Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Recurring Revenue

@CloudExpo: Article

Multi Tenancy and the Oracle VPD

Improve time-to-market for SaaS applications

Multi Tenancy Database Design and Security
We have seen that there are multiple ways a multi-tenant database can be designed. The important options being:

  1. Separate Database: Each of the tenants is allocated a separate physical database for storing their data.
  2. Separate Schema: Each of the tenants is allocated a separate logical unit called Schema, within a single physical database.
  3. Separate Rows: Each of the tenants is allocated same physical database and schema, but their information is separated using primary keys which are allocated as part of the data base design and all the information is kept within the same physical tables.

A diagram of these types of database designs can viewed here: MSDN article on Multi-Tenant Data Architecture.

As evident in some of these architectures, we store data from multiple clients in the same database and securing each client's data from others is of utmost important. While we could code these as part of our application code such kind of custom coded security is subject to breach if the developers miss a point or two and the verification is not done properly. Also custom coded security has the drawback of not enforcing it, if the database is accessed outside of the application like using another reporting tool or interactive SQL query studios like Sql*Plus, iSQL etc...

So Security for the Multi Tenancy Databases are best implemented if the underlying database platform itself is aware of Multi Tenancy Rules and prevent unauthorized access to data whatever the client tool that is accessing the data.

One such built-in feature built inside the Oracle 11g database is called as Fine-Grained Access Security, which is also known as Virtual Private Database, which provides   transparent security cover for Multi-Tenant databases.

Virtual Private Database
An Oracle Virtual Private Database (VPD) is an aggregation of server-enforced, application-defined fine-grained access control, combined with a secure application context in the Oracle database server.

Much of security on a multi-tenant SaaS application is based on one simple principle: Users have to be identified and distinguished from each other. This is true for applications and for databases. This security tenet is exemplified in our world every day. Email applications show only the emails for the user who has logged in. Financial reports are delivered only to those authorized to receive them. For these applications to work effectively, you have to know who the person is before you can know if they are supposed to access an email or financial report.

A Virtual Private Database (VPD) allows you to build the security policies based on User's identity that can be applied to tables are views. One important factor about VPD is that, user's identify is not restricted to the ‘Database User' but the application user, which in a multi-tenant scenario is the actual tenant of the application.

The following are the typical steps in implementing the VPD for your multi-tenant databases, the detailed implementation is available on the Oracle manuals.

  • Design the Multi-Tenant database with appropriate database columns to store the Tenant identity
  • Create a function to apply the FILTERING conditions based on the multi tenant inquiry of data
  • Create a policy to use the function so that the policy can be applied to different database objects
  • Use the DBMS_RLS function to apply the policy to the multi-tenant database tables
  • Use the Oracle client functions to set the Tenant identify from the application, so that the policy is applied transparently such each tenant views only the data owned by the tenant

Fine-Grained Auditing
In spite of having VPD on the multi-tenant database, most times Auditors would like to see the reports on database access patterns , especially access to the sensitive information. FGA (Fine Grained Auditing) provides the most granular level of auditing in a multi-tenant database.

This method creates audit records based on the exact query, condition, and data retrieved or  manipulated by the statement. It provides a facility to audit only those statements (including actual values of possible bind-variables) that reference a particular column. DBMS_FGA package facilitates creation of FGA policies.

The salient features of FGA can be segregated as following:

Column Referencing: We can define policy such that audit is triggered only if the specified columns are referenced in query statement. For example in a multi-tenant application for e-Commerce, this can setup for columns like credit card number.

Conditional auditing: As explained in previous example also, auditing can be condition driven using FGA. For example, in a multi-tenant database if any one tried to query information of a specific client or across clients.

Oracle on the Cloud
While we see many new players in Analytical databases , ‘NO SQL' databases on cloud, Oracle continues to be a leading database in data centers for OLTP and - many high performance applications. There are several possibilities of implementing Oracle database on Cloud for your multi tenant application.

Summary
Success of SaaS applications will be measured by the time-to-market, which means that faster we roll out our application we capture the market better. This can be achieved only if the best of the out-of-the-box features available in the product vendors are utilized, so that the much needed, Security, auditing and performance of the application are maintained. Oracle's VPD / FGA are one such feature which needs to be analyzed , if you plan to deploy your multi tenant application on Oracle platform.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.