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Multi-tenant SaaS Application Architecture: Top 10 Best Practices

Ben Obear
August 9, 2022

When your SaaS development company follows these best practices for architecting SaaS web and mobile products, they'll produce complex yet scalable applications at a far lower cost. These savings in the development phase will ultimately translate to lower costs for customers, especially if a pay per use pricing model is adopted. Unfortunately, flawless application architecture can be difficult to achieve when it comes to SaaS and cloud infrastructure, especially if the developer strives to take full advantage of the benefits of the cloud. Here are ten multi-tenant SaaS application architecture best practices that should help you achieve your aims.

1. Your SaaS application should be self-service

For the convenience of your users, they should be able to use your application and enjoy the service without the help of anyone else. Many developers make the mistake of forcing users to require the help of the admin or the support team. If a potential customer is interested, they should be allowed to register and use the service immediately. Otherwise, you can expect many users to be put-off by the lengthy process involved to simply get started.

Consumers are incredibly impatient so you want to make things easy for them. A self-service SaaS application will also make things easier for your admin and support team by eliminating unnecessary work.

2. Personalization should be possible with your SaaS application

Without the help of an admin or support team, your users should be able to personalize just about every aspect of their experience with your SaaS application. They should have the freedom to make all the decisions relating to set-up, including details about their intended use of the app. Users should enjoy high-level personalization on the SaaS app itself. Ideally, your users should even be able to change some aspects of the look and feel of the application to suit their own personal preference.

3. Your SaaS application should feature multi-tenancy architecture

SaaS applications are designed to suit the needs of more than one customers. In some cases, a SaaS application will serve thousands, if not millions, of customers. As a result, developers must design SaaS applications so that they are as flexible as possible. Fortunately, multi-tenant architecture allows developers to use common infrastructure as well as code base to expand the services offered by the SaaS application. Not only will it be easier to maintain the application, but it will also be economical.

4. SaaS application must be capable of integration

Developers must design their SaaS application so that it can integrate with many other applications. Your SaaS application won't be the only application your users will be using. Fortunately, standard APIs should make it easy for you to design the SaaS application so that integration is possible with other SaaS and on-premise applications.

5. Your SaaS application should have operational performance

You should design your SaaS application so that its performance is scalable and always available. As your SaaS application becomes more popular, it should be able to serve tenants of all sizes. Also, you can expect users from all over the World Wide Web to be using the SaaS application. Therefore, your SaaS application should have excellent rendering and data querying abilities.

6. Your SaaS application should be secure and compliant with industry standards and regulations

As the developer, you are solely responsible for the security of both the SaaS application and any accompanying hardware. If your SaaS application is designed so that multiple tenants will share the same infrastructure, you should ensure that the data is segregated for the privacy of the tenants. The data should only be accessible to a select number of people rather than everyone.

7. Dedicate yourself to monitoring and maintaining the SaaS application

With many software applications, consumers will have access to an entire internal IT team to help them with maintenance. However, when it comes to SaaS applications, maintenance is solely up to developer. Therefore, you must dedicate yourself to monitoring the SaaS application as best as you can.

When monitoring your SaaS application, you want to be on the lookout for downtimes so that you can get the application back up and working again. You also want to look for performance issues that negatively impact the experience of the user. A common issue is slow performance. Not only should you have tools to make monitoring the SaaS application easy, but you should also have tools and processes to solve any issues that arise in an efficient manner.

8. Carefully consider the design of the SaaS application

If your SaaS application is designed for multiple tenants, you need to ensure that there is a way to reliably distinguish between the tenants. Without a way to segregate multiple tenants, you risk the wrong information going to the wrong user. Therefore, your SaaS application should assign unique tenant ids for each tenant. Of course, the tenant id should apply both at the application level and the database level to prevent mix-ups. If the tenancies for your SaaS application are shared, you will have to design the application so that it can accommodate a more flexible use of schemas.

9. Achieve application scalability with your SaaS application

When it comes to SaaS applications, there is a difference between application scalability and database scalability. You can achieve application scalability by moving your SaaS application to a server that is more spacious or powerful. You can also add identical servers to make it easier for your SaaS application to handle heavier loads in terms of use.

10. Achieve database scalability with your SaaS application

Not only do you want to achieve application scalability, but you also want to achieve database scalability. You want to upgrade your database so that it will be able to handle an increase in data as your SaaS application gains more users and facilitates more transactions.

Without a doubt, these ten multi-tenant SaaS application architecture best practices will help you design a SaaS application that will exceed the expectations of your customers.

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Ben Obear
San Francisco