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It’s a topic that is often discussed and after Microsoft released its whitepaper on it late last year, I thought it would be interesting to write a short summary of some of the enterprise challenges that it addresses.
Let’s take a look at a few definitions of the term “Multitenancy“
“Multitenancy refers to a principle in software architecture where a single instance of the software runs on a server, serving multiple client-organizations (tenants).” – Wikipedia
“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.” – WhatIs.com
“Multitenancy is a reference to the mode of operation of software where multiple independent instances of one or multiple applications operate in a shared environment. The instances (tenants) are logically isolated, but physically integrated” - Gartner IT Glossary
Relating these definitions to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we can view the CRM Server installation as the single instance of the application and the CRM Organizations created on the CRM server as tenants. The tenants are technical groupings within the application, such as separate databases within SQL Server.
Common Enterprise Challenges and Solutions based on Multi-tenancy
Master data management
Multi-tenancy Challenges and Solutions Patterns
The whitepapers has a full detailed section on possible solutions to the challenges introduced by multi-tenancy. These challenges come from the fact that the separation has to be managed. You may want to synchronize your metadata, or expose data from on CRM organization within a different organization.
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