Use Azure Active Directory Authentication for authentication with SQL Database to

manage credentials in a single place.


Azure Active Directory authentication is a mechanism to connect to Microsoft Azure

SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse by using identities in Azure Active Directory

(Azure AD). With Azure AD authentication, identities of database users and other

Microsoft services can be managed in one central location. Central ID management

provides a single place to manage database users and simplifies permission


• It provides an alternative to SQL Server authentication.

• Helps stop the proliferation of user identities across database servers.

• Allows password rotation in a single place.

• Customers can manage database permissions using external (AAD) groups.

• It can eliminate storing passwords by enabling integrated Windows

authentication and other forms of authentication supported by Azure Active


• Azure AD authentication uses contained database users to authenticate identities

at the database level.

• Azure AD supports token-based authentication for applications connecting to

SQL Database.

• Azure AD authentication supports ADFS (domain federation) or native

user/password authentication for a local Azure Active Directory without domain


• Azure AD supports connections from SQL Server Management Studio that use

Active Directory Universal Authentication, which includes Multi-Factor

Authentication (MFA). MFA includes strong authentication with a range of easy

verification options — phone call, text message, smart cards with pin, or mobile

app notification.


This will create administrative overhead with user account and permission

management. For further security on these administrative accounts, you may want to

consider higher tiers of AAD which support features like Multi Factor Authentication, that

will cost more.


From Azure Portal

1. Go to SQL servers

2. For each SQL server, click on Active Directory admin under the Settings


3. Ensure that a value has been set for Admin Name under the Azure Active

Directory admin section

From Azure CLI

To list SQL Server Admins on a specific server:

az sql server ad-admin list --resource-group <resource-group> --server

From PowerShell

Print a list of all SQL Servers to find which one you want to audit


Audit a list of Administrators on a Specific Server

Get-AzSqlServerActiveDirectoryAdministrator -ResourceGroupName <resource
group name> -ServerName <server name>

Ensure Output shows DisplayName set to AD account.


From Azure Portal

1. Go to SQL servers

2. For each SQL server, click on Active Directory admin

3. Click on Set admin

4. Select an admin

5. Click Save

From Azure CLI

az ad user show --id

For each Server, set AD Admin

az sql server ad-admin create --resource-group <resource group name> --server
<server name> --display-name <display name> --object-id <object id of user>

From PowerShell

For each Server, set AD Admin

Set-AzSqlServerActiveDirectoryAdministrator -ResourceGroupName <resource
group name> -ServerName <server name> -DisplayName "<Display name of AD
account to set as DB administrator>"

Default Value:

Azure Active Directory Authentication for SQL Database/Server is not enabled by






4. identity-management#im-1-use-centralized-identity-and-authentication-system