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Author's profile photo Paul Pfeiffer

Modifying the default access_role in HDI containers

Overview

Every HDI container in SAP HANA XSA comes with a predefined access_role that (you might have guessed it) grants access to the container’s schema. It only grants limited access, though –  and sometimes you may need more. This post is about modifyingthe privileges included in this role.

Before we get into the details, let’s first take a look at the obvious question.

Why?

Why would you want to do this?

The access_role is useful because it’s assigned by default to many of the standard users that are created with the HDI container. That includes, but isn’t limited to, the #OO-User, the #DI-User and the #RT-User(s).

As stated before, the default access_role only contains limited privileges. The following privileges are contained for the schema:

  • CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE
  • DELETE
  • EXECUTE
  • INSERT
  • SELECT
  • SELECT CDS METADATA
  • UPDATE

That set of privileges is a great baseline and probably works well for most use cases. But I ran into an issue where I needed a procedure in a Flowgraph to create a new table. Internally, this is done by the #RT-User and not supported with the standard role.

You could now create a new role or assign the missing privilege to the user manually. That is only a workaround, though and doesn’t work for new deployments. So a much better way to solve is is adapting the role.

How?

In short: The solution is described in the following SAP Help entry: https://help.sap.com/viewer/4505d0bdaf4948449b7f7379d24d0f0d/2.0.06/en-US/9235c9dd8dbf410f915ffe305296a032.html

However, as the entry doesn’t contain an example, I thought it would be helpful to provide one.

To solve the issue, a role definition needs to be created in the path src/defaults/default_access_role.hdbrole. The role needs to be named “default_access_role” and has to be included in the deployment.

It’s important to note that the existance of this new role will remove all existing privileges on the schema from the access_role. So, if you prefer to retain those privileges, they need to be added to the new role.

Because I want to keep all privileges and only add “CREATE ANY”, the resulting role definition looks like this:

{
  "role" : {
    "name" : "default_access_role",
    "schema_privileges": [
      {
        "privileges": [
          "SELECT",
          "INSERT",
          "UPDATE",
          "DELETE",
          "EXECUTE",
          "CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE",
          "SELECT CDS METADATA",
          "ALTER",
          "CREATE ANY"
        ]
      }
    ]
  }
}

Make sure to also put a .hdinamespace file into the src/ folder that redefines the namespace. Otherwise the role name will cause errors.

{
    "name":    "",
    "subfolder": "ignore"
}

With that addition, the build and deployment should work fine.

Result

After those modifications and a successful deployment, you should see that the access_role has been changed.

The direct schema privileges are removed – but the role now contains the “default_access_role” with all privileges described in the role definition.

As a result, all technical users like #OO and #DI now get the modified role, in my case including the “CREATE ANY” privilege.

 

It took me some time to figure out the best way to do this. So I hope this helps someone.

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      Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen
      Denys van Kempen

      Hi Paul,

      Left a comment in the documentation to consider adding an example.

      Thanks for your contribution.