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Is role a collection of certain privileges?

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Yes, a role is a collection of system and/or object privileges and/or other roles. It simplifies privilege management by allowing you to manage bundles of privileges.

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    +1 for a brief, informative answer. Also note that both roles and users can be assigned privileges and roles can be assigned to users - its a very granular approach to privilege management offering a good deal of flexibility. – ScottCher Feb 7 '11 at 20:39
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Justin Cave is correct.+1 If you would like to learn more about roles you can get a good overview from the Concepts Guide. The Security Guide has more in depth information including limitations such as roles not being enabled in Definer rights methods.

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