In our recent posts, we’ve talked a lot about PMA.studio and high-end topics in digital pathology like AI and upload automation workflows.
In this article, we want to discuss a more mundane scenario, whereby you are a pathology service provider (or maybe a group practice).
Simply put and for our purposes: a multi-tenant scenario is where you have a single software installation, with different users from different origins. Your users don’t just make up the internal users within your own organization; they represent your customers as well.
Typical of a multi-tenant environment is that each tenant may have vastly different interests. Regardless, each tenant is very keen on its own privacy, and so its paramount that tenant A under no circumstances can see the content of tenant B.
Suppose you have a total of 7 actual users (representing physical persons), they may be distributed across your tenants and your own organization like this:
How do you deal with that?
Let’s look how do PMA.core and PMA.vue help you achieve pathology exchange nirvana.
PMA.core security provisions
Let’s start with the obvious one: security. Keeping the data from your own organization separate from your customers is achieved by defining separate root-directories and users in PMA.core.
Once you’ve defined both users and root-directories, you can use PMA.core’s built-in access control rights (ACL) to control who gets to see what.
As your own customer-base grows (because you’re using this awesome Pathomation software!) you can create groups as well, and organize your customer-accounts accordingly.
Once the accounts, root-directories and credentials are configured, you can go to PMA.vue. A tenant user that logs in, will only be able to see the tenant-specific slides. There is no way see the other tenant’s slides, either on purpose or by accident.
What about your own users?
You can set permissions on the various root-directories so that your internal users at least can have access to the respective tenant slides that they have to interact with. You could even go more granular so that internal users only have access to select tenants, based on the specific terms of for SoWs and MSAs. For tenant users themselves nothing changes because of this: they still can only their own slides.
Once people are convinced that our security model can fit their deployment scenarios, the next question is usually about licensing.
You don’t have to buy PMA.core licenses for all the your tenant users. It is typical for a tenant to have at least two user accounts: a primary and a backup (for when the original user is out, or on vacation or so).
PMA.core wotks with concurrent roaming licenses. This means that in the above scenario, you would only buy a single roaming seat license to accommodate access for TenantA’s users at any given time.
It gets better actually: when it’s unlikely that all of your tenants will be using your system at the same time, you can distribute the seats amongst all the tenants (as well as your internal users) together.
Let’s have a look at the following scenario: you run a small group practice with 5 pathologists, and have 20 tenants. Reading the slides typically happens overnight, and during the daytime, you estimate that about a fourth of your customer base at any given time would be uploading new content to you using PMA.transfer, and another fourth consulting analytical results. Consulting results typically happens in the morning, uploading new content in the afternoon.
Your seat occupation would therefore be about 5 users at night, about 5 users in the morning (one fourth of 20 tenants), and 5 users in the afternoon (one fourth of 20 tenants again).
So even as you have a total or 20 (tenants) x 2 (primary, backup) + 5 (internal staff) = 45 people interact with your system, at any given time you would provision 5 simultaneously occupied seats. Let’s just add one more to that number to be sure, because you may occasionally also need parallel administrative access, maybe an extra hand helps out on busy days etcetera.
You can configure PMA.core to send out automatic notification email should the number of concurrent licenses is insufficient at any given time. Do you notice at some point that you are effectively short on seats? Not a problem; contact us to purchase additional roading license seats at any given time, and we can send you an updated license key file right away.
More information about our licensing policy (and latest updates) can be found at https://www.pathomation.com/licensing/.
PMA.vue is Pathomation’s lightweight centralized viewing solution. Like PMA.core, it can be installed on-premise on your end, or hosted by us on a Virtual Machine in a data center of your choice (currently we support Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure).
With PMA.vue, you can offer powerful viewing and basic annotation capabilities, without having to compromise PMA.core itself: all registered PMA.core users can access PMA.vue, but not vice versa: in order to be allowed to log into PMA.core, a special attribute must be enabled for the user.
With PMA.vue, you can extend slide viewing features to your tenant users, without to need to invest into having your own customer portal developed. Tenants can look at slides, create screenshots, prepare publications etcetera. For your own internal employees, PMA.vue has a whole arsenal of data sharing options. So even if you don’t open up PMA.vue to tenant users, it is still a great tool for internal communication, as you can use it to share folders, slides, and even regions of interest.
To learn more about PMA.vue, visit https://www.pathomation.com/pma.vue
To learn more about PMA.core, visit https://www.pathomation.com/pma.core
Not sure about whether you should go with PMA.vue or build your own customer portal (using our SDK and PMA.UI visualization framework)? We have a separate blog article to help you decide who to put in the driver seat.