Nate Barbettini

Nate Barbettini


Co-founder & CTO at Microsoft MVP (2017-2019). Author of “The little ASP.NET Core book”.

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Nate Barbettini

Multi-tenant web apps with ASP.NET Core and Postgres

Written by By Nate Barbettini | January 22, 2018 Jan 22, 2018

When it comes to building large-scale, multi-tenant applications, Microsoft's ASP.NET platform is a strong choice. Like other popular web frameworks such as Express and Django, ASP.NET is used to build web applications and APIs. It's been around for a while, but don't let that fool you: ASP.NET packs some serious muscle. After all, it powers one of the biggest Q&A networks on the web: Stack Exchange!

In the past, ASP.NET apps could only run on Windows servers. That's changed with the latest version, ASP.NET Core, which is fully open source and cross-platform. ASP.NET Core runs anywhere you need it to (Windows, Mac, Linux, Docker) and features a modern middleware pipeline, a rich package ecosystem, and blazing-fast performance.

My experience working on multi-tenant enterprise apps has taught me that it's never too early to design for scale. How you architect your code matters, as does how you architect your data. In the past, the apps I worked on were designed around a database-per-tenant model—unfortunately, the database-per-tenant model didn’t scale and caused problems once our app reached thousands of customers (aka tenants). In this post, I’ll show you a different approach to scale the underlying database with ASP.NET: sharding. With sharding you can leave behind the drawbacks of the database-per-tenant model and can scale infinitely.

In this blog post, I'll show you how to build your multi-tenant app with scale in mind. You'll learn how to use ASP.NET Core's middleware pipeline plus the sharding features of Postgres and Citus to build a scalable multi-tenant application on ASP.NET Core. Along the way we’ll start to build the MVP of our very own StackExchange. Let's get started!

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