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Tim Nolet
Tim Nolet
Founder, Engineer & Dishwasher at Checkly · | 17 upvotes · 158.8K views
atChecklyHQChecklyHQ
vuex
vuex
Knex.js
Knex.js
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda
Vue.js
Vue.js
hapi
hapi
Node.js
Node.js
GitHub
GitHub
Docker
Docker
Heroku
Heroku

Heroku Docker GitHub Node.js hapi Vue.js AWS Lambda Amazon S3 PostgreSQL Knex.js Checkly is a fairly young company and we're still working hard to find the correct mix of product features, price and audience.

We are focussed on tech B2B, but I always wanted to serve solo developers too. So I decided to make a $7 plan.

Why $7? Simply put, it seems to be a sweet spot for tech companies: Heroku, Docker, Github, Appoptics (Librato) all offer $7 plans. They must have done a ton of research into this, so why not piggy back that and try it out.

Enough biz talk, onto tech. The challenges were:

  • Slice of a portion of the functionality so a $7 plan is still profitable. We call this the "plan limits"
  • Update API and back end services to handle and enforce plan limits.
  • Update the UI to kindly state plan limits are in effect on some part of the UI.
  • Update the pricing page to reflect all changes.
  • Keep the actual processing backend, storage and API's as untouched as possible.

In essence, we went from strictly volume based pricing to value based pricing. Here come the technical steps & decisions we made to get there.

  1. We updated our PostgreSQL schema so plans now have an array of "features". These are string constants that represent feature toggles.
  2. The Vue.js frontend reads these from the vuex store on login.
  3. Based on these values, the UI has simple v-if statements to either just show the feature or show a friendly "please upgrade" button.
  4. The hapi API has a hook on each relevant API endpoint that checks whether a user's plan has the feature enabled, or not.

Side note: We offer 10 SMS messages per month on the developer plan. However, we were not actually counting how many people were sending. We had to update our alerting daemon (that runs on Heroku and triggers SMS messages via AWS SNS) to actually bump a counter.

What we build is basically feature-toggling based on plan features. It is very extensible for future additions. Our scheduling and storage backend that actually runs users' monitoring requests (AWS Lambda) and stores the results (S3 and Postgres) has no knowledge of all of this and remained unchanged.

Hope this helps anyone building out their SaaS and is in a similar situation.

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Ganesa Vijayakumar
Ganesa Vijayakumar
Full Stack Coder | Module Lead · | 15 upvotes · 291K views
SonarQube
SonarQube
Codacy
Codacy
Docker
Docker
Git
Git
Apache Maven
Apache Maven
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure
Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route 53
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Solr
Solr
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Heroku
Heroku
Hibernate
Hibernate
MySQL
MySQL
Node.js
Node.js
Java
Java
Bootstrap
Bootstrap
jQuery Mobile
jQuery Mobile
jQuery UI
jQuery UI
jQuery
jQuery
JavaScript
JavaScript
React Native
React Native
React Router
React Router
React
React

I'm planning to create a web application and also a mobile application to provide a very good shopping experience to the end customers. Shortly, my application will be aggregate the product details from difference sources and giving a clear picture to the user that when and where to buy that product with best in Quality and cost.

I have planned to develop this in many milestones for adding N number of features and I have picked my first part to complete the core part (aggregate the product details from different sources).

As per my work experience and knowledge, I have chosen the followings stacks to this mission.

UI: I would like to develop this application using React, React Router and React Native since I'm a little bit familiar on this and also most importantly these will help on developing both web and mobile apps. In addition, I'm gonna use the stacks JavaScript, jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Mobile, Bootstrap wherever required.

Service: I have planned to use Java as the main business layer language as I have 7+ years of experience on this I believe I can do better work using Java than other languages. In addition, I'm thinking to use the stacks Node.js.

Database and ORM: I'm gonna pick MySQL as DB and Hibernate as ORM since I have a piece of good knowledge and also work experience on this combination.

Search Engine: I need to deal with a large amount of product data and it's in-detailed info to provide enough details to end user at the same time I need to focus on the performance area too. so I have decided to use Solr as a search engine for product search and suggestions. In addition, I'm thinking to replace Solr by Elasticsearch once explored/reviewed enough about Elasticsearch.

Host: As of now, my plan to complete the application with decent features first and deploy it in a free hosting environment like Docker and Heroku and then once it is stable then I have planned to use the AWS products Amazon S3, EC2, Amazon RDS and Amazon Route 53. I'm not sure about Microsoft Azure that what is the specialty in it than Heroku and Amazon EC2 Container Service. Anyhow, I will do explore these once again and pick the best suite one for my requirement once I reached this level.

Build and Repositories: I have decided to choose Apache Maven and Git as these are my favorites and also so popular on respectively build and repositories.

Additional Utilities :) - I would like to choose Codacy for code review as their Startup plan will be very helpful to this application. I'm already experienced with Google CheckStyle and SonarQube even I'm looking something on Codacy.

Happy Coding! Suggestions are welcome! :)

Thanks, Ganesa

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