Set up a user to query a table

This article shows how an administrator can add a user, create a table containing 10 million people records from a Databricks dataset, and allow a user to access the table. Next, it shows how the user can run a query and view the query runtime details.


Data access control is always enabled in Databricks SQL, which means that users must always be granted access to data.


Use the sidebar

You can access all of your Databricks assets using the sidebar. The sidebar’s contents depend on the selected persona: Data Science & Engineering, Machine Learning, or SQL.

  • By default, the sidebar appears in a collapsed state and only the icons are visible. Move your cursor over the sidebar to expand to the full view.

  • To change the persona, click the icon below the Databricks logo Databricks logo, and select a persona.

    change persona
  • To pin a persona so that it appears the next time you log in, click pin persona next to the persona. Click it again to remove the pin.

  • Use Menu options at the bottom of the sidebar to set the sidebar mode to Auto (default behavior), Expand, or Collapse.

Step 1: Add a user

  1. Use the sidebar persona switcher to select Data Science & Engineering.

  2. Go to the admin console.

  3. On the Users tab, click Add User.

  4. Enter the user email ID. The examples in this article assume the user is

    Add user
  5. Click Send invite.

    Databricks sends a confirmation email with a temporary password. If the user does not receive the confirmation email within 5 minutes, ask the user to check their spam folder.

    The user is added to the workspace.

  6. If necessary, allow the the user to access Databricks SQL by selecting the Databricks SQL access checkbox. All users in new workspaces have this entitlement by default.


    If your workspace was enabled for Databricks SQL during the Public Preview—that is, before the week beginning September 7, 2021—users retain the entitlement assigned before that date, unless you change it. In other words, if a user did not have the Databricks SQL access entitlement during the Public Preview, they will not have it now unless an administrator gives it to them.

    Added user
  7. Click Confirm.

Step 2: Create a table of 10 million people

  1. Use the sidebar persona switcher to select SQL.

    Your landing page looks like this:

    Admin landing page
  2. Click New Icon New in the sidebar and select Query.

  3. In the drop-box at the left, select a SQL warehouse, such as Starter Warehouse.

  4. Paste the following in the SQL editor:

    CREATE TABLE default.people10m OPTIONS (PATH 'dbfs:/databricks-datasets/learning-spark-v2/people/')

    This statement creates a Delta table using Delta Lake files stored in Databricks datasets.

  5. Press Ctrl/Cmd + Enter or click the Execute button. The query will return No data was returned.

  6. To refresh the schema, click the Refresh Schema button at the bottom of the schema browser.

  7. Type peo in the text box to the right of the schema. The schema browser displays the new table.

    Schema browser

Step 3: Configure access to the default.people10m table

Enable the user you created in Step 1 to access the default.people10m table you created in Step 3.

You can configure access using Data Explorer or SQL editor.

Data explorer

  1. Click the Data Icon Data in the sidebar.

  2. In the drop-down list at the top right, select a SQL warehouse, such as Starter Warehouse. The default schema is selected. The schema comment and owner display.

  3. Type peo in the text box following the default schema. Data Explorer displays the people10m table.

  4. Click the Permissions tab.

  5. Click the Grant button.

    Default db grant
  6. Enter

  7. Select the USAGE checkbox.

  8. Click OK.

  9. Click the people10m table.

  10. Click the Permissions tab.

  11. Click the Grant button.

    People table grant
  12. Enter

  13. Click the SELECT and READ_METADATA checkboxes.

  14. Click OK.

SQL editor

  1. Click New Icon New in the sidebar and select Query.

  2. In the drop-down box at the left, select a SQL warehouse, such as Starter Warehouse.

  3. Enter the following queries one by one:

    GRANT USAGE ON SCHEMA default TO ``;
    GRANT SELECT, READ_METADATA ON TABLE default.people10m TO ``;
    SHOW GRANTS `` ON TABLE default.people10m;

    After each query, press Ctrl/Cmd + Enter or click the Execute button. After the last query, it should display:

    | Principal        | ActionType    | ObjectType | ObjectKey             |
    | | READ_METADATA | TABLE      | `default`.`people10m` |
    | | SELECT        | TABLE      | `default`.`people10m` |
    | | USAGE         | SCHEMA     | default               |

Step 5: Generate a query

Complete the user quickstart.

Step 6: View query history

  1. Click History Icon Query History in the sidebar.

  2. Click a string in the Query column to display query details:

    Query history details

Next steps

To learn how to enable access to your own data and tables, see Access control.

To walk through the process to enable access, go to the Get Started pane on https://<databricks-instance>/sql, replacing <databricks-instance> with the Databricks workspace instance name, for example