Query Service SSL options

For increased security, Adobe Experience Platform Query Service provides native support for SSL connections to encrypt client/server communications. This document covers the available SSL options for third-party client connections to Query Service and how to connect using the verify-full SSL parameter value.


This document assumes that you have already downloaded a third-party desktop client application for use with your Platform data. Specific instructions on how to incorporate SSL security when connecting with a third-party client are found in their respective connection guide documentation. For a list of all Query Service supported clients, see the client connections overview.

Available SSL options available-ssl-options

Platform supports various SSL options to suit your data security needs and balance the processing overhead of encryption and key exchange.

The different sslmode parameter values provide different levels of protection. By encrypting your data in motion with SSL certificates, it helps to prevent “man-in-the-middle” (MITM) attacks, eavesdropping, and impersonation. The table below provides a breakdown of the different SSL modes available and the level of protection they provide.

The SSL value disable is not supported by Adobe Experience Platform due to the requisite data protection compliance.
Eavesdropping protection
MITM protection
Security is not a priority, speed and a low processing overhead are more important. This mode only opts for encryption if the server insists on it.
Encryption is not required but the communication will be encrypted if the server supports it.
Encryption is required on all communications. The network is trusted to connect to the correct server. Server SSL certificate validation is not required.
Depends on CA-policy
Encryption is required on all communications. Server validation is required before data is shared. This requires you to set up a root certificate in your PostgreSQL home directory. Details are provided below
Encryption is required on all communications. Server validation is required before data is shared. This requires you to set up a root certificate in your PostgreSQL home directory. Details are provided below.
The difference between verify-ca and verify-full depends on the policy of the root certificate authority (CA). If you have created your own local CA to issue private certificates for your applications, using verify-ca often provides enough protection. If using a public CA, verify-ca allows connections to a server that somebody else may have registered with the CA. verify-full should always be used with a public root CA.

When establishing a third-party connection to a Platform database, you are recommended to use sslmode=require at a minimum to ensure a secure connection for your data in motion. The verify-full SSL mode is recommended for use in most security-sensitive environments.

Set up a root certificate for sever verification root-certificate

The TLS/SSL certificates on Production environments for the Query Service Interactive Postgres API were refreshed on Wednesday 24th January 2024.
Although this is an annual requirement, on this occasion the root certificate in the chain has also changed as Adobe’s TLS/SSL certificate provider have updated their certificate hierarchy. This can impact certain Postgres clients if their list of Certificate Authorities are missing the root cert. For example, a PSQL CLI client may need to have the root certs added to an explicit file ~/postgresql/root.crt, otherwise this can result in an error. For example, psql: error: SSL error: certificate verify failed. See the official PostgreSQL documentation for more information on this issue.
The root certificate to add can be downloaded from https://cacerts.digicert.com/DigiCertGlobalRootG2.crt.pem.

To ensure a secure connection, SSL usage must be configured on both the client and the server before the connection is made. If the SSL is only configured on the server, the client might send sensitive information such as passwords before it is established that the server requires high security.

By default, PostgreSQL does not perform any verification of the server certificate. To verify the server’s identity and ensure a secure connection before any sensitive data is sent (as part of the SSL verify-full mode), you must place a root (self-signed) certificate on your local machine (root.crt) and a leaf certificate signed by the root certificate on the server.

If the sslmode parameter is set to verify-full, libpq will verify that the server is trustworthy by checking the certificate chain up to the root certificate stored on the client. It then verifies that the hostname matches the name stored in the server certificate.

To allow server certificate verification, you must place one or more root certificates (root.crt) in the PostgreSQL file in your home directory. The file path would be similar to ~/.postgresql/root.crt.

Enable verify-full SSL mode for use with a third-party Query Service connection instructions

If you need stricter security control than sslmode=require, you can follow the steps highlighted to connect a third-party client to Query Service using verify-full SSL mode.

There are many options available to attain an SSL certificate. Due to a growing trend in rogue certificates, DigiCert is used in this guide as they are a trusted global provider of high-assurance TLS/SSL, PKI, IoT, and signing solutions.
  1. Navigate to the list of available DigiCert root certificates

  2. Search for “DigiCert Global Root G2” from the list of available certificates.

  3. Select Download PEM to download the file to your local machine.
    The list of available DigiCert root certificates with Download PEM highlighted.

  4. Rename the security certificate file to root.crt.

  5. Copy the file to the PostgreSQL folder. The necessary file path is different depending on your operating system. If the folder does not already exist, create the folder.

    • If you are using macOS, the path is /Users/<username>/.postgresql
    • If you are using Windows, the path is %appdata%\postgresql
To find your %appdata% file location on a Windows operating system, press ⊞ Win + R and input %appdata% into the search field.

After the DigiCert Global Root G2 CRT file is available in your PostgreSQL folder, you can connect to Query Service using the sslmode=verify-full or sslmode=verify-ca option.

Next steps

By reading this document, you have a better understanding of the available SSL options for connecting a third-party client to Query Service, and also how to enable the verify-full SSL option to encrypt your data in motion.

If you have not done so already, follow the guidance on connecting a third-party client to Query Service.