What Are The Different Roles In The Database Environment?


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Meg Hayes answered
There are two ways that roles in a database environment can be used:
  • User roles
  • Application roles.
  • User Role
A user role is created for a group of database users that have several privilege requirements in common, such as the need to access sensitive information.

  • Application Role
Application roles are granted when it is necessary for running a database application. Application roles can then be given to other specific users or roles. The application can consist of a number of different roles as each one will be assigned a different set or group of privileges. When using the application, these privileges can allow for accessing less or more data.

When it comes to the actual mechanisms of database roles, they can function in different ways:

  • Roles can be given schema or system privileges.
  • A certain role can actually be granted to another. However, there are rules with this function, such as a role is not allowed to be granted to itself. It can also not be granted circularly, in other words, role X cannot be given to role Y, if role Y has already been given to role X.
  • Any database users can be given any role.
  • At any given time, every role that is given to a user is either disabled or enabled.
  • A role that is given indirectly, in other words a role that is given to another, can be enabled or disabled for each user.
Each role that exists inside a database must be completely unique i.e. The username and role name of any role cannot be duplicated. Roles are the opposite to schema objects, in the sense that they cannot be contained inside a schema. This means that the user that creates that role is allowed to be dropped and this will have no effect on that role.

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