In SQL Server, you can add a server role and give that role membership to other roles such as:

  • bulkadmin
  • dbcreator
  • diskadmin
  • processadmin
  • securityadmin
  • serveradmin
  • setupadmin
  • superadmin

However none of these roles seem to allow for only interacting with databases (SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE).

What securables should I enable to specifically allow for this kind of access? I would not want this server role to be able to create and drop databases.

  • You want the db_datareader and db_datawriter roles, which are set at a database level, not a server level. Nov 14, 2016 at 21:08
  • Can you associate those roles at a server level?
    – Zach Smith
    Nov 14, 2016 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


To give access to a database you need to use database roles and database users but not server roles. Please check difference between a user and a login

You can create a server role, add logins to that. Then you can add that role as a user in each database and add it as a member of a database role that has select, insert and update rights.

If you do this in the model database and then that would be copied to all user databases created after that.

  • After creating a role called 'superadmin', with all securables enabled and as with membership to all server roles i find that though I can connect to a DB and run SELECT queries on tables, the result sets are empty. Do you know why this is the case? Also, is there a reason to be careful when adding allowing all securables on a server role? (other than the risk of users of that role having access to all parts of the database)
    – Zach Smith
    Nov 14, 2016 at 21:31
  • It should be enough to give the user db_datareader and db_datawriter in the database. If you gave the user all roles in the database they are also dbo (and can drop the database) and db_denydatareader and db_denydatawriter and cannot access any data.
    – Spörri
    Nov 15, 2016 at 8:53

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