SQL Server Agent Roles


We are evaluating using BMC’s Control-M, our corporate IT Job Management tool.

And, wanted to see what we will have to do to get it to work against SQL Server Instances.


SQL Server Agent Roles

In SQL Server, jobs are managed through SQL Server Agent.

PreDefined Roles

SQL Server Agent has predefined security roles.

SQL Server Management Studio ( SSMS )

Jobs are saved in the system database, msdb.

To view the roles, please do the following:

  1. Launch SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)
    • Connect to the SQL Server Instance
    • Choose System Databases
    • From the list of System Databases, choose msdb
    • Within the msdb database, transverse to Security \ Roles \ Database Roles
    • The SQL Server Agent roles are noted having names that start with SQLAgent



Permission Set

Let us dig deeper into these roles and see what they afford us, where they are different, and what is the minimum we can get away with.


The roles are listed in increasing order of privileges assigned.

More precisely as Microsoft would say it, they are concentric.

Looked up the term concentric and here is how it is defined:

They are of or denoting circles, arcs, or other shapes that share the same center, the larger often completely surrounding the smaller.

And, so we can see that MSFT’s documentation is very useful, and here it is in verbatim:

The SQL Server Agent database role permissions are concentric in relation to one another — more privileged roles inherit the permissions of less privileged roles on SQL Server Agent objects (including alerts, operators, jobs, schedules, and proxies). 


Role Definition Details
SQLAgentUserRole Members of SQLAgentUserRole have permissions on only local jobs and job schedules that they own.  a) Have permission on owned jobs
SQLAgentReaderRole SQLAgentReaderRole includes all the SQLAgentUserRole permissions as well as permissions to view the list of available multiserver jobs, their properties, and their history. Members of this role can also view the list of all available jobs and job schedules and their properties, not just those jobs and job schedules that they own. a) List all jobs – their properties, schedules, and executionhistory
SQLAgentOperatorRole SQLAgentOperatorRole is the most privileged of the SQL Server Agent fixed database roles. It includes all the permissions of SQLAgentUserRole and SQLAgentReaderRole. Members of this role can also view properties for operators and proxies, and enumerate available proxies and alerts on the server. a) Manage ( enable or disable jobs, edit job steps )

b) They can execute, stop, or start jobs

c) Delete job execution history


Which Role?

For system jobs we do not want an external job manager as SQL Server Agent is able to do so sufficiently.

We only want an external job manager for specific jobs.

Let us review the predefined system roles and judge their appropriateness for what we have in mind:

  1. SQLAgentOperatorRole
    • Affords all roles to all jobs
    • Too much for us
  2. SQLAgentReaderRole
    • (+)
      • Able to create and and manage own job
      • Read privileges on all jobs; their steps, schedule, and run history
    • (-)
      • Job Management does not need to view job data nor review job run history
        • A bit much for our targeted need
  3. SQLAgentUserRole
    • Requirements
      • (+)
        • Create own jobs
        • Run owned jobs
          • Existing jobs ownership can be re-assigned
      • (-)
        • Job has be owned
          • We have to review what is the ramification of changing job ownership for each specific job


Follow Up

Our follow-up task is to review the impact of changing job ownership for specific jobs.



  1. Microsoft
    • SQL Server Agent Fixed Database Roles
    • Implement SQL Server Agent Security


One thought on “SQL Server Agent Roles

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