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This definition is part of our Essential Guide: SaaS applications integration: Strategies and best practices for success

Multi-tenancy is an architecture in which a single instance of a software application serves multiple customers. Each customer is called a tenant. Tenants may be given the ability to customize some parts of the application, such as color of the user interface (UI) or business rules, but they cannot customize the application's code.

Multi-tenancy can be economical because software development and maintenance costs are shared. It can be contrasted with single-tenancy, an architecture in which each customer has their own software instance and may be given access to code. With a multi-tenancy architecture, the provider only has to make updates once. With a single-tenancy architecture, the provider has to touch multiple instances of the software in order to make updates.

In cloud computing, the meaning of multi-tenancy architecture has broadened because of new service models that take advantage of virtualization and remote access. A software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, for example, can run one instance of its application on one instance of a database and provide web access to multiple customers. In such a scenario, each tenant's data is isolated and remains invisible to other tenants.


This was last updated in August 2014

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It was so nice.....
Multi-tenancy includes customization of each tenant's code/configuration otherwise its not truly multi-tenant!
very good article...
I think in the first paragraph or so of the multi-tenancy definition the appropriate word should be 'configure'. Tenants / end-users may be allowed to "configure" the color of a screen or certain other items in the software. They can never "customize" in a multi-tenant environment. Keeping strict adherance to those two terms will avoid confusion for clients/end-users.
How are code deployments managed in a multi tenant cloud architecture without impacting the tenants ?
very badly written article. lot of open ended question...very contradicting thougths about multi-tenancy...


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