Nile in 3 minutes

Nile is serverless Postgres built for modern SaaS applications. All B2B SaaS applications and most B2C SaaS are multi-tenant. A tenant is primarily a company, an organization, or a workspace in your product that contains a group of users. A SaaS application provides services to multiple tenants. Tenant is the basic building block of all SaaS applications.

Nile virtualizes tenants/customers/organizations into Postgres to enable native tenant data isolation, performance isolation between tenants, per-tenant backups, and tenant placement on shared or dedicated compute globally for latency or compliance. You can do all this with the experience of a single Postgres! You don’t have to manage multiple databases, build complex permissions for isolation, or write buggy scripts to read specific tenant data from backups. On top of the tenant model, we provide opt-in user management capabilities, customer-specific vector embeddings, and instant tenant admin dashboards. Moreover, Nile's Postgres is built for the cloud, enabling effortless scaling and a true serverless experience.

Benefits for new SaaS applications

  • Native tenant data isolation without having to invest in complex application level permissions or hard to use row level security features. Nile provides session level isolation per tenant. We also have plans to provide connection level isolation (separate connection strings per tenant in the same database which is useful to build separate application for each tenant without the burden of managing multiple databases).
-- set session context to the tenant you want to access.
set nile.tenant_id = '018ade1a-7830-7981-b23f-f3a7f7b8f09f';
  • User management which is built for multitenancy and where you own the user data. We provide user management SDKs that support organization or tenant management. It also stores the user data in your Nile’s Postgres database giving full control. You don’t have to spend time syncing user data to your database and don’t have to struggle with implementing organization/tenant features for authentication.
  • Backups by tenant or customer (coming soon). You can instantaneously restore data for a specific customer or a group of customers without any complex scripts whether you place tenants in a shared Postgres compute or on dedicated Postgres compute. The challenges mentioned in this writeup about restoring backups for SaaS applications is solved for you on Nile automatically irrespective of where you place your tenants in Nile.
  • AI embeddings (pg_vector) is managed per tenant, secure, placed near the customer and scales to millions of embeddings per tenant. There should not be extra work to store embeddings per tenant and scale them to millions. Nile will take care of adding capacity to support AI workloads.
  • Internal customer admin dashboards without having to spend time building custom dashboards and data pipelines for your new SaaS application. Nile understands tenants and users (if you use our user management or one of our integrations) and we build one for you.


  • World class developer experience
    1. World class console which includes query editor, schema viewer, canned examples and more (continuing to improve)
    2. SDKs on top of Postgres to further simplify building SaaS
    3. Templates, tutorials and numerous examples
  • Pay for just the queries not compute by default. On shared Postgres compute, you would pay only for the cost of the queries. This is the default. You can choose dedicated Postgres compute for specific tenants for which you would pay for the provisioned capacity.
  • No DB shut down or zero cold start time. We are truly multitenant and provide tenant level isolation. This provides the ability to share resources efficiently and have no cold start time.
  • Integrations for third party applications to launch your SaaS
    1. Stripe to get billing set up for your application. Our integration provides subscription billing per organization.
    2. NextAuth if you choose to use a popular SDK to do auth. Our integration provides organization/tenant awareness to NextAuth and ensures user data is written into Nile’s Postgres as the source of truth.
    3. Lambda for serverless SaaS applications.
  • Free tier limits will not force you into paid tier. You only pay for extra usage. We provide very attractive limits on our free tier. When you reach the limits, you can simply pay for usage of additional capacity (storage, compute and bandwidth) without being forced into higher tiers. We want you to opt higher tiers for the value we provide and not for additional usage.
  • Query performance and insights by tenant (coming soon) We provide all the query performance statistics for each customer. You don’t have to spend hours or days figuring out which customer queries are causing performance issues and which customers are impacted.
  • Understand cost per tenant without any additional instrumentation. Nile’s billing will provide cost incurred for each of your tenants which helps to better rationalize the revenue per customer and the cost of the database to serve the customer.
  • Share data across tenants. While Nile provides isolation between tenants, it also lets you share data across tenants where appropriate. While each tenant acts like its own virtual tenant database, shared tables can be accessed across all the tenants. This works even when you have tenants in different regions or different types of computes.
  • You may get benefits listed under “Growing SaaS applications” depending on your use case

Benefits for growing SaaS application

  • Everything under “Benefits for new SaaS applications”
  • Performance isolation and instant capacity for tenants. Our architecture enables Nile to provide tenant isolation between tenants and providing instant capacity as Nile’s Postgres is tenant aware. challenges with sharding, managing multiple databases or application level throttling
  • Massive scale for pg_vector embeddings with lower cost and true serverless experience. Embeddings can grow to significant scale very quickly. Our cloud native architecture and sharding tenants across computes helps to provide massive scale with lower cost.
  • Scale to millions of tenants while ensuring high availability and low latency. The number of tenants can grow to millions or some tenants can grow really fast. Nile ensures that we can horizontally scale tenants across Postgres computes and vertically scale a single tenant. This helps Nile support significant workloads and scale.
  • Place some tenants on dedicated Postgres compute without the burden of managing multiple databases (schema migration, unified observability, routing) for compliance, security or isolation needs. You have full flexibility in placing tenants on either shared compute or dedicated compute. You can better align your business needs finally to your database. For example, you can place your lower tier customers on shared Postgres compute and higher tier customers on dedicated Postgres compute.
  • Place tenants in any region to move data close to the customer for lower latency or compliance needs (eg. GDPR) within one database without the burden of managing multiple databases (schema migration, unified observability, routing). Nile is one global Postgres database that lets you pick which tenants should be placed in which region. Your application can continue working with no changes for multi region.
  • Move tenants instantaneously from shared Postgres compute to dedicated Postgres compute or to another region. The placement decision can be changed any time and Nile will do the work to instantaneously move the tenants. This is possible due to Nile’s cloud native architecture and tenant awareness in Postgres. This lets SaaS businesses to move tenants from shared to dedicated compute (or other regions) as the tenants go to higher product tiers.

Architecture - Built to be tenant-aware and for the cloud

Nile is taking a radical approach to building databases. Our core insight is that it is possible to push tenant awareness all the way to the page level in Postgres and design it for the cloud from first principles. This helps us to provide a comprehensive and flexible solution to all the tenant management problems for building and scaling SaaS.

“Nile Architecture”

We will have a more detailed write-up about our blueprint architecture, but here are the key highlights

  • Global routing gateway that can enforce tenant data isolation at the session and connection level, route to the correct tenant, and provide a single database experience across all virtual tenant DBs
  • Database clustering technology that helps place tenants on shared or dedicated Postgres compute anywhere globally and manage schemas migrations across tenants
  • Tenant-aware Postgres pages that ensure pages are always isolated to a single tenant, which helps to move tenants instantaneously, generate backups per tenant/customer, fork the database with data of a specific customer for testing, and provide performance insights by tenants.
  • Storage and compute decoupling to move tenant pages instantaneously across computes to provide instant capacity and manage performance guarantees for any tenants
  • Cloud-native architecture by leveraging S3 for permanent storage and replication cross-region