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While the use of cloud computing is on the rise, many obstacles to its adoption remain. One of the weaknesses of current cloud offerings is the difficulty of developing highly customizable applications while retaining the increased scalability and lower cost offered by the multi-tenant nature of cloud applications. In this paper we describe a Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) approach to the modelling and deployment of customizable Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. Afterwards we define a formal feature placement problem to manage these applications, and compare several heuristic approaches to solve the problem. The scalability and performance of the algorithms is investigated in detail. Our experiments show that the heuristics scale and perform well for systems with a reasonable load.