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Should Developers manage database read status

19 September,2019 by Tom Collins

A programmer asked me if he can include the a function to change the database status out of READ_ONLY , add some data and then put it back into READ_ONLY. 

These are the basic commands



There are some considerations for deciding if a Developer should be able to include as part of an ETL process , the capacity to change the READ STATE of a SQL database

1) Requires ALTER permission on the database. This is an elevated privilege - and may break the organisations sql server security policy

2) Is the developer on the hook for maintaining Production data? What is the developer's role in supporting production data ?

3) How sensitive is the data ? If there is an outage caused by the ALTER DATABASE process , is the developer part of a core team trusted with fixing the issue?

4) Impact on performance - This is a common reason given for developers to not have access to production systems. In my experience - these tend to be isolated instances. I'm not saying it doesn't happen - but it depends on the details.

5) UPDATE STATISTICS before changing the database to READ_ONLY. If a developer is changing the database state between READ_ONLY & READ_WRITE , and are probably changing data , then will they include a statistics management process?  A conscientious DBA should be aware of UPDATE STATISTICS  .  Once the database changes into READ_ONLY  and the Database Engine thinks some more sql statistics are required than the statistics will be creates in the tempdb database. Creating the statistics in the tempdb may have a storage and performance impact

6)  Exclusive access is required to change to Tempdb from READ_WRITE. 


Read more on database read status 

Make a database read only – READ_ONLY (SQL Server DBA)

How to check read only status for SQL database


Author: Tom Collins (


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