The SET ROLE statement allows you to add a role for the current SQL context of a session. The new role is unioned with any roles previously associated with the user’s session.

You can add a role only if the current user has been granted the role, or if the role has been granted to PUBLIC.


  • The SET ROLE statement is not transactional; a rollback does not undo the effect of setting a role. If a transaction is in progress, an attempt to set a role results in an error.

  • To unset all roles for the current session, use the SET ROLE NONE statement.

  • Setting a role applies only to the current session; to automatically set roles for users whenever they connect, use the  GRANT ROLE statement.


SET ROLE { roleName | 'string-constant' | ? | NONE }


The role you want added as a role in the current session.

You can specify a roleName of NONE to disassociate all roles from the current user session.

If you specify the role as a string constant or as a dynamic parameter specification (?), any leading and trailing blanks are trimmed from the string before attempting to use the remaining (sub)string as a roleName. The dynamic parameter specification can be used in prepared statements, so the SET ROLE statement can be prepared once and then executed with different role values. You cannot specify NONE as a dynamic parameter.

Usage Notes

Setting a role identifies a set of privileges that is a union of the following:

  • The privileges granted to that role
  • The union of privileges of roles contained in that role (for a definition of role containment, see the  GRANT ROLE statement.

In a session, the current privileges define what the session is allowed to access. The current privileges are the union of the following:

  • The privileges granted to the current user
  • The privileges granted to PUBLIC
  • The privileges identified by the current set of roles, if any

You can find the available role names in the SYS.SYSROLES system table.

SQL Example

This example adds the reader_role role to the current user’s role settings:

splice> SET ROLE reader_role;
0 rows inserted/updated/deleted

JDBC Example

This example also adds the reader_role role to the current user’s role settings:

stmt.execute("SET ROLE admin");      -- case normal form: ADMIN
stmt.execute("SET ROLE \"admin\"");  -- case normal form: admin
stmt.execute("SET ROLE none");       -- special case

PreparedStatement ps = conn.prepareStatement("SET ROLE ?");
ps.setString(1, "  admin ");         -- on execute: case normal form: ADMIN
ps.setString(1, "\"admin\"");        -- on execute: case normal form: admin
ps.setString(1, "none");             -- on execute: syntax error
ps.setString(1, "\"none\"");         -- on execute: case normal form: none

See Also