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SQL Server - General Interview Questions and Answers

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1. What is RDBMS?

Relational Data Base Management Systems (RDBMS) are database management systems that maintain data records and indices in tables. Relationships may be created and maintained across and among the data and tables. In a relational database, relationships between data items are expressed by means of tables. Interdependencies among these tables are expressed by data values rather than by pointers. This allows a high degree of data independence. An RDBMS has the capability to recombine the data items from different files, providing powerful tools for data usage.

2. What are the properties of the Relational tables?

Relational tables have six properties:

  1. Values are atomic.
  2. Column values are of the same kind.
  3. Each row is unique.
  4. The sequence of columns is insignificant.
  5. The sequence of rows is insignificant.
  6. Each column must have a unique name.

3. What is Normalization?

Database normalization is a data design and organization process applied to data structures based on rules that help building relational databases. In relational database design, the process of organizing data to minimize redundancy is called normalization. Normalization usually involves dividing a database into two or more tables and defining relationships between the tables. The objective is to isolate data so that additions, deletions, and modifications of a field can be made in just one table and then propagated through the rest of the database via the defined relationships.

4. What is De-normalization?

De-normalization is the process of attempting to optimize the performance of a database by adding redundant data. It is sometimes necessary because current DBMSs implement the relational model poorly. A true relational DBMS would allow for a fully normalized database at the logical level, while providing physical storage of data that is tuned for high performance. De-normalization is a technique to move from higher to lower normal forms of database modeling in order to speed up database access.

5. What are different normalization forms?

  1. 1NF: Eliminate Repeating Groups Make a separate table for each set of related attributes, and give each table a primary key. Each field contains at most one value from its attribute domain.
  2. 2NF: Eliminate Redundant Data If an attribute depends on only part of a multi-valued key, remove it to a separate table.
  3. 3NF: Eliminate Columns Not Dependent On Key If attributes do not contribute to a description of the key, remove them to a separate table. All attributes must be directly dependent on the primary key.
  4. BCNF: Boyce-Codd Normal Form If there are non-trivial dependencies between candidate key attributes, separate them out into distinct tables.
  5. 4NF: Isolate Independent Multiple Relationships No table may contain two or more 1:n or n:m relationships that are not directly related.
  6. 5NF: Isolate Semantically Related Multiple Relationships There may be practical constrains on information that justify separating logically related many-to-many relationships.
  7. ONF: Optimal Normal Form A model limited to only simple (elemental) facts, as expressed in Object Role Model notation.
  8. DKNF: Domain-Key Normal Form A model free from all modification anomalies is said to be in DKNF.
Remember, these normalization guidelines are cumulative. For a database to be in 3NF, it must first fulfill all the criteria of a 2NF and 1NF database.

6. What is Stored Procedure?

A stored procedure is a named group of SQL statements that have been previously created and stored in the server database. Stored procedures accept input parameters so that a single procedure can be used over the network by several clients using different input data. And when the procedure is modified, all clients automatically get the new version. Stored procedures reduce network traffic and improve performance. Stored procedures can be used to help ensure the integrity of the database.

e.g. sp_helpdb, sp_renamedb, sp_depends etc.


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