This is a bit of a newbie question I think, but all the answers I've found online are for other questions, so I ask here:

We have a server that we set up on a virtual machine to handle the passing of data from a VPN connection to the main database that end users will access. This "Processing" server has a few databases for handling deltas and hosting sprocs. I have recently tried to create a view in one of those databases and found that it cannot query data in any other database, which is not the normal experience that I have had. On the other server all the databases can see eachother. I've looked at all of the databases and they only have visibility limited to themselves.

I suppose there is a setting at the server level that isolates the databases, but I don't have the expertise to know what that is. Can somebody help me? I'm at an impasse until this is solved.



After extended testing I have found that the databases can write to each other and to the other server using 4-part naming, I just cannot execute queries or views that span the same databases that the sprocs are reading from and writing to, even using 4-part naming. This is quite odd.

  • Which version of SQL Server? Do you have permissions to query all databases with the account you are logged in as? Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 21:30
  • 2008 R2. Yes, I'm the owner.
    – n8.
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 21:44
  • 1
    on the server that you can see all the databases what permissions do you have? Not at each db level but at the sql server level?
    – Jeff A
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 21:48
  • My IT Director has sysadmin and tried what I am trying to do, so it is not a permissions issue. He just pointed out that the server is SQL Server Express edition, could this be a limitation?
    – n8.
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


Please enable this setting:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/ms188694.aspx http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb669059(v=vs.110).aspx

This allows the security permission between databases to propagate. Additional details described well in this blog: http://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/1782/understanding-cross-database-ownership-chaining-in-sql-server/

  • Interesting, but that's not it. On server 1 the databases can all see and query each other (except where security permissions forbid it) and this option is not selected. We tried what you suggested on server 2 and it did not resolve the issue. It's also worth noting that the "Cross-database Ownership Chaining Enabled" option is "false" and grayed out, and so cannot be changed to "True".
    – n8.
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 21:59
  • So you are trying to query across databases on different servers? How can you try the setting if it is grayed out? Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 8:22
  • The setting at the server level is a checkbox and that control is active. When you browse individual databases there is a property for "Cross-database Ownership Chaining Enabled" on those as well, drop-down true/false selectors that are disabled.
    – n8.
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 16:28

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