The Multi-Tenant Solution

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by Madison Huntley|Marketing Coordinator

Developer Portals are used to create a ‘front of house’ for internal, external, and partner developers interested in adopting and implementing APIs. As businesses grow their digital presence, there can often be a need for multiple developer portals, and with it, multiple Edge organizations. The decision to add multiple organizations and developer portals can make sense from a business perspective, but it can get complicated from a developer experience perspective as they multiply. 

It’s important to have a seamless developer experience in which users can access the relevant APIs information and data from one place, rather than be redirected to a new page within each organization. Here lies the multi-tenant solution. There are a lot of benefits that come with using a multi-tenancy architecture and in turn, there are a number of individual frameworks that fall under the concept of multi-tenancy. At a high level, this concept is designed to keep the code and data structure the same throughout the application interface. It presents developers with the ability to be connected to all of the organizations, APIs, products, and proxies, from a single site, using one domain.

Below are the main reasons our clients choose a multi-tier option. 

 

Security

Managing several stand alone developer portals requires a large number of internal resources, hardware, and infrastructure. One of the most challenging aspects faced by a simple one-to-one portal to organization, reflects the battle of internal security requirements. With these instances (one portal to one organization) each organization holds sensitive data like API’s, products, and keys, specific to their business unit, that should not be accessed by any given team. In this situation, each organization or portal provides it’s own protocols to whoever is accessing it. Each will have to require its own maintenance, upkeep, and security protocols. There is no sharing capability with this option, so managing multiple security measures for each organization can become too much to manage.    

With the Multi-Tenant solution, one developer portal can sit in front of each of these organizations. It can be a ‘one-stop-shop’, unified experience. This solution has the ability to deliver access to necessary information, set roles, permissions, and access to all of the data throughout each organization. The multi-tenant solution gives IT administration the capability to grant specific access to each internal user depending on department, seniority level, position, or information they require. This not only ensures less risk for the company as a whole, but a seamless, efficient experience for internal teams. 

Multi-tenant SaaS allows companies of all sizes to share infrastructure and information without needing to add applications or more hardware to manage the environments. Configurations can be made to permissions and security regulations to each organization without changing the underlying code base. So, you don’t have to replicate these configurations for every other organization, and the confidential data for each user is secured from others. Security for this information could be handled within the developer portal features, through Role Based Access Control.

 

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Business Growth 

If a business is mature, there may already be multiple organizations. A global business that has a presence in multiple countries may have organizations and developer portals for each country. There could be years worth of data and secure information, and with that, is a need for this siloed approach. With all of this data across global businesses, there is now a solution that has the ability to leverage it from each country and location. Multi-tenancy provides a unified experience with one developer portal, allowing internal parties to share and access all of the data that they needed or have permissions for.

 

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Before multi-tenant solution

 

As a business grows, there may be instances where additional installations are needed. Possibly a new arm of business, a new product, and digitizing specific business efforts, to name a few. This in turn creates additional, internal developer portals, strictly used for those initiatives. As they are used for internal purposes only and are very easily ‘copy and pasted’, this developer portal can compare to a skeleton of the kind of portal an external developer would normally see. There are no guidelines, community forums, or FAQ pages. It can strip back features external user may be exposed to, but offers internal parties the availability to access information they have set permissions for, from one cohesive space. As new technologies and service offerings emerge, the platform used to deliver those new services must be flexible and scalable.

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External Business Units 

Every business (unit) has something to offer to the public for their consumption. This aspect of multi-tenancy is focused around improving user experience and external consumption when it comes to your products and APIs. The architecture of your environment can dictate what will show up and be available for each user to view as they journey through your developer portal. Tabs, logos, or icons can signify each separate organization, but make sure all of that information is visible from the homepage of your developer portal. Not only will this architecture help developers reach every available business unit within your company, you will be able to set permissions for users with specific access to individual organizations. This solution involves more design, exposure, and focus on user experience to increase API adoption .

From one URL, each of these ‘tabs’ can hold all of the desired information for each particular organization or business unit. This architecture allows you to expose all of your available business units to the users who ordinarily come to your portal for only one purpose. This increases the chances for API adoption and rate of return substantially. When looking to expand your overall ecosystem and open new potential channels of business from your developers, this is the best architecture for you to leverage. Blog posts, forums, videos, and icons can individualize each business unit, and there is no longer a need to segregate your company assets. 

 

Conclusion 

As businesses continue to grow their developer portal ecosystem to keep up with rising consumer demands, API’s remain at the epicenter of technological and operational advancements. It’s becoming more important to portray each organization and available product to the public in a way that can set you apart from competitors. Multi-tenancy solutions allow for a much more consistent external and internal experience when navigating through your companies available products. Whether it is for the reasons mentioned above or continuing your journey towards digital maturity, multi-tenancy is a valuable and powerful solution. If you have any questions about multi-tenancy, developer portals, or API management as a whole, reach out to Achieve for a unified solution. 

 

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