Welcome to django-tenants documentation!¶
This application enables Django powered websites to have multiple tenants via PostgreSQL schemas. A vital feature for every Software-as-a-Service website.
Django provides currently no simple way to support multiple tenants using the same project instance, even when only the data is different. Because we don’t want you running many copies of your project, you’ll be able to have:
Multiple customers running on the same instance
Shared and Tenant-Specific data
What are schemas?¶
A schema can be seen as a directory in an operating system, each directory (schema) with it’s own set of files (tables and objects). This allows the same table name and objects to be used in different schemas without conflict. For an accurate description on schemas, see PostgreSQL’s official documentation on schemas.
There are typically three solutions for solving the multitenancy problem.
Isolated Approach: Separate Databases. Each tenant has it’s own database.
Semi Isolated Approach: Shared Database, Separate Schemas. One database for all tenants, but one schema per tenant.
Shared Approach: Shared Database, Shared Schema. All tenants share the same database and schema. There is a main tenant-table, where all other tables have a foreign key pointing to.
This application implements the second approach, which in our opinion, represents the ideal compromise between simplicity and performance.
Simplicity: barely make any changes to your current code to support multitenancy. Plus, you only manage one database.
Performance: make use of shared connections, buffers and memory.
Each solution has it’s up and down sides, for a more in-depth discussion, see Microsoft’s excellent article on Multi-Tenant Data Architecture.
How it works¶
Tenants are identified via their host name (i.e tenant.domain.com). This information is stored on a table on the
public schema. Whenever a request is made, the host name is used to match a tenant in the database. If there’s a match, the search path is updated to use this tenant’s schema. So from now on all queries will take place at the tenant’s schema. For example, suppose you have a tenant
customer at http://customer.example.com. Any request incoming at
customer.example.com will automatically use
customer’s schema and make the tenant available at the request. If no tenant is found, a 404 error is raised. This also means you should have a tenant for your main domain, typically using the
public schema. For more information please read the [setup](#setup) section.
Tenant’s domain name and schema name are usually the same or similar but they don’t have to be!
For example the tenant at http://acme.example.com could be backed by the
acme schema, while
http://looney-tunes.tld could be backed by the
tenant2 schema! Notice that domain names are
not related in any way to schema names! There is also no restriction whether or not you should
use sub-domains or top-level domains.
Schema names and domain names have different validation rules. Underscores (
_) and capital
letters are permitted in schema names but they are illegal for domain names! On the other hand
domain names may contain a dash (
-) which is illegal for schema names!
You must be careful if using schema names and domain names interchangeably in your multi-tenant applications! The tenant and domain model classes, creation and validation of input data are something that you need to handle yourself, possibly imposing additional constraints to the acceptable values!
- Using django-tenants
- Tenant-aware file handling
- Useful links
- Get Involved!