you are asking are retorical…[/quote]

Your might be right… It may be hard to distinguish between a Volkswagen and a Ford for going from point A to B. If I need to get to point B as fast as possible, I’ll go for a Ferrari and will not even consider them :slight_smile:

Nevertheless, I understand that you consider all development tools equal in the context of developing SaaS and that I should be careful about the design and the programmers who will work on the project… Thanks for that advice!

[quote=310128:@Christian Schmitz]A company in Austria has an app used by 500+ people on a subscription base.
Seems to work fine. I helped them in development years ago.[/quote]

Thanks Christian, It shows it is possible… I looked at several tools offered as SaaS and they look pretty good! To be honest, my apps are Ok but don’t look as nice as those using CSS libraries… Is that possible to achieve that with Xojo?

[quote=310128:@Christian Schmitz]A company in Austria has an app used by 500+ people on a subscription base.
Seems to work fine. I helped them in development years ago.[/quote]

@Bob Keeney has a video service that has served up many many hours (dont remember off the top of my head). And all that is done as a VideoService-aaS. And he hasnt had any real problem that I know of. I have used it and it works well.


you can always add hand written CSS to your Xojo web app.

If you attended XDC I recommend watching the video from the session on Load Balancing and Other Techniques for Enterprise Web Apps - John Joyce You have to of attended XDC to have access to the video from the sessions.

It was very informative on things to think about when planning large scale web access to your app. We are currently developing several apps hosted on the cloud with Xojo and John’s suggestions were very helpful in tackling hurdles we saw as we have progressed.

Unfortunately, I did not attend the conference… Might be helpful to buy them though… By the way, how do you manage the look and feel of you apps, if it is not indiscreet?

If you missed XDC 2016, how about joining the conference in Berlin in May 2017?
There you can talk to a lot of developers and learn about Xojo.


The XDC videos will be available for purchase very soon! :slight_smile:

Great! I’m looking forward them!

“we are unable to detail precisely the requirements”
“high quantity of hi-res pictures will have to be managed”

Well then you should first decide which DBMS and storage platform you will choose as basis for your SaaS project. As far as I read your statements I would consider to focus on Webservices communicating with your platform specific Apps. This is where Xojo could contribute a lot helping to build a business infrastructure. However, when talking about nice UI then you probably should consider native solutions and frameworks. In Xojo you sometimes have to re-invent the wheel and/or get into dependencies of 3rd party addons what makes it sometimes more difficult.

Thanks Jakobs,

You are right on target… We like to build Xojo apps but it is so much work making it look professional… As you suggest, web services have already helped a lot in making our apps working well. We actually use PostgreSQL as DBMS and are happy with it. We don’t know, as we speak, how we will store the huge amount of picture files we expect to manage. Probably in a specific NAS storage device. I spent the whole afternoon trying to find solutions on making our apps look better… Some CSS might help but knowing that we might have to regularly modify it because of Xojo framework changes is a turnoff. Since we strongly believe that look and feel if very important we hesitate a lot to use Xojo.

Yes, an external performant storage SAN or NAS, Webserver and Database server would be good foundation to start. With Haproxy you could scale everything up if needed. And I wouldn’t try to store the images into databases. Read all exif tags and just store path and file names only. Several independent helper apps in xojo could do this. They also could help to create small thumbnails for web or apps previews.

Thanks Tomas, I really appreciate your input.

Would you be more specific about the “independent helpers” you are referring to?

Another question if you don’t mind… After looking around solutions to make xojo look better, I thought I could build the interface using html and javascript and use xojo’s specialURL to manage server requests. Would that be a sustainable solution?

To whom I send my bill as consultant? :wink:

Yes this sounds sustainable. Xojo as business-tier level in front of your data-tier communicating with other apps on presentation-tier via REST, JSON whatever API. This is exactly the right spot, where Xojo can streamline development and where you can reuse and stablize your objects - your business logic - over time.

IMHO Xojo UI for Websites is okay for internal stuff or business WebApps where “coolness” in UI/UX is secondary. But if you really want to do something responsive, modern, eyecatching then better try to use a framework like ZURBs Foundation, jQuery or Bootstrap. Of course you could try to integrate all these into Xojo but this doesn’t work. I mean it’s definitely possible and there are some pretty nifty addons in Xojos’ ecosystem already using them. But then you will end up in something I described with “re-inventing the wheel” or “getting dependend from 3rd party addons”.

Thanks again Tomas! Send your bill to roger.starneault@ml6.tech :wink:

I still have many questions… You seem to have great knowledge on the topic… Speaking of consulting, is it something you actually do?

We are actually working on preparing the business plan for fund raising. Part of it will be to present the technical aspects of the project, evaluations of the costs and project timeline. Is it something you feel competent for? Does it sound interesting to you?

Feel free to contact me if you have any interest.