Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I create my Software-as-a-Service product?
- How do I run a subscription business?
How does it work?
DjaoApp acts as a subscriber session manager between a browser client and your backend application. DjaoApp implements all registration, payment and user profile pages.
Technically DjaoApp intercepts HTTP requests from the client to your product. DjaoApp will authenticate users, process payments and run the 80% of boiler plate code required to run a business on the Internet. DjaoApp will only forward validated requests, augmented with session information, to your product.
There are two set of API Keys for any project you host on DjaoDjin:
- The API key to authenticate with the project's website (ex: livedemo.djaoapp.com)
- The API key to authenticate with the DjaoDjin control panel (i.e. api.djaodjin.com)
In both cases, you can get an API key by login onto the respective websites (your project website for the project API Key and djaodjin.com for the control panel), then go to your Profile and click on Reset API Key at the bottom of the page.
You will need the project's website API key to setup a DevOps workflow to upload a custom theme, while you will need the control panel API key to setup a DevOps workflow to deploy server-side business logic.
To deploy an application on DjaoDjin, you will need to
- Insert code at the entry point of your application HTTP request pipeline to unpack the session information passed by the DjaoApp proxy.
- Package your application as a Docker container
- Click the deploy button or call the API endpoint
You can find details on each step in Deploying an Application. If you are developing a Software-as-a-Service with Python/Django, we have made it even easier to integrate a Django project with DjaoApp session tokens.
There are two sets of API references
Logging into your site (ex: mydemo.djaoapp.com), then on the dashboard, click on the Rules link in the sidebar menu.
Configure the URL patterns and access rules.
Rules are checked in order from the top to bottom. DjaoApp will present login and pricing pages as necessary. Your application only has to deal with requests which are matched against the rules setup here. Learn more...
Example use cases:
Setting up your own domain is often one of the most complex challenges for non-technical business people. It requires multiple independent third party services to be configured to work together.
- Update the settings at your DNS provider to send requests to the DjaoApp firewall (ex: mydemo.djaoapp.com).
- Upload the SSL certificate and private key for your domain
Read our detailed post on the subject of Secure whitelabel domains ».
You can easily update the layout and colors of the registration, pricing and payment pages by uploading your own templates and assets.
For technical details on the convention your templates must respect in order to integrate nicely into the DjaoApp reverse proxy, read the creating theme documentation ».
DjaoApp implements accounts & billing workflows which are most common in Software-as-a-Service product (ex: Checkout workflow) in such a way that the complexity can be introduced gradually as your business evlove.
Marketing will spend a lot of time on landing pages, call-to-action (CTA) and on-boarding workflows. Implementing a product to ask for information and offer functionality one step at a time is actually not so straightforward. Here is a tutorial on how to implement frictionless onbaording using DjaoApp.
Either on the phone or by e-mail, the first thing you will want to do when a subscriber requests support from you, is to pull up their profile.
Click on your username on the right in the top menubar, then click Settings. You will land on the main dashboard page (also accessible from the sidebar menu at that point).
Under Find a User, search by username, email or given name, then click on the customer profile link to browse to their subscriptions and billing history. You can easily update information and refund transactions when necessary with a simple click.
Read more about
Discounts are an integral part of running any business. You can set two kind of discounts on DjaoDjin.
- Coupon codes
- Advance period discounts
Coupon codes can be used to customize discounts for one client or a group of select clients. For example, create a coupon code and then give them out automatically to all customers that have purchased more than $300 in a year.
Coupon code discounts let you find the right price point for your subscription. For example, a 20% discount could generate $5000 in sales, but a 30% discount could generate $10000 in annual sales.
Coupon codes can also be used for live testing. Create a 100% coupon code and hand it out to early beta testers before the product is available for general use. You can read about this lesson and others on the DjaoDjin blog »
Another set of discounts are for payment of advance periods. The time value of cash is critical to your business so you will want to reward the monthly subscribers that pay six months, a year or two years in advance.
In order to do that, browse to the edit plan page and set an Advance discount percentage greater than zero. All customers subscribing to the plan will then see an additional page at checkout where they will be given the opportunity to buy advance periods at a discount.
When you deliver Software -as-a-Service, service accounting rules apply. Revenue is recognized over the life time of the contract. Three rows on the balance sheet are thus important to keep track of
Income At the end of each period, the income generated by the service during the period must be recognized. For example, on a $828 for a one-year contract we will recognize $69 every month from the start date.
Backlog The accounting rules dictate to recognize the value over the lifetime of the contract but it does not make any requirements as to when cash is transferred between the subscriber and the provider. Backlog is the value of the contract that has been paid by the subscriber in advance of the service being delivered.
Receivable A receivable, or accounts receivable, is the amount to be paid for orders placed. A receivable is effectively a credit and recorded as a receivable at the time of the order. When the order is paid, receivables are reduced accordingly and cash assets are credited.
Of course, you will want to also keep an eye on the lifetime value of a subscriber, churn rate and the popularity of each plan. These metrics are automatically generated in real-time from the activity happening on your DjaoDjin-hosted site.
Total Sales This number reflects the total amount ($) ordered by customers in the period, regardless if the associated charges were successful or not.
New Sales This number reflects the amount ($) ordered by customers in the period that did not order anything in the previous period. It includes new customers that registered and ordered subscriptions in the period as well as past customers that had cancelled previously and are signing on again. By definition, New Sales is always lower than Total Sales.
Churned Sales This number reflects the amount ($) the business could have expected to see as renewals but that did not happen because of subscription running out and not being renewed or active cancellation.
Payments This number reflects the amount ($) that was sucessfuly charged to customers in the period.
Refunds This number reflects the amount ($) that was returned to customers in the period, usually by the business support staff after interacting with a customer.
A business that serves professionals or enterprise customers always has to deal with a distinct payer and subscriber. The person authorizing payments to your service is often not the person using your service day-in and day-out.
DjaoDjin supports this scenario by providing a
A group buyer first registers normally to the site. She will update her profile
A group member only has to click on the link received in the email, register (or login if they were already registered), click through the no payment required page and start using their subscription.