Single or Multi-Tenant Application Architecture: It's Time To Make A Choice

Updated: Jul 6

Single or multi-tenant SaaS: What is suitable?

All SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and BaaS product users are tenants. They rent software for temporary usage. But what kind of apps is more convenient: single tenant or multi-tenant? Here we would like to discuss it, considering only SaaS solutions. So, get ready to discover single and multi-tenant architecture peculiarities. It will help to define what software type is suitable for your business.


Who Can Use a Single Tenant Architecture App?


The single tenancy provides an entirely separate SaaS usage for each client (tenant). In the case of corporate relations, one tenant is one entity, including all of its employees. In this case, a client has its version of the software with unique resources, databases, etc. It means even when a company uses any third-party cloud or its private one for system operating, it prefers a single-tenant architecture.


Let's compare it with the traffic-burdened road. You can see lots of cars there. All of them have distinctions in technical characteristics and are run by different software. All that unifies them is a road. The same applies to single-tenant SaaS users. Companies operate with one product, but their activity doesn't affect other users.


Single-Tenancy Road

Single-tenant application is about a customized version of SaaS, compulsory installing and maintenance.


Who can use it? Any enterprise that wants to get both a ready-made product and unlimited opportunity to configure it. Such software is also suitable for companies that operate with sensitive data, like financial, legal, and other ones.


Multi-Tenant Software Features



It's impossible to be successful in SaaS without multi-tenancy.


Treb Ryan, CEO at Airbrake.io


Multi-tenancy is one of the reasons why companies prefer to launch and use Software-as-a-Service products. The last ones provide an unlimited number of users with convenient, affordable software. A client shouldn't install something on its equipment or make any updates. A supplier cares about all. It is also happy because it can serve a large number of clients and cover their needs.


Let's back to the example with cars and consider it from the multi-tenancy point of view. Imagine that many similar cars move on one road. They have practically all in common: the road, the model, details, software. But what are the distinctions? They are just in visual elements, like color, car plates, accessories, etc. Working with a multi-tenant app, it will be the road when you and all other users are similar cars.


Multi-tenancy road

Choosing this way, you can also choose between two types of multi-tenancy in cloud computing:


Type #1. The common application, but separate database


Type #2. Common app and database.


Better to prefer the first option because it assures you of a higher data protection level.


Who can use it? Multi-tenant solutions are well-suitable for companies that strive to save resources and cover some simple processes in the short term. But that's not all.


Recently, corporations have been using multi-tenancy extensively to build internal apps. It enables them to:

  • significantly reduce resources for vendor products purchase,

  • become both a core user and a supplier of a product, controlling its functionality,

  • distribute software between affiliates worldwide and efficiently manage it using a single management point,

  • provide a unified approach to work regardless of location and support corporate culture.

Examples: AWS, Gmail, Google Apps, Salesforce, etc.


Single Tenant App In The Blue Corner vs. Multi-Tenant App In The Red One


Single and Multi-Tenant SaaS Models: Advantages & Disadvantages


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