CockroachDB Cloud Access Management (Authorization) FAQ

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What role is assigned to new CockroachDB Cloud members? What entitlements are included?

Org Member is the default and only role assignable to new users as they are added to a CockroachDB Cloud organization. This role has most minimum entitlements across all the available roles, including the ability to view the list of available clusters and high-level organization information like ID, Name, Label etc.

What is the minimum access role that can be granted on a cluster?

Cluster Developer is the minimum access role that can be assigned to a cluster user on a cluster. Cluster Developers can view the details of the target cluster and access DB Console for monitoring.

What roles are assigned to the user that creates a CockroachDB Cloud organization and thus becomes the first and only user in that organization?

The user who creates a new organization is assigned a combination of Org Administrator, Billing Coordinator, and Cluster Admin at the organization scope. Any of these roles may subsequently be removed, although another user must have the Org Adminstrator role, and the Cluster Admin role at the organization scope, before either of those can be removed. This is to ensure that at least one user has each of these roles.


The Org Administrator (legacy) role is deprecated in favor of more fine-grained roles for separately administering organization-level user-management functions, cluster management functions, and billing management functions.

Is it possible to assign more than one role to a user in a CockroachDB Cloud organization?

Yes, it is possible, and often necessary, to assign more than one role to a user. The default minimum access role Org Member is always assigned to every user as long as they’re a part of the CockroachDB Cloud organization. Beyond that, every other assigned role is additive to the overall entitlements of a user. Best example of this is the initial user who is by default assigned the Org Member, Org Administrator, and Cluster Admin roles at organization scope when they create the CockroachDB Cloud organization.

Can we follow the least privilege principle by using the roles available in the CockroachDB Cloud authorization model?

Yes, the roles available in the CockroachDB Cloud authorization model allow admins to grant only those entitlements to users that are supposed to map to their intended workflows.

Cluster level roles like Cluster Admin, Cluster Operator and Cluster Developer allow users to perform pertinent actions for one or more clusters, while providing differentiation between admin and non-admin entitlements.

Is the same authorization model used for both service accounts and human users in a CockroachDB Cloud organization?

Yes, service accounts and human users utilize the same authorization model. Older service accounts that were created before the new authorization model came into effect may still be assigned the legacy permissions, which can be updated to roles from the new authorization model.

Can I assign a cluster-level role to a few users such that they have the relevant entitlements on all clusters in the CockroachDB Cloud organization?

Yes, an admin could assign a cluster level role like Cluster Admin, Cluster Operator or Cluster Developer on the entire CockroachDB DB Cloud organization or on one or more specific clusters. There are two scopes in the authorization model - organization and clusters, with organization being the parent, and clusters being the children in the hierarchy. So if an admin assigns cluster level roles at the organization scope, they are automatically applicable on all clusters in the CockroachDB DB Cloud organization. Such access should be granted only to users who need to work with all clusters.

If an admin removes all role assignments for a particular user, is that user automatically removed from the CockroachDB Cloud organization?

When all role assignments have been removed for a user, they still implicitly have the Org Member role which is granted to each newly-added CockroachDB Cloud member, and the member is not automatically removed from the organization. Refer to: Remove a team member

Which roles grant the ability to add, remove, and manage members in a CockroachDB Cloud organization?

Users with the Org Administrator role are allowed to manage users and roles at both the organization and the cluster scopes. Users with the Cluster Admin role are only allowed to manage role assignments at the cluster scope.

What is the Cluster Creator role useful for when there’s a Cluster Admin role as well?

A user with the Cluster Creator role can create new clusters in the CockroachDB Cloud organization, so this role can be assigned only at the organization scope.

After the cluster is created, its creator is automatically granted the Cluster Admin role on that cluster. If that user already had the Cluster Admin role at the organization scope, this cluster-specific grant appears to have no effect.

This overlap allows admins to give users from different projects or teams access to create and fully manage their own clusters without the ability to manage clusters owned by other projects or teams. For example, two different users from different teams could each be granted the Cluster Creator role so that they can fully manage clusters they own but not clusters owned by anyone else.

Are SQL roles part of the CockroachDB Cloud authorization model?

CockroachDB Cloud has a two-level authorization model:

  1. SQL level in a cluster: Each CockroachDB cluster has its own set of SQL users and SQL roles defined in it. SQL roles grant SQL users permission to execute some set of SQL statements against some set of database resources (like tables, databases) on the cluster.
  2. Organization level: Each CockroachDB Cloud organization has a set of roles defined in it, which allow users to perform administrative tasks relating to the management of clusters, organization users, SQL users, and billing.

What methods can an admin use to assign organization-wide and cluster-specific roles to human users and service accounts?

You can use Cloud Console, the Cloud API, or the CockroachDB Terraform provider to assign roles to human users.

To manage roles for service accounts, you must use the Cloud API.

Refer to: - Manage organization users - Manage service accounts

How can we track and audit role-assignment actions in a CockroachDB Cloud organization?

Any user with the Org Administrator role can access Cloud Organization audit logs capability to track when users are added and removed in the CockroachDB Cloud organization, and whenever any role assignment changes are performed for those users.

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