Authorization: Security Clearance and Permissions

X.509 certificates are used for authentication - validating that users are who they say they are. Once a connection is authenticated, RavenDB uses the certificate for authorization as well.

Each certificate is associated with a security clearance and access permissions per database.

It is the administrator's responsibility to generate client certificates and assign permissions. Read more in the Certificate Management section.

A client certificate's security clearance can be one of the following:

Cluster Admin

Cluster Admin is the highest security clearance. There are no restrictions. A Cluster Admin certificate has admin permissions to all databases. It also has the ability to modify the cluster itself.


The server certificate security clearance is called Cluster Node. The server certificate can also be used as a client certificate, and in that case Cluster Node is equivalent to Cluster Admin in terms of permissions.

The following operations are allowed only for Cluster Admin certificates:

  • All cluster operations
  • Manage Cluster Admin certificates
  • Replace and renew server certificates
  • Use the Admin JS Console
  • Activate or update the license
  • Get SNMP used OIDs


A client certificate with an Operator security clearance has admin access to all databases, but is unable to modify the cluster. It cannot perform operations such as add/remove/promote/demote nodes from the cluster. This is useful in a hosted solution (such as RavenDB Cloud). If you are running on your own machines, you'll typically ignore that level in favor of Cluster Admin or User.

The following operations are allowed for both Operator and Cluster Admin certificates and are not allowed for User certificates:

  • Operations on databases (put, delete, enable, disable)
  • Manage Operator and User certificates
  • Enable and disable an ongoing task
  • Define External Replication
  • Create and delete RavenDB ETL and SQL ETL
  • Migrate databases
  • View cluster observer logs
  • View admin logs
  • Gather local and cluster debug info (process, memory, cpu, threads)
  • Use smuggler
  • Use the traffic watch
  • Put cluster-wide client configuration (Max number of requests per session, Read balance behavior)
  • Get the database record
  • Manage database groups in the cluster
  • Restore databases from backup
  • Perform database and index compaction
  • Get server metrics (request/sec, indexed/sec, batch size, etc...)
  • Get remote server build info


A User client certificate has a list of databases it is allowed to access. In addition, the access level to each database can be either Database Admin or read/write. A User certificate cannot perform any admin operations at the cluster level.

The following operations are allowed for User certificates with Database Admin access level and not allowed for User certificates with read/write access level:

  • Operations on indexes (put, delete, start, stop, enable and disable)
  • Solve replication conflicts
  • Configure revisions and delete revision documents
  • Define expiration
  • Create backups and define periodic backups
  • Operations on connection strings (put, get, delete)
  • Put client configuration for the database (Max number of requests per session, Read balance behavior)
  • Get transaction info
  • Perform SQL migration (coming soon)

A User certificate with read/write access level can perform all the operations which are not listed above.