How can you fix a “Permission denied” error when trying to access a specific database object?

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How can you troubleshoot and fix a "Permission denied" error when a user attempts to access a specific database object in Snowflake?

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023

Troubleshooting and fixing a "Permission denied" error when a user attempts to access a specific database object in Snowflake involves identifying the root cause of the permission issue and taking appropriate actions to grant the necessary privileges. Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. **Understand the Error Message**:
- Carefully read the "Permission denied" error message provided by Snowflake. It may include details about the object, user, and type of permission being denied.
2. **Check User Privileges**:
- Verify the privileges assigned to the user. Use the **`SHOW GRANTS`** command to see the current privileges granted to the user.
3. **Identify the Object**:
- Determine which specific database object (table, view, schema, etc.) the user is attempting to access and for which they are getting the permission error.
4. **Check Object Ownership**:
- Verify that the user owns the object or has been explicitly granted access to it. If not, contact the object owner or an administrator to grant the necessary permissions.
5. **Check Role Memberships**:
- Review the roles that the user is a member of. Roles define sets of privileges, and a user inherits privileges from the roles they belong to.
6. **Grant Necessary Privileges**:
- If the user is missing the necessary privileges, use the **`GRANT`** command to explicitly grant the required privileges. For example:

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7. **Use Appropriate Role**:
- Ensure that the user is using the correct role when connecting to Snowflake. Some permissions are granted through roles, so using the right role is crucial.
8. **Verify Schema and Database Access**:
- Confirm that the user has the required privileges to access the specific database and schema containing the object.
9. **Access Control at Multiple Levels**:
- Be aware that permissions can be set at various levels: account, database, schema, table, etc. Check the permissions at each level that might be affecting the user's access.
10. **Object Dependencies**:
- If the object depends on other objects, ensure that the user has necessary privileges on those dependencies as well.
11. **Data Sharing**:
- If the object is shared with the user through a data sharing process, make sure the sharing configuration and access controls are correctly set up.
12. **Permission Hierarchy**:
- Understand the hierarchy of permissions. For example, if a user has privileges on a schema, they automatically have privileges on the objects within that schema.
13. **Revise and Test**:
- After granting the necessary privileges, have the user attempt to access the object again to confirm that the "Permission denied" error is resolved.
14. **Document and Monitor**:
- Document the permissions granted to users and regularly monitor and review access controls to ensure proper security.
15. **Contact Snowflake Support**:
- If you're unable to resolve the permission issue or if the issue seems more complex, you can reach out to Snowflake support for assistance.

By following these steps, you can diagnose the "Permission denied" error, determine the specific object causing the issue, and grant the appropriate privileges to the user, ensuring they can access the desired database object in Snowflake.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023
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