Database interview questions and answers - Test & Download!

What do you mean by database?

- Database refers to a collection logically coherent data.
- It is designed, built and populated with data for a specific purpose.

It possesses following characteristics:
- Some inherent meaning,
- Some aspect of real world

Define stored procedure.

Stored procedure is a set of pre-compiled SQL statements, executed when it is called in the program.

Define Trigger.

- Triggers are similar to stored procedure with the difference that they get automatically executed when any operations occur in the table.

Explain - a.) Storage Manager b.) Buffer Manager c.) Transaction Manager d.) File Manager

a.) Storage Manager - A program module providing the interface between low-level data in database, application programs & queries submitted to the system is referred to as a storage manager.

b.) Buffer Manager - A program module responsible to get data from disk storage into main memory and decide on the data that should exist in cache memory.

c.) Transaction Manager - A program module ensuring that database remains in a consistent state even after the system failures and concurrent transaction execution keeps going on without conflicting.

d.) File Manager - A program module that manages space allocation on disk and data structure used to represent information on a disk.

List some advantages of DBMS.

DBMS is useful in:

1. Controlling redundancy
2. Restricting unauthorised access
3. Giving backup & recovery
4. Providing multiple user interfaces
5. Getting integrity constraints enforced

Explain the various types of normalization.

When we create a database, we include all the required columns in it but we see that there is a lot of redundant data in it. To get rid of this redundant data, the table is split and this process is called normalization.

1. First Normal Form (1NF) - In this state a relation all underlying domains compulsorily contain atomic values only. After 1NF, it is still possible for the system to possess some redundant data.

2. Second Normal Form (2NF) - A relation in this state is
a.) Compulsorily in 1 NF
b.) Every non key attribute is fully dependent on the primary key.

Even after 2NF, there is a possibility of possessing some redundant data.

3. Third Normal Form (3NF)
a.) A relation in this state is in 2NF
b.) Additionally every non key attribute is non-transitively dependent on the primary key.

What are the advantages of normalizing a database.

Advantages of normalizing database are as follows:

1. Prevents duplicate entries
2. Conserves storage space
3. Improves the performance of queries

What is Denormalization?

Adding redundant data to the database to get rid of complex data is called as denormalization.

Differentiate between Delete and Truncate table.

- Delete logs the deletion of each row whereas Truncate doesn't log deleted rows in the transaction log.
- This makes truncate command a bit faster than Delete command.

Differentiate between Extension & Intension.


Extension is the number of tuples present in a table at any instance while Intension is a constant value that provides the name, structure of table and the constraints on it.

Extension is time dependent.

Explain Data Independence & its types.

Data independence means that the application is independent of

a.) storage structure
b.) access strategy of data

It implies that the modification in schema definition at one level does not affect the schema definition at the next higher level.

There are two types of data independence - Physical & Logical.

a.) Physical Data Independence: Any change in physical level does not affect the logical level.
b.) Logical Data Independence: Changes made at logical level do not affect the view level.

Explain a. Entity b. Entity Type c. Entity Set

a. Entity - A thing that has got an independent existence is called entity.
b. Entity type - Collection of entities with same attributes.
c. Entity set - Collection of entities of a particular type in the database.

Explain a.) Partial key b.) Alternate key c.) Artificial key d.) Compound key e.) Natural key

a.) Partial Key: Also referred to as Discriminator at times, partial key refers to a set of attributes that

- Have the ability to uniquely identify weak entities
- Are related to same owner entity.

b.) Alternate Key: It is a set of all Candidate Keys excluding the Primary Key

c.) Artificial Key: When there's no conspicuous key available like stand alone key or compound key. we create a new key called artificial key. This is done by assigning a unique number to each record or occurrence.

d.) Compound Key: When it is not possible for a single data element to uniquely identify the occurrences in a construct, a combination of multiple elements is used to create an identitfier which is unique. This unique identifier is known as Compound Key.

e.) Natural Key: Sometime we use a data element stored in a construct as the primary key, it is called as a natural key.

Explain Phantom Deadlock.

- During the process of distributed deadlock detection, sometime a delay occurs while propagating local information and this leads to deadlock detection algorithms pointing to deadlocks that do not actually occur.
- These deadlocks are referred to as phantom deadlocks, as they do not really exist.
- Phantom deadlock lead to unnecessary abortions.

Explain the following frequently used terms in Database.

1. Field - An area within a record that is reserved for a specific data.

Examples: Customer ID, A/c No. etc

2. Record - Collection of values / fields of a specific entity. E.g. Customer, Account etc.

3. Table - Collection of records of a specific type. E.g. Customer Table, Phone numbers table etc.

What happens when Shared and Exclusive locks are applied on data item?

- If a shared lock is applied on a data item, other transactions can not write on it. They can only read the item.

- If an exclusive lock is applied on a data item, other transactions can neither read nor write on the data item.

List the properties of a transaction.

Properties of a database transaction are recognized by the acronym - ACID.

1. Atomicity
2. Consistency
3. Isolation
4. Durability

What is a view?

- A view is a virtual table.
- A table contains real data while a view just contains queries that are capable of dynamically retrieving the data when used.

What is a materialized view?

- Materialized views are disk based views.
- Materialized views get updated periodically based on the interval specified in the query.
- Materialized views can be indexed.

What are the advantages of views in a database?

Advantages of views in a database are:

1. The data in views is not stored at any physical location. This saves resources and still gets the output.
2. Since data insertion, update and deletion is not possible with the view, it puts a restriction on the access.

What are the disadvantages of views in a database?

Disadvantages of views in a database are:

1. If you drop a table, related view becomes irrelevant.
2. Since the view is generated with a query requesting the data, it is a little slow.
3. If you create views for large tables, more memory is occupied.

What do you mean by Cluster and Non cluster Index?

Clustered Index -

- A clustered index reorders the way records in the table are physically stored.
- There can be only one clustered index per table.
- It makes data retrieval faster.

Non-clustered Index

- A non-clustered index does not make any changes to the way the records were stored but creates a completely separate object inside the table.
- This makes the insert and update command work faster.

What are B-trees?

- These are data structures in the form of trees that store sorted data.
- They allow searches, insertions, sequential access and deletions to be carried out in logarithmic time.

What is Table Scan and Index Scan?

- Table Scan - Iterating over the table rows
- Index Scan - Iterating over the index items

Explain Database partitioning. What is its importance?

Database partitioning refers to dividing the large database into small logical units. It helps in improving the management, availability & performance of the system.

The advantages of database partitioning are:

i.) It improves and speeds up the performance of queries
ii.) You can easily bigger parts of a partition
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SQL levels
I am watching your website. It's nice. I want some details. I think I saw in your website, about SQL Levels. ie. Beginner level, Intermediate level, Advanced level of learning. or so. I did not remember correctly. If I am correct, please inform me about these details. I want to learn basics very well. Please reply me.I am not knowing where to start and how to start SQL. That's why I am asking you. Please help me
madhu 06-7-2013
Database interview
Thanks for all these questions on database. Please upload more questions.
dighe 03-11-2013
database
the quation hav't answer
haylay 02-13-2013
good
very good
javed 03-13-2012