Take the 2-minute tour ×
Database Administrators Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for database professionals who wish to improve their database skills and learn from others in the community. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like a script that will allow our web developers read only access to all databases on our SQL server.

Currently we are having to do this manually as we have no SQL expert / DB Admin.

Would somebody be able to help me out by creating a script that will add there windows user to SQL and Grant Read only access to all databases.

Occasionally they will need read / write access on a specific database so we can change this manually but I would like a script that we can schedule overnight that will change the access back if we forget.

Any help is much appreciated.


share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 26 '12 at 12:35

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

What does "if we forget" mean? That you will revoke permissions, or remove users from the databases, or drop logins altogether? –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 26 '12 at 14:04
Also what version of SQL Server please? –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 26 '12 at 14:28
SQL Server 2008 Standard –  user1482412 Jun 27 '12 at 11:24
Yep sorry - 'if we forget' meant that if we forgot to change permissions back to read only –  user1482412 Jun 27 '12 at 11:24
Ok, so not only do you need to add the read only permissions (in case they've been revoked or the user doesn't exist at all), you also need to take away any additional privileges you may have granted them in the meantime...? –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 27 '12 at 11:30

1 Answer 1

If you have a list of known usernames, you can store them in a table somewhere:


INSERT dbo.WebDevelopers(name)
  SELECT N'YourDomain\User1'
  SELECT N'YourDomain\User2';

Now you can create a variety of scripts to ensure that:

  1. they exist as a login at the server level
  2. for each relevant database:

    • they exist as a user
    • they are in the db_datareader role
    • they have SELECT permission on the dbo schema

Here is a start to solve 1. (I'll come back and address the others as I have time later today):

DECLARE @sql NVARCHAR(MAX), @cr NCHAR(2) = CHAR(13) + CHAR(10);

SELECT @sql = N'';

SELECT @sql = @sql + @cr + 'CREATE LOGIN '
FROM dbo.WebDevelopers AS d
LEFT OUTER JOIN sys.server_principals AS p
ON d.name = p.name

PRINT @sql;
-- EXEC sp_executesql @sql;

For the rest, this makes some basic assumptions: you always elevate privileges using database-level roles, rather than explicit GRANT/DENY, server role membership or AD group membership. Like the table of developers, you also want to have somewhere a list of the databases you want to affect:

CREATE TABLE dbo.DeveloperDatabases(name SYSNAME PRIMARY KEY);

INSERT dbo.DeveloperDatabases(name)
  SELECT N'some_database'
  -- UNION ALL N'...';

Now you can build a script that will drop the user from each database, create the entire list from scratch, and add each user only to the db_datareader role. You may want to customize the script if you want to grant explicit rights on a certain schema or set of objects.

DECLARE @sql NVARCHAR(MAX), @cr NCHAR(2) = CHAR(13) + CHAR(10);

SELECT @sql = N'SELECT @sql2 = N'''';';

SELECT @sql = @sql + @cr + N'SELECT @sql2 = @sql2 + ''
  USE ' + QUOTENAME(name) + '; 
  DROP USER '' + QUOTENAME(d.name) + '';''
FROM dbo.WebDevelopers AS d
INNER JOIN ' + QUOTENAME(name) + '.sys.database_principals AS p
ON d.name = p.name;'
FROM dbo.DeveloperDatabases;

SELECT @sql = @sql + @cr + N'SELECT @sql2 = @sql2 + ''
  USE ' + QUOTENAME(name) + '; 
  CREATE USER '' + QUOTENAME(d.name) + '' FROM LOGIN '' + QUOTENAME(d.name) + '';
  EXEC sp_addrolemember ''''db_datareader'''', '''''' + d.name + '''''';''
FROM dbo.WebDevelopers AS d
LEFT OUTER JOIN ' + QUOTENAME(name) + '.sys.database_principals AS p
ON d.name = p.name
WHERE p.name IS NULL;'
FROM dbo.DeveloperDatabases;


EXEC sp_executesql @sql, N'@sql2 NVARCHAR(MAX) OUTPUT', @sql2 OUTPUT;

PRINT @sql2;
-- EXEC sp_executesql @sql2;

This is very rough, and lots of things can make it break. I could have combined the two selects into a single query but I think double-nested dynamic SQL was complex enough without adding conditional string concatenation in there as well.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Aaron - if you wouldn't mind providing the scripts it will help me out alot. I am looking to take a course on becoming a DBA. –  user1482412 Jun 27 '12 at 11:29
@user1482412 updated with another starting point for the remainder of your requirement. Be careful out there. –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 27 '12 at 19:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.