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Microsoft SQL Server data source

Grafana ships with built-in support for Microsoft SQL Server (MS SQL). You can query and visualize data from any Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or newer, including Microsoft Azure SQL Database.

This topic explains configuration specific to the Microsoft SQL Server data source.

For instructions on how to add a data source to Grafana, refer to the administration documentation. Only users with the organization administrator role can add data sources. Administrators can also configure the data source via YAML with Grafana’s provisioning system.

Once you’ve added the Microsoft SQL Server data source, you can configure it so that your Grafana instance’s users can create queries in its query editor when they build dashboards and use Explore.

Configure the data source

To configure basic settings for the data source, complete the following steps:

  1. Click Connections in the left-side menu.

  2. Under Your connections, click Data sources.

  3. Enter Microsoft SQL Server in the search bar.

  4. Select Microsoft SQL Server.

    The Settings tab of the data source is displayed.

  5. Set the data source’s basic configuration options:

NameSets the name you use to refer to the data source in panels and queries.
DefaultSets the data source that’s pre-selected for new panels.
HostSets the IP address/hostname and optional port of your MS SQL instance. Default port is 0, the driver default. You can specify multiple connection properties, such as ApplicationIntent, by separating each property with a semicolon (;).
DatabaseSets the name of your MS SQL database.
AuthenticationSets the authentication mode, either using SQL Server Authentication or Windows Authentication (single sign-on for Windows users).
UserDefines the database user’s username.
PasswordDefines the database user’s password.
EncryptDetermines whether to negotiate a secure SSL TCP/IP connection with the server, or to which extent. Default is false.
Max openSets the maximum number of open connections to the database. Default is 100.
Max idleSets the maximum number of connections in the idle connection pool. Default is 100.
Auto (max idle)If set will set the maximum number of idle connections to the number of maximum open connections (Grafana v9.5.1+). Default is true.
Max lifetimeSets the maximum number of seconds that the data source can reuse a connection. Default is 14400 (4 hours).

You can also configure settings specific to the Microsoft SQL Server data source. These options are described in the sections below.

Min time interval

The Min time interval setting defines a lower limit for the $__interval and $__interval_ms variables.

This value must be formatted as a number followed by a valid time identifier:


We recommend setting this value to match your Microsoft SQL Server write frequency. For example, use 1m if Microsoft SQL Server writes data every minute.

You can also override this setting in a dashboard panel under its data source options.

Connection timeout

The Connection timeout setting defines the maximum number of seconds to wait for a connection to the database before timing out. Default is 0 for no timeout.

Database user permissions

Grafana doesn’t validate that a query is safe, and could include any SQL statement. For example, Microsoft SQL Server would execute destructive queries like DELETE FROM user; and DROP TABLE user; if the querying user has permission to do so.

To protect against this, we strongly recommend that you create a specific MS SQL user with restricted permissions.

Grant only SELECT permissions on the specified database and tables that you want to query to the database user you specified when you added the data source:

CREATE USER grafanareader WITH PASSWORD 'password'
GRANT SELECT ON dbo.YourTable3 TO grafanareader

Also, ensure that the user doesn’t have any unwanted privileges from the public role.

Diagnose connection issues

If you use older versions of Microsoft SQL Server, such as 2008 and 2008R2, you might need to disable encryption before you can connect the data source.

We recommend that you use the latest available service pack for optimal compatibility.

Provision the data source

You can define and configure the data source in YAML files as part of Grafana’s provisioning system. For more information about provisioning, and for available configuration options, refer to Provisioning Grafana.

Provisioning example

apiVersion: 1

  - name: MSSQL
    type: mssql
    url: localhost:1433
    user: grafana
      database: grafana
      maxOpenConns: 100 # Grafana v5.4+
      maxIdleConns: 100 # Grafana v5.4+
      maxIdleConnsAuto: true # Grafana v9.5.1+
      connMaxLifetime: 14400 # Grafana v5.4+
      connectionTimeout: 0 # Grafana v9.3+
      password: 'Password!'

Query the data source

You can create queries with the Microsoft SQL Server data source’s query editor when editing a panel that uses a MS SQL data source.

For details, refer to the query editor documentation.

Use template variables

Instead of hard-coding details such as server, application, and sensor names in metric queries, you can use variables. Grafana lists these variables in dropdown select boxes at the top of the dashboard to help you change the data displayed in your dashboard. Grafana refers to such variables as template variables.

For details, see the template variables documentation.