Configuring a Reader Account

A newly-created reader account contains only a single user, who serves as the administrator for the entire account.

To “bootstrap” (i.e. configure) the account, the account administrator must create a minimum set of additional objects in the account, including users, custom roles (if desired), virtual warehouses, and one or more shared databases (for the data shared by the provider account).

This topic provides an overview of all these configuration tasks, both required and optional.


Tasks 2 to 4 must be completed as the account administrator. All remaining tasks can be delegated to other users.

Also, all of these tasks must be performed in the reader account, as opposed to the provider account.

In this Topic:

Task 1: Log into the Reader Account as the Account Administrator

Log into the reader account using any of the supported interfaces (e.g. SnowSQL or the web interface).

The instructions in this topic assume you are using SQL to perform these tasks, either in SnowSQL or using a worksheet (in the web interface ). However, the tasks can be performed in any supported Snowflake interface.


Remember to set ACCOUNTADMIN as the role to use. You can set this role either during login or afterwards in the active session.

If you are using a worksheet (in the web interface) to perform these tasks, set the role in the context for the worksheet.

Task 2: Create Custom Roles (Optional)

Roles enable fine-grained control over the tasks that users in the reader account can perform. You can use roles to:

  • Specify the users who can query the data shared with the account.

  • Grant control over virtual warehouses to selected users.

  • Delegate some administrator tasks and responsibilities to selected users (if desired).

Each reader account comes with the standard, system-defined roles (SYSADMIN, SECURITYADMIN, PUBLIC). If these roles do not meet the access requirements for the users you will create in the account, you can create additional custom roles.

For more details, see Access Control in Snowflake.

Task 3: Create Users

Create the users who will log into the reader account and query data shared with the account, as well as perform any other tasks you choose to allow.

As part of the user creation process, remember to grant roles, system-defined or custom (if you created any), to the users. The roles you assign to the users determine what they can do in the account.

For more details, see CREATE USER and GRANT ROLE.


All remaining tasks in this topic can be completed by the account administrator or can be delegated (through privileges and roles) to other users in the account.

At a minimum, we recommend:

  • Grant the SECURITYADMIN role to at least one other user so that they can help create and manage other users and object access in the account.

  • Grant the SYSADMIN role to at least one other user so that they can help create and manage other objects in the account (e.g. virtual warehouses).

Task 4: Create Resource Monitors (Optional)

Virtual warehouses are required for querying data shared with the reader account. When running, virtual warehouses consume credits, which will be charged to your provider account.

If you wish to control the amount of credits consumed monthly by the virtual warehouses in the reader account, create one or more resource monitors and specify whether they control:

  • All warehouses in the account.

  • Individual warehouses.

For more details, see CREATE RESOURCE MONITOR.


If you choose to skip this task, the warehouses in the reader account can consume an unlimited number of credits each month, which will be charged to your provider account.

Task 5: Create Virtual Warehouses

To enable querying the objects in the shared database, you must create at least one virtual warehouse. You can create as many warehouses as you like or need; however, remember that your provider account is responsible for all credits consumed by the warehouses in the reader account and consider the following:

  • Set the warehouse size appropriately, weighing desired query performance against desired credit consumption.

  • Ensure the warehouse is set to auto-suspend when not in use.

For more details, see CREATE WAREHOUSE.

Task 6: Create a Database from Each Share Shared with the Account

A reader account does not contain any data by default. To consume data shared from your provider account, you must use the CREATE DATABASE command to create a database from each share shared with the account. When you create the database(s), you specify the name that other users in the reader account will reference when querying the shared data.

For example, if your provider account is named ab12345 and you shared two shares named share1 and share2 with this reader account:

CREATE DATABASE shared_db1 FROM SHARE ab12345.share1;

CREATE DATABASE shared_db2 FROM SHARE ab12345.share2;

Task 7: Grant Privileges on Virtual Warehouses and Databases to Roles

Data providers can choose to add objects to a share by either granting privileges on the objects to a share via a database role, and then granting the database role to a share (Option 1) or granting privileges on the objects directly to the share (Option 2). The instructions in this section differ depending on the option a database provider chose:

Option 1

To enable querying data shared with the reader account, grant a database role in the share that aligns with a business function in your account with the appropriate role in your account. For example, suppose the share includes a database role named shared_db1.dr1 that you want to share with every user in your account. In this case, you would grant the database role to the PUBLIC system role:

Option 2

To enable querying data shared with the reader account, grant the following privileges to the other roles, system-defined or custom (if any), in the account:

For example, the following commands grant the necessary privileges for two databases named shared_db1 and shared_db2, and a warehouse named testing_vw, to the PUBLIC role. Because all users in the account automatically have the PUBLIC role, this enables any user in the account to use the warehouse and query the databases:



In addition, grant the USAGE privilege on a virtual warehouse you created for executing queries:


You can grant additional privileges if desired; however, the privileges listed above are the minimum privileges required to query the shared databases in the account.

In addition, you could grant full privileges on the testing_vw warehouse to the SYSADMIN role, enabling users with the role to start, stop, and resize the warehouse:


For more details, see GRANT <privileges>.

Task 8: Invite Users to Log in and Reset Their Passwords

As the last configuration task, notify all the users you created that the account is available to use.

The fastest/easiest way to do this is to use the ALTER USER command to reset the password for each user. This generates a unique URL for each user, which you then send/give to them. They use the URL to change their password and log into the account.

For example:




Each URL can be used only once and expires after 4 hours. However, you can reset the password for a user as often as needed.

For more details, see ALTER USER.

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