What is Extend

Platform Extensibility

Extend is the ideal solution for SaaS providers who want to provide their customers with the best possible experience when it comes to extending their product.

If you are a SaaS provider, extensibility allows your customers to customize and integrate your platform with the ecosystem around it, creating synergy, accelerating growth, and increasing customer loyalty. You don’t have to look far to see how this strategy pays off. Virtually all successful SaaS platforms thrive on extensibility, from Slack and SalesForce to GitHub and Zendesk.

Most SaaS products today rely on webhooks for extensibility. With webhooks, a customer hosts their own web service that will be called when a certain event occurs in your SaaS platform. Webhooks are very powerful and flexible: they allow customers to implement arbitrary business logic to extend your core product.

Yet webhooks have their disadvantages. Webhooks require your customers to invest in running a web service and that includes handling a host of concerns: hosting, monitoring, security, availability, and more. All this increases friction and makes extensibility less attractive for your customers. Extend helps you add extensibility to your SaaS product in a way that addresses these concerns.

Extend is a managed service that supports secure, “serverless” execution of your customers’ extensions, thereby removing all your customers’ concerns related to hosting and maintaining a service. Extend also provides a rich development environment you can embed directly into your SaaS platform, allowing your customers to author and debug their extension code without ever leaving your application.

The Value of Extend

With Extend, you can empower your customers to quickly and easily extend your SaaS product, giving them a state of the art development environment embedded directly inside your application.

Extend provides value to both you, the SaaS provider, and your customers.

For you, the SaaS Provider:

  • A managed service that allows you to integrate a rich extensibility experience into your SaaS product without incurring development and maintenance costs and slowing time to market.

  • A trustworthy and secure execution environment for your customers’ extensions which supports strong isolation and security mechanisms built for extending multi-tenant SaaS platforms.

  • Opportunity to delight your users with a state of the art authoring experience that helps them reduce development and maintenance cost as well as time to market.

  • A choice of deployment options in AWS to address varying capacity and high availability needs.

  • Ability to provide customized authoring experience for your users - from custom JavaScript programming models to domain-specific languages.

  • Custom support options.

  • Backed by SOC 2 and HIPAA certifications.

For your customers:

  • No servers, no hosting, no service maintenance - Extend takes care of all these concerns.

  • A rich development experience for authoring extensions of your product in Node.js.

  • Web-based Webtask Editor with support for writing, testing, and debugging code, access to real-time logs, and secure configuration management. Webtask Editor can be either used stand-alone or embedded in your site for a white-labeled experience.

  • A command line tool with much the same functionality as the Webtask Editor.

  • Ability to use all public NPM modules.

Relationship to Auth0 Webtasks

If you have come across Auth0 Webtasks before, Extend may look very familiar. Auth0 Webtasks is, in fact, the technology underlying the Extend product. As a result you will see many technical terms specific to the Webtask technology and references to Webtask documentation throughout this guide.