Thursday, January 24, 2008

WinRunner Interview Questions

How you used WinRunner in your project? - Yes, I have been using WinRunner for creating automated scripts for GUI, functional and regression testing of the AUT.
Explain WinRunner testing process? - WinRunner testing process involves six main stages
Create GUI Map File so that WinRunner can recognize the GUI objects in the application being tested
Create test scripts by recording, programming, or a combination of both. While recording tests, insert checkpoints where you want to check the response of the application being tested.
Debug Test: run tests in Debug mode to make sure they run smoothly
Run Tests: run tests in Verify mode to test your application.
View Results: determines the success or failure of the tests.
Report Defects: If a test run fails due to a defect in the application being tested, you can report information about the defect directly from the Test Results window.
What is contained in the GUI map? - WinRunner stores information it learns about a window or object in a GUI Map. When WinRunner runs a test, it uses the GUI map to locate objects. It reads an object’s description in the GUI map and then looks for an object with the same properties in the application being tested. Each of these objects in the GUI Map file will be having a logical name and a physical description. There are 2 types of GUI Map files. Global GUI Map file: a single GUI Map file for the entire application. GUI Map File per Test: WinRunner automatically creates a GUI Map file for each test created.
How does WinRunner recognize objects on the application? - WinRunner uses the GUI Map file to recognize objects on the application. When WinRunner runs a test, it uses the GUI map to locate objects. It reads an object’s description in the GUI map and then looks for an object with the same properties in the application being tested.
Have you created test scripts and what is contained in the test scripts? - Yes I have created test scripts. It contains the statement in Mercury Interactive’s Test Script Language (TSL). These statements appear as a test script in a test window. You can then enhance your recorded test script, either by typing in additional TSL functions and programming elements or by using WinRunner’s visual programming tool, the Function Generator.
How does WinRunner evaluate test results? - Following each test run, WinRunner displays the results in a report. The report details all the major events that occurred during the run, such as checkpoints, error messages, system messages, or user messages. If mismatches are detected at checkpoints during the test run, you can view the expected results and the actual results from the Test Results window.
Have you performed debugging of the scripts? - Yes, I have performed debugging of scripts. We can debug the script by executing the script in the debug mode. We can also debug script using the Step, Step Into, Step out functionalities provided by the WinRunner.
How do you run your test scripts? - We run tests in Verify mode to test your application. Each time WinRunner encounters a checkpoint in the test script, it compares the current data of the application being tested to the expected data captured earlier. If any mismatches are found, WinRunner captures them as actual results.
How do you analyze results and report the defects? - Following each test run, WinRunner displays the results in a report. The report details all the major events that occurred during the run, such as checkpoints, error messages, system messages, or user messages. If mismatches are detected at checkpoints during the test run, you can view the expected results and the actual results from the Test Results window. If a test run fails due to a defect in the application being tested, you can report information about the defect directly from the Test Results window. This information is sent via e-mail to the quality assurance manager, who tracks the defect until it is fixed.
What is the use of Test Director software? - TestDirector is Mercury Interactive’s software test management tool. It helps quality assurance personnel plan and organize the testing process. With TestDirector you can create a database of manual and automated tests, build test cycles, run tests, and report and track defects. You can also create reports and graphs to help review the progress of planning tests, running tests, and tracking defects before a software release.
Have you integrated your automated scripts from TestDirector? - When you work with WinRunner, you can choose to save your tests directly to your TestDirector database or while creating a test case in the TestDirector we can specify whether the script in automated or manual. And if it is automated script then TestDirector will build a skeleton for the script that can be later modified into one which could be used to test the AUT.
What are the different modes of recording? - There are two type of recording in WinRunner. Context Sensitive recording records the operations you perform on your application by identifying Graphical User Interface (GUI) objects. Analog recording records keyboard input, mouse clicks, and the precise x- and y-coordinates traveled by the mouse pointer across the screen.
What is the purpose of loading WinRunner Add-Ins? - Add-Ins are used in WinRunner to load functions specific to the particular add-in to the memory. While creating a script only those functions in the add-in selected will be listed in the function generator and while executing the script only those functions in the loaded add-in will be executed else WinRunner will give an error message saying it does not recognize the function.
What are the reasons that WinRunner fails to identify an object on the GUI? - WinRunner fails to identify an object in a GUI due to various reasons. The object is not a standard windows object. If the browser used is not compatible with the WinRunner version, GUI Map Editor will not be able to learn any of the objects displayed in the browser window.
What is meant by the logical name of the object? - An object’s logical name is determined by its class. In most cases, the logical name is the label that appears on an object.
If the object does not have a name then what will be the logical name? - If the object does not have a name then the logical name could be the attached text.
What is the different between GUI map and GUI map files? - The GUI map is actually the sum of one or more GUI map files. There are two modes for organizing GUI map files. Global GUI Map file: a single GUI Map file for the entire application. GUI Map File per Test: WinRunner automatically creates a GUI Map file for each test created. GUI Map file is a file which contains the windows and the objects learned by the WinRunner with its logical name and their physical description.
How do you view the contents of the GUI map? - GUI Map editor displays the content of a GUI Map. We can invoke GUI Map Editor from the Tools Menu in WinRunner. The GUI Map Editor displays the various GUI Map files created and the windows and objects learned in to them with their logical name and physical description. When you create GUI map do you record all the objects of specific objects? - If we are learning a window then WinRunner automatically learns all the objects in the window else we will we identifying those object, which are to be learned in a window, since we will be working with only those objects while creating scripts.

LoadRunner Interview Questions

1. What is load testing? - Load testing is to test that if the application works fine with the loads that result from large number of simultaneous users, transactions and to determine weather it can handle peak usage periods.
What is Performance testing? - Timing for both read and update transactions should be gathered to determine whether system functions are being performed in an acceptable timeframe. This should be done standalone and then in a multi user environment to determine the effect of multiple transactions on the timing of a single transaction.
Did u use Load Runner? What version? - Yes. Version 8.0.
Explain the Load testing process? Step 1: Planning the test. Here, we develop a clearly defined test plan to ensure the test scenarios we develop will accomplish load-testing objectives.
Step 2: Creating Vusers. Here, we create Vuser scripts that contain tasks performed by each Vuser, tasks performed by Vusers as a whole, and tasks measured as transactions.
Step 3: Creating the scenario. A scenario describes the events that occur during a testing session. It includes a list of machines, scripts, and Vusers that run during the scenario. We create scenarios using LoadRunner Controller. We can create manual scenarios as well as goal-oriented scenarios. In manual scenarios, we define the number of Vusers, the load generator machines, and percentage of Vusers to be assigned to each script. For web tests, we may create a goal-oriented scenario where we define the goal that our test has to achieve. LoadRunner automatically builds a scenario for us.
Step4: Runningthescenario.We emulate load on the server by instructing multiple Vusers to perform tasks simultaneously. Before the testing, we set the scenario configuration and scheduling. We can run the entire scenario, Vuser groups, or individual Vusers.
Step5: Monitoring the scenario.We monitor scenario execution using the LoadRunner online runtime, transaction, system resource, Web resource, Web server resource, Web application server resource, database server resource, network delay, streaming media resource, firewall server resource, ERP server resource, and Java performance monitors.
Step 6: Analyzing test results. During scenario execution, LoadRunner records the performance of the application under different loads. We use Load Runner’s graphs and reports to analyze the application’s performance.
When do you do load and performance Testing? - We perform load testing once we are done with interface (GUI) testing. Modern system architectures are large and complex. Whereas single user testing primarily on functionality and user interface of a system component, application testing focuses on performance and reliability of an entire system. For example, typical application-testing scenario might depict 1000 users logging in simultaneously to a system. This gives rise to issues such as what is the response time of the system, does it crash, will it go with different software applications and platforms, can it hold so many hundreds and thousands of users, etc. This is when we set do load and performance testing.
What are the components of LoadRunner? - The components of LoadRunner are The Virtual User Generator, Controller, and the Agent process, LoadRunner Analysis and Monitoring, LoadRunner Books Online.
What Component of LoadRunner would you use to record a Script? - The Virtual User Generator (VuGen) component is used to record a script. It enables you to develop Vuser scripts for a variety of application types and communication protocols.
What Component of LoadRunner would you use to play Back the script in multi user mode? - The Controller component is used to playback the script in multi-user mode. This is done during a scenario run where a vuser script is executed by a number of vusers in a group.
What is a rendezvous point? - You insert rendezvous points into Vuser scripts to emulate heavy user load on the server. Rendezvous points instruct Vusers to wait during test execution for multiple Vusers to arrive at a certain point, in order that they may simultaneously perform a task. For example, to emulate peak load on the bank server, you can insert a rendezvous point instructing 100 Vusers to deposit cash into their accounts at the same time.
What is a scenario? - A scenario defines the events that occur during each testing session. For example, a scenario defines and controls the number of users to emulate, the actions to be performed, and the machines on which the virtual users run their emulations.
Explain the recording mode for web Vuser script? - We use VuGen to develop a Vuser script by recording a user performing typical business processes on a client application. VuGen creates the script by recording the activity between the client and the server. For example, in web based applications, VuGen monitors the client end of the database and traces all the requests sent to, and received from, the database server. We use VuGen to: Monitor the communication between the application and the server; Generate the required function calls; and Insert the generated function calls into a Vuser script.
Why do you create parameters? - Parameters are like script variables. They are used to vary input to the server and to emulate real users. Different sets of data are sent to the server each time the script is run. Better simulate the usage model for more accurate testing from the Controller; one script can emulate many different users on the system.
What is correlation? Explain the difference between automatic correlation and manual correlation? - Correlation is used to obtain data which are unique for each run of the script and which are generated by nested queries. Correlation provides the value to avoid errors arising out of duplicate values and also optimizing the code (to avoid nested queries). Automatic correlation is where we set some rules for correlation. It can be application server specific. Here values are replaced by data which are created by these rules. In manual correlation, the value we want to correlate is scanned and create correlation is used to correlate.
How do you find out where correlation is required? Give few examples from your projects? - Two ways: First we can scan for correlations, and see the list of values which can be correlated. From this we can pick a value to be correlated. Secondly, we can record two scripts and compare them. We can look up the difference file to see for the values which needed to be correlated. In my project, there was a unique id developed for each customer, it was nothing but Insurance Number, it was generated automatically and it was sequential and this value was unique. I had to correlate this value, in order to avoid errors while running my script. I did using scan for correlation.
Where do you set automatic correlation options? - Automatic correlation from web point of view can be set in recording options and correlation tab. Here we can enable correlation for the entire script and choose either issue online messages or offline actions, where we can define rules for that correlation. Automatic correlation for database can be done using show output window and scan for correlation and picking the correlate query tab and choose which query value we want to correlate. If we know the specific value to be correlated, we just do create correlation for the value and specify how the value to be created.
What is a function to capture dynamic values in the web Vuser script? - Web_reg_save_param function saves dynamic data information to a parameter.
When do you disable log in Virtual User Generator, When do you choose standard and extended logs? - Once we debug our script and verify that it is functional, we can enable logging for errors only. When we add a script to a scenario, logging is automatically disabled. Standard Log Option: When you selectStandard log, it creates a standard log of functions and messages sent during script execution to use for debugging. Disable this option for large load testing scenarios. When you copy a script to a scenario, logging is automatically disabled Extended Log Option: Selectextended log to create an extended log, including warnings and other messages. Disable this option for large load testing scenarios. When you copy a script to a scenario, logging is automatically disabled. We can specify which additional information should be added to the extended log using the Extended log options.
How do you debug a LoadRunner script? - VuGen contains two options to help debug Vuser scripts-the Run Step by Step command and breakpoints. The Debug settings in the Options dialog box allow us to determine the extent of the trace to be performed during scenario execution. The debug information is written to the Output window. We can manually set the message class within your script using the lr_set_debug_message function. This is useful if we want to receive debug information about a small section of the script only.
How do you write user defined functions in LR? Give me few functions you wrote in your previous project? - Before we create the User Defined functions we need to create the externallibrary (DLL) with the function. We add this library to VuGen bin directory. Once the library is added then we assign user defined function as a parameter. The function should have the following format: __declspec (dllexport) char* (char*, char*)Examples of user defined functions are as follows:GetVersion, GetCurrentTime, GetPltform are some of the user defined functions used in my earlier project.
What are the changes you can make in run-time settings? - The Run Time Settings that we make are: a) Pacing - It has iteration count. b) Log - Under this we have Disable Logging Standard Log and c) Extended Think Time - In think time we have two options like Ignore think time and Replay think time. d) General - Under general tab we can set the vusers as process or as multithreading and whether each step as a transaction.
Where do you set Iteration for Vuser testing? - We set Iterations in the Run Time Settings of the VuGen. The navigation for this is Run time settings, Pacing tab, set number of iterations.
How do you perform functional testing under load? - Functionality under load can be tested by running several Vusers concurrently. By increasing the amount of Vusers, we can determine how much load the server can sustain.
What is Ramp up? How do you set this? - This option is used to gradually increase the amount of Vusers/load on the server. An initial value is set and a value to wait between intervals can bespecified. To set Ramp Up, go to ‘Scenario Scheduling Options’
What is the advantage of running the Vuser as thread? - VuGen provides the facility to use multithreading. This enables more Vusers to be run pergenerator. If the Vuser is run as a process, the same driver program is loaded into memory for each Vuser, thus taking up a large amount of memory. This limits the number of Vusers that can be run on a singlegenerator. If the Vuser is run as a thread, only one instance of the driver program is loaded into memory for the given number ofVusers (say 100). Each thread shares the memory of the parent driver program, thus enabling more Vusers to be run per generator.
If you want to stop the execution of your script on error, how do you do that? - The lr_abort function aborts the execution of a Vuser script. It instructs the Vuser to stop executing the Actions section, execute the vuser_end section and end the execution. This function is useful when you need to manually abort a script execution as a result of a specific error condition. When you end a script using this function, the Vuser is assigned the status "Stopped". For this to take effect, we have to first uncheck the “Continue on error” option in Run-Time Settings.
What is the relation between Response Time and Throughput? - The Throughput graph shows the amount of data in bytes that the Vusers received from the server in a second. When we compare this with the transaction response time, we will notice that as throughput decreased, the response time also decreased. Similarly, the peak throughput and highest response time would occur approximately at the same time.
Explain the Configuration of your systems? - The configuration of our systems refers to that of the client machines on which we run the Vusers. The configuration of any client machine includes its hardware settings, memory, operating system, software applications, development tools, etc. This system component configuration should match with the overall system configuration that would include the network infrastructure, the web server, the database server, and any other components that go with this larger system so as to achieve the load testing objectives.
How do you identify the performance bottlenecks? - Performance Bottlenecks can be detected by using monitors. These monitors might be application server monitors, web server monitors, database server monitors and network monitors. They help in finding out the troubled area in our scenario which causes increased response time. The measurements made are usually performance response time, throughput, hits/sec, network delay graphs, etc.
If web server, database and Network are all fine where could be the problem? - The problem could be in the system itself or in the application server or in the code written for the application.
How did you find web server related issues? - Using Web resource monitors we can find the performance of web servers. Using these monitors we can analyze throughput on the web server, number of hits per second thatoccurred during scenario, the number of http responses per second, the number of downloaded pages per second.
How did you find database related issues? - By running “Database” monitor and help of “Data Resource Graph” we can find database related issues. E.g. You can specify the resource you want to measure on before running the controller and than you can see database related issues
Explain all the web recording options?
What is the difference between Overlay graph and Correlate graph? - Overlay Graph: It overlay the content of two graphs that shares a common x-axis. Left Y-axis on the merged graph show’s the current graph’s value & Right Y-axis show the value of Y-axis of the graph that was merged. Correlate Graph: Plot the Y-axis of two graphs against each other. The active graph’s Y-axis becomes X-axis of merged graph. Y-axis of the graph that was merged becomes merged graph’s Y-axis.
How did you plan the Load? What are the Criteria? - Load test is planned to decide the number of users, what kind of machines we are going to use and from where they are run. It is based on 2 important documents, Task Distribution Diagram and Transaction profile. Task Distribution Diagram gives us the information on number of users for a particular transaction and the time of the load. The peak usage and off-usage are decided from this Diagram. Transaction profile gives us the information about the transactions name and their priority levels with regard to the scenario we are deciding.
What does vuser_init action contain? - Vuser_init action contains procedures to login to a server.
What does vuser_end action contain? - Vuser_end section contains log off procedures.
What is think time? How do you change the threshold? - Think time is the time that a real user waits between actions. Example: When a user receives data from a server, the user may wait several seconds to review the data before responding. This delay is known as the think time. Changing the Threshold: Threshold level is the level below which the recorded think time will be ignored. The default value is five (5) seconds. We can change the think time threshold in the Recording options of the Vugen.
What is the difference between standard log and extended log? - The standard log sends a subset of functions and messages sent during script execution to a log. The subset depends on the Vuser type Extended log sends a detailed script execution messages to the output log. This is mainly used during debugging when we want information about: Parameter substitution. Data returned by the server. Advanced trace.
Explain the following functions: - lr_debug_message - The lr_debug_message function sends a debug message to the output log when the specified message class is set. lr_output_message - The lr_output_message function sends notifications to the Controller Output window and the Vuser log file. lr_error_message - The lr_error_message function sends an error message to the LoadRunner Output window. lrd_stmt - The lrd_stmt function associates a character string (usually a SQL statement) with a cursor. This function sets a SQL statement to be processed. lrd_fetch - The lrd_fetch function fetches the next row from the result set.
Throughput - If the throughput scales upward as time progresses and the number of Vusers increase, this indicates that the bandwidth is sufficient. If the graph were to remain relatively flat as the number of Vusers increased, it wouldbe reasonable to conclude that the bandwidth is constraining the volume ofdata delivered.
Types of Goals in Goal-Oriented Scenario - Load Runner provides you with five different types of goals in a goal oriented scenario:
The number of concurrent Vusers
The number of hits per second
The number of transactions per second
The number of pages per minute
The transaction response time that you want your scenario
Analysis Scenario (Bottlenecks): In Running Vuser graph correlated with the response time graph you can see that as the number of Vusers increases, the average response time of the check itinerary transaction very gradually increases. In other words, the average response time steadily increases as the loadincreases. At 56 Vusers, there is a sudden, sharp increase in the average responsetime. We say that the test broke the server. That is the mean time before failure (MTBF). The response time clearly began to degrade when there were more than 56 Vusers running simultaneously.
What is correlation? Explain the difference between automatic correlation and manual correlation? - Correlation is used to obtain data which are unique for each run of the script and which are generated by nested queries. Correlation provides the value to avoid errors arising out of duplicate values and also optimizing the code (to avoid nested queries). Automatic correlation is where we set some rules for correlation. It can be application server specific. Here values are replaced by data which are created by these rules. In manual correlation, the value we want to correlate is scanned and create correlation is used to correlate.
Where do you set automatic correlation options? - Automatic correlation from web point of view, can be set in recording options and correlation tab. Here we can enable correlation for the entire script and choose either issue online messages or offline actions, where we can define rules for that correlation. Automatic correlation for database, can be done using show output window and scan for correlation and picking the correlate query tab and choose which query value we want to correlate. If we know the specific value to be correlated, we just do create correlation for the value and specify how the value to be created. What is a function to capture dynamic values in the web vuser script? - Web_reg_save_param function saves dynamic data information to a parameter.

Oracle Interview Questions

1. How many memory layers are in the shared pool?
2. How do you find out from the RMAN catalog if a particular archive log has been backed-up?
3. How can you tell how much space is left on a given file system and how much space each of the file system's subdirectories take-up?
4. Define the SGA and:• How you would configure SGA for a mid-sized OLTP environment?• What is involved in tuning the SGA?
5. What is the cache hit ratio, what impact does it have on performance of an Oracle database and what is involved in tuning it?
6. Other than making use of the statspack utility, what would you check when you are monitoring or running a health check on an Oracle 8i or 9i database?
7. How do you tell what your machine name is and what is its IP address?
8. How would you go about verifying the network name that the local_listener is currently using?
9. You have 4 instances running on the same UNIX box. How can you determine which shared memory and semaphores are associated with which instance?
10. What view(s) do you use to associate a user's SQLPLUS session with his o/s process?
11. What is the recommended interval at which to run statspack snapshots, and why?
12. What spfile/init.ora file parameter exists to force the CBO to make the execution path of a given statement use an index, even if the index scan may appear to be calculated as more costly?
13. Assuming today is Monday, how would you use the DBMS_JOB package to schedule the execution of a given procedure owned by SCOTT to start Wednesday at 9AM and to run subsequently every other day at2AM.
14. How would you edit your CRONTAB to schedule the running of /test/ to run every other day at 2PM?
15. What do the 9i dbms_standard.sql_txt() anddbms_standard.sql_text() procedures do?
16. In which dictionary table or view would you look to determine at which time a snapshot or MVIEW last successfully refreshed?
17. How would you best determine why your MVIEW couldn't FAST REFRESH?
18. How does propagation differ between Advanced Replication and Snapshot Replication (read-only)?
19. Which dictionary view(s) would you first look at tounderstand or get a high-level idea of a given Advanced Replication environment?
20. How would you begin to troubleshoot an ORA-3113 error?
21. Which dictionary tables and/or views would you look at to diagnose a locking issue?
22. An automatic job running via DBMS_JOB has failed. Knowing only that "it's failed", how do you approach troubleshooting this issue?
23. How would you extract DDL of a table without using a GUI tool?
24. You're getting high "busy buffer waits" - how can you find what's causing it?
25. What query tells you how much space a tablespace named "test" is taking up, and how much space is remaining?
26. Database is hung. Old and new user connections alike hang on impact. What do you do? Your SYS SQLPLUS session IS able to connect.
29. How do you increase the OS limitation for open files (LINUX and/or Solaris)?
30. Provide an example of a shell script which logs into SQLPLUS as SYS, determines the current date, changes the date format to include minutes & seconds, issues a drop table command, displays the date again, and finally exits.
31. Explain how you would restore a database using RMAN to Point in Time?
32. How does Oracle guarantee data integrity of data changes?
33. Which environment variables are absolutely critical in order to run the OUI?
34. What SQL query from v$session can you run to show how many sessions are logged in as a particular user account?
35. Why does Oracle not permit the use of PCTUSED with indexes?
36. What would you use to improve performance on an insert statement that places millions of rows into that table?
37. What would you do with an "in-doubt" distributed transaction?
38. What are the commands you'd issue to show the explain plan for "select * from dual"?
39. In what script is "snap$" created? In what script isthe "scott/tiger" schema created?
40. If you're unsure in which script a sys or system-owned object is created, but you know it's in a script from a specific directory, what UNIX command from that directory structure can you run to find your answer?
41. How would you configure your networking files to connect to a database by the name of DSS which resides in domain
42. You create a private database link <> and uponconnection, fails with: ORA-2085: <> connects to <>. What is the problem? How would you go about resolving this error?
43. I have my backup RMAN script called "". I am on the target database. My catalog username/password is rman/rman. My catalog db is called rman. How would you run this shell script from the O/S such that it would run as a background process?
44. Explain the concept of the DUAL table.
45. What are the ways tablespaces can be managed and how do they differ?
46. From the database level, how can you tell under which time zone a database is operating?
47. What's the benefit of "dbms_stats" over "analyze"?
48. Typically, where is the conventional directory structure chosen for Oracle binaries to reside?
49. You have found corruption in a tablespace that contains static tables that are part of a database that is in NOARCHIVE log mode. How would you restore the tablespace without losing new data in the other tablespaces?
50. How do you recover a datafile that has not been physically been backed up since its creation and has been deleted. Provide syntax example.
1. What are the different types of joins?
2. Explain normalization with examples.
3. What cursor type do you use to retrieve multiple record sets?
4. Difference between a "where" clause and a "having" clause
5. What is the difference between "procedure" and "function"?
6. How will you copy the structure of a table without copying the data?
7. How to find out the database name from SQL*PLUScommand prompt?
8. Takeoffs with having indexes
9. Talk about "Exception Handling" in PL/SQL?
10. What is the difference between "NULL in C" and "NULL in Oracle?"
11. What is Pro*C? What is OCI?
12. Give some examples of Analytical functions.
13. What is the difference between "translate" and "replace"?
14. What is DYNAMIC SQL method 4?
15. How to remove duplicate records from a table?
16. What is the use of analyzing the tables?
17. How to run SQL script from a Unix Shell?
18. What is a "transaction"? Why are they necessary?
19. Explain Normalization and Denormalization with examples.
20. When do you get constraint violation? What are the types of constraints?
21. How to convert RAW data type into TEXT?
22. Difference - Primary Key and Aggregate Key
23. How functional dependency is related to database table design?
24. What is a "trigger"?
25. Why can a "group by" or "order by" clause be expensive to process?
26. What are "HINTS"? What is "index covering" of a query?
27. What is a VIEW? How to get script for a view?
28. What are the Large object types supported by Oracle?
29. What is SQL*Loader?
30. Difference between "VARCHAR" and "VARCHAR2" data types.
31. What is the difference among "dropping a table", "truncating a table" and "deleting all records" from a table?
32. Difference between "ORACLE" and "MICROSOFT ACCESS" databases.
33. How to create a database link?
1. Explain the difference between a hot backup and a cold backup and the benefits associated with each. - A hot backup is basically taking a backup of the database while it is still up and running and it must be in archive log mode. A cold backup is taking a backup of the database while it is shut down and does not require being in archive log mode. The benefit of taking a hot backup is that the database is still available for use while the backup is occurring and you can recover the database to any point in time. The benefit of taking a cold backup is that it is typically easier to administer the backup and recovery process. In addition, since you are taking cold backups the database does not require being in archive log mode and thus there will be a slight performance gain as the database is not cutting archive logs to disk.2. You have just had to restore from backup and do not have any control files. How would you go about bringing up this database? - I would create a text based backup control file, stipulating where on disk all the data files where and then issue the recover command with the using backup control file clause.
1. Give one method for transferring a table from one schema to another:
Expected Answer: There are several possible methods, export-import, CREATE TABLE... AS SELECT, or COPY.
2. What is the purpose of the IMPORT option IGNORE? What is it?s default setting?
Level: Low
Expected Answer: The IMPORT IGNORE option tells import to ignore "already exists" errors. If it is not specified the tables that already exist will be skipped. If it is specified, the error is ignored and the tables data will be inserted. The default value is N.
3. You have a rollback segment in a version 7.2 database that has expanded beyond optimal, how can it be restored to optimal?
Level: Low
Expected answer: Use the ALTER TABLESPACE ..... SHRINK command.
4. If the DEFAULT and TEMPORARY tablespace clauses are left out of a CREATE USER command what happens? Is this bad or good? Why?
Level: Low
Expected answer: The user is assigned the SYSTEM tablespace as a default and temporary tablespace. This is bad because it causes user objects and temporary segments to be placed into the SYSTEM tablespace resulting in fragmentation and improper table placement (only data dictionary objects and the system rollback segment should be in SYSTEM).
5. What are some of the Oracle provided packages that DBAs should be aware of?
Level: Intermediate to High
Expected answer: Oracle provides a number of packages in the form of the DBMS_ packages owned by the SYS user. The packages used by DBAs may include: DBMS_SHARED_POOL, DBMS_UTILITY, DBMS_SQL, DBMS_DDL, DBMS_SESSION, DBMS_OUTPUT and DBMS_SNAPSHOT. They may also try to answer with the UTL*.SQL or CAT*.SQL series of SQL procedures. These can be viewed as extra credit but aren?t part of the answer.
6. What happens if the constraint name is left out of a constraint clause?
Level: Low
Expected answer: The Oracle system will use the default name of SYS_Cxxxx where xxxx is a system generated number. This is bad since it makes tracking which table the constraint belongs to or what the constraint does harder.
7. What happens if a tablespace clause is left off of a primary key constraint clause?
Level: Low
Expected answer: This results in the index that is automatically generated being placed in then users default tablespace. Since this will usually be the same tablespace as the table is being created in, this can cause serious performance problems.
8. What is the proper method for disabling and re-enabling a primary key constraint?
Level: Intermediate
Expected answer: You use the ALTER TABLE command for both. However, for the enable clause you must specify the USING INDEX and TABLESPACE clause for primary keys.
9. What happens if a primary key constraint is disabled and then enabled without fully specifying the index clause?
Level: Intermediate
Expected answer: The index is created in the user?s default tablespace and all sizing information is lost. Oracle doesn?t store this information as a part of the constraint definition, but only as part of the index definition, when the constraint was disabled the index was dropped and the information is gone.
10. (On UNIX) When should more than one DB writer process be used? How many should be used?
Level: High
Expected answer: If the UNIX system being used is capable of asynchronous IO then only one is required, if the system is not capable of asynchronous IO then up to twice the number of disks used by Oracle number of DB writers should be specified by use of the db_writers initialization parameter.
11. You are using hot backup without being in archivelog mode, can you recover in the event of a failure? Why or why not?
Level: High
Expected answer: You can?t use hot backup without being in archivelog mode. So no, you couldn?t recover.
12. What causes the "snapshot too old" error? How can this be prevented or mitigated?
Level: Intermediate
Expected answer: This is caused by large or long running transactions that have either wrapped onto their own rollback space or have had another transaction write on part of their rollback space. This can be prevented or mitigated by breaking the transaction into a set of smaller transactions or increasing the size of the rollback segments and their extents.
13. How can you tell if a database object is invalid?
Level: Low
Expected answer: By checking the status column of the DBA_, ALL_ or USER_OBJECTS views, depending upon whether you own or only have permission on the view or are using a DBA account.
14. A user is getting an ORA-00942 error yet you know you have granted them permission on the table, what else should you check?
Level: Low
Expected answer: You need to check that the user has specified the full name of the object (select empid from scott.emp; instead of select empid from emp;) or has a synonym that points to the object (create synonym emp for scott.emp;)
15. A developer is trying to create a view and the database won?t let him. He has the "DEVELOPER" role which has the "CREATE VIEW" system privilege and SELECT grants on the tables he is using, what is the problem?
Level: Intermediate
Expected answer: You need to verify the developer has direct grants on all tables used in the view. You can?t create a stored object with grants given through views.
16. If you have an example table, what is the best way to get sizing data for the production table implementation?
Level: Intermediate
Expected answer: The best way is to analyze the table and then use the data provided in the DBA_TABLES view to get the average row length and other pertinent data for the calculation. The quick and dirty way is to look at the number of blocks the table is actually using and ratio the number of rows in the table to its number of blocks against the number of expected rows.
17. How can you find out how many users are currently logged into the database? How can you find their operating system id?
Level: high
Expected answer: There are several ways. One is to look at the v$session or v$process views. Another way is to check the current_logins parameter in the v$sysstat view. Another if you are on UNIX is to do a "ps -efgrep oraclewc -l? command, but this only works against a single instance installation.
18. A user selects from a sequence and gets back two values, his select is:
SELECT pk_seq.nextval FROM dual;
What is the problem?
Level: Intermediate
Expected answer: Somehow two values have been inserted into the dual table. This table is a single row, single column table that should only have one value in it.
19. How can you determine if an index needs to be dropped and rebuilt?
Level: Intermediate
Expected answer: Run the ANALYZE INDEX command on the index to validate its structure and then calculate the ratio of LF_BLK_LEN/LF_BLK_LEN+BR_BLK_LEN and if it isn?t near 1.0 (i.e. greater than 0.7 or so) then the index should be rebuilt. Or if the ratio
BR_BLK_LEN/ LF_BLK_LEN+BR_BLK_LEN is nearing 0.3.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SQL Admin Interview Questions

1. Explain the architecture of SQL Server?
2. Different types of Backups?
o A full database backup is a full copy of the database.
o A transaction log backup copies only the transaction log.
o A differential backup copies only the database pages modified after the last full database backup.
o A file or filegroup restore allows the recovery of just the portion of a database that was on the failed disk.
3. What are ‘jobs’ in SQL Server? How do we create one? What is tasks?
Using SQL Server Agent jobs, you can automate administrative tasks and run them on a recurring basis.
4. What is database replication? What are the different types of replication you can set up in SQL Server? How are they used? What is snapshot replication how is it different from Transactional replication?
Replication is the process of copying/moving data between databases on the same or different servers. SQL Server supports the following types of replication scenarios:
1. Snapshot replication - It distributes data exactly as it appears at a specific moment in time and doesn’t monitor for updates. It can be used when data changes are infrequent. It is often used for browsing data such as price lists, online catalog, or data for decision support where the current data is not required and data is used as read only.
2. Transactional replication (with immediate updating subscribers, with queued updating subscribers) - With this an initial snapshot of data is applied, and whenever data modifications are made at the publisher, the individual transactions are captured and propagated to the subscribers.
3. Merge replication - It is the process of distributing the data between publisher and subscriber, it allows the publisher and subscriber to update the data while connected or disconnected, and then merging the updates between the sites when they are connected.
5. How can u look at what are the process running on SQL server? How can you kill a process in SQL server?
o Expand a server group, and then expand a server.
o Expand Management, and then expand Current Activity.
o Click Process Info. The current server activity is displayed in the details pane.
In the details pane, right-click a Process ID, and then click Kill Process.
6. What is RAID and what are different types of RAID configurations?
RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, used to provide fault tolerance to database servers. There are six RAID levels 0 through 5 offering different levels of performance, fault tolerance.
Some of the tools/ways that help you troubleshooting performance problems are: SET SHOWPLAN_ALL ON, SET SHOWPLAN_TEXT ON, SET STATISTICS IO ON, SQL Server Profiler, Windows NT /2000 Performance monitor, Graphical execution plan in Query Analyzer.
8. How to determine the service pack currently installed on SQL Server?
The global variable @@Version stores the build number of the sqlservr.exe, which is used to determine the service pack installed.
eg: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 - 8.00.760 (Intel X86) Dec 17 2002 14:22:05 Copyright (c) 1988-2003 Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Edition on Windows NT 5.0 (Build 2195: Service Pack 3)
9. What is the purpose of using COLLATE in a query?
The term, collation, refers to a set of rules that determine how data is sorted and compared. In Microsoft® SQL Server 2000, it is not required to separately specify code page and sort order for character data, and the collation used for Unicode data. Instead, specify the collation name and sorting rules to use. Character data is sorted using rules that define the correct character sequence, with options for specifying case-sensitivity, accent marks, kana character types, and character width. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 collations include these groupings:
• Windows collations - Windows collations define rules for storing character data based on the rules defined for an associated Windows locale. The base Windows collation rules specify which alphabet or language is used when dictionary sorting is applied, as well as the code page used to store non-Unicode character data. For Windows collations, the nchar, nvarchar, and ntext data types have the same sorting behavior as char, varchar, and text data types
• SQL collations - SQL collations are provided for compatibility with sort orders in earlier versions of Microsoft SQL Server.
Sort Order
Binary is the fastest sorting order, and is case-sensitive. If Binary is selected, the Case-sensitive, Accent-sensitive, Kana-sensitive, and Width-sensitive options are not available.

Sort order Description
Binary Sorts and compares data in Microsoft® SQL Server™ tables based on the bit patterns defined for each character. Binary sort order is case-sensitive, that is lowercase precedes uppercase, and accent-sensitive. This is the fastest sorting order.
If this option is not selected, SQL Server follows sorting and comparison rules as defined in dictionaries for the associated language or alphabet.
Case-sensitive Specifies that SQL Server distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters.
If not selected, SQL Server considers the uppercase and lowercase versions of letters to be equal. SQL Server does not define whether lowercase letters sort lower or higher in relation to uppercase letters when Case-sensitive is not selected.
Accent-sensitive Specifies that SQL Server distinguish between accented and unaccented characters. For example, 'a' is not equal to 'รก'.
If not selected, SQL Server considers the accented and unaccented versions of letters to be equal.
Kana-sensitive Specifies that SQL Server distinguish between the two types of Japanese kana characters: Hiragana and Katakana.
If not selected, SQL Server considers Hiragana and Katakana characters to be equal.
Width-sensitive Specifies that SQL Server distinguish between a single-byte character (half-width) and the same character when represented as a double-byte character (full-width).
If not selected, SQL Server considers the single-byte and double-byte representation of the same character to be equal.
Windows collation options:
• Use Latin1_General for the U.S. English character set (code page 1252).
• Use Modern_Spanish for all variations of Spanish, which also use the same character set as U.S. English (code page 1252).
• Use Arabic for all variations of Arabic, which use the Arabic character set (code page 1256).
• Use Japanese_Unicode for the Unicode version of Japanese (code page 932), which has a different sort order from Japanese, but the same code page (932).
10. What is the STUFF Function and how does it differ from the REPLACE function?
STUFF - Deletes a specified length of characters and inserts another set of characters at a specified starting point.
SELECT STUFF('abcdef', 2, 3, 'ijklmn')
Here is the result set:
REPLACE - Replaces all occurrences of the second given string expression in the first string expression with a third expression.
SELECT REPLACE('abcdefghicde','cde','xxx')
Here is the result set:
11. What does it mean to have quoted_identifier on? What are the implications of having it off?
When SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER is OFF (default), literal strings in expressions can be delimited by single or double quotation marks.
When SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER is ON, all strings delimited by double quotation marks are interpreted as object identifiers. Therefore, quoted identifiers do not have to follow the Transact-SQL rules for identifiers.
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER must be ON when creating or manipulating indexes on computed columns or indexed views. If SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER is OFF, CREATE, UPDATE, INSERT, and DELETE statements on tables with indexes on computed columns or indexed views will fail.
The SQL Server ODBC driver and Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server automatically set QUOTED_IDENTIFIER to ON when connecting.
When a stored procedure is created, the SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER and SET ANSI_NULLS settings are captured and used for subsequent invocations of that stored procedure. When executed inside a stored procedure, the setting of SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER is not changed.
-- Attempt to create a table with a reserved keyword as a name
-- should fail.
CREATE TABLE "select" ("identity" int IDENTITY, "order" int)

-- Will succeed.
CREATE TABLE "select" ("identity" int IDENTITY, "order" int)
12. What is the purpose of UPDATE STATISTICS?
Updates information about the distribution of key values for one or more statistics groups (collections) in the specified table or indexed view.
13. Fundamentals of Data warehousing & olap?
14. What do u mean by OLAP server? What is the difference between OLAP and OLTP?
15. What is a tuple?
A tuple is an instance of data within a relational database.
16. Services and user Accounts maintenance
17. sp_configure commands?
Displays or changes global configuration settings for the current server.
18. What is the basic functions for master, msdb, tempdb databases?
Microsoft® SQL Server 2000 systems have four system databases:
• master - The master database records all of the system level information for a SQL Server system. It records all login accounts and all system configuration settings. master is the database that records the existence of all other databases, including the location of the database files.
• tempdb - tempdb holds all temporary tables and temporary stored procedures. It also fills any other temporary storage needs such as work tables generated by SQL Server. tempdb is re-created every time SQL Server is started so the system starts with a clean copy of the database.
By default, tempdb autogrows as needed while SQL Server is running. If the size defined for tempdb is small, part of your system processing load may be taken up with autogrowing tempdb to the size needed to support your workload each time to restart SQL Server. You can avoid this overhead by using ALTER DATABASE to increase the size of tempdb.
• model - The model database is used as the template for all databases created on a system. When a CREATE DATABASE statement is issued, the first part of the database is created by copying in the contents of the model database, then the remainder of the new database is filled with empty pages. Because tempdb is created every time SQL Server is started, the model database must always exist on a SQL Server system.
• msdb - The msdb database is used by SQL Server Agent for scheduling alerts and jobs, and recording operators.
19. What are sequence diagrams? What you will get out of this sequence diagrams?
Sequence diagrams document the interactions between classes to achieve a result, such as a use case. Because UML is designed for object-oriented programming, these communications between classes are known as messages. The sequence diagram lists objects horizontally, and time vertically, and models these messages over time.
20. What are the new features of SQL 2000 than SQL 7? What are the new datatypes in sql?
• XML Support - The relational database engine can return data as Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents. Additionally, XML can also be used to insert, update, and delete values in the database. (for xml raw - to retrieve output as xml type)
• User-Defined Functions - The programmability of Transact-SQL can be extended by creating your own Transact-SQL functions. A user-defined function can return either a scalar value or a table.
• Indexed Views - Indexed views can significantly improve the performance of an application where queries frequently perform certain joins or aggregations. An indexed view allows indexes to be created on views, where the result set of the view is stored and indexed in the database.
• New Data Types - SQL Server 2000 introduces three new data types. bigint is an 8-byte integer type. sql_variant is a type that allows the storage of data values of different data types. table is a type that allows applications to store results temporarily for later use. It is supported for variables, and as the return type for user-defined functions.
• INSTEAD OF and AFTER Triggers - INSTEAD OF triggers are executed instead of the triggering action (for example, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE). They can also be defined on views, in which case they greatly extend the types of updates a view can support. AFTER triggers fire after the triggering action. SQL Server 2000 introduces the ability to specify which AFTER triggers fire first and last.
• Multiple Instances of SQL Server - SQL Server 2000 supports running multiple instances of the relational database engine on the same computer. Each computer can run one instance of the relational database engine from SQL Server version 6.5 or 7.0, along with one or more instances of the database engine from SQL Server 2000. Each instance has its own set of system and user databases.
• Index Enhancements - You can now create indexes on computed columns. You can specify whether indexes are built in ascending or descending order, and if the database engine should use parallel scanning and sorting during index creation.
21. How do we open SQL Server in single user mode?
We can accomplish this in any of the three ways given below :-
. From Command Prompt :-
sqlservr -m
a. From Startup Options :-
Go to SQL Server Properties by right-clicking on the Server name in the Enterprise manager.
Under the 'General' tab, click on 'Startup Parameters'.
Enter a value of -m in the Parameter.
b. From Registry :-
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSSQLServer\MSSQLServer\Parameters.
Add new string value.
Specify the 'Name' as SQLArg(n) & 'Data' as -m.
Where n is the argument number in the list of arguments.
22. Difference between clustering and NLB (Network Load Balancing)?
23. Explain Active/Active and Active/Passive cluster configurations?
24. What is Log Shipping?
In Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Enterprise Edition, you can use log shipping to feed transaction logs from one database to another on a constant basis. Continually backing up the transaction logs from a source database and then copying and restoring the logs to a destination database keeps the destination database synchronized with the source database. This allows you to have a backup server and also provides a way to offload query processing from the main computer (the source server) to read-only destination servers.
25. What are the main steps you take care for enhancing SQL Server performance?
26. You have to check whether any users are connected to sql server database and if any user is connected to database, you have to disconnect the user(s) and run a process in a job. How do you do the above in a job?
27. How can I convert data in a Microsoft Access table into XML format?
The following applications can help you convert Access data into XML format: Access 2002, ADO 2.5, and SQLXML. Access 2002 (part of Microsoft Office XP) enables you to query or save a table in XML format. You might be able to automate this process. ADO 2.5 and later enables you to open the data into a recordset, then persist the recordset in XML format, as the following code shows:
rs.Save "c:\rs.xml", adPersistXML
You can use linked servers to add the Access database to your SQL Server 2000 database so you can run queries from within SQL Server to retrieve data. Then, through HTTP, you can use the SQLXML technology to extract the Access data in the XML format you want.
28. @@IDENTITY ?
Ans: Returns the last-inserted identity value.
29. If a job is fail in sql server, how do find what went wrong?
30. Have you used Error handling in DTS?

SQL Tools Interview Questions

1. Have you ever used DBCC command? Give an example for it.
The Transact-SQL programming language provides DBCC statements that act as Database Console Commands for Microsoft® SQL Serve 2000. These statements check the physical and logical consistency of a database. Many DBCC statements can fix detected problems. Database Console Command statements are grouped into these categories.

Statement category Perform
Maintenance statements Maintenance tasks on a database, index, or filegroup.
Miscellaneous statements Miscellaneous tasks such as enabling row-level locking or removing a dynamic-link library (DLL) from memory.
Status statements Status checks.
Validation statements Validation operations on a database, table, index, catalog, filegroup, system tables, or allocation of database pages.
3. How do you use DBCC statements to monitor various aspects of a SQL server installation?
4. What is the output of DBCC Showcontig statement?
Displays fragmentation information for the data and indexes of the specified table.
5. How do I reset the identity column?
You can use the DBCC CHECKIDENT statement, if you want to reset or reseed the identity column. For example, if you need to force the current identity value in the jobs table to a value of 100, you can use the following:
USE pubs
6. About SQL Command line executables
7. What is DTC?
The Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MS DTC) is a transaction manager that allows client applications to include several different sources of data in one transaction. MS DTC coordinates committing the distributed transaction across all the servers enlisted in the transaction.
8. What is DTS? Any drawbacks in using DTS?
Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Data Transformation Services (DTS) is a set of graphical tools and programmable objects that lets you extract, transform, and consolidate data from disparate sources into single or multiple destinations.
9. What is BCP?
The bcp utility copies data between an instance of Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 and a data file in a user-specified format.
C:\Documents and Settings\sthomas>bcp
usage: bcp {dbtable | query} {in | out | queryout | format} datafile
[-m maxerrors] [-f formatfile] [-e errfile]
[-F firstrow] [-L lastrow] [-b batchsize]
[-n native type] [-c character type] [-w wide character type]
[-N keep non-text native] [-V file format version] [-q quoted identifier]
[-C code page specifier] [-t field terminator] [-r row terminator]
[-i inputfile] [-o outfile] [-a packetsize]
[-S server name] [-U username] [-P password]
[-T trusted connection] [-v version] [-R regional enable]
[-k keep null values] [-E keep identity values]
[-h "load hints"]
10. How can I create a plain-text flat file from SQL Server as input to another application?
One of the purposes of Extensible Markup Language (XML) is to solve challenges like this, but until all applications become XML-enabled, consider using our faithful standby, the bulk copy program (bcp) utility. This utility can do more than just dump a table; bcp also can take its input from a view instead of from a table. After you specify a view as the input source, you can limit the output to a subset of columns or to a subset of rows by selecting appropriate filtering (WHERE and HAVING) clauses.
More important, by using a view, you can export data from multiple joined tables. The only thing you cannot do is specify the sequence in which the rows are written to the flat file, because a view does not let you include an ORDER BY clause in it unless you also use the TOP keyword.
If you want to generate the data in a particular sequence or if you cannot predict the content of the data you want to export, be aware that in addition to a view, bcp also supports using an actual query. The only "gotcha" about using a query instead of a table or view is that you must specify queryout in place of out in the bcp command line.
For example, you can use bcp to generate from the pubs database a list of authors who reside in California by writing the following code:
bcp "SELECT * FROM pubs..authors WHERE state = 'CA'" queryout c:\CAauthors.txt -c -T -S
11. What are the different ways of moving data/databases between servers and databases in SQL Server?
There are lots of options available, you have to choose your option depending upon your requirements. Some of the options you have are: BACKUP/RESTORE, detaching and attaching databases, replication, DTS, BCP, logshipping, INSERT...SELECT, SELECT...INTO, creating INSERT scripts to generate data.
12. How will I export database?
Through DTS - Import/Export wizard
Backup - through Complete/Differential/Transaction Log
13. How to export database at a particular time, every week?
Backup - Schedule
DTS - Schedule
Jobs - create a new job
14. How do you load large data to the SQL server database?
15. How do you transfer data from text file to database (other than DTS)?
16. What is OSQL and ISQL utility?
The osql utility allows you to enter Transact-SQL statements, system procedures, and script files. This utility uses ODBC to communicate with the server.
The isql utility allows you to enter Transact-SQL statements, system procedures, and script files; and uses DB-Library to communicate with Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000.
All DB-Library applications, such as isql, work as SQL Server 6.5–level clients when connected to SQL Server 2000. They do not support some SQL Server 2000 features.
The osql utility is based on ODBC and does support all SQL Server 2000 features. Use osql to run scripts that isql cannot run.
17. What Tool you have used for checking Query Optimization? What is the use of profiler in sql server? What is the first thing u look at in a SQL Profiler?
SQL Profiler is a graphical tool that allows system administrators to monitor events in an instance of Microsoft® SQL Server™. You can capture and save data about each event to a file or SQL Server table to analyze later. For example, you can monitor a production environment to see which stored procedures is hampering performance by executing too slowly.
Use SQL Profiler to:
• Monitor the performance of an instance of SQL Server.
• Debug Transact-SQL statements and stored procedures.
• Identify slow-executing queries.
• Test SQL statements and stored procedures in the development phase of a project by single-stepping through statements to confirm that the code works as expected.
• Troubleshoot problems in SQL Server by capturing events on a production system and replaying them on a test system. This is useful for testing or debugging purposes and allows users to continue using the production system without interference.
Audit and review activity that occurred on an instance of SQL Server. This allows a security administrator to review any of the auditing events, including the success and failure of a login attempt and the success and failure of permissions in accessing statements and objects.

18. A user is a member of Public role and Sales role. Public role has the permission to select on all the table, and Sales role, which doesn’t have a select permission on some of the tables. Will that user be able to select from all tables?
19. If a user does not have permission on a table, but he has permission to a view created on it, will he be able to view the data in table?
20. Describe Application Role and explain a scenario when you will use it?
21. After removing a table from database, what other related objects have to be dropped explicitly?
(view, SP)
22. You have a SP names YourSP and have the a Select Stmt inside the SP. You also have a user named YourUser. What permissions you will give him for accessing the SP.
23. Different Authentication modes in Sql server? If a user is logged under windows authentication mode, how to find his userid?
There are Three Different authentication modes in sqlserver.
1. Windows Authentication Mode
2. SqlServer Authentication Mode
3. Mixed Authentication Mode
“system_user” system function in sqlserver to fetch the logged on user name.
24. Give the connection strings from front-end for both type logins(windows,sqlserver)?
This are specifically for sqlserver not for any other RDBMS
Data Source=MySQLServer;Initial Catalog=NORTHWIND;Integrated Security=SSPI (windows)
Data Source=MySQLServer;Initial Catalog=NORTHWIND;Uid=” ”;Pwd=” ”(sqlserver)
25. What are three SQL keywords used to change or set someone’s permissions?
Grant, Deny and Revoke

SQL Transaction Interview Questions

1. What is Transaction?
A transaction is a sequence of operations performed as a single logical unit of work. A logical unit of work must exhibit four properties, called the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) properties, to qualify as a transaction:
o Atomicity - A transaction must be an atomic unit of work; either all of its data modifications are performed or none of them is performed.
o Consistency - When completed, a transaction must leave all data in a consistent state. In a relational database, all rules must be applied to the transaction's modifications to maintain all data integrity. All internal data structures, such as B-tree indexes or doubly-linked lists, must be correct at the end of the transaction.
o Isolation - Modifications made by concurrent transactions must be isolated from the modifications made by any other concurrent transactions. A transaction either sees data in the state it was in before another concurrent transaction modified it, or it sees the data after the second transaction has completed, but it does not see an intermediate state. This is referred to as serializability because it results in the ability to reload the starting data and replay a series of transactions to end up with the data in the same state it was in after the original transactions were performed.
o Durability - After a transaction has completed, its effects are permanently in place in the system. The modifications persist even in the event of a system failure.
2. After one Begin Transaction a truncate statement and a RollBack statements are there. Will it be rollbacked? Since the truncate statement does not perform logged operation how does it RollBack?
It will rollback.
3. Given a SQL like
Begin Tran
Select @@Rowcount
Begin Tran
Select @@Rowcount
Begin Tran
Select @@Rowcount
Commit Tran
Select @@Rowcount
Select @@Rowcount
Select @@Rowcount
What is the value of @@Rowcount at each stmt levels?
Ans : 0 – zero.
@@ROWCOUNT - Returns the number of rows affected by the last statement.
@@TRANCOUNT - Returns the number of active transactions for the current connection.
Each Begin Tran will add count, each commit will reduce count and ONE rollback will make it 0.

4. What are the constraints for Table Constraints define rules regarding the values allowed in columns and are the standard mechanism for enforcing integrity. SQL Server 2000 supports five classes of constraints.
5. There are 50 columns in a table. Write a query to get first 25 columns
Ans: Need to mention each column names.
6. How to list all the tables in a particular database?
USE pubs
7. What are cursors? Explain different types of cursors. What are the disadvantages of cursors? How can you avoid cursors?
Cursors allow row-by-row processing of the result sets.
Types of cursors: Static, Dynamic, Forward-only, Keyset-driven.
Disadvantages of cursors: Each time you fetch a row from the cursor, it results in a network roundtrip. Cursors are also costly because they require more resources and temporary storage (results in more IO operations). Further, there are restrictions on the SELECT statements that can be used with some types of cursors.
How to avoid cursor:
1. Most of the times, set based operations can be used instead of cursors. Here is an example: If you have to give a flat hike to your employees using the following criteria:
Salary between 30000 and 40000 -- 5000 hike
Salary between 40000 and 55000 -- 7000 hike
Salary between 55000 and 65000 -- 9000 hike
In this situation many developers tend to use a cursor, determine each employee's salary and update his salary according to the above formula. But the same can be achieved by multiple update statements or can be combined in a single UPDATE statement as shown below:
UPDATE tbl_emp SET salary =
CASE WHEN salary BETWEEN 30000 AND 40000 THEN salary + 5000
WHEN salary BETWEEN 40000 AND 55000 THEN salary + 7000
WHEN salary BETWEEN 55000 AND 65000 THEN salary + 10000
2. You need to call a stored procedure when a column in a particular row meets certain condition. You don't have to use cursors for this. This can be achieved using WHILE loop, as long as there is a unique key to identify each row. For examples of using WHILE loop for row by row processing, check out the 'My code library' section of my site or search for WHILE.
8. What is Dynamic Cursor? Suppose, I have a dynamic cursor attached to table in a database. I have another means by which I will modify the table. What do you think will the values in the cursor be?
Dynamic cursors reflect all changes made to the rows in their result set when scrolling through the cursor. The data values, order, and membership of the rows in the result set can change on each fetch. All UPDATE, INSERT, and DELETE statements made by all users are visible through the cursor. Updates are visible immediately if they are made through the cursor using either an API function such as SQLSetPos or the Transact-SQL WHERE CURRENT OF clause. Updates made outside the cursor are not visible until they are committed, unless the cursor transaction isolation level is set to read uncommitted.
9. What is DATEPART?
Returns an integer representing the specified datepart of the specified date.
10. Difference between Delete and Truncate?
TRUNCATE TABLE is functionally identical to DELETE statement with no WHERE clause: both remove all rows in the table.
(1) But TRUNCATE TABLE is faster and uses fewer system and transaction log resources than DELETE. The DELETE statement removes rows one at a time and records an entry in the transaction log for each deleted row. TRUNCATE TABLE removes the data by deallocating the data pages used to store the table's data, and only the page deallocations are recorded in the transaction log.
(2) Because TRUNCATE TABLE is not logged, it cannot activate a trigger.
(3) The counter used by an identity for new rows is reset to the seed for the column. If you want to retain the identity counter, use DELETE instead.
Of course, TRUNCATE TABLE can be rolled back.
11. Given a scenario where two operations, Delete Stmt and Truncate Stmt, where the Delete Statement was successful and the truncate stmt was failed. – Can u judge why?
12. What are global variables? Tell me some of them?
Transact-SQL global variables are a form of function and are now referred to as functions.
ABS - Returns the absolute, positive value of the given numeric expression.
13. What is DDL?
Data definition language (DDL) statements are SQL statements that support the definition or declaration of database objects (for example, CREATE TABLE, DROP TABLE, and ALTER TABLE).
You can use the ADO Command object to issue DDL statements. To differentiate DDL statements from a table or stored procedure name, set the CommandType property of the Command object to adCmdText. Because executing DDL queries with this method does not generate any recordsets, there is no need for a Recordset object.
14. What is DML?
Data Manipulation Language (DML), which is used to select, insert, update, and delete data in the objects defined using DDL
15. What are keys in RDBMS? What is a primary key/ foreign key?
There are two kinds of keys.
A primary key is a set of columns from a table that are guaranteed to have unique values for each row of that table.
Foreign keys are attributes of one table that have matching values in a primary key in another table, allowing for relationships between tables.
16. What is the difference between Primary Key and Unique Key?
Both primary key and unique key enforce uniqueness of the column on which they are defined. But by default primary key creates a clustered index on the column, where are unique creates a nonclustered index by default. Another major difference is that, primary key doesn't allow NULLs, but unique key allows one NULL only.
17. Define candidate key, alternate key, composite key?
A candidate key is one that can identify each row of a table uniquely. Generally a candidate key becomes the primary key of the table. If the table has more than one candidate key, one of them will become the primary key, and the rest are called alternate keys.
A key formed by combining at least two or more columns is called composite key.
18. What is the Referential Integrity?
Referential integrity refers to the consistency that must be maintained between primary and foreign keys, i.e. every foreign key value must have a corresponding primary key value.
19. What are defaults? Is there a column to which a default can't be bound?
A default is a value that will be used by a column, if no value is supplied to that column while inserting data. IDENTITY columns and timestamp columns can't have defaults bound to them.
20. What is Query optimization? How is tuning a performance of query done?
21. What is the use of trace utility?
22. What is the use of shell commands? xp_cmdshell
Executes a given command string as an operating-system command shell and returns any output as rows of text. Grants nonadministrative users permissions to execute xp_cmdshell.
23. What is use of shrink database?
Microsoft® SQL Server 2000 allows each file within a database to be shrunk to remove unused pages. Both data and transaction log files can be shrunk.
24. If the performance of the query suddenly decreased where you will check?
25. What is a pass-through query?
Microsoft® SQL Server 2000 sends pass-through queries as un-interpreted query strings to an OLE DB data source. The query must be in a syntax the OLE DB data source will accept. A Transact-SQL statement uses the results from a pass-through query as though it is a regular table reference.
This example uses a pass-through query to retrieve a result set from a Microsoft Access version of the Northwind sample database.
FROM OpenRowset('Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0',
'c:\northwind.mdb';'admin'; '',
'SELECT CustomerID, CompanyName
FROM Customers
WHERE Region = ''WA'' ')
26. How do you differentiate Local and Global Temporary table?
You can create local and global temporary tables. Local temporary tables are visible only in the current session; global temporary tables are visible to all sessions. Prefix local temporary table names with single number sign (#table_name), and prefix global temporary table names with a double number sign (##table_name). SQL statements reference the temporary table using the value specified for table_name in the CREATE TABLE statement:
27. How the Exists keyword works in SQL Server?
USE pubs
SELECT au_lname, au_fname
FROM authors
WHERE exists
FROM publishers
When a subquery is introduced with the keyword EXISTS, it functions as an existence test. The WHERE clause of the outer query tests for the existence of rows returned by the subquery. The subquery does not actually produce any data; it returns a value of TRUE or FALSE.
28. ANY?
USE pubs
SELECT au_lname, au_fname
FROM authors
WHERE city = ANY
(SELECT city
FROM publishers)
29. to select date part only
SELECT CONVERT(char(10),GetDate(),101)
--to select time part only
SELECT right(GetDate(),7)
30. How can I send a message to user from the SQL Server?
You can use the xp_cmdshell extended stored procedure to run net send command. This is the example to send the 'Hello' message to JOHN:
EXEC master..xp_cmdshell "net send JOHN 'Hello'"
To get net send message on the Windows 9x machines, you should run the WinPopup utility. You can place WinPopup in the Startup group under Program Files.
31. What is normalization? Explain different levels of normalization? Explain Third normalization form with an example?
The process of refining tables, keys, columns, and relationships to create an efficient database is called normalization. This should eliminates unnecessary duplication and provides a rapid search path to all necessary information.
Some of the benefits of normalization are:
• Data integrity (because there is no redundant, neglected data)
• Optimized queries (because normalized tables produce rapid, efficient joins)
• Faster index creation and sorting (because the tables have fewer columns)
• Faster UPDATE performance (because there are fewer indexes per table)
• Improved concurrency resolution (because table locks will affect less data)
• Eliminate redundancy
There are a few rules for database normalization. Each rule is called a "normal form." If the first rule is observed, the database is said to be in "first normal form." If the first three rules are observed, the database is considered to be in "third normal form." Although other levels of normalization are possible, third normal form is considered the highest level necessary for most applications.
6. First Normal Form (1NF)
 Eliminate repeating groups in individual tables
 Create a separate table for each set of related data.
 Identify each set of related data with a primary key.
Do not use multiple fields in a single table to store similar data.
Subordinate1 Subordinate2 Subordinate3 Subordinate4
Bob Jim Mary Beth
Mary Mike Jason Carol Mark
Jim Alan
Eliminate duplicative columns from the same table. Clearly, the Subordinate1-Subordinate4 columns are duplicative. What happens when we need to add or remove a subordinate?
Bob Jim, Mary, Beth
Mary Mike, Jason, Carol, Mark
Jim Alan
This solution is closer, but it also falls short of the mark. The subordinates column is still duplicative and non-atomic. What happens when we need to add or remove a subordinate? We need to read and write the entire contents of the table. That’s not a big deal in this situation, but what if one manager had one hundred employees? Also, it complicates the process of selecting data from the database in future queries.

Bob Jim
Bob Mary
Bob Beth
Mary Mike
Mary Jason
Mary Carol
Mary Mark
Jim Alan
7. Second Normal Form (2NF)
 Create separate tables for sets of values that apply to multiple records.
 Relate these tables with a foreign key.
Records should not depend on anything other than a table's primary key (a compound key, if necessary).
For example, consider a customer's address in an accounting system. The address is needed by the Customers table, but also by the Orders, Shipping, Invoices, Accounts Receivable, and Collections tables. Instead of storing the customer's address as a separate entry in each of these tables, store it in one place, either in the Customers table or in a separate Addresses table.
8. Third Normal Form (3NF)
 Eliminate fields that do not depend on the key.
Values in a record that are not part of that record's key do not belong in the table. In general, any time the contents of a group of fields may apply to more than a single record in the table, consider placing those fields in a separate table.
For example, in an Employee Recruitment table, a candidate's university name and address may be included. But you need a complete list of universities for group mailings. If university information is stored in the Candidates table, there is no way to list universities with no current candidates. Create a separate Universities table and link it to the Candidates table with a university code key.
Another Example :
MemberId Name Company CompanyLoc
1 John Smith ABC Alabama
2 Dave Jones MCI Florida
The Member table satisfies first normal form - it contains no repeating groups. It satisfies second normal form - since it doesn't have a multivalued key. But the key is MemberID, and the company name and location describe only a company, not a member. To achieve third normal form, they must be moved into a separate table. Since they describe a company, CompanyCode becomes the key of the new "Company" table.
The motivation for this is the same for second normal form: we want to avoid update and delete anomalies. For example, suppose no members from the IBM were currently stored in the database. With the previous design, there would be no record of its existence, even though 20 past members were from IBM!
Member Table
MemberId Name CID
1 John Smith 1
2 Dave Jones 2

Company Table
CId Name Location
1 ABC Alabama
2 MCI Florida

9. Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF)
A relation is in Boyce/Codd normal form if and only if the only determinants are candidate key. Its a different version of 3NF, indeed, was meant to replace it. [A determinant is any attribute on which some other attribute is (fully) functionally dependent.]
10. 4th Normal Form (4NF)
A table is in 4NF if it is in BCNF and if it has no multi-valued dependencies. This applies primarily to key-only associative tables, and appears as a ternary relationship, but has incorrectly merged 2 distinct, independent relationships.
Eg: This could be any 2 M:M relationships from a single entity. For instance, a member could know many software tools, and a software tool may be used by many members. Also, a member could have recommended many books, and a book could be recommended by many members.
11. The correct solution, to cause the model to be in 4th normal form, is to ensure that all M:M relationships are resolved independently if they are indeed independent.

12. 5th Normal Form (5NF)(PJNF)
A table is in 5NF, also called "Projection-Join Normal Form", if it is in 4NF and if every join dependency in the table is a consequence of the candidate keys of the table.
13. Domain/key normal form (DKNF). A key uniquely identifies each row in a table. A domain is the set of permissible values for an attribute. By enforcing key and domain restrictions, the database is assured of being freed from modification anomalies. DKNF is the normalization level that most designers aim to achieve.
Remember, these normalization guidelines are cumulative. For a database to be in 2NF, it must first fulfill all the criteria of a 1NF database.
32. If a database is normalized by 3 NF then how many number of tables it should contain in minimum? How many minimum if 2NF and 1 NF?
33. What is denormalization and when would you go for it?
As the name indicates, denormalization is the reverse process of normalization. It's the controlled introduction of redundancy in to the database design. It helps improve the query performance as the number of joins could be reduced.
34. How can I randomly sort query results?
To randomly order rows, or to return x number of randomly chosen rows, you can use the RAND function inside the SELECT statement. But the RAND function is resolved only once for the entire query, so every row will get same value. You can use an ORDER BY clause to sort the rows by the result from the NEWID function, as the following code shows:
FROM Northwind..Orders
35. sp_who
Provides information about current Microsoft® SQL Server™ users and processes. The information returned can be filtered to return only those processes that are not idle.
36. Have you worked on Dynamic SQL? How will You handled “ (Double Quotes) in Dynamic SQL?
37. How to find dependents of a table?
Verify dependencies with sp_depends before dropping an object
38. What is the difference between a CONSTRAINT AND RULE?
Rules are a backward-compatibility feature that perform some of the same functions as CHECK constraints. CHECK constraints are the preferred, standard way to restrict the values in a column. CHECK constraints are also more concise than rules; there can only be one rule applied to a column, but multiple CHECK constraints can be applied. CHECK constraints are specified as part of the CREATE TABLE statement, while rules are created as separate objects and then bound to the column.
39. How to call a COM dll from SQL Server 2000?
sp_OACreate - Creates an instance of the OLE object on an instance of Microsoft® SQL Server
sp_OACreate progid, | clsid,
objecttoken OUTPUT
[ , context ]
context - Specifies the execution context in which the newly created OLE object runs. If specified, this value must be one of the following:
1 = In-process (.dll) OLE server only
4 = Local (.exe) OLE server only
5 = Both in-process and local OLE server allowed
A. Use Prog ID - This example creates a SQL-DMO SQLServer object by using its ProgID.
DECLARE @object int
DECLARE @hr int
DECLARE @src varchar(255), @desc varchar(255)
EXEC @hr = sp_OACreate 'SQLDMO.SQLServer', @object OUT
IF @hr <> 0
EXEC sp_OAGetErrorInfo @object, @src OUT, @desc OUT
SELECT hr=convert(varbinary(4),@hr), Source=@src, Description=@desc
B. Use CLSID - This example creates a SQL-DMO SQLServer object by using its CLSID.
DECLARE @object int
DECLARE @hr int
DECLARE @src varchar(255), @desc varchar(255)
EXEC @hr = sp_OACreate '{00026BA1-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}',
@object OUT
IF @hr <> 0
EXEC sp_OAGetErrorInfo @object, @src OUT, @desc OUT
SELECT hr=convert(varbinary(4),@hr), Source=@src, Description=@desc
40. Difference between sysusers and syslogins?
sysusers - Contains one row for each Microsoft® Windows user, Windows group, Microsoft SQL Server™ user, or SQL Server role in the database.
syslogins - Contains one row for each login account.
41. What is the row size in SQL Server 2000?
8060 bytes.
42. How will you find structure of table, all tables/views in one db, all dbs?
//structure of table
sp_helpdb tbl_emp

//list of all databases
SELECT * FROM master.dbo.sysdatabases

//details about database pubs. .mdf, .ldf file locations, size of database
sp_helpdb pubs

//lists all tables under current database
SELECT * FROM information_schema.tables WHERE (table_type = 'base table')
SELECT * FROM sysobjects WHERE type = 'U' //faster
43. B-tree indexes or doubly-linked lists?
44. What is the system function to get the current user's user id?
USER_ID(). Also check out other system functions like USER_NAME(), SYSTEM_USER, SESSION_USER, CURRENT_USER, USER, SUSER_SID(), HOST_NAME().
45. What are the series of steps that happen on execution of a query in a Query Analyzer?
1) Syntax checking 2) Parsing 3) Execution plan
46. Which event (Check constraints, Foreign Key, Rule, trigger, Primary key check) will be performed last for integrity check?
Identity Insert Check
Nullability constraint
Data type check
Instead of trigger
Primary key
Check constraint
Foreign key
DML Execution (update statements)
After Trigger
47. How will you show many to many relation in sql?
Create 3rd table with 2 columns which having one to many relation to these tables.
48. When a query is sent to the database and an index is not being used, what type of execution is taking place?
A table scan.
49. What is #, ##, @, @@ means?
@@ - System variables
@ - user defined variables
50. What is the difference between a Local temporary table and a Global temporary table? How is each one denoted?
Local temporary table will be accessible to only current user session, its name will be preceded with a single hash (#mytable)
Global temporary table will be accessible to all users, & it will be dropped only after ending of all active connections, its name will be preceded with double hash (##mytable)
51. What is covered queries in SQL Server?