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A multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) system has to meet the needs of several tenant organizations, which connect to the system to utilize its services. To leverage economies of scale through reuse, a SaaS vendor would, in general, like to drive commonality amongst the requirements across tenants. However, many tenants will also come with some custom requirements that may be a prerequisite for them to adopt the SaaS system. These requirements then need to be addressed by evolving the SaaS system in a controlled manner, while still supporting the requirements of existing tenants. In this paper, the authors study the challenges associated with engineering multi-tenant SaaS systems and develop a framework to help evolve and validate such systems in a systematic manner.
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