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Enabling auditing on the database allows you to capture SQL events at the database level. You can enable database-level auditing when you register the SQL Server instance. For more information, see Register your SQL Servers.

When you enable auditing on a database, you can control the Audit collection levels per each database, choosing whether to apply the built-in default audit settings, enforce a regulatory guideline, or define custom audit settings.

After you enable auditing on your databases, set up the audited database properties to enable more advanced auditing, such as Sensitive Columns and Before-After Data in tables.

If you disable auditing for any reason, you can easily re-enable database-level auditing. On the Explore Activity tree, expand the SQL Server instance on which the database resides. Right-click the name of the database on which you want to enable auditing, and then select Enable Auditing. This action enables auditing at the server and database levels.

Use the SQL Compliance Manager Configuration wizard to enable auditing on a database

You can use the SQL Compliance Manager Configuration wizard to add a database and apply one of the following audit settings:

To enable database auditing through the Configuration wizard:

  1. In the Explore Activity tree, select the SQL Server instance that hosts the new database.
  2. Select Audited Database from the New drop-down.
  3. Select the user databases you want to audit, and then click Next.
  4. Select which audit collection level you want to use, and then click Next.
  5. If you chose to use the Custom audit collection level, select the appropriate audit settings for these databases, and then click Next. SQL Compliance Manager audits only the activities and results you select. For information, see Database-level audit settings.
  6. If you chose to use the Custom audit collection level and you are auditing DML and SELECT events , select the objects SQL Compliance Manager should audit for these events, and then click Next.
  7. If you chose to use the Custom audit collection level, select any trusted users you do not want to audit, and then click Next.
    • Trusted users are database users, SQL Server logins, or members of SQL Server roles that you trust to read, update, or manage a particular audited database. SQL Compliance Manager does not audit trusted users. Trusted users are designated on the Add Trusted Users window of the New Audited Database wizard.
    • If you are auditing privileged user activity and the trusted user is also a privileged user, SQL Compliance Manager continues to audit this user because of its elevated privileges. For example, a service account that is a member of the sysadmin fixed SQL Server role will continue to be audited even though the account is designated as trusted.
  8. Click Finish

Use the import audit settings feature to apply audit settings to a database

You can use the Import your audit settings feature to apply an audit template you previously exported from an audited database. To successfully apply the template, first add the database to SQL Compliance Manager.

Use the CLI to enable auditing on a database

You can use the command line interface to enable auditing on a new database and apply audit settings. The audit settings can be configured using a specific regulation or an audit template (audit settings you exported to an XML file).
Keep in mind the following requirements and limitations:

  • This process requires manually deploying the SQL Compliance Manager Agent to the instance that hosts this database.
  • The auditdatabase command does not support enabling auditing of a database that belongs to a virtual SQL Server instance hosted on a Windows cluster.
  • The auditdatabase command supports case-sensitive named instances. Ensure you are using the appropriate case when you cite the instance and database names.
  • The CLI does not support configuring Before-After data auditing.
  • You can apply either a built-in regulation guideline or an XML template file.

SQL Compliance Manager includes sample database audit settings templates (Sample_Database_AuditSettings.xml) for your convenience. Use this sample template to familiarize yourself with how specific audit settings are defined. By default, the sample template is located under C:\Program Files\Idera\SQLcompliance.

To enable database auditing and apply the Typical (default) audit settings:

  1. Use the SQL Compliance Manager setup program to manually deploy the SQL Compliance Manager Agent to the instance that hosts the target database.
  2. In Windows Command Prompt, use the following syntax: SQLcmCmd [-host CollectionServer] [-port number] auditdatabase instance database.

To enable database auditing and apply a HIPAA or PCI regulation guideline:

  1. Use the SQL Compliance Manager setup program to manually deploy the SQL Compliance Manager Agent to the instance that hosts the target database.
  2. In Windows Command Prompt, use the following syntax: SQLcmCmd [-host CollectionServer] [-port number] auditdatabase instance database -Regulation {PCI | HIPAA | PCI, HIPAA}.

To enable database auditing and apply a FERPA regulation guideline:

The FERPA regulation guideline is provided as an XML templates (FERPA_Database_Regulation_Guideline.xml) stored in the SQL Compliance Manager installation directory (C:\Program Files\Idera\SQLcompliance). Ensure the path you cite for the FERPA template reflects the directory you chose during installation.

  1. Use the SQL Compliance Manager setup program to manually deploy the SQL Compliance Manager Agent to the instance that hosts the target database.
  2. In Windows Command Prompt, use the following syntax: SQLcmCmd [-host CollectionServer] [-port number] auditdatabase instance database -config "FERPA regulation guideline file path".

Use the CLI to enable auditing on a database

To enable database auditing and apply a SOX regulation guideline:

The SOX regulation guidelines is provided as an XML template (SOX_Database_Regulation_Guideline.xml) stored in the SQL Compliance Manager installation directory (C:\Program Files\Idera\SQLcompliance). Ensure the path you cite for the SOX template reflects the directory you chose during installation.

  1. Use the SQL Compliance Manager setup program to manually deploy the SQL Compliance Manager Agent to the instance that hosts the target database.
  2. In Windows Command Prompt, use the following syntax: SQLcmCmd [-host CollectionServer] [-port number] auditdatabase instance database -config "SOX regulation guideline file path".

To enable database auditing and apply a custom audit template:

  1. Determine which currently audited database has the audit settings you want to apply to the new database.
  2. Export your audit settings from the source database.
  3. Use the SQL Compliance Manager setup program to manually deploy the SQL Compliance Manager Agent to the instance that hosts the target database.
  4. In Windows Command Prompt, use the following syntax: SQLcmCmd [-host CollectionServer] [-port number] auditdatabase instance database -config "exported audit settings file path".


SQL Compliance Manager audits all activity on your server. Learn more > >

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