Tag Archives: user

How to identify databases with Guest user enabled

As best practice it is recommended to disable guest user in every user database, i.e. not master, msdb and tempdb, to improve the security of SQL Server. Guest user permits access to a database for any logins that are not mapped to a specific database user. The guest user cannot be dropped but it can be disabled by revoking the CONNECT permission.

Use the script below to identify which databases have guest user enabled. 

USE master;

DECLARE @database_name SYSNAME
	,@sqlcmd NVARCHAR(4000)

DECLARE databases_cursor CURSOR
FROM sys.databases
	AND database_id > 4

CREATE TABLE #guest_users_enabled (
	database_name SYSNAME
	,user_name SYSNAME
	,permission_name NVARCHAR(128)
	,state_desc NVARCHAR(6)

OPEN databases_cursor;

FROM databases_cursor
INTO @database_name;

	SET @sqlcmd = N'use ' + @database_name + ';

        insert into #guest_users_enabled

        SELECT ''' + @database_name + ''' as database_name, name,

        permission_name, state_desc

        FROM sys.database_principals dpr

        INNER JOIN sys.database_permissions dpe

        ON dpr.principal_id = dpe.grantee_principal_id

        WHERE name = ''guest'' AND permission_name = ''CONNECT'''

	EXEC sp_executesql @sqlcmd

	FROM databases_cursor
	INTO @database_name;

SELECT database_name
FROM #guest_users_enabled
ORDER BY database_name ASC

DROP TABLE #guest_users_enabled

CLOSE databases_cursor;

DEALLOCATE databases_cursor;
Use the script below, changing the placeholder database with the database identified in the script above, to revoke permission for the guest user to connect to that database.
USE [database name];




How to drop a user from a SQL Server database when you encounter the error message “The database principal owns a schema in the database, and cannot be dropped”


So if you have encountered the error above “The database principal owns a schema in the database, and cannot be dropped” you will not be able to drop the user until ownership of the effected schema has been transferred to another user/role. In order to drop the user, you have to find the schema that is assigned first. You can do this by running the script below replacing myUser with the user name in question. 

SELECT name 
FROM  sys.schemas 
WHERE principal_id = USER_ID(myUser)
Then, use the schema found from the above query in place of the SchemaName below. This transfers ownership to dbo. You may need to alter authorization for multiple schema. Just run the statement for each returned schema replacing SchemaName. You can then drop your user.

Five Database icons arranged in a star with the largest one in the center

How to identify all user objects in the SQL Server Master database

What is the SQL Server Master Database used for?

The master database is used by SQL Server to contain all of the system level information:

  • Logins
  • Linked servers
  • Endpoints
  • Configuration settings
  • Information about the other databases on this instance and the location of their files

If the master database is not present, SQL Server cannot start.

This is way you should always take regular backups of the master database.
as if SQL Server suffers a failure, those changes will be lost and you’ll be in a lot of trouble.

So the master database is needed for SQL Server to work. Logic and objects needed to enable your application should not be tangled up in there so you should always avoid creating objects in the master database. Use a user database instead.

In saying that everyone has made the mistake of not specifying the database they want to USE in a script and by default objects get written to the Master database. Or you might have inherited the responsibility for an application which did not conform to best practices and it uses objects created in Master.

To gain visibility of these objects just run the script below.

SELECT o.object_id AS ObjectId
	,o.NAME AS ObjectName
	,o.type_desc AS ObjectType
	,o.create_date AS CreateDate
	,o.modify_date AS ModifyDate
	,SUM(st.row_count) AS RowCnt
	,CAST(SUM(st.used_page_count) / 128.0 AS DECIMAL(36, 1)) AS DataSize_MB
FROM master.sys.objects o
LEFT JOIN master.sys.dm_db_partition_stats st ON st.object_id = o.object_id
	AND st.index_id < 2
GROUP BY o.object_id
HAVING o.is_ms_shipped = 0
	AND o.NAME <> 'sp_ssis_startup'
	AND o.type_desc NOT LIKE '%CONSTRAINT%'
ORDER BY CAST(SUM(st.used_page_count) / 128.0 AS DECIMAL(36, 1)) DESC
	,RowCnt DESC

Report Requirements Template

When a developer is asked to create a business report it always involves a meeting of two disciplines.

The developer has the technical knowledge of pulling raw data, manipulating it and presenting interpreted data as information to be consumed by an end user. They may also know the location and source of the data to be used and how regularly this source is refreshed or updated with new data.

The Requester of the report will usually be the person with business domain knowledge. They understand the business rules which need to be applied to the data to transform it into information.

An obvious example for this is the relationship between a SQL developer working in an accounting environment. The developer is not an account and the account is not a developer but the two need to be able to collaborate and communicate to ensure that a report eventually outputs the correct information at the require period reliably.

Failure in achieving this goal can have disastrous consequences. For example projecting further revenue based on faulty data.

A good start for creating a foundation for effective communication and collaboration is for the developer and requester to step through a requirements template. This gives the report a structure and focus while also serving as a means of documenting the creation of the report from a business perspective and a future resource from a development perspective, i.e. the requirement of a future developer new to the report updating and modifying the report.

Attached is an example Template.

The Requirements sheet deals with questions like:

Who is the requester?

Why is the report needed?

What information will the report return?

This sheet will primarily be filled in by the requester.

The Report Fields sheet tries to plug the gap in knowledge between the requester and the developer by exploring what is the information required and what fields, calculations correspond to this information. The developer and requester may need to step through this sheet together to ensure their intended outcomes align.