Database Role Membership

There are two kinds of database roles in SQL Server: fixed roles and flexible roles. In this article I am going explain about fixed roles.

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Fixed roles automatically exist in each database. Adding a user to one of these roles will not change that user’s permissions in any other database. Any user or role can be added to a database role. Once a user has been added to a role, they can add other users or roles to that role.

Let’s take a look at the fixed roles available in SQL Server:

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A member of the db_owner role can do anything inside the database. They can grant and revoke access, create tables, stored procedures, views, run backups and schedule jobs.


Members of the db_securityadmin role can modify role permissions and manage permissions. Users in this role have, in theory, almost as much power members of db_owner. The only thing that a member of db_securityadmin can’t do is add users to the db_owner role. Members of db_securityadmin also cannot add users to fixed database roles (this requires membership in the db_owner role).


Members of the db_accessadmin role have the ability to change database access. They can grant and revoke access to Windows logins, Windows groups and SQL Server logins. The users that they grant access to will be members of the Public role and will have all the privileges associated with that role.

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Members of the db_backupoperator fixed database role can back up the database.


Members of the db_ddladmin fixed database role can run any Data Definition Language (DDL) command in a database.


Members of the db_datawriter fixed database role can add, delete, or change data in all user tables.


Members of the db_datareader role are able to read all data from all user tables. Even the super secret table can be read by members of db_datareader. So the db_datareader role allows a user to be able to issue a SELECT statement against all tables and views in the database.


Members of the db_denydatawriter fixed database role cannot add, modify, or delete any data in the user tables within a database.


Members of the db_denydatareader fixed database role cannot read any data in the user tables within a database.


Every SQL Server login belongs to the public server role. When a server principal has not been granted or denied specific permissions on a securable object, the user inherits the permissions granted to public on that object. Only assign public permissions on any object when you want the object to be available to all users. You cannot change membership in public.


Public is implemented differently than other roles. However, permissions can be granted, denied, or revoked from public.

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