A comparison of Windows and database authentication in SQL Server

Windows authentication is a method for identifying a user with credentials supplied by the Windows operating system (OS) of the user's computer.

Since Microsoft SQL Server databases only run on Windows operating systems, OS authentication for SQL Server is also referred to as Windows authentication.

Windows-authenticated logins are the default and, therefore, the recommended type of user for SQL Server databases. By default, when your SQL Server instance is created, this is the only type of login allowed.

Database logins are accounts created in the database management system. These accounts are separate from the login account you use to connect to the operating system.

Windows authentication offers some advantages over database authentication in SQL Server. These advantages are as follows:

Some restrictions to consider if you use Windows authentication with ArcSDE geodatabases are as follows:

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