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What is the difference between DBO role versus the DBA role?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

A dba is not a system role, it's the title of the person who administers your database server (Data Base Administrator). There is no builtin role called "dba" in SQL.

High-level: DBO is the owner of the specific database and as such has the permissions to do anything within that datbase.

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Thank you so much! A quick follow on Q: so does that mean DBAs typically give themsevles DBO rights or Sys Admin rights? Which takes precedence over the other I guess... – shamp Jun 24 '09 at 15:57
DBA's are typically the system administrators so it would follow that they are the ones that have sysadmin rights. The sysadmin trumps all, gives full permission server-wide. DBO only gives full permission at the database level. Thus it won't give you the permission to do things like create and drop databases, set up server logins, etc. – squillman Jun 24 '09 at 16:01

As squillman says, DBA isn't the name of a role. When you say DBA, I think you're meaning what's commonly called 'sa', or the 'sysadmin' server-level role.

DBOs (actually the 'db_owner' role) owns a database and has all permissions in the context of that database. For a list and description of all the database-level roles, see the Books Online topic Database-Level Roles.

Members of the sysadmin server-level role can do anything at all on the server, with no restrictions in scope or context. For a list and description of all the server-level roles, see the Books Online topic Server-Level Roles.

Hope this helps!

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A DBA owns the whole sql server instance. A dbo is just the owner for his little database (but could be owner of more than one or all also)

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