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Oracle Virtual Private Databases VPD multiple policy values

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson

Question:  I need to have a VPD security policy accept multiple objects, like this:

   p_object_schema in varchar2,
   p_object_name in varchar2,
   p_fund in varchar2,
   p_org in varchar2)

Even though I can create the dbms_rls.add_policy function, how can I create a policy with multiple input values?

   'SecByFund', 'SYS',

Answer:  Good question!  I would start by examining the dbms_rls.shared_static option.  Also note this VPD security policy article where the author says it is possible to have multiple policies for each object and it is possible to define policy groups for objects, but it does not say how to share the same policy between multiple tables.

However, VPD's allow Multiple security and can place more than one policy on each object, as well as stack them on other base policies. This makes VPD perfect for Web applications that are deployed for many companies.

Using the Oracle 10g Static Policy Type

When you use static policies, VPD always enforces the same predicate for access control, regardless of the runtime environment. However, if you set the policy_type parameter to shared_static, the policy is applied to multiple objects.

The book "Oracle 10g new features" has examples of using advanced VPD features.

Michael Armstrong-Smith noted this novel solution:

I was trying to do was to create a VPD policy where the contents of FUND and ORG, both columns in the same table, had to be referenced inside the VPD function in order to determine whether a TRUE predicate (1=1) or a FALSE predicate (1=2) would be returned.

My problem is that I was unable to pass a column name or ROWID into the VPD function, therefore I was unable to check whether the row was or was not accessible. Unlike most VPD situations, the predicate would change not only based upon the USER and the user's role but would also change depending upon the content of data within the row itself.

As I say, in the end I created a solution that returns a predicate string containing a subquery and a boolean expression, something like:


My VPD predicate just looks like the above with the code being evaluated against each row. Both FUND and ORG come from the row being checked, while FUND_CODE and ORG_CODE are in my security table which has a primary key of USERID, FUND_CODE and ORG_CODE.

If you like Oracle tuning, see the book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

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