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The SqlContext Object

Updated: 14 April 2006

You invoke managed code in the server when you call a procedure or function, when you call a method on a common language runtime (CLR) user-defined type, or when your action fires a trigger defined in any of the Microsoft .NET Framework languages. Because execution of this code is requested as part of a user connection, access to the context of the caller from the code running in the server is required. In addition, certain data access operations may only be valid if run under the context of the caller. For example, access to inserted and deleted pseudo-tables used in trigger operations is only valid under the context of the caller.

The context of the caller is abstracted in a SqlContext object. For more information about the SqlTriggerContext methods and properties, see the Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlTriggerContext class reference documentation in the .NET Framework SDK.

SqlContext provides access to the following components:

  • SqlPipe: The SqlPipe object represents the "pipe" through which results flow to the client. For more information about the SqlPipe object, see The SqlPipe Object.
  • SqlTriggerContext: The SqlTriggerContext object can only be retrieved from within a CLR trigger. It provides information about the operation that caused the trigger to fire and a map of the columns that were updated. For more information about the SqlTriggerContext object, see The SqlTriggerContext Object.
  • IsAvailable: The IsAvailable property is used to determine context availability.
  • WindowsIdentity: The WindowsIdentity property is used to retrieve the Windows identity of the caller.

Query the SqlContext class to see if the currently executing code is running in-process. To do this, check the IsAvailable property of the SqlContext object. The IsAvailable property is read-only, and returns True if the calling code is running inside SQL Server and if other SqlContext members can be accessed. If the IsAvailable property returns False, all the other SqlContext members throw an InvalidOperationException, if used. If IsAvailable returns False, any attempt to open a connection object that has "context connection=true" in the connection string fails.

CLR code executing inside SQL Server is always invoked in the context of the process account. If the code should perform certain actions using the identity of the calling user, instead of the SQL Server process identity, then an impersonation token should be obtained through the WindowsIdentity property of the SqlContext object. The WindowsIdentity property returns a WindowsIdentity instance representing the Microsoft Windows identity of the caller, or null if the client was authenticated using SQL Server Authentication. Only assemblies marked with EXTERNAL_ACCESS or UNSAFE permissions can access this property.

After obtaining the WindowsIdentity object, callers can impersonate the client account and perform actions on their behalf.

The identity of the caller is only available through SqlContext.WindowsIdentity if the client that initiated execution of the stored-procedure or function connected to the server using Windows Authentication. If SQL Server Authentication was used instead, this property is null and the code is unable to impersonate the caller. For a sample application that uses impersonation, see the Impersonation Sample.

Example

The following example shows how to get the Windows identity of the calling client and impersonate the client.

C#

[Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlProcedure]
public static void WindowsIDTestProc()
{
    WindowsIdentity clientId = null;
    WindowsImpersonationContext impersonatedUser = null;

    // Get the client ID.
    clientId = SqlContext.WindowsIdentity;

    // This outer try block is used to thwart exception filter 
    // attacks which would prevent the inner finally 
    // block from executing and resetting the impersonation.
    try
    {
        try
        {
            impersonatedUser = clientId.Impersonate();
            if (impersonatedUser != null)
            {
                // Perform some action using impersonation.
            }
        }
        finally
        {
            // Undo impersonation.
            if (impersonatedUser != null)
                impersonatedUser.Undo();
        }
    }
    catch
    {
        throw;
    }
}

Visual Basic

<Microsoft.SqlServer.Server.SqlProcedure()> _
Public Shared Sub  WindowsIDTestProcVB ()
    Dim clientId As WindowsIdentity
    Dim impersonatedUser As WindowsImpersonationContext

    ' Get the client ID.
    clientId = SqlContext.WindowsIdentity

    ' This outer try block is used to thwart exception filter 
    ' attacks which would prevent the inner finally 
    ' block from executing and resetting the impersonation.

    Try
        Try

            impersonatedUser = clientId.Impersonate()

            If impersonatedUser IsNot Nothing Then
                ' Perform some action using impersonation.
            End If

        Finally
            ' Undo impersonation.
            If impersonatedUser IsNot Nothing Then
                impersonatedUser.Undo()
            End If
        End Try

    Catch e As Exception

        Throw e

    End Try
End Sub

Release History

14 April 2006

Changed content:
  • Added pointer to the .NET Framework SDK reference documentation.

5 December 2005

Changed content:
  • Added code examples.

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