Mary G. Stokes
Multi-Tenant Application Architecture: Technical Side
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Why are SaaS products profitable? A supplier uses an opportunity to satisfy a broad audience. For customers, it's a great way to save and get quality applications simultaneously. A multi-tenant architecture helps to achieve more in this field. What contributes to the multi-tenancy popularity from the technical side? Let's try to find out.
Multi-Tenant Architecture Components
They say that building a multi-tenant system is an arduous task. To perform it, you need to take care of a high level of security, data isolation, advanced scalability, efficient management. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
The multi-tenant model is the four components' synergy: general business logic, dedicated resources, configuration, and customization.
General business logic
There are at least two ways to implement business logic, and they all relate to multi-tenant database usage.
#1 Common usage. Here the database is one for all tenants, which makes it easier to operate. The more new tenants, the more computing resources and robust data storage are needed. Moreover, such a system is hard to manage.
#2 Shared usage. This system is much more progressive than the previous one. Here a vendor distributes tenants data among several databases. Meanwhile, a client does not feel it. It perceives the work with shared databases as operating with a single database. Everyone wins. For the tenant, it is an opportunity to use a product conveniently, for a vendor - the ability to manage software efficiently.
Any multi-tenant SaaS product whose business logic is in demand by the target audience is successful.
Protecting the business uniqueness comes first. Therefore, a tenant needs data security and focuses on the software that guarantees it. One multi-tenant product can serve several clients simultaneously. These could be competing companies. Challenge # 1 for a vendor is to isolate customer data and protect them from other users. Therefore, each tenant has a piece of private resources.
SaaS suppliers allow customers to сhange product functionality. Let's say that one ready-made order management system is suitable for two different companies. The product notifies customers about order processing via email. The first tenant is quite happy with it. But the second one prefers to send SMS messages to its customers. Why not allow it to configure notifications to grow its business? Configuration is an essential part of a multi-tenant architecture because it provides a personalized experience within a single system.
Vendors go even further, allowing tenants to change the systems' functionality using coding. It provides flexibility and a sense of control over the purchased product. Thus, by changing the general business logic, a tenant creates a product version for itself. For new customers, the supplier's core version will be active.
How Does A Multi-Tenant Architecture Work?
As seen, multi-tenancy is about one product usage by a wide range of companies. The vendor launches the product once, providing the ability to change it. Thus, the core solution turns into many different versions with a single point of control.
The system involves a principal tenant, available just to a supplier to add a new user. The customer is identified and receives a core version of a product, its volume of dedicated resources, and the ability to change the base.
Customers work in their isolated data spaces. For the product to recognize you as a specific tenant representative, it is enough to pass the authentication procedures. From the moment you log in, you can use a solution configured to meet just your company's needs. No one outside of it will be able to use this version of SaaS.
Thus, multi-tenancy architecture provides a fast and secure SaaS ready for significant custom innovations. Of course, managing different product interpretations becomes arduous, but a robust system has to ensure it.
When You Can Choose A Multi-Tenant Architecture?
You need Multi-tenant SaaS architecture as a user and as a supplier. It is a beneficial advantage of any digital product that can help resolve operational issues. As a vendor, you can launch your product and expand revenue streams. In the latter case, you must be sure that:
more than one client needs your solution;
you have enough resources to support the multi-tenancy software;
you can provide customers with the ability to configure the original product without compromising your business.
Suppose you are interested in multi-tenant web application architecture exclusively as a tenant. In that case, we advise you to carefully read product documentation and make sure that your favorite is multi-tenant-based.
As far as industries are concerned, multi-tenancy is a one-size-fits-all approach. Retailers, telecom providers, manufacturers, and other areas that use SaaS have already enjoyed their benefits.
According to forecasts, the multi-tenancy market will grow with a CAGR of 8% from 2021 to 2026. As seen, this sensational trend is long-lasting and will accompany the cloud technologies development at least for the next five years.