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Oracle® Database 2 Day DBA
10g Release 2 (10.2)

Part Number B14196-02
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Administering Roles

System privileges, object privileges, and roles provide a basic level of database security. They are designed to control user access to data and to limit the kinds of SQL statements that users can execute.

About Privileges and Roles

Roles are groupings of privileges that you can use to create different levels of database access. For example, you can create a role for application developers that enable users to create tables and programs.

You can grant privileges and roles to other users only when you possess the necessary privilege. The granting of roles and privileges starts at the administrator level. At database creation, the administrative user SYS is created and granted all system privileges and predefined Oracle roles. User SYS can then grant privileges and roles to other users and also grant those users the right to grant specific privileges to others.

Table 7-2 provides descriptions and examples of privileges and roles.

Table 7-2 Privileges and Roles

Privilege or Role Description Examples

System privilege

An Oracle-defined privilege usually granted only to and by administrators. System privileges enable users to perform specific database operations.

The following are examples of system privileges that can be granted to users:

  • CREATE TABLE allows grantee to create tables in the grantee's schema.

  • CREATE USER allows grantee to create users in the database.

  • CREATE SESSION allows grantee to connect to an Oracle database to create a user session.

Object privilege

A privilege that controls access to a specific object.

The following examples are object privileges that can be granted to users:

  • SELECT ON hr.employees TO myuser

  • INSERT ON hr.employees TO myuser


A group of privileges or other roles

The following examples are Oracle-defined roles:

  • CONNECT is a role that Enterprise Manager automatically grants to a user when you create a user as shown in "Creating Users". This role has the CREATE SESSION privilege.

  • RESOURCE extends the privileges of a user beyond those granted by the CONNECT role. It includes CREATE PROCEDURE, CREATE TRIGGER, and other system privileges.

  • DBA is the standard role that can be granted by an administrator to another administrator. It includes all system privileges and should only be granted to the most trusted and qualified of users. Assigning this role to a user enables the user to administer the database.

You can create your own roles if you have been granted this privilege.

See Also:

Oracle Database SQL Reference for a list of Oracle-defined privileges and roles

About Administrative Accounts

The following administrative accounts are automatically created when Oracle Database is installed:


When you create an Oracle database, the user SYS is automatically created and granted the DBA role.

All base tables and views for the database data dictionary are stored in the schema SYS. These base tables and views are critical for the operation of Oracle Database. To maintain the integrity of the data dictionary, tables in the SYS schema are manipulated only by the database. They should never be modified by any user or database administrator. Also, you should not create any tables in the schema of user SYS, although you can change the storage parameters of the data dictionary settings if necessary.

Ensure that most database users are never able to connect to Oracle Database with the SYS account.


When you create an Oracle Database, the user SYSTEM is also automatically created and granted the DBA role.

The SYSTEM user can create additional tables and views that display administrative information as well as internal tables and views used by various Oracle Database options and tools. Never use the SYSTEM schema to store tables of interest to nonadministrative users.

A predefined DBA role is automatically created with every Oracle Database installation. This role contains most database system privileges. Therefore, you should grant the DBA role only to actual database administrators. The DBA role does not include the SYSDBA or SYSOPER system privileges.

Administrative Privileges

SYSDBA and SYSOPER are administrative privileges required to perform basic database operations such as creating the database and instance startup and shutdown. Depending upon the level of authorization you require, you must have one of these privileges granted to you.


The SYSDBA and SYSOPER system privileges allow access to a database instance even when the database is not open. Control of these privileges is totally outside of the database itself.

You can also think of the SYSDBA and SYSOPER privileges as types of connections that enable you to perform certain database operations for which privileges cannot be granted in any other way. For example, if you have the SYSDBA privilege, then you can connect to the database by specifying CONNECT AS SYSDBA.

See Also:

Oracle Database Administrator's Guide for more the operations authorized with each privilege and an example

Viewing Roles

You can use Enterprise Manager to view existing roles as follows:

  1. In the Users & Privileges section of the Administration home page, click Roles.

    Figure 7-1 Users & Privileges

    Pointer to the Roles link.
    Description of "Figure 7-1 Users & Privileges"

    The Roles page appears. From this page you can create, edit, view, or delete roles. The structure and functionality of the Roles page is similar to that of the Users page shown in Figure 7-2.

  2. Select the CONNECT role.

  3. Click View.

    The View page appears. In this page you can see all of the privileges and roles associated with the CONNECT role.

Creating Roles

You can create a secure role with the privileges necessary for application development. You can then grant the role to other roles or users depending on the level of data access required by the user.

See Also:

Oracle Database Security Guide for more information on administering user security, roles, and privileges

In this exercise, you create an application developer role called APPDEV.

To create the APPDEV role:

  1. In the Users & Privileges section of the Administration home page, click Roles.

    The Roles page appears.

  2. Click Create.

    The Create Role General page appears.

  3. In the Name field, enter the name of the new role. For instance, enter APPDEV to create a new role for application developers.

  4. Click OK.

    A page appears with a list of all roles, including the APPDEV role that you just created. You can now modify this new role by adding the required privileges.

Modifying Roles

You can add roles, privileges, and consumer groups to roles. In this exercise, you add the basic system privileges shown in Table 7-3, which allow the creation of various objects, to the APPDEV role that you created previously. These objects are described in Chapter 8, "Managing Schema Objects".

Table 7-3 APPDEV Privileges

Privilege Description


Enables user to create tables in his schema.


Enables user to create views in his schema.


Enables user to create procedures in his schema.


Enables user to create triggers in his schema.


Enables user to create sequences in his schema.


Enables user to create synonyms in his schema.

To modify the APPDEV role:

  1. In the Users & Privileges section of the Administration home page, click Roles.

    The Roles page appears.

  2. From the list of roles, select APPDEV and click Edit.

  3. Click System Privileges to navigate to the System Privileges property page.

    The System Privilege column should display no items.

  4. Click Edit List.

    The Modify System Privileges page appears.

  5. In the Available System Privileges list, double-click the privileges listed in Table 7-3 to add them to the Selected System Privileges list.

  6. Click OK.

    You are returned to the Edit Role: APPDEV page.

  7. Click Apply.

    A confirmation message should appear saying that the role has been modified successfully.

Dropping Roles

In this exercise, you drop to the APPDEV role that you created in "Dropping Roles".

To drop the APPDEV role:

  1. In the Users & Privileges section of the Administration home page, click Roles.

    The Roles page appears.

  2. Select the APPDEV role and click Delete.

    A confirmation page appears.

  3. Click Yes.

    A confirmation message indicates that the role has been deleted successfully.