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Using Oracle's Virtual Private Database, aka Fine-Grained Access Control

Expert Brian Peasland explains the function of Oracle's Virtual Private Database, aka Fine-Grained Access Control.

Several companies have been purchased by a larger company. The larger company wishes to convert everyone to a uniform system housing everyone's data in a single database using the front-end application's security feature to prevent a company from seeing its cousin companies' data. Is this the preferred method or would it be smarter to have each company's data reside in a separate database account on the server? This seems to be the logical option to me. Are there advantages/disadvantages to either? Speed? Security?
Oracle created a feature to handle this exact scenario. This feature is called the Virtual Private Database (VPD). Sometimes, this is also called Fine Grained Access Control (FGAC) since you are controlling access to data in a table based on each row's values. Implementing VPD is a perfectly acceptable way of handling this data. The biggest advantage is the (now larger) company only has one database to administer instead of multiple ones. For more information, please read Chapter 14 of the Security Guide. After you have read that chapter, proceed to the next chapter as well.

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