Agile Toolkit: What to expect in 2021

Agile Toolkit is transforming. We have decided to introduce some changes into the framework including name, focus, code style and introduction of code builder. In 2021 you will see how everything will begin to come together.


The Name: ATK is now called Saasty

Names “Agile Toolkit” and “ATK4” had number of issues - misleading, unable to trademark or purchase .com domain, so we are changid it. The new name for the framework will be: “Saasty”.

The Goal: Low-Code solution

From the very foundation, “a-modules” – predecessor for Agile Toolkit – was enabling its users to build Web Apps faster. This came with a unique syntax designed for beginners: easy to read and write:

$this->add('Form')->setModel('User');

This code is considered “dirty” by modern developers and we have transformed it, made it type-safe and IDE-friendly without loosing the overall logic:

Form::addTo($app)->setModel(new User($app->db));

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However we have also considered the needs of our “non-developers” by creating a Point-and-Click code builder for the code (Saasty Builder). With the new code builder creating apps from scratch will be much more intuitive for the new users - allow them to "preview" their apps asthey build them and to also "download" source code of the app.

For more information on Saasty Builder - see www.saasty.io.

The ATK Saasty Way: Data+UI+Actions+API

Historically we have been educating developers on how to build apps efficiently. We will continue to do so, but with extra focus in the three new areas:

  1. Actions - provide a way for add-on developers to create clickable buttons for the user. “Send Email”, “ResetPassword”, “Download Invoice”. There are no good tutorials and use-cases on how to best use “Actions” and that is something we’re going to address.
  2. API - in our modern world, front-end developers rely on RestAPIs to communicate with the backend logic. We can’t solve everything with our own UI, so we include steps to include APIs in our tutorial.
  3. Add-ons - not a new component, but we need to explain better how to create Add-ons and make them compatible with Saasty.

Our new homepage will include a fundamental introduction to existing and those new core concepts, will explain where and how to use them and provide plenty of examples aimed at those who have little or no experience with coding.

The Revenue: Saasty hosting and Commercial add-ons

To continue our work it is important for us to have revenue. With a steady revenue our team can remain focused on Saasty and its future. Agile Toolkit has tried both consultancy way and licensing with a very mixed results. Open-software industry is now all about simplified hosting solution and that's exactly what Saasty will be offering too.

Any application built on Saasty will receive a URL "yourproject.saasty.app" and will remain hosted for free in a "prototype" mode. Of course you can also download your Low-code and host you app yourself or even set up Git sync.

We believe that this model will make introduce Saasty to many new users. This is how the process would work:

  1. New Saasty user uses web builder to create models, ui pages, actions and API for their app.
  2. Clicking “Preview” updates their “saasty.app” subdomain with newly generated PHP code.
  3. Clicking "Download" will create and download ZIP file with all the files.
  4. We will have some restrictions on a free plan to keep or costs down.
  5. Our “pro” plan will allow you to host and scale your app, enables git syncing.

To make Saasty even more powerful, it will rely on open-sourced and commercial add-ons created and maintained by the community.

Getting Started: Defining the future of Saasty

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The project "Getting Started with Saasty" is designed to illustrate process of building a WebApp / SaaS to a user unfamiliar with ATKs history, PHP or coding principles. Fundamentally our goal as a low-code solution is to provide wide range of features to such a user.

Getting started app will also be a baseline for our backward compatibility. App built as per the guide will remain supported with no Backward Compatibility Breaks for number of years.

For more information on the project see Getting Started guide on GitHub.