Data access control for Amazon OpenSearch Serverless - Amazon OpenSearch Service
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Data access control for Amazon OpenSearch Serverless

With data access control in Amazon OpenSearch Serverless, you can allow users to access collections and indexes, regardless of their access mechanism or network source. You can provide access to IAM roles and SAML identities.

You manage access permissions through data access policies, which apply to collections and index resources. Data access policies help you manage collections at scale by automatically assigning access permissions to collections and indexes that match a specific pattern. Multiple data access policies can apply to a single resource. Note that you must have a data access policy for your collection in order to access your OpenSearch Dashboards URL.

Data access policies versus IAM policies

Data access policies are logically separate from Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies. IAM permissions control access to the serverless API operations, such as CreateCollection and ListAccessPolicies. Data access policies control access to the OpenSearch operations that OpenSearch Serverless supports, such as PUT <index> or GET _cat/indices.

The IAM permissions that control access to data access policy API operations, such as aoss:CreateAccessPolicy and aoss:GetAccessPolicy (described in the next section), don't affect the permission specified in a data access policy.

For example, suppose an IAM policy denies a user from creating data access policies for collection-a, but allows them to create data access policies for all collections (*):

{ "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Deny", "Action": [ "aoss:CreateAccessPolicy" ], "Resource": "*", "Condition": { "StringLike": { "aoss:collection": "collection-a" } } }, { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": [ "aoss:CreateAccessPolicy" ], "Resource": "*" } ] }

If the user creates a data access policy that allows certain permission to all collections (collection/* or index/*/*) the policy will apply to all collections, including collection A.


Being granted permissions within a data access policy is not sufficient to access data in your OpenSearch Serverless collection. An associated principal must also be granted access to the IAM permissions aoss:APIAccessAll and aoss:DashboardAccessAll. Both permissions grant full access to collection resources, while the Dashboards permission also provides access to OpenSearch Dashboards. If a principal doesn't have both of these IAM permissions, they will receive 403 errors when attempting to send requests to the collection. For more information, see Using OpenSearch API operations.

IAM permissions required

Data access control for OpenSearch Serverless uses the following IAM permissions. You can specify IAM conditions to restrict users to specific access policy names.

  • aoss:CreateAccessPolicy – Create an access policy.

  • aoss:ListAccessPolicies – List all access policies.

  • aoss:GetAccessPolicy – See details about a specific access policy.

  • aoss:UpdateAccessPolicy – Modify an access policy.

  • aoss:DeleteAccessPolicy – Delete an access policy.

The following identity-based access policy allows a user to view all access policies, and update policies that contain the resource pattern collection/logs.

{ "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Action": [ "aoss:ListAccessPolicies", "aoss:GetAccessPolicy" ], "Effect": "Allow", "Resource": "*" }, { "Action": [ "aoss:UpdateAccessPolicy" ], "Effect": "Allow", "Resource": "*", "Condition": { "StringEquals": { "aoss:collection": [ "logs" ] } } } ] }

Policy syntax

A data access policy includes a set of rules, each with the following elements:

Element Description
ResourceType The type of resource (collection or index) that the permissions apply to. Alias and template permissions are at the collection level, while permissions for creating, modifying, and searching data are at the index level. For more information, see Supported policy permissions.
Resource A list of resource names and/or patterns. Patterns are prefixes followed by a wildcard (*), which allow the associated permissions to apply to multiple resources.
  • Collections take the format collection/<name|pattern>.

  • Indexes take the format index/<collection-name|pattern>/<index-name|pattern/>.

Permission A list of permissions to grant for the specified resources. For a complete list of permissions and the API operations they allow, see Supported OpenSearch API operations and permissions.
Principal A list of one or more principals to grant access to. Principals can be IAM role ARNs or SAML identities. These principals must be within the current Amazon Web Services account. Cross-account access isn't supported.

The following example policy grants alias and template permissions to the collection called autopartsinventory, as well as any collections that begin with the prefix sales*. It also grants read and write permissions to all indexes within the autopartsinventory collection, and any indexes in the salesorders collection that begin with the prefix orders*.

[ { "Description": "Rule 1", "Rules":[ { "ResourceType":"collection", "Resource":[ "collection/autopartsinventory", "collection/sales*" ], "Permission":[ "aoss:CreateCollectionItems", "aoss:UpdateCollectionItems", "aoss:DescribeCollectionItems" ] }, { "ResourceType":"index", "Resource":[ "index/autopartsinventory/*", "index/salesorders/orders*" ], "Permission":[ "aoss:*" ] } ], "Principal":[ "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/Dale", "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/RegulatoryCompliance", "saml/123456789012/myprovider/user/Annie", "saml/123456789012/anotherprovider/group/Accounting" ] } ]

You can't explicitly deny access within a policy. Therefore, all policy permissions are additive. For example, if one policy grants a user aoss:ReadDocument, and another policy grants aoss:WriteDocument, the user will have both permissions. If a third policy grants the same user aoss:*, then the user can perform all actions on the associated index; more restrictive permissions don't override less restrictive ones.

Supported policy permissions

The following permissions are supported in data access policies. For the OpenSearch API operations that each permission allows, see Supported OpenSearch API operations and permissions.

Collection permissions

  • aoss:CreateCollectionItems

  • aoss:DeleteCollectionItems

  • aoss:UpdateCollectionItems

  • aoss:DescribeCollectionItems

  • aoss:*

Index permissions

  • aoss:ReadDocument

  • aoss:WriteDocument

  • aoss:CreateIndex

  • aoss:DeleteIndex

  • aoss:UpdateIndex

  • aoss:DescribeIndex

  • aoss:*

Sample datasets on OpenSearch Dashboards

OpenSearch Dashboards provides sample datasets that come with visualizations, dashboards, and other tools to help you explore Dashboards before you add your own data. To create indexes from this sample data, you need a data access policy that provides permissions to the dataset that you want to work with. The following policy uses a wildcard (*) to provide permissions to all three sample datasets.

[ { "Rules": [ { "Resource": [ "index/<collection-name>/opensearch_dashboards_sample_data_*" ], "Permission": [ "aoss:CreateIndex", "aoss:DescribeIndex", "aoss:ReadDocument" ], "ResourceType": "index" } ], "Principal": [ "arn:aws:iam::<account-id>:user/<user>" ] } ]

Creating data access policies (console)

You can create a data access policy using the visual editor, or in JSON format. Any new collections that match one of the patterns defined in the policy will be assigned the corresponding permissions when you create the collection.

To create an OpenSearch Serverless data access policy
  1. Open the Amazon OpenSearch Service console at

  2. In the left navigation pane, expand Serverless and choose Data access control.

  3. Choose Create access policy.

  4. Provide a name and description for the policy.

  5. Provide a name for the first rule in your policy. For example, "Logs collection access".

  6. Choose Add principals and select one or more IAM roles or SAML users and groups to provide data access to.


    In order to select principals from the dropdown menus, you must have the iam:ListUsers and iam:ListRoles permissions (for IAM principals) and aoss:ListSecurityConfigs permission (for SAML identities).

  7. Choose Grant and select the alias, template, and index permissions to grant the associated principals. For a full list of permissions and the access they allow, see Supported OpenSearch API operations and permissions.

  8. (Optional) Configure additional rules for the policy.

  9. Choose Create. There might be about a minute of lag time between when you create the policy and when the permissions are enforced. If it takes more than 5 minutes, contact Amazon Web Services Support.


If your policy only includes index permissions (and no collection permissions), you might still see a message for matching collections stating Collection cannot be accessed yet. Configure data access policies so that users can access the data within this collection. You can ignore this warning. Allowed principals can still perform their assigned index-related operations on the collection.

Creating data access policies (Amazon CLI)

To create a data access policy using the OpenSearch Serverless API, use the CreateAccessPolicy command. The command accepts both inline policies and .json files. Inline policies must be encoded as a JSON escaped string.

The following request creates a data access policy:

aws opensearchserverless create-access-policy \ --name marketing \ --type data \ --policy "[{\"Rules\":[{\"ResourceType\":\"collection\",\"Resource\":[\"collection/autopartsinventory\",\"collection/sales*\"],\"Permission\":[\"aoss:UpdateCollectionItems\"]},{\"ResourceType\":\"index\",\"Resource\":[\"index/autopartsinventory/*\",\"index/salesorders/orders*\"],\"Permission\":[\"aoss:ReadDocument\",\"aoss:DescribeIndex\"]}],\"Principal\":[\"arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/Shaheen\"]}]"

To provide the policy within a .json file, use the format --policy file://my-policy.json.

The principals included in the policy can now use the OpenSearch operations that they were granted access to.

Viewing data access policies

Before you create a collection, you might want to preview the existing data access policies in your account to see which one has a resource pattern that matches your collection's name. The following ListAccessPolicies request lists all data access policies in your account:

aws opensearchserverless list-access-policies --type data

The request returns information about all configured data access policies. To view the pattern rules defined in the one specific policy, find the policy information in the contents of the accessPolicySummaries element in the response. Note the name and type of this policy and use these properties in a GetAccessPolicy request to receive a response with the following policy details:

{ "accessPolicyDetails": [ { "type": "data", "name": "my-policy", "policyVersion": "MTY2NDA1NDE4MDg1OF8x", "description": "My policy", "policy": "[{\"Rules\":[{\"ResourceType\":\"collection\",\"Resource\":[\"collection/autopartsinventory\",\"collection/sales*\"],\"Permission\":[\"aoss:UpdateCollectionItems\"]},{\"ResourceType\":\"index\",\"Resource\":[\"index/autopartsinventory/*\",\"index/salesorders/orders*\"],\"Permission\":[\"aoss:ReadDocument\",\"aoss:DescribeIndex\"]}],\"Principal\":[\"arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/Shaheen\"]}]", "createdDate": 1664054180858, "lastModifiedDate": 1664054180858 } ] }

You can include resource filters to limit the results to policies that contain specific collections or indexes:

aws opensearchserverless list-access-policies --type data --resource "index/autopartsinventory/*"

To view details about a specific policy, use the GetAccessPolicy command.

Updating data access policies

When you update a data access policy, all associated collections are impacted. To update a data access policy in the OpenSearch Serverless console, choose Data access control, select the policy to modify, and choose Edit. Make your changes and choose Save.

To update a data access policy using the OpenSearch Serverless API, send an UpdateAccessPolicy request. You must include a policy version, which you can retrieve using the ListAccessPolicies or GetAccessPolicy commands. Including the most recent policy version ensures that you don't inadvertently override a change made by someone else.

The following UpdateAccessPolicy request updates a data access policy with a new policy JSON document:

aws opensearchserverless update-access-policy \ --name sales-inventory \ --type data \ --policy-version MTY2NDA1NDE4MDg1OF8x \ --policy file://my-new-policy.json

There might be a few minutes of lag time between when you update the policy and when the new permissions are enforced.

Deleting data access policies

When you delete a data access policy, all associated collections lose the access that is defined in the policy. Make sure that your IAM and SAML users have the appropriate access to the collection before you delete a policy. To delete a policy in the OpenSearch Serverless console, select the policy and choose Delete.

You can also use the DeleteAccessPolicy command:

aws opensearchserverless delete-access-policy --name my-policy --type data