Database authentication with Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL - Amazon Aurora
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China (PDF).

Database authentication with Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL

Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL supports two ways to authenticate database users. Password authentication is available by default for all Babelfish DB clusters. You can also add Kerberos authentication for the same DB cluster.

Password authentication with Babelfish

Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL supports password authentication. Passwords are stored in encrypted form on disk. For more information about authentication on an Aurora PostgreSQL cluster, see Security with Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL.

You might be prompted for credentials each time you connect to Babelfish. Any user migrated to or created on Aurora PostgreSQL can use the same credentials on both the SQL Server port and the PostgreSQL port. Babelfish doesn't enforce password policies, but we recommend that you do the following:

  • Require a complex password that's at least eight (8) characters long.

  • Enforce a password expiration policy.

To review a complete list of database users, use the command SELECT * FROM pg_user;.

Kerberos authentication with Babelfish

Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL 15.2 version supports authentication to your DB cluster using Kerberos. This method allows you to use Microsoft Windows Authentication to authenticate users when they connect to your Babelfish database. To do so, you must first configure your DB cluster to use Amazon Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory for Kerberos authentication. For more information, see What is Amazon Directory Service? in the Amazon Directory Service Administration Guide.

Setting up Kerberos Authentication

Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL DB cluster can connect using two different ports, but Kerberos authentication setup is a one-time process. Therefore, you must first set up Kerberos authentication for your DB cluster. For more information, see Setting up Kerberos authentication. After completing the setup, ensure that you can connect with a PostgreSQL client using Kerberos. For more information, see Connecting with Kerberos Authentication.

Login and user provisioning in Babelfish

Windows logins created from the Tabular Data Stream (TDS) port can be used either with the TDS port or the PostgreSQL port. First, the login that can use Kerberos for authentication must be provisioned from the TDS port before it is used by the T-SQL users and applications to connect to a Babelfish database. When creating Windows logins, administrators can provide the login using either the DNS domain name or the NetBIOS domain name. Typically, NetBIOS domain is the subdomain of the DNS domain name. For example, if the DNS domain name is CORP.EXAMPLE.COM, then the NetBIOS domain can be CORP. If the NetBIOS domain name format is provided for a login, a mapping must exist to the DNS domain name.

Managing NetBIOS domain name to DNS domain name mapping

To manage mappings between the NetBIOS domain name and DNS domain name, Babelfish provides system stored procedures to add, remove, and truncate mappings. Only a user with a sysadmin role can run these procedures.

To create mapping between NetBIOS and DNS domain name, use the Babelfish provided system stored procedure babelfish_add_domain_mapping_entry. Both arguments must have a valid value and are not NULL.

EXEC babelfish_add_domain_mapping_entry 'netbios_domain_name', 'fully_qualified_domain_name'

The following example shows how to create the mapping between the NetBIOS name CORP and DNS domain name CORP.EXAMPLE.COM.

EXEC babelfish_add_domain_mapping_entry 'corp', ''

To delete an existing mapping entry, use the system stored procedure babelfish_remove_domain_mapping_entry.

EXEC babelfish_remove_domain_mapping_entry 'netbios_domain_name'

The following example shows how to remove the mapping for the NetBIOS name CORP.

EXEC babelfish_remove_domain_mapping_entry 'corp'

To remove all existing mapping entries, use the system stored procedure babelfish_truncate_domain_mapping_table:

EXEC babelfish_truncate_domain_mapping_table

To view all mappings between NetBIOS and DNS domain name, use the following query.

SELECT netbios_domain_name, fq_domain_name FROM babelfish_domain_mapping;

Managing Logins

Create logins

Connect to the DB through the TDS endpoint using a login that has the correct permissions. If there is no database user created for the login, then the login is mapped to guest user. If the guest user is not enabled, then the login attempt fails.

Create a Windows login using the following query. The FROM WINDOWS option allows authentication using Active Directory.


The following example shows creating a login for the Active Directory user [corp\test1] with a default database of db1.


This example assumes that there is a mapping between the NetBIOS domain CORP and the DNS domain name CORP.EXAMPLE.COM. If there is no mapping, then you must provide the DNS domain name [CORP.EXAMPLE.COM\test1].


Logins based on Active Directory users, are limited to names of fewer than 21 characters.

Drop login

To drop a login, use the same syntax as for any login, as shown in the following example:

DROP LOGIN [DNS domain name\login]
Alter login

To alter a login, use the same syntax as for any login, as in the following example:


The ALTER LOGIN command supports limited options for Windows logins, including the following:

  • DISABLE – To disable a login. You can't use a disabled login for authentication.

  • ENABLE – To enable a disabled login.

  • DEFAULT_DATABASE – To change the default database of a login.


All password management is performed through Amazon Directory Service, so the ALTER LOGIN command doesn't allow database administrators to change or set passwords for Windows logins.

Connecting to Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL with Kerberos authentication

Typically, the database users who authenticate using Kerberos are doing so from their client machines. These machines are members of the Active Directory domain. They use Windows Authentication from their client applications to access the Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL server on the TDS port.

Connecting to Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL on the PostgreSQL port with Kerberos authentication

You can use logins created from the TDS port with either the TDS port or the PostgreSQL port. However, PostgreSQL uses case-sensitive comparisons by default for usernames. For Aurora PostgreSQL to interpret Kerberos usernames as case-insensitive, you must set the krb_caseins_users parameter as true in the custom Babelfish cluster parameter group. This parameter is set to false by default. For more information, see Configuring for case-insensitive user names. In addition, you must specify the login username in the format <login@DNS domain name> from the PostgreSQL client applications. You can't use <DNS domain name\login> format.

Frequently occurring errors

You can configure forest trust relationships between your on-premises Microsoft Active Directory and the Amazon Managed Microsoft AD. For more information, see Create a trust relationship. Then, you must connect using a specialized domain specific endpoint instead of using the Amazon domain in the host endpoint. If you don't use the correct domain specific endpoint, you might encounter the following error:

Error: “Authentication method "NTLMSSP" not supported (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 514)"

This error occurs when the TDS client can't cache the service ticket for the supplied endpoint URL. For more information, see Connecting with Kerberos.