RBAC: Row Policy Key Concepts


This guide assumes some basic understanding of TigerGraph’s query language GSQL. Refer to the GSQL 101 and GSQL Language Reference to get started using GSQL.

Key Concepts

RBAC Row policy introduces a number of key concepts:

  • Packages: were created to serve as containers for functions, making it easier to organize and manage user created access control rules.

  • GSQL Functions: are a new concept to help customize how to handle attribute values and processes. Think of these as tools for fine-tuning access control.

  • Object-Based Privileges: are new mechanisms for managing privileges.

  • Context Functions: are new built-in functions which can retrieve user information in a current session.

  • Privilege Protection: adds new RBAC privileges for FUNCTION and POLICY.


Packages act like containers, helping keep everything tidy. A package can also contain sub-packages, giving an even more organized workspace.

Creating Packages

Ex. To create a package called lib1:
GSQL > create package lib1
Successfully created Packages: [lib1].
Ex. To create a sub-package lib2 inside lib1:
GSQL > create package lib1.lib2
Successfully created Packages: [lib1.lib2].

Showing Packages

Use the show package command to get a glimpse of the package organization.

Ex. To see all packages in the global scope, just type:
GSQL > show package
Packages on global:
- lib1
- lib3

The result will be a list of all the packages that have been created. To get a more detailed view, including sub-packages and objects within a specific package specify the package name.

Ex. To see details of lib1:
GSQL > show package lib1
Packages "lib1":
- Sub-Packages:
- lib2
- Object:
- Functions:
- lib1.func1(string s) RETURNS (bool)
- Template Queries:
- test1(string a, int b)

This command will reveal what’s inside "lib1" including GSQL functions and Template Queries.

To show packages based on a naming pattern like "lib" use -r "[pattern].*"

Ex. To show packages that start with lib:
GSQL > show package -r "lib.*"

Dropping Packages

Dropping a package is to remove the package. Doing this will also remove all sub-packages and objects within it.

Ex. To drop the lib1 package, including all sub-packages:
GSQL > drop package lib1
Successfully dropped Packages: [lib1].

GSQL Functions

A GSQL Function is a new schema-free catalog object, which only supports limited GSQL syntax. GSQL functions are like custom tools for performing specific tasks in GSQL, but it’s important to note that they can’t use schema related entities like vertices and edges.

Right now, GSQL Functions can only be used specifically in the context of row policies and to control access at the row level.

Follow these rules to ensure it works seamlessly within row policies.

  • Parameter Types: Use primitive data types like bool, uint, int, float, double, string, and datetime as building blocks and inputs to GSQL Functions.

  • Return Types: GSQL Functions can give one of three results: bool, uint, or int.

  • Simplicity for Efficiency: To keep things simple and optimized, GSQL Functions can only have one level of nested control flows.

  • Calling Other Functions: GSQL functions, can utilize some built-in functions:

  • Context Function: GSQL functions support new Context Functions like:

  • No Custom Functions Inside GSQL: Users are restricted from creating their own functions within a GSQL function.

Create Function

To create a GSQL Function, declare the function, specify its parameters, define its body, and set the expected return type.

Ex. Here’s a simple example creating a function called func2 in the lib1 package:
GSQL > create function lib1.func2(int param1, float param2, string param3) returns (bool)
    // Function's code goes here
    // Use parameters, variables, control flows, and more
    // In the end, the function returns a result of type bool
Ex. Here’s a more detailed example with some example values:
GSQL > create function lib1.func2(int param1, float param2, string param3) returns (bool)
    EXCEPTION zero (40001);             // Exception declaration
    int i = 0;                       	// Variable declaration
    bool result = false;             	// Variable declaration
    i = param1;                     	// Variable assignment
    string j = upper(param3); 		// Variable declaration with function call
    SumAccum<String> @@ss;     		// Global accum declaration
    @@ss += param3;             			// Global accum assignment

    IF i == 0 THEN              			// If control flow
    raise zero ("Error: i is zero"); 	// Raise exception statement
    END;                              			// end of control flow

    CASE param3                     			 // Case-when control flow
    WHEN "ENG" THEN result = true;
    WHEN "MANAGER" THEN result = false;
    ELSE result = param2 > 2.1;
    END;                             			// end of control flow

    RETURN result;                  			// Return statement

It is important to note, GSQL Functions do not support cases where functions have two nested control flows.

Ex. The example below will not work:
GSQL > create function p1.f6(string label, string company_name, int age) returns (bool)
    if label == "ENG" then
        if age > 2 then
            return true;
    return false;

In order to support nested control flows, a GSQL Function would need to be written like the case below.

Ex. The example below will work:
create function p1.f6(string label, string company_name, int age) returns (bool)
    if label == "ENG" AND age > 2 then
            return true;
    return false;

Drop Function

To remove a GSQL function from a package, use drop function.

Ex. This drops the "lib1.func2" function:
GSQL > drop function lib1.func2
Successfully dropped function: [lib1.func2].
Ex. To drop functions, but that does not include functions in the sub-packages:
GSQL > drop function lib1.*
Successfully dropped functions: [lib1.func1, lib1.func2].

Install Function

To make functions available for use, they must be installed.

Ex. This installs the lib1.func2 and shows an example install message:
GSQL > install function lib1.func1
Start installing functions for package 'lib1' ...
Package function: lib1-func1
Select 'm1' as compile server, now connecting ...
Node 'm1' is prepared as compile server.
[=================================================] 100% (1/1)
Function installation finished for package 'lib1'.
Ex. To install all functions use one of these commands:
GSQL > install function  ALL
GSQL > install function **

Specific functions can also be excluded or included. To install functions in a specific package (ex. lib1).

Ex. This command would exclude functions in the lib1 sub-packages.
GSQL > install function lib1.*
Ex. This command would install functions in a specific package (ex. lib1) and also include functions in the sub-packages:
GSQL > install function lib1.**

Install Options

Additionally, two options are available for function installation.

Ex. The -force option forcefully installs this GSQL function.
GSQL > install function -force lib1.func2
Ex. The -debug option enables a debug feature for this GSQL function.
GSQL > install function -debug lib1.func2

Show Function

To see what functions are available, use the show function command. This command shows specific functions, functions within a package, or even all functions.

Ex. To show details for the lib1.func2 function:
GSQL > show function lib1.func2
create function lib1.func2() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
Ex. To show all functions in the lib1 package, but do not include functions in the sub-packages:
GSQL > show function lib1.*
create function lib1.func1() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
create function lib1.func2() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
Ex. Use -r to show all functions that start with lib:
GSQL > show function -r "lib.*"
create function lib1.func1() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
create function lib1.func2() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
create function lib2.func1() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
Ex. To show all functions available:
GSQL > show function *
create function lib1.func1() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
create function lib1.func2() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;
create function lib2.func1() returns (bool) {
RETURN true;

Object-Based Privileges

This mechanism allows users to grant or revoke privileges based on specific objects. Allowing users to specify the privilege names, objects, and other details.

Privilege Details

Here are some important terms and details for object-based privileges:

  • Privilege Names: Are the specific privileges that can be granted or revoked, such as ACCESS, CREATE, READ, etc.

  • Privilege Objects: Are the objects to which the privileges apply. They can be things like GLOBAL, VERTEX, EDGE, etc.

  • Privilege Scopes: Define where these privileges apply, like GRAPH, PACKAGE, or GLOBAL.

To see a complete list, as well as the legacy privilege syntax that the object-base privilege relate to, go to the Object-Based Privilege Tables.

Privilege Commands

To grant or revoke object-based privileges, use these commands.

Ex. Granting Privileges:
GRANT privilegeNames ON privilegeObjects IN privilegeScopes TO roleNames
Ex. Revoking Privileges:
REVOKE privilegeNames ON privilegeObjects IN privilegeScopes FROM roleNames

For users that grant privileges in the legacy privilege syntax, transitioning to object-based privilege syntax is simple.

Table 1. Compare Legacy and Object based syntax:
Privilege Syntax Example


grant privilege READ_DATA, CREATE_DATA, UPDATE_DATA, DELETE_DATA on global to role1


grant READ, CREATE, UPDATE, DELETE on ALL DATA in global to role1

Privilege Protection

Additionally, there are new RBAC privileges to protect the FUNCTION and POLICY.

Privilege Levels Operations



show function

apply row policy



create/replace/drop function

Table 3. Policy
Privilege Levels Operations



show applied policy



apply row policy

clear row policy

Table 4. For built-in roles, there are some changes as well:
Built-in Role New Privilege



WRITE_FUNCTION on global level


WRITE_POLICY on global level



WRITE_POLICY on graph level

For a complete list of Built-in roles see Built-in Roles

Context Functions

Context Functions are a set of new built-in functions that provide insights into the user’s information during their current session. They offer valuable insights into user roles, making it easier to manage access and privileges within TigerGraph.

They work in: INSTALLED queries, INTERPRET queries, and GSQL Functions.

Before users can use Context Functions, they must enable REST authentication. If it's not enabled, users will see an error message. To learn more about REST authentication see REST API Authentication.

Additionally, in order to use the context functions explicitly, ensure that the user holds the READ_ROLE privilege on the current graph, unless a Row Policy already includes the context functions.


The current_roles() function gives users the role names granted to the current user, presented as a SetAccum of strings. For instance, a user holds the roles USregion and NAregion, when this user runs a query or GSQL Function with current_roles(), it will return a SetAccum containing the strings, USregion and NAregion.

Ex. Create the roles:
GSQL > create role USregion
GSQL > create role NAregion
GSQL > grant role USregion, NAregion to user1
GSQL > grant read on all roles in global to USregion
GSQL > grant read on all data in global to USregion
Ex. Create a query with current_roles() :
GSQL > create query test() {
print current_roles();
Ex. The result will show the user’s roles:
GSQL > run query test()
    "version": {
        "edition": "enterprise",
        "api": "v2",
        "schema": 0
    "error": false,
    "message": "",
    "results": [
        "current_roles()": [

is_granted_to_current_roles(string roleName)

is_granted_to_current_roles() tells if the current user holds a particular role specified in the parameter. This function returns a boolean value.

Ex. Syntax:

This should return true, because the user’s role set contains USregion that was granted in the previous section.

Ex. Create a query that prints is_granted_to_current_roles() and input USregion:
create query test2() {
print is_granted_to_current_roles("USregion");
Ex. Run the query and the result will show whether the user has the specified role:
GSQL > run query test2()
    "version": {
        "edition": "enterprise",
        "api": "v2",
        "schema": 0
    "error": false,
    "message": "",
    "results": [
        "is_granted_to_current_roles(\"USregion\")": true