What is Grant Command in SQL?

K. C. Sabreena Basheer 03 Jul, 2024
4 min read


When working with databases, one of the most important things to manage is who can do what within your database. Structured Query Language (SQL) has a function to help you with this. The SQL GRANT command lets you assign specific permissions to different users. This allows you to control how they interact with the database. In this article, I will explain what the GRANT command is, how to use it, and the best practices to follow while using it.

If you’re just starting out to explore SQL, here’s a beginner’s guide to help you: SQL For Data Science: A Beginner Guide

What is Grant Command in SQL?


  • Understand what the GRANT command in SQL is.
  • Know the syntax of the SQL command.
  • Know the common privileges granted using SQL’s GRANT command.
  • Learn to use the GRANT command in SQL for various purposes.
  • Get familiar with the best practices to follow while using SQL’s GRANT command.

What is the GRANT Command in SQL?

The GRANT command is an SQL function that allows administrators to provide specific permissions to users within a database. It ensures that users in specific roles only get access to certain parts of the database, which they need for performing their respective tasks. Think of it as giving someone a key to access certain parts of a building.

For example, you might let some users view data, while others can add or change data. Similarly, you can manage user access to various database objects such as tables, views, procedures, etc. This command is essential for database security and management.

SQL Commands

Syntax of the GRANT Command

The syntax for the GRANT command is pretty straightforward. Although, it can vary a bit depending on the SQL database system you are using. Here’s a basic format:

GRANT privilege [, privilege...]
ON object
TO user [, user...]

In this,

  • privilege: The permission you want to grant, like SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE.
  • object: The database object, such as a table or view, that the privilege applies to.
  • user: The user or role receiving the privilege.
  • WITH GRANT OPTION: This optional part allows the user to grant the same privileges to others.

Common Privileges in SQL

Here are some of the most common privileges you might grant in SQL:

  1. SELECT: Allows the user to read data from a table.
  2. INSERT: Permits the user to add new data to a table.
  3. UPDATE: Lets the user modify existing data.
  4. DELETE: Allows the user to remove data.
  5. EXECUTE: Grants permission to run stored procedures or functions.

How to Use the GRANT Command in SQL

Here’s how you can use SQL’s GRANT command for different tasks.

1. Granting SELECT Privilege on a Table

GRANT SELECT ON employees TO user1;

This command grants the SELECT privilege on the employees table to user1.

2. Granting Multiple Privileges


This command grants SELECT, INSERT, and UPDATE privileges on the employees table to user1.

3. Granting Privileges with GRANT OPTION


This command grants the SELECT privilege on the employees table to user1 and allows user1 to grant the same privilege to other users.

4. Granting Privileges to a Role

GRANT SELECT, INSERT ON employees TO role1;

This command grants SELECT and INSERT privileges on the employees table to role1. Any user assigned to role1 will inherit these privileges.

5. Revoking Privileges

If you need to remove previously granted privileges, you can use the REVOKE command. The syntax for the REVOKE command is:

REVOKE privilege_type ON object_name FROM {user_name | role_name};

For example, to revoke the SELECT privilege from user1 on the employees table:

REVOKE SELECT ON employees FROM user1;

Best Practices for Using GRANT Command

Here are some of the best practices to follow while using the GRANT command in SQL.

  1. Principle of Least Privilege: Only give users the permissions they absolutely need. This will help you reduce the risk of accidental or malicious data changes.
  2. Regular Audits: Periodically check who has what privileges to ensure everything is in order. Remove any unnecessary permissions to maintain data security.
  3. Use Roles: Instead of assigning privileges to individual users, create roles with specific permissions and assign users to these roles. This makes it a lot easier to manage.
  4. Document Everything: Make sure you keep a record of all the granted accesses. This will help you keep track of who can do what in your database.
  5. Be Cautious with WITH GRANT OPTION: Only use this when necessary, as it can lead to privilege escalation if not managed properly.


SQL’s GRANT command is a powerful tool for data analysts and most others working with shared databases. Understanding how to use it effectively will help you maintain database security and prevent the overwriting or mixing up of data. It will also ensure that users have the appropriate access to perform their respective tasks. So if you are a part of a team, make sure you know how to use the GRANT command in SQL.

Learn More: SQL: A Full Fledged Guide from Basics to Advanced Level

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the GRANT command used for in SQL?

A. The GRANT command in SQL is used to give users specific permissions to perform actions on database objects, such as tables and views.

Q2. Can I grant multiple privileges at once in SQL?

A. Yes, you can grant multiple privileges in a single GRANT command by listing them separated by commas.

Q3. What does the WITH GRANT OPTION clause in SQL do?

A. The WITH GRANT OPTION clause in SQL allows a user to grant the same privileges they have, to other users.

Q4. How do I revoke a granted privilege in SQL?

A. You can revoke a granted privilege by using the REVOKE command in SQL. For example: REVOKE SELECT ON employees FROM john_doe;.

Q5. What are some best practices for using the GRANT command in SQL?

A. Follow the principle of least privilege, conduct regular audits, use roles for easier management, document everything, and be cautious while using the WITH GRANT OPTION clause.

Frequently Asked Questions

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