Single Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant Database: The Differences and Effects on Embedded BI
Companies have to consider whether to adopt a single tenant or multi-tenant strategy for their architecture in software development. Deciding which structure you have and which one will work best for your needs depends on defining your organization’s needs and what you are looking to achieve with your computing solutions.
Both strategies have their respective benefits and downfalls, which means it’s critical to understand each strategy.
Working with embedded business intelligence can also complicate things. How does multi and single-tenancy affect this?
What Defines a Single Tenant?
Single tenant means that the tools being used are unique to the company using it. The solution is available to them and only them, with the client having its instance and supporting infrastructure. A single tenant database environment allows the user to configure and customize for their needs.
These solutions are best for businesses that work in tight verticals and need tight control over everything.
What Does Multi-Tenant Mean?
A multi-tenant solution is closer to what many cloud companies are adopting these days. Simply put, it has multiple tenants in it. Each tenant will share a single instance of the app and the same infrastructure to process their data. A tenant may customize some parts of the application but isn’t allowed to customize the application’s code.
Pros and Cons of Single Tenant Database and Multi-Tenant Database
Single Tenant Database Benefits
● Security comes from being the only customer. Some fewer people have access to data with a single server, and the hardware is easier to keep contained.
● Customization comes from being the only one who will be using the solution. A single tenant can tweak the entire environment to the client’s liking. They can add features without messing with any other clients. In addition, resources can be added or removed as well.
● Dependability comes with resources that don’t have to be shared. Hardware and software are available anytime and always abundant.
● Restores are easier because each tenant has their backup.
Single Tenant Database Problems
● Costs are higher with a single tenant as they are responsible for the entire solution. There are significant Capex expenditures to get started.
● Maintenance costs are much higher because there are most tasks to do per client.
● Setup and management are more complicated, and more expertise is needed.
● Customizing will require changing the base code, which takes more time and could create errors to troubleshoot.
● Scaling use becomes costly and troublesome. The costs have to be paid upfront.
Multi-Tenant Database Benefits
● Affordability is one of the core benefits of multi-tenant solutions because all costs are shared between the tenants. Multiple tenants help each other and are thus seen on the output.
● Multi-tenant solutions are built to be easier to integrate with other applications and leverage the use of APIs.
● Configurability is built into the system to accommodate the majority of client needs without changing the base code.
● Less maintenance is required because the client doesn’t own any hardware. All the tasks there are also shared between all clients.
● Updates are automatic and happen without any effort on the client’s side.
● Scaling client needs up and down is fast and requires few upfront costs in the application. Thus, a multi-tenant database performs better and costs cheaper.
Multi-Tenant Database Problems
● Limited customization is available with this setup. Making changes to the database or hardware isn’t an option. Using more than one tool is not allowed in this setup.
● Security isn’t as tight. While other tenants don’t have access to each other’s data, more users have access to databases, which lessens security.
● There is no choice for when or where to update. When forced updates change the system, any integrations with other applications may have issues and need troubleshooting to reconnect them.
How Does Single Tenant vs. Multi-tenant Database Affect Embedded BI?
Embedded business intelligence (BI) means integrating reports, dashboards, and data visualization directly inside an application. That means each dashboard must be integrated now inside the application, along with the other needed data.
How does it work?
The information grabbed gets displayed and managed by the BI platform and is sent directly to the user interface. This strategy works to improve the usability of data to make better decisions.
The addition of BI tools to software is done by developing them in-house to include them in an existing product or purchasing third-party software and embedding it. These two approaches generally parallel single and multi-tenant processes.
How BI software saves the day
Developing the tools in-house allows them to be customized to the company’s needs, but it is expensive. There is also a growing skill gap for companies looking for skilled developers.
The addition of an external developer means that the upfront cost of development is spread across all customers.
However, the BI platform can decide on which approach to use. BI software can connect multiple customer single tenant databases, serving many single tenants at once. The platform will choose the corresponding tenancy model that their customers will follow to do this action.
Other benefits for both tenancy models
Dashboards and reports are linked with the unique tenant database giving them access to the data that needs analysis while keeping it separate. There is a single master user that has access to different workspaces.
Only the master can make modifications to dashboards or reports that affect all single tenant databases. There can also be an additional level of security by isolating further and only allowing one master per tenant database.
Completely isolated environments can be accommodated, but there is added cost because the ability of the BI to install and update remotely is reduced.
Depending on the tenancy model, BI software can have both data-level or row-level security. Users are allowed to build custom reports on their own, but only within their data set. Customer data from other users is never available and isn’t seen by users.
Each client handles their report building using integrated tools. Changes are made using API calls to the third-party database where only the data requested is retrieved.
View-only users cannot change any of these custom settings and are restricted to seeing the reports prepared by higher-level users.
BI software recognized which user is logged in and applies the data-level security policies that apply dynamically.
How Can Yurbi Help?
Whatever tenancy model you are using right now, Yurbi can be of great help to you since it is a modern BI platform in itself.
Using Yurbi in Multi Tenant Architecture
Yurbi works well in multi-tenant environments because it is designed with row-level security built-in. Thus, each user can be configured to only authorized to see what data they are only supposed to see. Thanks to its built-in data level security policies, no one would have unwanted access to other tenants’ data. Feel free to learn more here.
In a multi-tenant environment, it can be a problem if users can see data that are supposed to be forbidden to others. With Yurbi, each user can only see the reports, data, and users quelled within their tenants.
Yurbi makes sure that it is a BI tool that prioritizes security among many others. In Yurbi, security threats are never a possibility.
Using Yurbi in Single-Tenant Environments
Yurbi is also an ideal resource for single tenant environments. With Yurbi, there is no need to download several copies of dashboards and reports to make sure you have control over each tenant.
Yurbi has also developed a semantic layer, that we call a Yurbi App that is meant to promote easier access in single-tenant environments. The Yurbi App makes it possible for a single Yurbi server to support everyone.
Each Yurbi App is connected to a default database, but either manually or programmatically via the Yurbi API, you can define data source personas, connection strings that point to each of your single-tenant databases.
Then in the Yurbi User Permissions, you can assign to each specific customer, which data source persona they should connect to as they build, view, schedule or do anything to the dashboards and reports in Yurbi. Build once, share with everyone, all from a single server.
Of course, if you do have schema changes between customers, or you need to install Yurbi in an isolated environment per customer, you can do that as well. We have APIs and scripts that allow you to export, copy, and load Yurbi Apps, reports, and dashboards for those use cases.
Yurbi champions accessibility and customer focus, two essential things to check in single-tenant environments. Yurbi has made specific access happen without breaking a sweat.