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Multi-Tenancy for Laravel and Laravel-Doctrine

This library provides the necessary infra-structure for a complex multi-tenant application. Multi-tenancy allows an application to be silo'd into protected areas by some form of tenant identifier. This could be by sub-domain, URL parameter or some other scheme.



Identifies the currently loaded account that the user belongs to. There are two components:

  • Tenant Owner: tenant_owner_id
  • Tenant Creator: tenant_creator_id

The tenant owner is the root account that actual "owns" the tenant-aware data.

The tenant creator is the instance that is adding or manipulating data that belongs to the tenant owner.

The tenant owner and creator may be the same entity.

The Tenant is its own object, registered in the container as: auth.tenant.

Tenant Participant

A tenant participant identifies the entity that is actually providing the tenancy reference. This must be defined for this library to work and there can only be a single entity.

Typically this will be an Account class or User or (from laravel-doctrine/acl), an organization.

The tenant participant may be a polymorphic entity e.g.: one that uses single table inheritance.

Tenant Participant Mapping

Provides an alias to the tenant participant for easier referencing.

Note: this is not a container alias but used internally for tagging routes. e.g.: the participant class is \App\Entity\SomeType\TheActualInstanceClass and in the routes we want to restrict to this type. Instead of using the whole class name, it can be aliased to "short_name".

Tenant Aware

An entity that implements the TenantAware contract (interface). This allows the data to be portioned by the tenant owner / creator.

A tenant aware entity requires:

  • get/set TenantOwnerId
  • get/set TenantCreatorId
  • importTenancyFrom

Tenant Aware Repository

A specific repository that will enforce the tenant requirements ensuring that any fetch request will be correctly bound with the tenant owner and creator, depending on the security scheme that has been implemented on the tenant owners data.

A tenant aware repository usually wraps the standard entities repository class. This may be the standard Doctrine EntityRepository.

Security Model

Defines how data is shared within a tenant owners account. In many situations this will be just the tenant owner and creator only, however this library allows a hierarchy and a user to have multiple tenants associated with them. In this instance the security level will determine what information is available to the user depending on their current creator instance.

The provided security models are:

  • shared - all data within the tenant owner is shared to all tenant creators
  • user - the user can access all data they are allowed access to within the tenant owner
  • closed - only the current creator within the owner is permitted
  • inherit - defer to the parent to get the security model.

Additional models can be implemented. The default configuration is closed, with no sharing.

Note: to implement your own security models, create an alternative SecurityModel class. The enumeration object cannot be extended.

Domain Aware Tenant Participant

A domain aware tenant participant adds support for a domain name to the interface. This allows the tenant information to be resolved from the current host name passed into the application. This is used with the TenantSiteResolver middleware.

Domain Aware Tenant Participant Repository

The repository for the domain aware tenant participants. It is separate to the tenant participant allowing separate instances to be used. Domain aware is used with the TenantSiteResolver middleware.

Forms of Tenancy

This library provides the following tenant setups, in increasing order of complexity:

  • multi-account (single App), URI tenancy
  • multi-site, domain name tenancy
  • multi-site with multi-account tenancy

Multi-Account, URI Tenancy

The simplest case is a single App that has multi-account tenants. All users must be registered and the tenancy is defined by the tenant_creator_id in the route URI. The tenancy is resolved on User login meaning that this offers the smallest impact in your application.

If you need to serve static, non-tenant pages or your app does not need theme support, this is the preferred tenancy model.

Multi-Site, Domain Name Tenancy

Increasing in complexity, the next level is domain-name based tenancy. Multiple sites running from a single app folder. This is usually some form of white-labelling setup i.e. the same application is re-skinned with different branding but the underlying app is practically the same.

Note: this is a substantial increase in difficulty from single app tenancy. You will need to change the Application instance in /bootstrap/app.php to use:


Note: you have to remove RouteServiceProvider and add TenantRouteResolver middleware.

Note: you must ensure that any caches you use can handle per-site caching.

In addition, this form of tenancy requires a middleware to run all the time to resolve the current tenant information before any users login or the main app actually runs. If using a database for the tenant source, this could increase site overhead and a high-performance cache is highly recommended for production environments e.g.: APCu or an in memory-cache that persists between requests to reduce the overhead of the tenant resolution.

A file-system repository can be easily created instead of using the database, or a combination of both where a cache file is generated when the tenant sources change.

Routes can be customised per site by adding a file to your routes folder using the domain name. Domain suffixes can be ignored by adding them to the list of ignorables in the tenancy.php config file under: tenancy.multi_site.ignorable_domain_components. The default are dev. and test.

Routes are searched for in several locations:

  • routes/<creator_domain>
  • app/Http/<creator_domain>
  • routes/<owner_domain>
  • app/Http/<owner_domain>
  • routes/routes
  • routes/web
  • routes/api
  • app/Http/routes
  • app/Http/web
  • app/Http/api

A single set of routes can be shared with all sites. If neither app/Http or routes exists, no routes will be loaded and an exception raised with the paths that were tried.

In multi-site, changes must be made to your app config:

  • view.paths: should have the default path changed to views/default
  • view.compiled: should have the default path changed to views/default

When creating your app, you will need to create a "default" view theme and then mirror this for each domain you serve from the app. The view folder should be named after the domain that is bound to the tenant. -> resources/views/

Your views folder will end up looking like:


Once the tenant information has been resolved, several updates are made to the container configuration:

  • app.url is replaced with the current host domain (not resolved domain name)
  • template paths are re-computed as a hierarchy and the finder reset

Template path order is reset to:

  • tenant creator domain
  • tenant owner domain (if different)
  • default / existing paths

This way templates should be evaluated from most specific to least specific.

Note: auth.tenant is initialised with the tenant owner / creator and a NullUser.

Multi-Site with Multi-Account Tenancy

Note: this is the most complex scenario. TenantAwareApplication is required.

Note: you have to remove RouteServiceProvider and add TenantRouteResolver middleware.

Note: you must ensure that any caches you use can handle per-site caching.

This is a combination of both methods where there are multiple tenants per multi-site. In this configuration there are limitations on the security that can be implemented unless a custom implementation is made:

  • there is only one tenant owner per domain
  • all tenant owners should have the closed security model
  • all tenant creators should have the closed security model

It is possible to allow further tenanting however this would have to be a custom implementation as your tenant creator would have to allow child tenants and implement a security model that is appropriate in this situation. One possible example would be to cascade up through the parents to set the tenant owner (which would be the domain tenant owner).

This setup has the highest impact on site performance and requires users login to resolve their tenancy. As such, this essentially results in double tenancy resolution.

This setup is not recommended as it could lead to hard to diagnose issues, but is included as it is technically feasible with the current implementation.

Note: auth.tenant is initialised with the tenant owner / creator and a NullUser but after User authentication will be updated with the current, authenticated user and any changes to the creator tenant as needed. The owner tenant should still be the same as the creator must be a child of the owner.


  • PHP 7.3+
  • Laravel 7+
  • laravel-doctrine/orm


Install using composer, or checkout / pull the files from

  • composer install somnambulist/laravel-doctrine-tenancy

Setup / Getting Started

  • add Somnambulist\Tenancy\TenancyServiceProvider::class to your config/app.php
  • add Somnambulist\Tenancy\EventSubscribers\TenantOwnerEventSubscriber::class to config/doctrine.php subscribers
  • create or import the config/tenancy.php file
  • create your TenantParticipant entity / repository and add to the config file
  • create your participant mappings in the config file (at least class => class)
  • create your User with tenancy support
  • create an App\Http\Controller\TenantController to handle the various tenant redirects
  • add the basic routes
  • for multi-site
    • in bootstrap/app.php
      • change Application instance to Somnambulist\Tenancy\Foundation\TenantAwareApplication
      • Note: if multi-site is enabled and this changed is not made, an exception will be raised.
    • in HttpKernel:
      • add TenantSiteResolver middleware to middleware, after CheckForMaintenanceMode
      • add TenantRouteResolver middleware to middleware, after TenantSiteResolver
      • remove RouteServiceProvider from config/app.php
  • for standard app tenancy and/or for tenancy within multi-site
    • add AuthenticateTenant as auth.tenant to HttpKernel route middlewares
    • add EnsureTenantType as auth.tenant.type to HttpKernel route middlewares

Example User

The following is an example of a tenant aware user that has a single tenant:

namespace App\Entity;

use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Contracts\BelongsToTenant as BelongsToTenantContract;
use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Contracts\BelongsToTenantParticipant;
use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Contracts\TenantParticipant;
use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Entities\Concerns\BelongsToTenant;

class User implements AuthenticatableContract, AuthorizableContract, CanResetPasswordContract, BelongsToTenantContract, BelongsToTenantParticipant
    use BelongsToTenant;

    protected $tenant;

    public function __construct(TenantParticipant $tenant)
        $this->tenant = $tenant;

    public function getTenantParticipant()
        return $this->tenant;

You should always set the tenancy whenever you create an entity. In previous versions there was an event subscriber to discover it from the current request, however it has been removed as the tenant information is a critical part of the record, and it is safer to always require it.

Example Tenant Participant

The following is an example of a tenant participant:

namespace App\Entity;

use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Contracts\TenantParticipant as TenantParticipantContract;
use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Entities\Concerns\TenantParticipant;

class Account implements TenantParticipantContract
    use TenantParticipant;

Basic Routes

The two authentication middlewares expect the following routes to be defined and available:

// tenant selection and error routes
Route::group(['prefix' => 'tenant', 'as' => 'tenant.', 'middleware' => ['auth']], function () {
    Route::get('select',          ['as' => 'select_tenant',             'uses' => '[email protected]']);
    Route::get('no-tenants',      ['as' => 'no_tenants',                'uses' => '[email protected]']);
    Route::get('no-access',       ['as' => 'access_denied',             'uses' => '[email protected]']);
    Route::get('not-supported',   ['as' => 'tenant_type_not_supported', 'uses' => '[email protected]']);
    Route::get('invalid-request', ['as' => 'invalid_tenant_hierarchy',  'uses' => '[email protected]']);

As a separate block (or within the previous section) add the areas of the application that require tenancy support / enforcement. These routes should be prefixed with at least: {tenant_creator_id}. {tenant_owner_id} can be used (first) which will force the auth.tenant middleware to validate that the creator belongs to the owner as well as the current user having access to the creator.

Note: the user does not need access to the tenant owner, access to the tenant creator implies permission to access a sub-set of the data.

// Tenant Aware Routes
Route::group(['prefix' => 'account/{tenant_creator_id}', 'as' => 'tenant.', 'namespace' => 'Tenant', 'middleware' => ['auth', 'auth.tenant']], function () {
    Route::get('/', ['as' => 'index', 'uses' => '[email protected]']);

    // routes that should be limited to certain ParticipantTypes
    Route::group(['prefix' => 'customer', 'as' => 'customer.', 'namespace' => 'Customer', 'middleware' => ['auth.tenant.type:crm']], function () {
        Route::get('/', ['as' => 'index', 'uses' => '[email protected]']);

AuthController Changes

When using tenancy, the AuthController must be modified to include the redirector service to know where to go to after a successful login. If your AuthController is the standard Laravel provided one, simply add an authenticated method:


class AuthController extends Controller
     * @param Request $request
     * @param User    $user
     * @return \Illuminate\Http\RedirectResponse
    protected function authenticated($request, $user)
        // do post authentication stuff...
        //$em = app('em');

        // redirect to tenant uri
        return app('auth.tenant.redirector')->resolve($user);

In addition, if you allow registration of new users you will need to now add support for the tenancy component. This must be done by overriding the postRegister method:


class AuthController ...
    public function postRegister(Request $request)
        $validator = $this->validator($request->all());

        if ($validator->fails()) {

        $user = $this->create($request->all());

        // call into redirector which was previously mapped above
        return $this->authenticated($request, $user);

It is up to the implementer to figure out what to do with new registrations or if this should even be allowed.

Tenant Aware Entity

Finally you need something that is actually tenant aware! So lets create a really basic customer:

namespace App\Entity;

use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Contracts\TenantAware as TenantAwareContract;
use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Entities\Concerns\TenantAware;

class Customer implements TenantAwareContract
    use TenantAware;

This creates a Customer entity that will track the tenant information. To save typing this uses the built-in trait. A corresponding repository will need to be created along with the Doctrine mapping file. Here is an example XML mapping file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<doctrine-mapping xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""
    <entity name="App\Entity\Customer" table="customers" repository-class="App\Repository\CustomerRepository">
            <unique-constraint xml:id="uniq_customers_uuid" columns="uuid" />

        <id name="id" type="integer">
            <generator strategy="IDENTITY"/>
                <option name="unsigned">true</option>
        <field name="uuid" type="guid" />
        <field name="tenantOwnerId" type="integer" />
        <field name="tenantCreatorId" type="integer" />
        <field name="name" type="string" length="255" />
        <field name="createdBy" type="string" length="36" />
        <field name="updatedBy" type="string" length="36" />
        <field name="createdAt" type="datetime" />
        <field name="updatedAt" type="datetime" />

Tenant Aware Repositories

Note: applies to Doctrine only.

Tenant aware repositories simply wrap an existing entity repository with the standard repository interface. They should be defined and created as we actually want to be able to inject these as dependency and set them up in the container.

First you will need to create an App level TenantAwareRepository that extends:

  • Somnambulist\Tenancy\Repositories\TenantAwareRepository

For example:

namespace App\Repository;

use Somnambulist\Tenancy\Repositories\TenantAwareRepository;

class AppTenantAwareRepository extends TenantAwareRepository


Provided you don't have a custom security model, this should be good to extend again as a namespaced "tenant" repository for our customer:

namespace App\Repository\TenantAware;

use App\Repository\AppTenantAwareRepository;

class CustomerRepository extends AppTenantAwareRepository


Now, the config/tenancy.php can be updated to add a repository config definition so this class will be automatically available in the container.

Note: this step presumes the standard repository is already mapped to the container using the repository class as the key.

        'repository' => \App\Repository\TenantAware\CustomerRepository::class,
        'base'       => \App\Repository\CustomerRepository::class,
        //'alias'      => 'app.repository.tenant_aware_customer', // optionally alias
        //'tags'       => ['repository', 'tenant_aware'], // optionally tag

Security Models

The security model defines how data within a tenant owner should be shared. The default is no sharing at all. In fact the security model only applies when the User implements the BelongsToTenantParticipants and there can be multiple tenants on one user.


In this situation, the tenant owner may decide that any data can be shared by all child tenants of the owner. This model is called "shared" and means that all data in the tenant owner is available to all tenant creators at any time.

To set the security model, simply save the TenantParticipant instance with the security model set to: TenantSecurityModel::SHARED()

Behind the scenes, when the TenantAwareRepository is queried, the current Tenant information is extracted and the query builder instance modified to set the tenant owner and/or creator. For shared data, only the owner is set.

The other pre-built models are:

  • user
  • closed
  • inherit


The User model restricts the queries to the current tenant owner and any mapped tenant. So if a User has 4 child tenants, they will be able to access the data created only by those 4 child tenants. All other data will be excluded.


If the security model is set to closed, then all queries are created with the tenant owner and current creator only. The user in this scheme, even with multiple tenant creators, will only ever see data that was created by the current creator.


Inherit allows the security model to be adopted from a parent tenant. If the parent model is inherit, or there is no parent then the model will be set to closed automatically. This library attempts to favour least access whenever possible.

Applying / Adding Security Models

The security model rules are applied by methods within the TenantAwareRepository. The model name is capitalised, prefixed with "apply" and suffixed with SecurityModel so "shared" becomes "applySharedSecurityModel".

This is why an App level repository is strongly suggested as you can then implement your own security models simply by extending the TenantSecurityModel, defining some new constants and then adding the appropriate method in your App repository.

For example: say you want to have a "global" policy where all unowned data is shared all over but you also have your own data that is private to your tenant, you could add this as a new method:

class AppTenantAwareRepository extends TenantAwareRepository

    protected function applyGlobalSecurityModel(QueryBuilder $qb, $alias)
            ->where("({$alias}.tenantOwnerId IS NULL OR {$alias}.tenantOwnerId = :tenantOwnerId)")
                ':tenantOwnerId' => $this->tenant->getTenantOwnerId(),

Additional schemes can be added as needed.

Note: while in theory you can mix security models within a tenant e.g.: some children are closed, others shared, some user; this may result in strange results or inconsistencies. It may lead to a large increase in duplicate records. It is up to you to manage this accordingly.


For any route within the tenant group and provided that the placeholder name is tenant_creator_id, any route generated for a tenant controller will automatically embed the current tenant information. In fact both the owner and creator are automatically checked for and injected when creating routes.

This is done by overriding the default UrlGenerator with one that adds the Tenant entity and then checking the route information for both {tenant_owner_id} and {tenant_creator_id}. The properties are then automatically injected.

This only occurs when using named routes and within a tenancy group.

For paths, you will have to include the tenant information yourself; similarly when creating a tenant selection list, you must supply the tenant information as parameters when outputting the links.

The tenant parameters can of course be overridden by simply setting them when calling link_to_route.

You should use named routes for tenancy, as this makes it easier to make changes to the routing structure.

Finally: as with repositories you should clearly label tenant based routes so that they are not confused with standard routes.

In addition any un-authenticated routes should be excluded from the tenancy group - unless you implement a tenant aware anonymous user (not recommended).

Multi-Site Routing

In a multi-site setup you may want to have different routes per site. In this case you will need to remove your RouteServiceProvider entirely and switch it for the TenantRouteResolver middleware. Then you will need to either create per tenant domain route files (which can include() shared routes) or symlink the files if you wish to use the exact same routes.

A middleware is provided to handle loading the routes for a multi-site setup. This must be loaded after the TenantSiteResolver, but before any other middleware. In addition you must disable / remove the default App/Providers/RouteServiceProvider. This provider is registered too early and must be delayed / resolved via the TenantRouteResolver instead.

The reasons for this setup are to ensure that only the chosen tenants routes are loaded, and not appended to any existing routing files.

Note: these are not route middleware but Kernel middleware.

Your Kernel.php will end up looking like the following:

class Kernel extends HttpKernel
    protected $middleware = [

        // must appear AFTER maintenance mode, but before everything else


    protected $routeMiddleware = [
        'auth' => \App\Http\Middleware\Authenticate::class,
        'auth.basic' => \Illuminate\Auth\Middleware\AuthenticateWithBasicAuth::class,
        'auth.tenant' => \Somnambulist\Tenancy\Http\Middleware\AuthenticateTenant::class,
        'auth.tenant.type' => \Somnambulist\Tenancy\Http\Middleware\EnsureTenantType::class,
        'guest' => \App\Http\Middleware\RedirectIfAuthenticated::class,

The auth.tenant / auth.tenant.type are optional in multi-site, and should only be included if you are using multi-account tenancy.

Again: ensure that the previous RouteServiceProvider in config/app.php has been removed.

Note: you must not use the standard route:list, route:cache in a multi-site setup. Tenant aware versions of these commands are automatically registered if a multi-site setup is detected in the configuration settings and are prefixed with tenant:.

Route Namespace

When using the TenantRouteResolver, you must specify the route namespace in the tenancy config file under the multi_site configuration block:

// config/app.php
return [
    // other stuff...
    'multi_site' => [
        'router' => [
            'namespace' => 'App\Http\Controller', // default
    // more stuff...

If left out, the default App\Http\Controller is used. If set to an empty string, then no namespace prefix will be set on any routes.

Route Patterns

Like the namespace, patterns can still be set by adding them to your config/tenancy.php under multi_site.router.patterns. This is an associative array of identifier and pattern. They are registered with the router when the routes are resolved.

// config/app.php
return [
    // other stuff...
    'multi_site' => [
        'router' => [
            'namespace' => 'App\Http\Controller', // default
            'patterns' => [
                'id' => '[0-9]+',
    // more stuff...



AuthenticateTenant ensures the currently authenticated user is permitted to access the currently specified tenant URI. It is used as Route middleware and is required for Multi-Account tenant systems.


TenantSiteResolver will determine if the requested host is a valid tenant host. This is the primary Multi-Site tenancy middleware. It must be registered as a Kernel middleware, and run after the maintenance mode check but before any others.


TenantRouteResolver is the second part of the Multi-Site middleware. It runs after the site resolver and tries to load the hosts route information from a file located in App/Http/.php. If the current tenant is not a DomainAwareTenantParticipant, the standard routes.php file is checked for instead.


EnsureTenantType is a Route middleware and is used when you have used inheritance for your tenant participant. It allows routes to be safe-guarded from certain tenant types so for example: you could mark a set of routes as requiring a particular membership type, or as an opportunity to up-sell services - or purely as a security safe-guard to ensure that basic tenants do not gain access to admin features.

This middleware should be the last to run of the tenancy middleware.

Twig Extension

A Twig extension is provided that can be added to the config/twigbridge.php extensions. This adds the following template functions:

  • current_tenant_owner_id
  • current_tenant_creator_id
  • current_tenant_owner
  • current_tenant_creator
  • current_tenant_security_model

This allows access to the current resolved Tenant instance. To enable the Twig extension, add it to the list of extensions in the config/twigbridge.php file.

Note: in a previous iteration, this included functions to look up tenant owner/creator from a repository, however: as the tenant could be domain aware or standard tenant, you do not know which repository to use so it was removed. Further: this information almost certainly should not be being pulled in a standard view anyway.


The bundled TenantController expects to find views under:

  • /resources/views/tenant
  • /resources/views/tenant/error

These are not included as they require application implementation. The TenantController class has information about file names and route mappings.

In multi-site, these will need placing in appropriate sub-folders / duplicating where necessary.

Potential Issues

Working with multi-tenancy can be very complex. This library works on a shared database, not individual databases, however you could setup specific databases based on the tenant if necessary (if you are comfortable with multiple connections / definitions in Doctrine).

When creating repositories always ensure that tenant aware / non-tenant aware are clearly marked to avoid using the wrong type in the wrong context. Best case: you don't see anything, worst case - you see everything unfiltered.

You will note that in this system there are no magic SQL filters pre-applied through Doctrines DQL filters: this is deliberate. You should be able to switch the tenancy easily at any point and this can be done by simply updating the Tenant instance, or using the non-tenant aware repository.

Additionally: none of the tenant ids are references to other objects. Again this is very deliberate. It allows e.g. customer data to be in a separate database to your users and makes it a lot more portable.

Using tenancy will add an amount of overhead to your application. How much will depend on how much data you have and the security model you apply.

Always test and have functional tests to ensure that the tenancy is applied correctly and whenever in doubt: always deny rather than grant access.


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