Startups — Supercharge Go-to-Market using Trillo Workbench

Anil Sharma
5 min readMar 29, 2024

A majority of startups, in technology, need an application server for their products. Even if they are building a product based on algorithms, new AI models, or backend data pipelines, they need application server functionality in some form. An application server is needed for a UI that becomes the face of the product to customers and investors.

Building a robust application server is a tedious task requiring valuable time and resources.

Even when the application server is a core part of the startup offering, there is a strong business case for using a platform like Trillo Workbench for MVP. It will let the founders focus on product launch and save money otherwise spent on engineering. Even if they want to build their platform in the long run, launching the product first and learning the exact requirements through the first release is a better strategy. After that, building an application server platform using an open-source stack will be easier and more cost-effective (and only if you have business reasons to build it).

This article describes how a startup can use a pre-built application server and customize it easily using citizen developers.

The rest of the article is relevant only if you anticipate that your offering will have an application server.

What is an Application Server

Let us first define an application server more precisely for the current discussion.

An application server provides functionality such as data service, file, document management service, user management, authentication, authorization, security, scalability, audit logs, and client APIs. A modern, cloud-based application server also includes APIs to interact with cloud services such as bucket service, AI service, secret and key management service, data redaction service, etc.

A modern application server incorporates Model-Driven Architecture, i.e., the data model can be specified using metadata. It should let you add application logic using functions ( serverless functions or lambda) without having to go to the cloud console.

It should not require CI/CD and DevOps. It should not require application developers to learn cloud configuration.Such an application server should run on a cluster such as Kubernetes. It should auto-configure the cloud at the time of deployment.

Trillo Workbench is such a platform.

Process of Building a Platform from Scratch

If you are building a platform from scratch, you will select a stack, such as NodeJS, Python, Golang, Java Spring Boot, etc. Next, you will set up a git repository and CI/CD for development. To deploy the server, you will select a public cloud, configure it, and write Terraform templates to create a cluster (likely Kubernetes).

After that, you will start writing a data model, a service to connect to a database, and code manage DB connection pools efficiently. You will write SQL to create tables. After that, you will write business logic as controllers and services. Every small change will trigger CI/CD.

You would eventually work on authentication, open ID connect / SAML, authorization, and role-based access control: audit, security, scalability, and high performance. If your application uses cloud services such as bucket, memory store, columnar databases, or AI/ML services, you will integrate them using the client toolkit or restful API. You will need a good design for large workflows processing large amounts of data or content. It will require fail-safe, multi-threaded design, and management of the state of each job.

Each piece may seem simple. Integrating pieces into a cohesive platform is time-consuming and challenging. Your goal was to build the best analytics platform for healthcare, instead, you will be building an application platform. Soon you will be so invested, there will be no way out of the mess. You will have to keep raising money and investing. Or, you will call it a day.

How does Trillo Workbench work?

Getting started with Trillo Workbench and building your application’s first set of APIs is a three-step process.

  1. Deploy Trillo Workbench from the marketplace.
  2. Create a few tables using Trillo Workbench consoles.
  3. Write a few functions in Python.


Getting started with a new concept or platform (especially when it is a developer platform) is always a challenge. You normally lean towards building one from scratch using some boilerplate open-source code. It looks easy since you can run it quickly on your machine.

Signing up for a cloud console, creating a project, deploying Trillo Workbench, and familiarizing with its console may take a few hours. It creates friction.

Learning APIs is the next step. Although it is simpler than the cloud API, it requires some time. That is another point of friction.

Overcoming Challenges

Bootstrapping the process is a big challenge. If Trillo or its partner can assist you in a cost- effective way, it may be very smooth. In a day, you will be running on the cloud and in weeks you will be showcasing your UI to users. See the following section for more details.

Collaboration with Trillo and its Partners

The Trillo team can help you with the following steps. We recommend that you follow these steps — design and then construct. They are the optimal path to an MVP. Trillo Workbench leaves enough scope for iteration therefore you don’t have to have a perfect design.

Design Application

The key is that an MVP should be simple yet complete. You may not develop rarely used features, but you must complete features that are needed to operate the application. Trillo and its partner team can play more than just the role of a development team; they can also assist you in the right product design (the role of your assistant product manager).

  • Design Figma: You can do it yourself, or the Trillo and its partners team can help you. Our engineers and user experience team have experience with 100s of applications. They understand the minimal UI that end-users will love. For a startup, it is so important that this can decide whether you succeed or not.
  • Write Business Process: Our teams (Trillo and partners), under the guidance of experienced application designers, can write the optimal business process. They can also help you identify overly complicated processes and how to simplify them.

Bootstrap Development

Once the previous step is completed, Trillo and its partners can help you bootstrap the environment in hours and supercharge development. They can execute the following steps.

  • Install Trillo Workbench.
  • Identify the UI/UX technology you want to use, such as Angular, React, Flutter, etc.
  • Trillo will provide a boilerplate UI for user management, sign-up, and sign-in.
  • The Trillo team will set you up with the environment in a few hours, including UI/UX.
  • Your team will work with the Trillo team for the rest of the week and another week to co-develop a part of the application.

Business Benefits

If you follow the above process and make an initial investment of $5-$10K, we promise the following business benefits.

  1. You will build your application (excluding innovative backend services, algorithms, model training, etc) for 10–20% cost. It may translate into savings of several hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
  2. You will build the right application.
  3. You will have more time for selling, marketing, interviewing users, talking to investors, and meeting people.

If you are convinced, let’s talk, and we can help you figure out how best to build your solution. Otherwise, you will be caught up in JavaScript, Python, GoLang, Java code, CI/CD, and DevOps. It will spiral out of control.



Anil Sharma

Founder and architect of cloud-based flexible UI platform