Thursday 21 December 2023

What is the difference between object-level and row-level security ? Power BI interview questions and answers 071

 What is the difference between object-level and row-level security ?

Both object-level and row-level security (OLS and RLS) are crucial data access control mechanisms, but they differ in how they granularly enforce restrictions on information:

Object-level security (OLS):

  • Granularity: Works at the table or column level in a database or data model.

  • Functionality:

  • Hides objects: Secured tables or columns are completely masked from users without permission. They simply wouldn't see them as if they don't exist.

  • Metadata protection: Can also restrict access to object names and metadata, preventing unauthorized users from discovering sensitive information.

  • Use cases: Ideal for protecting highly sensitive data like personal information, financial records, or confidential business strategies.

Row-level security (RLS):

  • Granularity: Works at the individual row level within a table.

  • Functionality: Filters specific rows based on predefined rules or conditions. Users only see rows that match their designated access level.

  • Use cases: Suitable for controlling access to data based on user roles, departments, or other relevant criteria. For example, sales reps might only see customer data assigned to their territory.

Here's a table summarizing their key differences:


Object-level Security (OLS)

Row-level Security (RLS)


Table or column

Individual row


Hiding objects

Filtering specific rows


Secured objects are completely invisible

Users see filtered rows based on access level

Use cases

Highly sensitive data protection

Role-based data access control

While both have their own strengths, they can also be used complementary. OLS can hide entire tables containing sensitive data, while RLS can provide further granular control within those tables based on user roles or other factors.

I hope this clarifies the distinction between OLS and RLS. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions!

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