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Evolving multi-tenant SaaS cloud applications using model-driven engineering

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Abstract

Cloud computing promotes multi-tenancy for efficient resource utilization by sharing hardware and software infrastructure among multiple clients. Multi-tenant applications running on a cloud infrastructure are provided to clients as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) over the network. Despite its benefits, multi-tenancy introduces additional challenges, such as p artitioning, extensibility, and customizability during the application development. Over time, after the application deployment, new requirements of clients and changes in business environment result application evolution. As the application evolves, its complexity also increases. In multi-tenancy, evolution demanded by individual clients should not affect availability , security , and performance of the application for other clients. Thus, the multi- tenancy concerns add more complexity by causing variability in design decisions. Managing this complexity requires adequate approaches and tools. In this paper, we propose modeling techniques from software product lines (SPL) and model-driven engineering (MDE) to manage variability and support evolution of multi-tenant applications and their requirements. Specifically, SPL was ap p lied to define technological and concep tual variabilities during the application design, where MDE was suggested to manage these variabilities. We also present a process of how MDE can address evolution of multi-tenant applications using variability models.