In SQL Anywhere, authorities can be thought of as database-level permissions. As such, they are not necessarily associated with any object within the database (other than the user). For example, a user with BACKUP authority is allowed to back up the database. Authorities can also include database object permissions. For example, a user with PROFILE authority can perform application profiling and database tracing tasks, which involves using system tables and system procedures that are not available to other users (other than users with DBA authority).
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