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Clarifying user ID privileges

Few differences exist between a user ID with database administrator privileges versus a user ID with SQL Server administrator privileges. Monitoring and Administration expert Kevin Kline explains in this response.

I am a novice with SQL Server. Is there a difference between a userid with database administrator rights versus a userid with SQL Server administrator rights? Or am I calling the same thing two different names?
This is sort of like splitting hairs. In most cases, they're identical. However, any user who has system administrator privileges or is a member of the sysadmin role is a SQL Server administrator. He will be able to make changes across the server. The one instance where a user may have database administrator privileges without having SQL Server administrator rights is when he is database owner (DBO) of a specific database without having SA or sysadmin privileges. In this case, the user can do almost anything he wants within that one database where he is designated as owner. But he cannot make system-wide changes like the SA or a member of sysadmin.


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