SQL Sentry Portal Security

Authentication Methods

SQL Sentry Portal Service

The following authentication methods are available for connecting the SQL Sentry Portal service to your SQL Sentry database:

  • Integrated Windows Authentication is available in versions 2020.8.31 or later. It is not available in version 2020.8.
  • SQL Server Authentication is available in all versions.
    • The SQL Server account must have read, write, and execute access to the SQL Sentry database.

SQL Sentry Portal User Access Requirements

Note:  The access requirements in this section are for users logging into SQL Sentry Portal. SQL Server Authentication is not supported for users logging in to use the portal through a browser.

Users logging into SQL Sentry Portal through a browser must have access to the Windows Server hosting SQL Sentry Portal. For a user to access SQL Sentry Portal, at least one of the following sets of requirements must be met:


  • The Windows user identity has login access to the SQL Server instance that hosts the SQL Sentry database or it is in an Active Directory group that has login access to the SQL Server instance that hosts the SQL Sentry database.
    • Note:  Read/write access to SQL Sentry database is not validated.

Rights Based Security

Starting with version 2021.1, SQL Sentry Portal supports Rights Based Security. See the Rights Based Security article for more information.

Feature Based Security

Feature Availability: Feature Based Security is currently in a Preview status. It is available in version 2021.8 only to those who are part of the feature preview program for this release.

Starting with version 2021.8, SQL Sentry Portal offers Feature Based Security which layers on top of Rights Based Security

Feature Based Security is applied to contacts or contact groups in the SQL Sentry client, which are linked to an AD user or AD user group. Once the users are added through the client, they are available on the Users and Groups page in the SQL Sentry Portal. Feature Based Security uses roles to control access and is Default Deny. This means new users will only be able to access the Health view until they are assigned to roles that add more permissions.

Note:  New Installations vs. Upgrades

  • During a new installation, no roles are assigned to default users/groups.
  • When upgrading SQL Sentry from a version that predates Feature Based Security (earlier than 2021.8) to one that supports Feature Based Security (versions 2021.8 or later), existing users and groups receive Alerts, Performance, and Query Tuner roles to maintain their existing access.

Permissions Page

Select the Permissions button from the top right in the navigation menu to open the Permissions page.

The Permissions button

The Permissions page has 4 main sections worth noting:

  1. SQL Sentry database environment drop-down
    • Note:  If you are using distributed SQL Sentry databases, roles must be configured per SQL Sentry database (i.e. if you have multiple SQL Sentry databases such as SQLSentryUS and SQLSentryUK).
  2. Users or Groups
  3. User or Group Details
  4. Feature Access grid


The Users section lists all users that exist as contacts in SQL Sentry.

If a user belongs to one or more groups, they will be listed under groups in the User Details section.

User Details showing user Noah in the Wombat Club group

Note:  Inherited permissions from groups are not currently displayed in the Feature Access grid for the user in the roles.


The Groups section lists all groups that exist in SQL Sentry. Roles applied at the group level are inherited by the users in that group. The groups display the number of members next to the group name. Select a group to display the list of users and Feature Access for that group.

Wombat Club group showing the 3 users in the group

Feature Access Grid

The Feature Access grid is where you assign roles to users and groups.

Note:  There are no edit or save buttons on the Permissions page. Any changes that are made in the Feature Access grid are automatically saved and are immediately in effect.

Roles set at the site level will flow through to the targets in that site. In this example, all sites and targets belong to the Default Site.

Administrator, Alerts, and Query Tuner roles applied at the Default Site level apply to all targets in the site.

If a role is applied to a site within a site, then anything within that sub-site will inherit the role. In the following example, the Performance role is applied to site SquadD, (which is within the Default Site). The user (or group) will gain Performance role access to all targets within SquadD (SQUADD-PE.ENG.LOCAL, SQUADD-STABLE.ENG.LOCAL, and SQUADD-DEV.ENG.LOCAL) without gaining that additional access to other targets.

Note:  Use the Show Hierarchy toggle to show which targets are impacted by a setting at a higher level in the hierarchy.

Default Roles

The following default roles are available:


The Administrator role provides access to the Permissions page in SQL Sentry Portal. Administrators can only see targets for which they are an administrator for on the Permissions page. The targets are also filtered by Rights Based Security for the administrator and selected user/group. This means that an administrator cannot assign Feature Based Security permissions to a target that the selected user cannot already access.

Note:  The Permissions page can be accessed without the Administrator role if SQL Sentry Portal is accessed via the localhost domain. This gives the user admin-type rights at the Default Site for every tenant.


The Alerts role provides access to viewing the Alerts view in SQL Sentry Portal.

Note:  Global alerts are only shown when the user has the Alerts role permission for every target/group.


The Performance role provides access to all metrics & chart data, including the Performance Analysis Dashboard, Custom Charts, Custom Dashboards, and charts on other views such as Top SQL and TempDB. Users with the Performance role may create, edit, and delete the custom charts and dashboards that they can access.

Note:  If a dashboard contains a custom chart for a target that is restricted from the user, the chart will display a "This data is restricted" message instead of the chart.

This data is restricted

Query Tuner

The Query Tuner role provides access to the query and session information on the Top SQL, Blocking, Deadlocks, and TempDB views in SQL Sentry Portal.

Note:  The Top SQL and TempDB performance charts are hidden on these views unless the user has both Performance and Query Tuner roles applied.

Custom Roles

Unsupported: Custom roles may be created directly through the SQL Sentry database. There is no UI or support available at this time.

Once a custom role is inserted into the SQL Sentry database, the role appears in the Feature Access grid and may be assigned to users and groups the same way as default roles.

Step 1. Create a custom role

Run the following to create a role.

SET @newRoleID = NEWID(); /*a GUID*/

INSERT INTO [Security].[FeatureRole] ([ID], [Name]
VALUES (@newRoleID, 'CustomRoleName');

Step 2. Apply permissions to your custom role

Use the following permissions and GUIDs to build your insert statement:


Run the following insert statement to apply permissions to the role. This example adds Blocking permissions to the CustomRoleName.

INSERT INTO [Security].[FeatureRolePermission] ([RoleID], [FeatureID]
VALUES (@newRoleID, '1CF9D61E-45EA-4851-B39C-0916FF1A5A24');

On the Permissions page, a 5th role named CustomRoleName now exists and provides Deadlocks permissions to any user/group assigned this role.