Multi-Tenancy and SaaS Applications

Multi-tenancy and SaaS Application Development have grown in stature and have become exceedingly common. Hence there is a need to make use of such apps in different ways to manage today’s IT needs.

Companies are in the lookout of applications which can be simultaneously used by a host of users without affecting its functioning. The applications need to be in accordance with the internal organizational structure and should lower the deployment costs too. A low cost and flexible architecture is the need of the hour. But there are problems associated with multi-tenant applications too.

Multi-tenancy is a fantastic concept in IT which means that a single copy of an app is in use with multiple sets of users (tenants). There is also the concept of multi-instance architecture, where each set of user can simultaneously work together but in separate instances of the software. The application is partitioned into “silos” so that each of the tenants can access a private instance of the application easily.
For a SaaS application, tenants can experience the advantage of using a particular application exclusively but save considerably on costs by having a shared service. There are particular disadvantages with each of the approaches though. Clients are mostly concerned that data is not secure enough with the use of virtual partitions. This concern must be addressed by the cloud owners independently.

Access control data and user accounts should be separate of each and every tenant but resident in one central application. This poses access control challenges too since any system which is integrated within the application needs to be shared with each of the clients.

Multitenancy needs to meet two criteria here:
  1. The data should be protected from other tenants since the risk of data disclosure is usually greater with such applications. The users should know that the private data is secure enough. For this a robust Access Control system can isolate the client’s data for maximum level of protection. They should provide the feature to define and manage the tenants and their user accounts as members of a tenant. There should be certain data access restrictions imposed on each of the tenant too.
  2. The other criteria include delegation of administration privileges. Owners of critical information should have the right to decide on the users who can view or modify the information. Each client should be able to assign access rights for each and every user.
Access control systems should be able to delegate security administration to different managers as the need arises. They should also protect data confidentiality and integrity. The access control systems should have features related to data availability preservation. Data should be accessible readily even though it is well secured. The administration features need to be made accessible to each and every tenant.

Multi-tenant applications are mostly used covering multiple sites. The administration rights need to be assigned in a flexible manner irrespective of their technical skills.

The two main solutions for this include custom access control systems and visual guards. Access control systems can help users to draft their own security policy and assign user accounts. The options should be scalable for different clients. Security is also a top priority here. Visual Guard on the other hand is an access control system that is compatible with multiple architectures. A user group hierarchy can be defined and each of the clients can be assigned to a group. The same security options are applicable for all clients here.

Elan Emerging Technologies is a Leading SaaS Solution company that provides SaaS Web Apps by highly experienced SaaS Providers with best technical support.


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