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Row-Level Security Performance and Troubleshooting

Ben Johnston digs into row-level security:

There are two main areas where RLS can impact performance. The first is the user or authentication lookup. Some kind of lookup must be performed in the access predicate to determine either the user name, group membership, or specific values in the session context. Considering that RLS is non-prescriptive, the lookup isn’t confined to these methods, but they are very easy methods to use and implement and are standard based on implementations I’ve seen.

The second area is the authorization lookup. The authorization lookup, checking if a user has access to particular rows, can have a much bigger impact on performance. This is also in the access predicate. Following the basic rules for performance and keeping lookups simple goes a long way to minimizing the impact of RLS on performance. The goal is to keep performance levels as close as possible to a table without RLS. If indexes and predicates are correct, RLS can improve performance in some situations due to the automatic filtering that happens.

Read on for Ben’s thoughts on the topic.

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