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Administration of Security

Security in Oracle has six layers:

  • The first layer of security is the raw assignment and management of users, which we have already discussed.

  • The second layer is the high-level system grants that give the users already built permission to create, alter, and use database objects such as tables, indexes, and clusters.

  • The third layer of security comprises the object-level grants that allow users to interact with database objects.

  • The fourth layer is the column grant layer that grants or restricts access to the specific columns inside a database object. The fifth layer (new in Oracle8i) involves the use of policies and contexts to control row-level access.

  • The sixth level of security deals with controlling access to system resources, such as CPUs and parallel query resources, and is accomplished through the use of profiles (Oracle7 and Oracle8) and resource plans and groups (new in Oracle8i).

Security in Oracle is becoming a very complex topic, and entire books have been written concerning this one aspect of Oracle.

User Grants and Privileges

As mentioned in the introduction to this chapter, two types of privileges can be granted: system privileges and object privileges.

  • System privileges allow a user to perform a particular systemwide action or to perform a particular action on a particular type of object. For example, the privilege to create a table (CREATE TABLE) or insert rows into any table (INSERT ANY TABLE) are system privileges.

  • Object privileges allow a user to perform a particular action on a specific object, including tables, views, sequences, procedures, functions, and packages. For example, the privilege to insert rows into a particular table is an object privilege. Object privilege grants always include the name of the object for which the privilege is granted.

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