DYNAMIC DEPLOYMENT OF ACCESS CONTROLS ANCHORED ON REQUEST ACTIONS
1. An electronic device configured to implement dynamic deployment of access controls anchored on request actions in a multi-user, on-demand computing environment, comprising:
- at least one physical memory device capable to store one or more multi-user on demand databases;
one or more processors coupled with the at least one physical memory device, the one or more processors configurable to;
receive, via a user interface, a request to access one or more resources managed by the electronic device in the multi-user, on demand computing environment, the request comprising one or more request elements;
determine whether a virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements; and
in response to a determination that the virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements, apply the one or more virtual access check rules to the request.
Techniques and structures to provide dynamic deployment of access controls in a on-demand environment. A host electronic device may comprise one or more processors coupled with the at least one physical memory device, the one or more processors configurable to receive, via a user interface, request to access one or more resources managed by the electronic device in the multi-user, on demand computing environment, the request comprising one or more request elements, determine whether a virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements, and in response to a determination that the virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements, apply the one or more virtual access check rules to the request. Additional subject matter may be described and claimed.
- 1. An electronic device configured to implement dynamic deployment of access controls anchored on request actions in a multi-user, on-demand computing environment, comprising:
at least one physical memory device capable to store one or more multi-user on demand databases; one or more processors coupled with the at least one physical memory device, the one or more processors configurable to; receive, via a user interface, a request to access one or more resources managed by the electronic device in the multi-user, on demand computing environment, the request comprising one or more request elements; determine whether a virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements; and in response to a determination that the virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements, apply the one or more virtual access check rules to the request.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- 7. A non-transitory computer-readable medium having stored thereon instructions that, when executed by one or more processors, are configurable to cause the one or more processors to:
- View Dependent Claims (8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
- 13. A method to implement secure data transfer between entities in a multi-user, on-demand computing environment:
receiving, via a user interface, a request to access one or more resources managed by the electronic device in the multi-user, on demand computing environment, the request comprising one or more request elements; determining whether a virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements; and in response to a determination that the virtual access rule logic comprises one or more virtual access check rules which are anchored to the one or more request elements, applying the one or more virtual access check rules to the request.
- View Dependent Claims (14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
One or more implementations relate generally to access control in an on-demand services environment.
The subject matter discussed in the background section should not be assumed to be prior art merely as a result of its mention in the background section. Similarly, a problem mentioned in the background section or associated with the subject matter of the background section should not be assumed to have been previously recognized in the prior art. The subject matter in the background section merely represents different approaches.
A host organization in an on-demand services environment receives requests from users for services provided by the host organization. Adroit management of service requests may find utility.
In the following drawings like reference numbers are used to refer to like elements. Although the following figures depict various examples, one or more implementations are not limited to the examples depicted in the figures.
In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth. However, embodiments of the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure the understanding of this description.
It is contemplated that embodiments and their implementations are not merely limited to multi-tenant database system (“MTDBS”) and can be used in other environment, such as a client-server system, a mobile device, a personal computer (“PC”), a web services environment, etc. However, for the sake of brevity and clarity, throughout this document, embodiments are described with respect to a multi-tenant database system, such as Salesforce.com®, which is to be regarded as an example of an on-demand services environment. Other on-demand services environments include Salesforce® Exact Target Marketing Cloud™.
As used herein, a term multi-tenant database system refers to those systems in which various elements of hardware and software of the database system may be shared by one or more customers. For example, a given application server may simultaneously process requests for a great number of customers, and a given database table may store rows for a potentially much greater number of customers. As used herein, the term query plan refers to a set of steps used to access information in a database system.
Embodiments are described with reference to an embodiment in which techniques for facilitating dynamic deployment of access controls anchored on request actions in an on-demand services environment are implemented in a system having an application server providing a front end for an on-demand database service capable of supporting multiple tenants, embodiments are not limited to multi-tenant databases nor deployment on application servers. Embodiments may be practiced using other database architectures, i.e., ORACLE®, DB2® by IBM and the like without departing from the scope of the embodiments claimed.
It is to be noted that terms like “queue message”, “job”, “query”, “request” or simply “message” may be referenced interchangeably and similarly, terms like “job types”, “message types”, “query type”, and “request type” may be referenced interchangeably throughout this document. It is to be further noted that messages may be associated with one or more message types, which may relate to or be associated with one or more customer organizations, such as customer organizations 121A-121N, where, as aforementioned, throughout this document, “customer organizations” may be referred to as “tenants”, “customers”, or simply “organizations”. An organization, for example, may include or refer to (without limitation) a business (e.g., small business, big business, etc.), a company, a corporation, a non-profit entity, an institution (e.g., educational institution), an agency (e.g., government agency), etc.), etc., serving as a customer or client of host organization 101 (also referred to as “service provider” or simply “host”), such as Salesforce.com®, serving as a host of access management mechanism 110.
Similarly, the term “user” may refer to a system user, such as (without limitation) a software/application developer, a system administrator, a database administrator, an information technology professional, a program manager, product manager, etc. The term “user” may further refer to an end-user, such as (without limitation) one or more of customer organizations 121A-N and/or their representatives (e.g., individuals or groups working on behalf of one or more of customer organizations 121A-N), such as a salesperson, a sales manager, a product manager, an accountant, a director, an owner, a president, a system administrator, a computer programmer, an information technology (“IT”) representative, etc.
Computing device 120 may include (without limitation) server computers (e.g., cloud server computers, etc.), desktop computers, cluster-based computers, set-top boxes (e.g., Internet-based cable television set-top boxes, etc.), etc. Computing device 120 includes an operating system (“OS”) 106 serving as an interface between one or more hardware/physical resources of computing device 120 and one or more client devices 130A-130N, etc. Computing device 120 further includes processor(s) 102, memory 104, input/output (“I/O”) sources 108, such as touchscreens, touch panels, touch pads, virtual or regular keyboards, virtual or regular mice, etc.
In one embodiment, host organization 101 may further employ a production environment that is communicably interfaced with client devices 130A-N through host organization 101. Client devices 130A-N may include (without limitation) customer organization-based server computers, desktop computers, laptop computers, mobile computing devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers, personal digital assistants, e-readers, media Internet devices, smart televisions, television platforms, wearable devices (e.g., glasses, watches, bracelets, smartcards, jewelry, clothing items, etc.), media players, global positioning system-based navigation systems, cable setup boxes, etc.
In one embodiment, the illustrated multi-tenant database system 150 includes database(s) 140 to store (without limitation) information, relational tables, datasets, and underlying database records having tenant and user data therein on behalf of customer organizations 121A-N (e.g., tenants of multi-tenant database system 150 or their affiliated users). In alternative embodiments, a client-server computing architecture may be utilized in place of multi-tenant database system 150, or alternatively, a computing grid, or a pool of work servers, or some combination of hosted computing architectures may be utilized to carry out the computational workload and processing that is expected of host organization 101.
The illustrated multi-tenant database system 150 is shown to include one or more of underlying hardware, software, and logic elements 145 that implement, for example, database functionality and a code execution environment within host organization 101. In accordance with one embodiment, multi-tenant database system 150 further implements databases 140 to service database queries and other data interactions with the databases 140. In one embodiment, hardware, software, and logic elements 145 of multi-tenant database system 150 and its other elements, such as a distributed file store, a query interface, etc., may be separate and distinct from customer organizations (121A-121N) which utilize the services provided by host organization 101 by communicably interfacing with host organization 101 via network(s) 135 (e.g., cloud network, the Internet, etc.). In such a way, host organization 101 may implement on-demand services, on-demand database services, cloud computing services, etc., to subscribing customer organizations 121A-121N.
In some embodiments, host organization 101 receives input and other requests from a plurality of customer organizations 121A-N over one or more networks 135; for example, incoming search queries, database queries, application programming interface (“API”) requests, interactions with displayed graphical user interfaces and displays at client devices 130A-N, or other inputs may be received from customer organizations 121A-N to be processed against multi-tenant database system 150 as queries via a query interface and stored at a distributed file store, pursuant to which results are then returned to an originator or requestor, such as a user of client devices 130A-N at any of customer organizations 121A-N.
As aforementioned, in one embodiment, each customer organization 121A-N may include an entity selected from a group consisting of a separate and distinct remote organization, an organizational group within host organization 101, a business partner of host organization 101, a customer organization 121A-N that subscribes to cloud computing services provided by host organization 101, etc.
In one embodiment, requests are received at, or submitted to, a web server within host organization 101. Host organization 101 may receive a variety of requests for processing by host organization 101 and its multi-tenant database system 150. For example, incoming requests received at the web server may specify which services from host organization 101 are to be provided, such as query requests, search request, status requests, database transactions, graphical user interface requests and interactions, processing requests to retrieve, update, or store data on behalf of one of customer organizations 121A-N, code execution requests, and so forth. Further, the web-server at host organization 101 may be responsible for receiving requests from various customer organizations 121A-N via network(s) 135 on behalf of the query interface and for providing a web-based interface or other graphical displays to one or more end-user client devices 130A-N or machines originating such data requests.
Further, host organization 101 may implement a request interface via the web server or as a stand-alone interface to receive requests packets or other requests from the client devices 130A-N. The request interface may further support the return of response packets or other replies and responses in an outgoing direction from host organization 101 to one or more client devices 130A-N.
It is to be noted that terms like “node”, “computing node”, “server”, “server device”, “cloud computer”, “cloud server”, “cloud server computer”, “machine”, “host machine”, “device”, “computing device”, “computer”, “computing system”, “multi-tenant on-demand data system”, and the like, may be used interchangeably throughout this document. It is to be further noted that terms like “code”, “software code”, “application”, “software application” “program”, “software program”, “package”, “software code”, “code”, and “software package” may be used interchangeably throughout this document. Moreover, terms like “job”, “input”, “request”, and “message” may be used interchangeably throughout this document.
In one embodiment, computing device 120 may serve as a service provider core (e.g., Salesforce.com® core) for hosting and maintaining access management mechanism 110 and be in communication with one or more database(s) 140, one or more client computers 130A-N, over one or more network(s) 135, and any number and type of dedicated nodes.
Throughout this document, terms like “framework”, “mechanism”, “engine”, “logic”, “component”, “module”, “tool”, and “builder” may be referenced interchangeably and include, by way of example, software, hardware, and/or any combination of software and hardware, such as firmware. Further, any use of a particular brand, word, or term, such as “package”, “packaging”, “additive package”, “wrapping”, “bundling”, “bonding”, “morphing”, “mapping”, “metadata”, “customization”, “testing”, “updating”, “upgrading”, etc., should not be read to limit embodiments to software or devices that carry that label in products or in literature external to this document.
As aforementioned, with respect to
In one embodiment, computing device 120 may implement request/query logic 203 to serve as a request/query interface via a web server or as a stand-alone interface to receive requests packets or other requests from the client devices 130A-N. The request interface may further support the return of response packets or other replies and responses in an outgoing direction from computing device 120 to one or more client devices 130A-N.
Similarly, request/query logic 203 may serve as a query interface to provide additional functionalities to pass queries from, for example, a web service into the multi-tenant database system for execution against database(s) 140 and retrieval of customer data and stored records without the involvement of the multi-tenant database system or for processing search queries via the multi-tenant database system, as well as for the retrieval and processing of data maintained by other available data stores of the host organization'"'"'s production environment. Further, authentication logic 205 may operate on behalf of the host organization, via computing device 120, to verify, authenticate, and authorize, user credentials associated with users attempting to gain access to the host organization via one or more client devices 130A-N.
In one embodiment, computing device 120 may include a server computer which may be further in communication with one or more databases or storage repositories, such as database(s) 140, which may be located locally or remotely over one or more networks, such as network(s) 135 (e.g., cloud network, Internet, proximity network, intranet, Internet of Things (“IoT”), Cloud of Things (“CoT”), etc.). Computing device 120 is further shown to be in communication with any number and type of other computing devices, such as client computing devices 130A-N, over one or more networks, such as network(s) 135.
In one embodiment, as illustrated, access management mechanism 110 includes access management engine 211 to allow for a novel technique for managing access to resources in any number and type of environments. In the embodiment depicted in
For example, in one embodiment one or more resources may be requested by a user associated with a tenant using computing device 130A, which may then be received by server computing device 120 over network(s) 135 as facilitated by communication/compatibility logic 207. For example, the resource request having the proposal may be initiated in the client computing device 130A through resource request logic 220 and received through request/query logic 203 and verified or authenticated by authentication logic 205 and then forwarded on to access management engine 211 for subsequent processing.
Communication/compatibility logic 207 may facilitate the ability to dynamically communicate and stay configured with any number and type of software/application developing tools, models, data processing servers, database platforms and architectures, programming languages and their corresponding platforms, etc., while ensuring compatibility with changing technologies, parameters, protocols, standards, etc.
In one embodiment, interface logic 209 may be used to offer access to resources to users, such as software developers, end-users, etc., though one or more interfaces at one or more computing devices 120, 130A-N using one or more of their display devices/screens as further facilitated by communication/compatibility logic 207. It is contemplated that the one or more interfaces are not limited to any particular number or type of interfaces such that an interface may include (without limitations) any one or more of a user interface (e.g., Web browser, Graphical User Interface (GUI), software application-based interface, etc.), an application programming interface (API), a Representational State Transfer (REST) or RESTful API, and/or the like.
It is contemplated that a tenant may include an organization of any size or type, such as a business, a company, a corporation, a government agency, a philanthropic or non-profit entity, an educational institution, etc., having single or multiple departments (e.g., accounting, marketing, legal, etc.), single or multiple layers of authority (e.g., C-level positions, directors, managers, receptionists, etc.), single or multiple types of businesses or sub-organizations (e.g., sodas, snacks, restaurants, sponsorships, charitable foundation, services, skills, time etc.) and/or the like.
In one embodiment, access management engine 211 comprises request management logic 213, anchorless rule logic 215, and virtual access check (VAC) logic 217. In some examples request management logic 213 implements operations to manage access checks for requests received by the computing device 120. Anchorless rule logic 215 comprises one or more rules that impose access controls upon services offered by computing device 120. VAC rule logic comprises one or more rules which facilitate novel techniques for implementing dynamic deployment of access controls anchored on request actions so that server computing device 120 can selectively decline to implement request(s) from a client computing device 130A-130N based at least in part on one or more Virtual Access Check (VAC) rules that are anchored to specific request actions.
Having described various aspects of structure and components to implement dynamic deployment of access control anchored on request actions, operations to implement dynamic deployment of access control anchored on request actions will be described with reference to
At operation 315 a determination is made regarding whether the request matches one or more anchorless rules to be applied to requests. In some examples the received request may be compared to one or more rules in the anchorless rule logic 215. Anchorless rules are referred to as anchorless because they do not depend on resources that may be engaged during the lifetime of the request. In some examples anchorless rules may be dependent on things available directly in the http request. For example, an anchorless rule may seek to block all POST requests to a certain URI pattern.
If, at operation 315, the request matches one or more anchorless rules to be applied to requests then control passes to operation 320 and the access management engine 211 applies anchorless rule enforcement logic to the request.
If, at operation 325 the anchorless rule enforcement logic applied in operation 325 includes one or more rules that are blocking rules for the request then control passes to operation 350 and the access management engine 211 blocks the request to the computing device 120. By contrast, if at operation 325 the anchorless rule enforcement logic applied in operation 325 does not include one or more rules that are blocking rules for the request then control passes to operation 330 and the access management engine 211 applies anchored rule enforcement logic to the request received in operation 310.
In some examples the VAC rule logic 217 may comprise one or more VAC rules, which may be implemented as declarative control objects which can be deployed dynamically to enforce additional access checks against requests. The declaration of a VAC rule specifies under what circumstances to enforce the rule and block a request to computing device 120. In some examples VAC rules may be used to narrowly define which requests to block by “anchoring” their enforcement on certain operations that may occur during a request'"'"'s lifecycle. If a VAC rule specifies an action as an “anchor,” then the VAC rule will be evaluated if and when that action occurs during the request'"'"'s lifecycle and not during the application of anchorless rules.
In one example a VAC rule may be anchored to a user permission check. Thus, at operation 335 the request causes one or more aspects of a user permission to be evaluated. For example, a given user interface (UI) page may require a check to determine whether a user has a particular type of permission (e.g., a ManageCustomerInfo permission), and may also check to determine whether the whether the user'"'"'s organization has a related permission (e.g, a GovernmentClearance permission). Thus, in one example a VAC rule used to fix this malformed access may could check the GovernmentClearance permission and be anchored on the ManageCustomerInfo permission. If, at operation 335 one or more of the user permission tests fails then control passes to operation 350 and the access management engine 211 blocks the request to the computing device 120. By contrast, if at operation 335 the user passes the one or more rules anchored to a user permission then control passes to operation 340.
At operation 340 the request causes one or more aspects of an entity operation to be evaluated. In some examples a VAC rule may be anchored on an entity operation and will only be evaluated if the request causes an entity to be created/updated/deleted. For example, users should only be able to make changes to accounts if they have a specific permission (e.g., a ManageAccounts permission), but this permission is not being properly checked at all endpoints. A VAC rule addressing this error may be anchored on an “update Account” operation associated with a request. Evaluation of the rule may take place before any time that a request would cause an Account object to be updated.
If, at operation 340, one or more entity operation permission tests fail then control passes to operation 350 and the access management engine 211 blocks the request to the computing device 120. By contrast, if at operation 340 the entity passes the one or more rules anchored to an entity operation then control passes to operation 345.
If, at operation 345, there are additional rules anchored to other operations to be applied to the request then control passes to operation 355 and the additional rules are applied in an analogous fashion to the manner in which the user permission rule(s) were applied in operation 335 and the entity permission rule(s) were applied in operation 340. By contrast, if at operation 345 there are no further rules anchored to other operations to be applied to the request then control passes to operation 360 and the request is implemented.
Thus, the structure depicted in
The exemplary computer system 500 includes a processor 502, a main memory 504 (e.g., read-only memory (ROM), flash memory, dynamic random access memory (DRAM) such as synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) or Rambus DRAM (RDRAM), etc., static memory such as flash memory, static random access memory (SRAM), volatile but high-data rate RAM, etc.), and a secondary memory 518 (e.g., a persistent storage device including hard disk drives and persistent multi-tenant data base implementations), which communicate with each other via a bus 530. Main memory 504 includes emitted execution data 524 (e.g., data emitted by a logging framework) and one or more trace preferences 523 which operate in conjunction with processing logic 526 and processor 502 to perform the methodologies discussed herein.
Processor 502 represents one or more general-purpose processing devices such as a microprocessor, central processing unit, or the like. More particularly, the processor 502 may be a complex instruction set computing (CISC) microprocessor, reduced instruction set computing (RISC) microprocessor, very long instruction word (VLIW) microprocessor, processor implementing other instruction sets, or processors implementing a combination of instruction sets. Processor 502 may also be one or more special-purpose processing devices such as an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a field programmable gate array (FPGA), a digital signal processor (DSP), network processor, or the like. Processor 502 is configured to execute the processing logic 526 for performing the operations and functionality of access management mechanism 110 as described with reference to
The computer system 500 may further include a network interface card 508. The computer system 500 also may include a user interface 510 (such as a video display unit, a liquid crystal display (LCD), or a cathode ray tube (CRT)), an alphanumeric input device 512 (e.g., a keyboard), a cursor control device 514 (e.g., a mouse), and a signal generation device 516 (e.g., an integrated speaker). The computer system 500 may further include peripheral device 536 (e.g., wireless or wired communication devices, memory devices, storage devices, audio processing devices, video processing devices, etc. The computer system 500 may further include a Hardware based API logging framework 534 capable of executing incoming requests for services and emitting execution data responsive to the fulfillment of such incoming requests.
The secondary memory 518 may include a machine-readable storage medium (or more specifically a machine-accessible storage medium) 531 on which is stored one or more sets of instructions (e.g., software 522) embodying any one or more of the methodologies or functions of access management mechanism 110 as described with reference to
Portions of various embodiments may be provided as a computer program product, which may include a computer-readable medium having stored thereon computer program instructions, which may be used to program a computer (or other electronic devices) to perform a process according to the embodiments. The machine-readable medium may include, but is not limited to, floppy diskettes, optical disks, compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM), and magneto-optical disks, ROM, RAM, erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM), electrically EPROM (EEPROM), magnet or optical cards, flash memory, or other type of media/machine-readable medium suitable for storing electronic instructions.
The techniques shown in the figures can be implemented using code and data stored and executed on one or more electronic devices (e.g., an end station, a network element). Such electronic devices store and communicate (internally and/or with other electronic devices over a network) code and data using computer-readable media, such as non-transitory computer-readable storage media (e.g., magnetic disks; optical disks; random access memory; read only memory; flash memory devices; phase-change memory) and transitory computer-readable transmission media (e.g., electrical, optical, acoustical or other form of propagated signals such as carrier waves, infrared signals, digital signals). In addition, such electronic devices typically include a set of one or more processors coupled to one or more other components, such as one or more storage devices (non-transitory machine-readable storage media), user input/output devices (e.g., a keyboard, a touchscreen, and/or a display), and network connections. The coupling of the set of processors and other components is typically through one or more busses and bridges (also termed as bus controllers). Thus, the storage device of a given electronic device typically stores code and/or data for execution on the set of one or more processors of that electronic device. Of course, one or more parts of an embodiment may be implemented using different combinations of software, firmware, and/or hardware.
Environment 610 is an environment in which an on-demand database service exists. User system 612 may be any machine or system that is used by a user to access a database user system. For example, any of user systems 612 can be a handheld computing device, a mobile phone, a laptop computer, a workstation, and/or a network of computing devices. As illustrated in herein
An on-demand database service, such as system 616, is a database system that is made available to outside users that do not need to necessarily be concerned with building and/or maintaining the database system, but instead may be available for their use when the users need the database system (e.g., on the demand of the users). Some on-demand database services may store information from one or more tenants stored into tables of a common database image to form a multi-tenant database system (MTS). Accordingly, “on-demand database service 616” and “system 616” will be used interchangeably herein. A database image may include one or more database objects. A relational database management system (RDMS) or the equivalent may execute storage and retrieval of information against the database object(s). Application platform 618 may be a framework that allows the applications of system 616 to run, such as the hardware and/or software, e.g., the operating system. In an embodiment, on-demand database service 616 may include an application platform 618 that enables creation, managing and executing one or more applications developed by the provider of the on-demand database service, users accessing the on-demand database service via user systems 612, or third party application developers accessing the on-demand database service via user systems 612.
The users of user systems 612 may differ in their respective capacities, and the capacity of a particular user system 612 might be entirely determined by permissions (permission levels) for the current user. For example, where a salesperson is using a particular user system 612 to interact with system 616, that user system has the capacities allotted to that salesperson. However, while an administrator is using that user system to interact with system 616, that user system has the capacities allotted to that administrator. In systems with a hierarchical role model, users at one permission level may have access to applications, data, and database information accessible by a lower permission level user, but may not have access to certain applications, database information, and data accessible by a user at a higher permission level. Thus, different users will have different capabilities with regard to accessing and modifying application and database information, depending on a user'"'"'s security or permission level.
Network 614 is any network or combination of networks of devices that communicate with one another. For example, network 614 can be any one or any combination of a LAN (local area network), WAN (wide area network), telephone network, wireless network, point-to-point network, star network, token ring network, hub network, or other appropriate configuration. As the most common type of computer network in current use is a TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) network, such as the global internetwork of networks often referred to as the “Internet” with a capital “I,” that network will be used in many of the examples herein. However, it should be understood that the networks that one or more implementations might use are not so limited, although TCP/IP is a frequently implemented protocol.
User systems 612 might communicate with system 616 using TCP/IP and, at a higher network level, use other common Internet protocols to communicate, such as HTTP, FTP, AFS, WAP, etc. In an example where HTTP is used, user system 612 might include an HTTP client commonly referred to as a “browser” for sending and receiving HTTP messages to and from an HTTP server at system 616. Such an HTTP server might be implemented as the sole network interface between system 616 and network 614, but other techniques might be used as well or instead. In some implementations, the interface between system 616 and network 614 includes load-sharing functionality, such as round-robin HTTP request distributors to balance loads and distribute incoming HTTP requests evenly over a plurality of servers. At least as for the users that are accessing that server, each of the plurality of servers has access to the MTS'"'"' data; however, other alternative configurations may be used instead.
In one embodiment, system 616, shown in
One arrangement for elements of system 616 is shown in
Several elements in the system shown in
According to one embodiment, each system 616 is configured to provide webpages, forms, applications, data and media content to user (client) systems 612 to support the access by user systems 612 as tenants of system 616. As such, system 616 provides security mechanisms to keep each tenant'"'"'s data separate unless the data is shared. If more than one MTS is used, they may be located in close proximity to one another (e.g., in a server farm located in a single building or campus), or they may be distributed at locations remote from one another (e.g., one or more servers located in city A and one or more servers located in city B). As used herein, each MTS could include one or more logically and/or physically connected servers distributed locally or across one or more geographic locations. Additionally, the term “server” is meant to include a computer system, including processing hardware and process space(s), and an associated storage system and database application (e.g., OODBMS or RDBMS) as is well known in the art. It should also be understood that “server system” and “server” are often used interchangeably herein. Similarly, the database object described herein can be implemented as single databases, a distributed database, a collection of distributed databases, a database with redundant online or offline backups or other redundancies, etc., and might include a distributed database or storage network and associated processing intelligence.
User system 612, network 614, system 616, tenant data storage 622, and system data storage 624 were discussed above in
Application platform 618 includes an application setup mechanism 738 that supports application developers'"'"' creation and management of applications, which may be saved as metadata into tenant data storage 622 by save routines 736 for execution by subscribers as one or more tenant process spaces 704 managed by tenant management process 710 for example. Invocations to such applications may be coded using PL/SOQL 734 that provides a programming language style interface extension to API 732. A detailed description of some PL/SOQL language embodiments is discussed in commonly owned U.S. Pat. No. 7,730,478 entitled, “Method and System for Allowing Access to Developed Applicants via a Multi-Tenant Database On-Demand Database Service”, issued Jun. 1, 2010 to Craig Weissman, which is incorporated in its entirety herein for all purposes. Invocations to applications may be detected by one or more system processes, which manage retrieving application metadata 716 for the subscriber making the invocation and executing the metadata as an application in a virtual machine.
Each application server 700 may be communicably coupled to database systems, e.g., having access to system data 625 and tenant data 623, via a different network connection. For example, one application server 7001 might be coupled via the network 614 (e.g., the Internet), another application server 700N-1 might be coupled via a direct network link, and another application server 700N might be coupled by yet a different network connection. Transfer Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) are typical protocols for communicating between application servers 700 and the database system. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that other transport protocols may be used to optimize the system depending on the network interconnect used.
In certain embodiments, each application server 700 is configured to handle requests for any user associated with any organization that is a tenant. Because it is desirable to be able to add and remove application servers from the server pool at any time for any reason, there is preferably no server affinity for a user and/or organization to a specific application server 700. In one embodiment, therefore, an interface system implementing a load balancing function (e.g., an F5 Big-IP load balancer) is communicably coupled between the application servers 700 and the user systems 612 to distribute requests to the application servers 700. In one embodiment, the load balancer uses a least connections algorithm to route user requests to the application servers 700. Other examples of load balancing algorithms, such as round robin and observed response time, also can be used. For example, in certain embodiments, three consecutive requests from the same user could hit three different application servers 700, and three requests from different users could hit the same application server 700. In this manner, system 616 is multi-tenant, wherein system 616 handles storage of, and access to, different objects, data and applications across disparate users and organizations.
As an example of storage, one tenant might be a company that employs a sales force where each salesperson uses system 616 to manage their sales process. Thus, a user might maintain contact data, leads data, customer follow-up data, performance data, goals and progress data, etc., all applicable to that user'"'"'s personal sales process (e.g., in tenant data storage 622). In an example of a MTS arrangement, since all of the data and the applications to access, view, modify, report, transmit, calculate, etc., can be maintained and accessed by a user system having nothing more than network access, the user can manage his or her sales efforts and cycles from any of many different user systems. For example, if a salesperson is visiting a customer and the customer has Internet access in their lobby, the salesperson can obtain critical updates as to that customer while waiting for the customer to arrive in the lobby.
While each user'"'"'s data might be separate from other users'"'"' data regardless of the employers of each user, some data might be organization-wide data shared or accessible by a plurality of users or all of the users for a given organization that is a tenant. Thus, there might be some data structures managed by system 616 that are allocated at the tenant level while other data structures might be managed at the user level. Because an MTS might support multiple tenants including possible competitors, the MTS should have security protocols that keep data, applications, and application use separate. Also, because many tenants may opt for access to an MTS rather than maintain their own system, redundancy, up-time, and backup are additional functions that may be implemented in the MTS. In addition to user-specific data and tenant specific data, system 616 might also maintain system level data usable by multiple tenants or other data. Such system level data might include industry reports, news, postings, and the like that are sharable among tenants.
In certain embodiments, user systems 612 (which may be client systems) communicate with application servers 700 to request and update system-level and tenant-level data from system 616 that may require sending one or more queries to tenant data storage 622 and/or system data storage 624. System 616 (e.g., an application server 700 in system 616) automatically generates one or more SQL statements (e.g., one or more SQL queries) that are designed to access the desired information. System data storage 624 may generate query plans to access the requested data from the database.
Each database can generally be viewed as a collection of objects, such as a set of logical tables, containing data fitted into predefined categories. A “table” is one representation of a data object, and may be used herein to simplify the conceptual description of objects and custom objects. It should be understood that “table” and “object” may be used interchangeably herein. Each table generally contains one or more data categories logically arranged as columns or fields in a viewable schema. Each row or record of a table contains an instance of data for each category defined by the fields. For example, a CRM database may include a table that describes a customer with fields for basic contact information such as name, address, phone number, fax number, etc. Another table might describe a purchase order, including fields for information such as customer, product, sale price, date, etc. In some multi-tenant database systems, standard entity tables might be provided for use by all tenants. For CRM database applications, such standard entities might include tables for Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity data, each containing pre-defined fields. It should be understood that the word “entity” may also be used interchangeably herein with “object” and “table”.
In some multi-tenant database systems, tenants may be allowed to create and store custom objects, or they may be allowed to customize standard entities or objects, for example by creating custom fields for standard objects, including custom index fields. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/817,161, filed Apr. 2, 2004, entitled “Custom Entities and Fields in a Multi-Tenant Database System”, and which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, teaches systems and methods for creating custom objects as well as customizing standard objects in a multi-tenant database system. In certain embodiments, for example, all custom entity data rows are stored in a single multi-tenant physical table, which may contain multiple logical tables per organization. It is transparent to customers that their multiple “tables” are in fact stored in one large table or that their data may be stored in the same table as the data of other customers.
Any of the above embodiments may be used alone or together with one another in any combination. Embodiments encompassed within this specification may also include embodiments that are only partially mentioned or alluded to or are not mentioned or alluded to at all in this brief summary or in the abstract. Although various embodiments may have been motivated by various deficiencies with the prior art, which may be discussed or alluded to in one or more places in the specification, the embodiments do not necessarily address any of these deficiencies. In other words, different embodiments may address different deficiencies that may be discussed in the specification. Some embodiments may only partially address some deficiencies or just one deficiency that may be discussed in the specification, and some embodiments may not address any of these deficiencies.
While one or more implementations have been described by way of example and in terms of the specific embodiments, it is to be understood that one or more implementations are not limited to the disclosed embodiments. To the contrary, it is intended to cover various modifications and similar arrangements as would be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the scope of the appended claims should be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and similar arrangements. It is to be understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive.