Database users in the Oracle Utilities Application Framework

I mentioned the product database users fleetingly in the last blog post and they deserve a better mention. This applies to all versions of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework.

The Oracle Utilities Application Framework uses up to three users initially as part of the base operations of the product. The type of database supported (the framework supports Oracle, IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server) dictates the number of users used and their permissions.

For publishing brevity I will outline what is available for the Oracle database and, in summary, mention where it differs for the other database supported.
For Oracle database customers we ship three distinct database users:


  • Administration User (SPLADM or CISADM by default) - This is the database user that actually owns the schema. This user is not used by the product to do any DML (Data Manipulation Language) SQL other than that is necessary for maintenance of the database. This database user performs all the DCL (Data Control Language) and DDL (Data Definition Language) against the database. It is typically reserved for Database Administration use only.

  • Product Read Write User (SPLUSER or CISUSER by default) - This is the database user used by the product itself to execute DML (Data Manipulation Language) statements against the schema owned by the Administration user. This user has the appropriate read and write permission to objects within the schema owned by the Administration user. For databases such as DB2 and SQL Server we may not create this user but use other DCL (Data Control Language) statements and facilities to simulate this user.

  • Product Read User (SPLREAD or CISREAD by default) - This is the database that has read only permission to the schema owned by the Administration user. It is used for reporting or any part of the product or interface that requires read permissions to the database (for example, products that have ConfigLab and Archiving use this user for remote access). For databases such as DB2 and SQL Server we may not create this user but use other DCL (Data Control Language) statements and facilities to simulate this user.


You may notice the words by default in the list above. The values supplied with the installer are the default and can be changed to what the site standard or implementation wants to use (as long as they conform to the standards supported by the underlying database). You can even create multiples of each within the same database and pointing to same schema.

To manage the permissions for the users, there is a utility provided with the installation (oragensec (Oracle), db2gensec (DB2) or msqlgensec (SQL Server)) that generates the security definitions for the above users. That can be executed a number of times for each schema to give users appropriate permissions.

For example, it is possible to define more than one read/write User to access the database. This is a common technique used by implementations to have a different user per access mode (to separate online and batch). In fact you can also allocate additional security (such as resource profiles in Oracle) to limit the impact of specific users at the database.

To facilitate users and permissions, in Oracle for example, we create a CISREAD role (read only role) and a CISUSER role (read write role) that can be allocated to the appropriate database user. When the security permissions utility, oragensec in this case, is executed it uses the role to determine the permissions.

To give you a case study, my underpowered laptop has multiple installations on it of multiple products but I have one database. I create a different schema for each product and each version (with my own naming convention to help me manage the databases). I create individual users on each schema and run oragensec to maintain the permissions for each appropriately. It works fine as long I have setup the userids appropriately. This means:


  • Creating the users with the appropriate roles. I use the common CISUSER (or SPL_USER) and CISREAD (or SPL_READ) role across versions and across Oracle Utilities Application Framework products. Just remember to associate the CISUSER (or SPL_USER) role with the database user you want to use for read/write operations and the CISREAD (or SPL_READ) role with the user you wish to use for the read only operations. The role is treated as a tag to indicate the oragensec utility which appropriate permissions to assign to the user. The utilities for the other database types essentially do the same, obviously using the technology available within those databases.

  • Run oragensec against the read write user and read only user against the appropriate administration user (I will abbreviate the user to ADM user). This ensures the right permissions are allocated to the right users for the right products. To help me there, I use the same prefix on the user name for the same product. For example, my Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4 environment has the administration user set to FW4ADM and the associated FW4USER and FW4READ as the users for the product to use. For my MWM environment I used MWMADM for the administration user and MWMUSER and MWMREAD for my associated users. You get the picture. When I run oragensec (once for each ADM user), I know what other users to associate with it.

  • Remember to rerun oragensec against the users if I run upgrades, service packs or database based single fixes. This assures that the users are in synchronization with the ADM user.


As a side note, for those who do not understand the difference between DML, DCL and DDL:

  • DDL (Data Definition Language) - These are SQL statements that define the database schema and the structures within. SQL Statements such as CREATE and DROP are examples of DDL SQL statements.

  • DCL (Data Control Language) - These are the SQL statements that define the database level permissions to DDL maintained objects within the database. SQL Statements such as GRANT and REVOKE are examples of DCL SQL statements.

  • DML (Database Manipulation Language) - These are SQL statements that alter the data within the tables. SQL Statements such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE are examples of DML SQL statements.


Hope this has clarified the database user support. Remember in Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4 we enhanced this by also supporting CLIENT_IDENTIFIER to allow the database to still use the administration user for the main processing but make the database session more traceable.

Comments:

Hi, I am seeing CISOPR in most of our environments. What's the purpose of the CISOPR database user? Is it safe to drop this user?

Posted by Frederick on March 09, 2011 at 06:06 AM EST #

I think the CISOPR database user should be used during backups (export or datapump export)

Posted by Alain on May 03, 2012 at 05:23 AM EST #

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About

Anthony Shorten
Hi, I am Anthony Shorten, I am the Principal Product Manager for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. I have been working for over 20+ years in the IT Business and am the author of many a technical whitepaper, manual and training material. I am one of the product managers working on strategy and designs for the next generation of the technology used for the Utilities and Tax markets. This blog is provided to announce new features, document tips and techniques and also outline features of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products. These products include Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management, Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management and Oracle Enterprise Taxation and Policy Management. I am the product manager for the Management Pack for these products.

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