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SQL Anywhere 12.0.0 (Français) » SQL Anywhere Server - Database Administration » Security » Keeping your data secure » Encrypting and decrypting a database » Encrypting portions of a database


Column encryption

If you want to encrypt columns in your database, you can do so with the ENCRYPT function. The ENCRYPT function uses the same AES strong encryption algorithm that is used for database encryption to encrypt values that are passed to it.

The key for the ENCRYPT function is case sensitive, even in case-insensitive databases. As with most passwords, it is best to choose a key value that cannot be easily guessed. It is recommended that you choose a value for your key that is at least 16 characters long, contains a mix of upper and lowercase, and includes numbers, letters and special characters. You must specify this key each time you want to decrypt the data.


For strongly encrypted databases, be sure to store a copy of the key in a safe location. If you lose the encryption key there is no way to access the data, even with the assistance of technical support. The database must be discarded and you must create a new database.

Encrypted values can be decrypted with the DECRYPT function. You must use the same key that was specified in the ENCRYPT function. Both of these functions return LONG BINARY values. If you require a different data type, you can use the CAST function to convert the value to the required data type. The example below shows how to use the CAST function to convert a decrypted value to the required data type. See CAST function [Data type conversion].

If database users need to access the data in decrypted form, but you do not want them to have access to the encryption key, you can create a view that uses the DECRYPT function. This allows users to access the decrypted data without knowing the encryption key. If you create a view or stored procedure that uses the table, you can use the SET HIDDEN parameter of the ALTER VIEW and ALTER PROCEDURE statements to ensure that users cannot access the encryption key by looking at the view or procedure definition. See ALTER PROCEDURE statement and ALTER VIEW statement.

 Column encryption example
 See also