The contribution in thread introduced many interesting SaaS services which can immensely help in deploying services as well as development.
It's been three years since then. What do we have today?
1. BitBucket (http://www.bitbucket.org) - Source code hosting
2. Google Docs (http://drive.google.com) - Team Collaboration
3. BitBucket Issues (http://www.bitbucket.org) - Team Collaboration
4. Heroku (http://www.heroku.com) - PaaS/sysadmin replacement
5. Hirefire (http://www.hirefireapp.com) - Scale up/down dynos on Heroku based on traffic
6. Mongolab (http://www.mongolab.com) - Database-aaS
7. Pusher (http://www.pusherapp.com) - WebSockets-aaS
8. Filepicker (http://www.filepicker.io) - Uploading files to the application
9. Mailgun (http://www.mailgun.com) - Send & Receive Mails
10. PaperTrail (http://www.papertrail.com) - Error Logging (Rails)
11. Errorception (http://www.errorception.com) - Error Logging (JS)
12. Desk.com (Knowledge Base + Customer Support)
It's like using a smart piece of paper that just gets out of your way and let's you create, assign, toggle, set dates, etc really intuitively.
I'm a freelancer - and for my usage I typically have a Workspace called Freelance Projects. In that workspace I have many projects, each for each freelance gig I land. I then invite my client (YOU CAN INVITE UP TO 30 PEOPLE PER PROJECT FOR FREE HOLY BALLS) and collaborate intuitively from there.
He/she can upload photoshop files, images, text files, edit desriptions and I can comment on them and we go back and forth. Better than email.
I used to procrastinate a lot. It was my achille's heel; but since Asana I enjoy working because there's something deeply psychological in ticking things off and seeing them grayed out.If you haven't checked it out.
There's also Trello but I kind of dislike it when there are more than 5 items in a list. It gets unwiedly.
SendGrid (http://sendgrid.com) - transactional emails (sending digital issues to subscribers).
MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com) - newsletter.
Linode (http://linode.com) - VPS hosting.
Harvest (http://getharvest.com) - invoicing (for corporate customers + advertisers).
FetchApp (http://fetchapp.com) - digital delivery (for single issue purchase).
Previously used E-Junkie.
PayPal - payment gateway (sadly, one of the only choice for Malaysian).
Gumroad (http://gumroad.com) - I use this as a 'PayPal alternative' for customers who wish to pay directly with their credit card (and refuse to have anything to do with PayPal).
Pivotal Tracker (http://pivotaltracker.com) - project management for HM's backend app
ODesk (http://odesk.com) - finding and managing my remote team (currently in the size of 4).
Airbrake (http://airbrake.io/) - Exception logging.
Campfire (http://campfirenow.com/) - Chat.
Librato (https://metrics.librato.com/) - Hosted graphing.
Mixpanel (http://mixpanel.com/) - Analytics, people tracking.
Pagerduty (http://www.pagerduty.com/) - Monitoring alerts.
Sendgrid (http://sendgrid.com/) - Sending emails.
Sprintly (https://sprint.ly/) - Project management.
Tarsnap (http://www.tarsnap.com/) - Offsite backups.
As well as all the obvious ones - GitHub, Google Apps, Dropbox, etc.
BitBucket: just like github (git, wiki, issues, pull requests etc) only priced that makes sense for private repos. We just use it for git however because...
JIRA: Way better issues/bugs/feature tickets, built in optional time tracking. Good support for Agile teams with GreenHopper
Confluence: A real wiki
Bamboo: continuous integration/deployment. When you commit to git with a JIRA ticket number and a build fails its easier for everyone (non-technical people) to see what is causing the failed build
The other big plus is user management to all of the above, you can create client accounts if needed and they can create/close tickets or work on wiki with you.
HipChat is nice because your non technical people participate easier, irc previously had just been developers
You can probably get all of these things free individually but its worth the small $ to have them all work together seamlessly, plus 1 account vs many is always a big plus for adoption
SplunkStorm: https://www.splunkstorm.com/ log practically anything server related and put it into dashboards/timelines. Alerts in the works
SendGrid ( http://sendgrid.com ) - API for sending and tracking email
Lighthouse ( http://lighthouseapp.com ) - Issue tracking for teams
Trello ( http://trello.com ) - Task tracking, lists
Stripe ( http://stripe.com ) - Fast, easy payment processing
BundleScout ( http://bundlescout.com ) - Third-party library update tracking (shameless plug, but I use BundleScout at BundleScout)
Sifter (http://sifterapp.com) (Disclaimer: I built this.)
--Planning & Project Management
--Business & Traffic Analytics
--Continuous Integration / Code Quality
--Billing & Payment Processing
Spreedly Core (https://core.spreedly.com)
--Email Collection/Landing Page Apps
Launch Effect (http://launcheffectapp.com)
For people looking to use apps, please consider the likelihood and impact of one of these companies disappearing overnight. Some of them are tech startups without a sustainable critical mass and they could shut down at any time.
If your landing page provider stops providing service, it's probably easy to recover if you have copies of all the email address collected. If your planning and project management tool disappears with all your data, there could be a significant cost.
I'd bet that half the services on this page will not exist in a few years time. If the success of your business relies on them trading, pick carefully.
Unlike consumer internet startups, I think there's only one criterion for whether or not a SaaS product will be around in 5 years: Does the product work well?
Most of these companies don't/can't rely on network effects to grow, so there's very little winner-takes-all action. That's why you'll see plenty of breathing room for big players and small players alike in any given category.
Disclaimer: I'm the founder of a bootstrapped, profitable company, so I'm probably biased toward bootstrappers.
Some quick reviews of some of the products listed:
* Lighthouse (http://lighthouseapp.com) - Bug Tracker - good for keeping track of simple stuff last I used it (~2 years ago), but Github Issues obviated its use for me.
* Pivotal (http://www.pivotaltracker.com/) - Project Management - great tool, not trivial to keep well managed tho. Easy to let your project get out of hand with tons of tickets, requires some discipline in its use.
* Trello (https://trello.com/) - Project Management - simple, fast. Really great for keeping tasks focused on a small team, I'm not sure how it would suit a larger team though.
* Airbrake (http://airbrake.io/) - Error Handling - You didn't have this in your list, but it deserved a mention. It's okay for server side error handling, its client side stuff leaves something to be desired though. More often than not their hosted JS lags on load, causes your page load times to go up as well. Doesn't currently offer a supported hosted version.
* Stripe - (https://stripe.com/) - Billing & Payment Processing - Does just about everything right imo. Great documentation, great interface, website is well engineered. Analytics / reporting would be awesome tho.
* Intercom - (http://intercom.io/) - Support/Help Desks - I seriously love Intercom. For managing a team of people doing outreach to users, it is awesome. I view it as a fantastic tool for triaging retention.
* Uservoice - (http://uservoice.com/) - Support/Help Desks - You didn't mention them either, but I thought I'd add. They are pretty great, even for small companies. I think their sweet spot is a larger support team tho. Great interface.
I've only ever casually used Jira, however, so am ill qualified to speak to its strengths.
I think the divisive bit may, in part, be that Pivotal is a strongly opinionated tool while Jira is a fairly customizable and open ended tool.
For projects & teams committed to the process Pivotal champions, it's highly optimized. For teams using a different process, or who need to customize views for different people etc, Jira can provide more options, and be a better fit.
For me personally... at the moment, I really appreciate Pivotal's relative simplicity and the way it encourages folks to focus on the somewhat nearer term.
Edit: That was due to JS being disabled in my browser
Alerts is actually in beta right now :) - we're testing it out with a few customers. It's based on our query language, and alerts you with a graph of the problem when the event occurs. ( or updates an HTTP endpoint you control, if you wish )
edit: I forgot to mention, my apologies you encountered an error. We've been living on the edge of browser support land for the time being, and could do a better job letting you know that you're not meeting the minimum reqs.
* BrowserMob (http://www.neustar.biz/enterprise/web-performance/how-load-t...) You can upload selenium scripts and they'll run it on X physical / Y virtual servers for a given period of time. It's a great tool to stress test your servers.
* Blitz.io (https://www.blitz.io/) Basically just a DDOS on your server.
* BeesWithMachineGuns (https://github.com/newsapps/beeswithmachineguns) You can set this up with EC2 and DDOS your own server with it as well. This gives you a bit more control than blitz, but it requires a little work to get it up and running.
Would love to hear feedback.
Ultimately, this wasn't meant to be an exhaustive list. It's just a quick list from some very superficial collecting of URLs. There's still a lot of work to do for the book before the list is complete.
Their free tier (500MB/day) is far more generous than mentioned services.
I'd also add group chat tools like HipChat, Campfire, FlowDock, Grove, hall.
Have a great weekend
Private beta but public launch is very soon; mention HN for immediate invite.
Metaverse Mod Squad (http://metaversemodsquad.com/)
Balanced Payements (https://www.balancedpayments.com/)
-- PROJECT MANAGEMENT
-- RECOMMENDATION SYSTEM
Runa PerfectOffer (http://www.runa.com/products/perfectoffer/)
Tracelytics (http://www.tracelytics.com) / AppNeta (http://www.appneta.com/)
Runa PerfectShipping (http://www.runa.com/products/perfectshipping/)
-- SUPPORT / HELP DESK:
Also, is there a reason you don't mention other services (e.g. Balanced payments)?
In terms of not mentioning other services, it's probably more a matter of the book being in progress. I've done quite a bit of research, but the vendors list is rather incomplete because I'll be including it in the appendix of the book. So in most cases it's simply a matter of the fact that I haven't actually finished it yet. These are mainly just from my notes that I've jotted down.
For performance metrics monitoring/exception aggregation/in-app log collection
TravisCI's .com url didn't work for me, but this did: https://travis-ci.org/
(Disclaimer: I work for SD)
Github - obviously
AWS - obviously
Ylastic - easier AWS management
Sendgrid - mail delivery
Stripe - payment processing
Pingdom - external uptime tracking
PagerDuty - ops alerting and scheduling
Xero - accounting
JIRA - task management (the hosted version at Atlassian)
Desk - support tickets
Crashplan - personal machine backups
Google Docs/Mail - everything else
Others have been mentioning Fabric, Puppet, Graphite, Nagios -- we use these but they're not hosted services, so not sure they fit.
And all you have to do is trust probably your second most valuable asset to an external service outside your organisation... What could possibly go wrong?
Who do you trust more, github or Wall Street?
As you probably have the code checked out by a number of employees, data loss is annoying but not catastrophic as you're probably not losing anything more than a few hours time.
Data exposure would have a greater impact, but the likelihood is probably around the same as if you run your own repo through credential compromise. The Github security team is probably around the same level of effectiveness as you are.
So it's probably not that big a deal. Having said that, we self-host our git repos :).
Sendgrid (http://sendgrid.com/) - Sending emails
Braintree (https://www.braintreepayments.com/) - Payments
Deployd (http://www.deployd.com/) - Quickly design and build APIs
Github (https://github.com/) - Project hosting and issue tracker
Seriously now, this is pratically open source Parse!
Source code: http://www.github.com
We could host our own server, but github is really convenient and our SDKs are open source so its easier.
Workflow & Issues: http://huboard.com/
Given we use github, huboard makes it easy to mange the issues
Build: http://jenkins-ci.org/ and https://github.com/capistrano/capistrano
Such a nice setup, we host our own jenkins server, I have seen some links above to Travis, might give that a spin.
Tickets & Wiki: http://www.uservoice.com
Its a love/hate relationship with uservoice. They make some things easy, others are so arcane. I'm adding in a wiki article right now with some images in it. But uservoice doesn't let you host an image, so I put it into an S3 bucket, add the link to uservoice and there is a security error. I go back to the bucket, reset the security settings and uservoice is caching the image error and wont let me add the images, so I need to edit the source. So hard for something so simple.
Team Communication: https://www.flowdock.com/
We were using Campfire, but we like flowdock much better. Threaded conversations are still tough, I actually miss Google Wave. We had 1 wave a day, it starts to grow on you.
Log Aggregation: http://graylog2.org/
Very cool once you get it all working together
Server Metrics and Application Analytics: http://www.graphdat.com
We dog food our own product, so it's our servers on the homepage..
Some other notable candidates:
'your personal website': http://backstit.ch/
handy to monitor a couple of feeds
'tech news aggregator': http://skimfeed.com/
nice way to skim some news
Torch (for hosted Graylog https://www.torch.sh/)
BestVendor even lets you put together your own customized lists: http://www.bestvendor.com/lists/tool-stack-for-pmrobot-a-mob...
Stripe (http://stripe.com) - payments
Mandrill (http://mandrill.com) - email
Tinfoil Security (http://tinfoilsecurity.com) - web security
Help Scout (http://helpscout.net) - help desk / customer support
- Github (http://github.com) for Open Source and private source code control.
- Bitbucket (http://bitbucket.org) mostly private source code management.
- Linode (http://linode.com) Where I run my virtual servers.
- Trello (http://trello.com) Manages all my projects
- Basecamp (http://basecamp.com) some clients still use it.
- Google Analytics (http://google.com/analytics) Sticking with Google.
- Freshbooks (http://freshbooks.com) For invoicing matters.
- ahref (http://ahrefs.com) Tracking my backlinks.
- Skype (http://skype.com) P2P calls and VoIP.
- Google App (http://google.com/a) Planning to move this year, still on the free plan.
- Gmail (http://gmail.com) still no plans to move yet!
The links are all in the article.
Also, our chatbot is critical to the way we work and lives on hipchat (but has adapters for campfire and jabber): https://github.com/markolson/linkbot
Clicky ( http://clicky.com ) - lightweight visitor analytics
Pingdom ( http://pingdom.com ) - monitoring
AWS ( http://aws.amazon.com ) - infrastructure
Stripe ( http://stripe.com ) - payments
Mailgun ( http://mailgun.com ) - transactional email
Postmark ( http://postmarkapp.com ) - more transactional email
Mailchimp ( http://mailchimp.com ) - non-transactional email
SupportFu ( http://www.supportfu.com ) - lightweight customer service
github (code review is the killer feature)
jira + greenhopper (no killer feature :-( )
notableapp (so-so interactions with our designers)
balsamiq (quick & easy mockups)
crashplan (easy and cross-platform backups)
google analytics (we have a crazy setup)
For my open source projects, I use:
sourceforge (for the mailing list. any suggestions for alternatives?)
Sendgrid ( http://sendgrid.com )- Sending emails
Autotax ( http://autotax.me )- Automated 1099 & sales tax filing
Trello ( http://trello.com ) - Trask tracking
New Relic ( http://newrelic.com ) - Server/app monitoring
But the more we developed our rhythm and workflow, the more we started constantly running up against small idiosyncrasies with each service that we were powerless to fix (we always submitted feedback, sometimes they'd implement our idea, sometimes they wouldn't). Maybe this app had an awesome interface, but their status labels were odd given the usual workflow. Maybe this other app was perfect in every way but had no API to allow us to tie it into the rest of our process.
Anyway, we started switching from services to open-source products, which really allowed us to take our process to the next level and optimize everything specifically for our flow.
For example (italics are open-source):
Email => Basecamp => Pivotal => Redmine (and tried Asana but went back to Redmine)
Email => Github Issues => Redmine
CruiseControl => Integrity => TDDium (https://www.tddium.com) / Semaphore (https://semaphoreapp.com)
ExceptionNotifier => Airbrake => Errbit
Time Tracking & Invoicing:
Harvest => Cashboard (http://www.cashboardapp.com)
Campfire => [currently looking into] Kandan
Self-hosted SVN => Unfuddle => Github
Pixelapse => ConceptShare
You'll notice the only non-open-source services we still use are Github, Cashboard, TDDium/Semaphore, and ConceptShare. For the open-source services, we're able to host most of them on Heroku and rarely ever have to worry about maintaining them, other than security patches and whatnot. And we've been able to do some pretty cool things internally as far as connecting the different apps, since we have control over the APIs and underlying code, allowing us to add and change as needed.
You'll also notice that for CI, we actually went in the opposite direction from open-source to service-based. I have an entire writeup (not yet published) on why I actually found CI to work best for us as a 3rd-party service.
Also, I'd support any effort to collate good self-hosted options for startups.
Trello (http://trello.com) - task/project/team management
Stripe (http://stripe.com) - credit card payment processing
Helpscout (http://helpscout.net) - email support system
Plus the usual suspects: AWS, GitHub, Mailgun...
clicky.com - real time analytics
irccloud.com - IRC in the browser
sendgrid.com - API for sending e-mail
SerpBook (http://serpbook.com) - Search engine rank tracker.
Mortar (http://mortardata.com) - Hadoop-aaS.
The SF growth hackers talk about the tools a lot in their meetup if anyone is interested in learning more about them.
New Relic (http://www.newrelic.com)
I hope it will make it to your list of "recommended services" by the end of 2013.
Open Exchange Rates (https://openexchangerates.org) – free or very cheap currency conversion data JSON API. Built by a developer for other developers. :o)
I'd suggest making a drop-in script or two something like the extensions Stripe has been adding on a bit at a time, to make it easy to use this for in-page on-the-fly currency conversion...
That is, select your currency from the dropdown, and all prices elsewhere on the page will display in the local currency selected.
1. Yammer (https://www.yammer.com/)
2. Basecamp (http://basecamp.com)
3. Limechat for IRC client (http://limechat.net/mac/)
4. Flowdock (http://flowdock.com)
5. Asana (http://asana.com)
6. Trello (http://trello.com)
1. Chef (http://www.opscode.com/chef/)
2. Fabric (http://fabfile.org)
1. Jenkins (http://jenkins-ci.org)
1. Sendgrid (http://sendgrid.com)
2. AWS SES (http://aws.amazon.com/ses/)
3. Gmail (http://gmail.com)
4. MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com)
5. Campaign Monitor (http://www.campaignmonitor.com/)
6. Fractal (https://www.getfractal.com/)
Monitoring & Logging
1. Graylog2 (http://graylog2.org/)
2. Statsd (https://github.com/etsy/statsd/)
3. Graphite (http://graphite.wikidot.com/)
4. Geckoboard (http://www.geckoboard.com/)
5. PaperTrail (https://papertrailapp.com/)
6. Pingdom (https://www.pingdom.com/)
1. Mixpanel (http://mixpanel.com)
2. Segment.io (http://segment.io)
3. Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/)
1. Github Issues (http://github.com)
2. Lighthouse (http://lighthouseapp.com/)
1. Silverback (http://silverbackapp.com/)
2. Wufoo (http://www.wufoo.com/)
Twilio (www.twilio.com) - Communicate with your users over SMS and Voice
Stripe (www.stripe.com) - Payments processing simplified
BugHerd (www.bugherd.com) - WYSIWYG bug reporting
Discourse (www.discourse.org) - Upcoming discussion board
A Heroku-esque deployment app specially tuned to PHP apps. Full of useful options. I love it.
I've found it to be excellent.
parse.com - API integration
symbaloo.com - entry points collection
teamviewer - screen share
Here is a copy of my older post on Quora, please take a look at my newer BestVendor list (see link above) as well:
http://www.getdash.com/ (currently down or pivot)
- Claim your brand name
- Workspace and office space
- Business Analytics
- Cloud Aggregation and Unified Activity Streams
- Business Intelligence
- Contractor Management
- Coordination, Collaboration
- Human Resources (HR)
- Social CRM
- Cloud integration
- Time Tracking
- Customer Support
- Content Management
- Mobile Backend
- Cloud Telephony, SMS
- Payments, Billing
- Code repository
- API Management
- Issue Tracking
Airbrake (iOS Bug tracking)
Crittercism (iOS Bug tracking)
- Social Media
- Beta Invite / Landing Page Management
I've used them for several years now and they are awesome.