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From legacy web application to highly scalable SaaS in 2 years

Story of a branch leader, successful SaaS, which growth was blocked by a technical debt. Nobody is proud of his past debts, so we won't share the project name here, but it is all gone now and we see the product flourish.

Key improvements
Scalability Performance Time to market
Legacy rewrite
Case study

Challenge

After over 8 years in the market it was a mature and profitable digital product that struggled with problems of aging software. The company Product Manager reached us at a moment when their software became difficult to maintain and time-to-market for new features increased to an unacceptable level.

Also scaling it to new markets was almost impossible due to significant costs of such a project escalated by technical debt.

Project goals

Decrease time-to-market for new features
Make the SaaS product highly scalable
Deal with the legacy code & technical debt
Significantly reduce maintenance costs
Case study

Solution

  1. From a technical point of view, the easiest way to get rid of a technical debt is to start from scratch and create completely new software. But we know too many stories of companies that failed while following this shortcut that we strongly discourage to take. To help them we used an approach that took into account both the importance of improving existing platform and urge to deliver new features to end user. Thanks to our development process we were able to focus on both needs at the same time.
  2. After addressing the most urgent problems in the first few weeks (like security issues and performance blockers) we started our parallel work. We were able to slowly rewrite the platform part by part in small chunks while delivering new features to end users at the same time - without having to wait for a full rewrite.
  3. All of that was supported by automation of important development processes that helped to reduce the time to market, development time, cost and risk.

"They accelerated our development, changes like this were similar to turning an ocean liner before. Making it in an agile way, was only possible because of our relationship with Accesto.
They are the partner who understands our product and have a passion or it."

SaaS owner & CEO
Case study

Outcomes

We managed to fix all the important bugs, performance defects and potential security issues while working on releasing new features at the same time. As a result we cut the release time for new features by almost 90% and cost of new development by 70%. Moreover, their technical debt started to decrease by approx. 35% each year and number of problems reported by the end users fell down significantly.

Our approach gave product manager full flexibility in deciding how much he want to invest in removing the technical debt and how much in delivery of new features.

After 2 years we managed to reduce technical debt in core elements of the platform to minimum, which made it highly scalable. At the same time lots of new features were introduced, delivering real value to end users.

Calendar
Time to marked reduced by 87 %
Legacy
Technical debt reduced every year by 35 %
Case study

Technologies

Backend
  • Legacy PHP + Wordpress
  • New PHP/Symfony
  • MySQL
Frontend
  • Legacy JavaScript/jQuery
  • New Typescript/Angular
OPS
  • Docker
  • GitLab CI/CD
Quality
  • PHPUnit
  • PHPStan
  • Sentry