The SQL Server 2008 Configuration Manager

10/13/2010 9:31:53 AM
In SQL Server 2005, The Surface Area Configuration Tool was used to manage SQL Server features such as Database mail and xp_cmdshell. In SQL Server 2008, the Surface Area Configuration Tool no longer exists; it has been replaced with the SQL Server Configuration Manager. Available as a Facet at the server instance level, Database mail, CLR integration, and xp_cmdshell, as well as a few other features, can be enabled or disabled through this new interface.

Configuring & Implementing...: Secure by Default

Many SQL Server 2008 features are installed in a disabled state requiring that they be manually enabled when needed.

Following the “secure by default” philosophy of SQL Server, many features are installed in a disabled state so that potential attackers cannot exploit them. In order to use functions such as the Service Broker, database mail, xp_cmdshell, and CLR they have to be enabled by using the Surface Area Configuration Tool. This tool can be accessed by Right Clicking on the Server and selecting Facets. Then by selecting Surface Area Configuration from the drop-down menu, you will see a screen that looks like Figure 1.

Figure 1. Surface Area Configuration Facet

Keep in mind that you only want to enable what you know you need. Enabling unused functions will leave your server vulnerable to potential attack.

Using sp_configure will display configuration settings for the current server. Changes can also be made using sp_configure. Configuration settings can be viewed by executing the following:

USE Master;
EXEC sp_configure;

Enabling Database Mail

You have just installed SQL Server 2008 and you are upgrading databases from SQL Server 2005. Many of the databases that you administer contain stored procedures that produce email alerts or emails containing reports.

Since the Database mail feature is installed in a disabled state, we need to enable DatabaseMailEnabled in the Surface Area Configuration tool.

Follow these steps:

In the SQL Server Management Studio, right-click on the server that you wish to enable the DatabaseMail feature.

Select Facets from the menu

On the Facets screen, select Surface Area Configuration from the Facets drop down.

Locate the DatabaseMail feature and change False to True and then click on the OK button. Your screen will look like Figure 2.

Figure 2. Enabling the DatabaseMail Feature

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