Assembly: Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo (in microsoft.sqlserver.smo.dll)
A service master key is the lop layer in the encryption hierarchy and is used to encrypt all the lower layers of the encryption hierarchy, such as database master keys, certificates, asymmetric and symmetric keys. The service master key is generated by Windows and secured by the Windows data protection API. It can only be opened by the Windows service account under which it was created, or by a user who knows both the service account name and its password.
This namespace, class, or member is supported only in version 2.0 of the Microsoft .NET Framework.
To get the ServiceMasterKey object properties, users can be a member of the public fixed server role.
To set the ServiceMasterKey object properties, users must have CONTROL SERVER permission on the server or be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role.
To backup or restore the service master key, users must have CONTROL SERVER permission on the server or be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role.