SaaS Configurations and Customizations: Management Tool for Digital Signature Service
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SaaS-palvelun konfigurointi ja kustomointi: konfiguroinninhallintatyökalu digitaaliselle allekirjoituspalvelulle
Today, cloud computing – a result of combining existing technologies – is a popular paradigm that has brought many benefits for users and enterprises. Cloud computing fosters the provision and use of IT infrastructure, platforms, and applications of any kind in the form of services that are available on the Web. Expensive initial hardware and software investments are not necessary anymore as the resources can be acquired as a service from cloud providers with a pay-per-use pricing model. One aspect that cannot be overlooked in cloud computing is multi-tenancy. It is a property of a system where multiple customers, so-called tenants, transparently share the system's resources. It leverages economies of scale where users and cloud providers benefit from reduced costs, which is a result of higher system density and increased utilization rate of resources. This model surpasses the traditional methods of using single-tenant architecture and ASP model in which a single instance or server is provisioned solely for one customer. Customizability is an essential part of multi-tenant systems. Ideally cloud application vendors wish that every user would be satisfied with the standardized offering, but usually users have their own unique business needs. Customizability can be divided into configuration, which supports differentiation by pre-defined scope, and customization, which supports tenant's custom code. Software variations can be applied to user interface, business logic related workflows, underlying data and reporting utilities. Multi-tenancy shares a lot in common with software product line engineering. However, implementing multi-tenancy and supporting differentiation between tenants have to be carefully planned. Increased complexity may have an impact in maintenance costs and re-engineering costs can be significant. Goal of the thesis is to first examine the requirements for a multi-tenant application, and based on the research, to develop a prototype of a configuration management tool in order to solve the customization need produced by tenants' unique business requirements. The target environment consists of a new SaaS service called SignHero, which is a digital signature service suited for companies that want to shift their signing process to modern times. The scope includes three variability points: customizing the logo in the signing page, customizing the logo in the emails and saving a default workflow. The developed tool fulfills the requirements, and the main service was extended to apply the saved configurations. The implementation leaves many improvement possibilities related to customizability and cloud characteristics. Findings promote the fact that customizability has to be initially included in the product design.