I'm a software developer and want to add the feature "multitenancy" (German: Man­danten­fähig­keit, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multitenancy) to my application. Each entity in my application has several attributes. Now I want to add an attribute and give it a good default name. I could use "company", "subsidiary", "client" or maybe "tenant"?

Tenant sounds odd to me because it is immediately associated with renting an apartment.

I've googled for lots of terms but never found a way to describe in one word what I'm searching for, so I'm asking here.

Can I just call this attribute/form field in my application "tenant"? I don't want to use "client" because that words means so many different things in the IT department. At the moment I'm using "client organization".

1 Answer 1


The Wikipedia article you link to appears to use "tenant" for this purpose. Yes, it seems strange, but it always does at first when ordinary words are repurposed for technical use. As long as it is clear from the context that you're using tenant in the technical sense, not the rent-paying one, you should be fine.

  • Thanks, but the problem is that I will present this word without context. Someone opens up the attributes of an entity in my application and sees a form with several fields. Among them would be "teant". So they do not have context.
    – Christian
    Dec 9, 2010 at 9:18
  • 1
    @Christian: can you label the field "Application tenant" or something similar?
    – Marthaª
    Dec 9, 2010 at 15:43

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