Vertica Analytics Platform Version 9.2.x Documentation

Setting Search Paths

Each user session has a search path of schemas. Vertica uses this search path to find tables and user-defined functions (UDFs) that are unqualified by their schema name. A session search path is initially set from the user's profile. You can change the session's search path at any time by calling SET SEARCH_PATH. This search path remains in effect until the next SET SEARCH_PATH statement, or the session ends.

Viewing the Current Search Path

SHOW SEARCH_PATH returns the session's current search path. For example:

=> SHOW SEARCH_PATH;
    name     |                      setting
-------------+---------------------------------------------------
 search_path | "$user", public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal

Schemas are listed in descending order of precedence. The first schema has the highest precedence in the search order. If this schema exists, it is also defined as the current schema, which is used for tables that are created with unqualified names. You can identify the current schema by calling the function CURRENT_SCHEMA:

=> SELECT CURRENT_SCHEMA;
 current_schema
----------------
 public
(1 row)

Setting the User Search Path

A session search path is initially set from the user's profile. If the search path in a user profile is not set by CREATE USER or ALTER USER, it is set to the database default:

=> CREATE USER agent007;
CREATE USER
=> \c - agent007
You are now connected as user "agent007".
=> SHOW SEARCH_PATH;
    name     |                      setting
-------------+---------------------------------------------------
 search_path | "$user", public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal

$user resolves to the session user name—in this case, agent007—and has the highest precedence. If a schema agent007, exists, Vertica begins searches for unqualified tables in that schema. Also, calls to CURRENT_SCHEMA return this schema. Otherwise, Vertica uses public as the current schema and begins searches in it.

Use ALTER USER to modify an existing user's search path. These changes overwrite all non-system schemas in the search path, including $USER. System schemas are untouched. Changes to a user's search path take effect only when the user starts a new session; current sessions are unaffected.

After modifying the user's search path, verify that the user has access privileges to all schemas that are on the updated search path.

For example, the following statements modify agent007's search path, and grant access privileges to schemas and tables that are on the new search path:

=> ALTER USER agent007 SEARCH_PATH store, public;
ALTER USER
=> GRANT ALL ON SCHEMA store, public TO agent007;
GRANT PRIVILEGE
=> GRANT SELECT ON ALL TABLES IN SCHEMA store, public TO agent007;
GRANT PRIVILEGE
=> \c - agent007
You are now connected as user "agent007".
=> SHOW SEARCH_PATH;
    name     |                     setting
-------------+-------------------------------------------------
 search_path | store, public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal
(1 row)

To verify a user's search path, query the system table USERS:

=> SELECT search_path FROM USERS WHERE user_name='agent007';
                   search_path
-------------------------------------------------
 store, public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal
(1 row)

To revert a user's search path to the database default settings, call ALTER USER and set the search path to DEFAULT. For example:

=> ALTER USER agent007 SEARCH_PATH DEFAULT;
ALTER USER
=> SELECT search_path FROM USERS WHERE user_name='agent007';
                    search_path
---------------------------------------------------
 "$user", public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal
(1 row)

Ignored Search Path Schemas

Vertica only searches among existing schemas to which the current user has access privileges. If a schema in the search path does not exist or the user lacks access privileges to it, Vertica silently excludes it from the search. For example, if agent007 lacks SELECT privileges to schema public, Vertica silently skips this schema. Vertica returns with an error only if it cannot find the table anywhere on the search path.

Setting Session Search Path

Vertica initially sets a session's search path from the user's profile. You can change the current session's search path with SET SEARCH_PATH. You can use SET SEARCH_PATH in two ways:

  • Explicitly set the session search path to one or more schemas. For example:
    => \c - agent007
    You are now connected as user "agent007".
    dbadmin=> SHOW SEARCH_PATH;
        name     |                      setting
    -------------+---------------------------------------------------
     search_path | "$user", public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal
    (1 row)
    
    => SET SEARCH_PATH TO store, public;
    SET
    => SHOW SEARCH_PATH;
        name     |                     setting
    -------------+-------------------------------------------------
     search_path | store, public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal
    (1 row)
    
  • Set the session search path to the database default:
    => SET SEARCH_PATH TO DEFAULT;
    SET
    => SHOW SEARCH_PATH;
        name     |                      setting
    -------------+---------------------------------------------------
     search_path | "$user", public, v_catalog, v_monitor, v_internal
    (1 row)
    

SET SEARCH_PATH overwrites all non-system schemas in the search path, including $USER. System schemas are untouched.