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SQL Server Common Questions(Part- 2) | Placement Papers - Technical & HR Questions - Interview Preparation PDF Download

17.  Name 3 ways to get an accurate count of the number of records in a table?

SELECT * FROM table1 
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM table1 
SELECT rows FROM sysindexes WHERE id = OBJECT_ID(table1) AND indid < 2

18. What does it mean to have QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON? What are the implications of having it OFF?

When SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER is ON, identifiers can be delimited by double quotation marks, and literals must be delimited by single quotation marks. When SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER is OFF, identifiers cannot be quoted and must follow all Transact-SQL rules for identifiers.

19. What is the difference between a Local and a Global temporary table?

  1. A local temporary table exists only for the duration of a connection or, if defined inside a compound statement, for the duration of the compound statement.
  2. A global temporary table remains in the database permanently, but the rows exist only within a given connection. When connection is closed, the data in the global temporary table disappears. However, the table definition remains with the database for access when database is opened next time.

20. What is the STUFF function and how does it differ from the REPLACE function?

STUFF function is used to overwrite existing characters. Using this syntax, STUFF (string_expression, start, length, replacement_characters), string_expression is the string that will have characters substituted, start is the starting position, length is the number of characters in the string that are substituted, and replacement_characters are the new characters interjected into the string. REPLACE function to replace existing characters of all occurrences. Using the syntax REPLACE (string_expression, search_string, replacement_string), where every incidence of search_string found in the string_expression will be replaced with replacement_string.

21. What is PRIMARY KEY?

A PRIMARY KEY constraint is a unique identifier for a row within a database table. Every table should have a primary key constraint to uniquely identify each row and only one primary key constraint can be created for each table. The primary key constraints are used to enforce entity integrity.

22. What is UNIQUE KEY constraint?

A UNIQUE constraint enforces the uniqueness of the values in a set of columns, so no duplicate values are entered. The unique key constraints are used to enforce entity integrity as the primary key constraints.

23. What is FOREIGN KEY?

A FOREIGN KEY constraint prevents any actions that would destroy links between tables with the corresponding data values. A foreign key in one table points to a primary key in another table. Foreign keys prevent actions that would leave rows with foreign key values when there are no primary keys with that value. The foreign key constraints are used to enforce referential integrity.

24. What is CHECK Constraint?

A CHECK constraint is used to limit the values that can be placed in a column. The check constraints are used to enforce domain integrity.

25. What is NOT NULL Constraint?

A NOT NULL constraint enforces that the column will not accept null values. The not null constraints are used to enforce domain integrity, as the check constraints.

26. How to get @@ERROR and @@ROWCOUNT at the same time?

If @@Rowcount is checked after Error checking statement then it will have 0 as the value of @@Recordcount as it would have been reset. And if @@Recordcount is checked before the error-checking statement then @@Error would get reset. To get @@error and @@rowcount at the same time do both in same statement and store them in local variable.

SELECT @RC = @@ROWCOUNT, @ER = @@ERROR

27.What is a Scheduled Jobs or What is a Scheduled Tasks?

Scheduled tasks let user automate processes that run on regular or predictable cycles. User can schedule administrative tasks, such as cube processing, to run during times of slow business activity. User can also determine the order in which tasks run by creating job steps within a SQL Server Agent job. E.g. back up database, Update Stats of Tables. Job steps give user control over flow of execution. If one job fails, user can configure SQL Server Agent to continue to run the remaining tasks or to stop execution.

28. What are the advantages of using Stored Procedures?

  1. Stored procedure can reduced network traffic and latency, boosting application performance.
  2. Stored procedure execution plans can be reused, staying cached in SQL Server's memory, reducing server overhead.
  3. Stored procedures help promote code reuse.
  4. Stored procedures can encapsulate logic. You can change stored procedure code without affecting clients.
  5. Stored procedures provide better security to your data.

29. What is a table called, if it has neither Cluster nor Non-cluster Index? What is it used for?

Unindexed table or Heap. Microsoft Press Books and Book on Line (BOL) refers it as Heap. A heap is a table that does not have a clustered index and, therefore, the pages are not linked by pointers. The IAM pages are the only structures that link the pages in a table together. Unindexed tables are good for fast storing of data. Many times it is better to drop all indexes from table and then do bulk of inserts and to restore those indexes after that.

30. Can SQL Servers linked to other servers like Oracle?

SQL Server can be linked to any server provided it has OLE-DB provider from Microsoft to allow a link. E.g. Oracle has an OLE-DB provider for oracle that Microsoft provides to add it as linked server to SQL Server group.

31.. What is BCP? When does it used?

BulkCopy is a tool used to copy huge amount of data from tables and views. BCP does not copy the structures same as source to destination. BULK INSERT command helps to import a data file into a database table or view in a user-specified format.

32. How to implement one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships while designing tables?

One-to-One relationship can be implemented as a single table and rarely as two tables with primary and foreign key relationships. One-to-Many relationships are implemented by splitting the data into two tables with primary key and foreign key relationships. Many-to-Many relationships are implemented using a junction table with the keys from both the tables forming the composite primary key of the junction table.

33. What is an execution plan? When would you use it? How would you view the execution plan?

An execution plan is basically a road map that graphically or textually shows the data retrieval methods chosen by the SQL Server query optimizer for a stored procedure or ad- hoc query and is a very useful tool for a developer to understand the performance characteristics of a query or stored procedure since the plan is the one that SQL Server will place in its cache and use to execute the stored procedure or query. From within Query Analyzer is an option called "Show Execution Plan" (located on the Query drop-down menu). If this option is turned on it will display query execution plan in separate window when query is ran again.

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FAQs on SQL Server Common Questions(Part- 2) - Placement Papers - Technical & HR Questions - Interview Preparation

1. What are the different editions of SQL Server?
Ans. SQL Server is available in various editions, including Enterprise, Standard, Web, Developer, and Express editions. Each edition has different features and limitations, catering to the needs of different organizations and users.
2. How can I backup and restore a SQL Server database?
Ans. To backup a SQL Server database, you can use the BACKUP DATABASE statement or SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). To restore a database, you can use the RESTORE DATABASE statement or SSMS. It is recommended to regularly backup your databases to prevent data loss.
3. How can I improve the performance of my SQL Server queries?
Ans. There are several ways to improve the performance of SQL Server queries. Some best practices include creating indexes on frequently used columns, optimizing query execution plans, avoiding unnecessary joins and subqueries, and using appropriate data types. Regularly monitoring and tuning the database can also help improve performance.
4. What is the difference between a clustered and non-clustered index in SQL Server?
Ans. In SQL Server, a clustered index determines the physical order of data in a table. Each table can have only one clustered index, and it is used to sort and store the data rows. On the other hand, a non-clustered index is a separate structure that contains a sorted list of key values and a pointer to the actual data rows. A table can have multiple non-clustered indexes.
5. How can I schedule a SQL Server job to run at specific intervals?
Ans. SQL Server Agent allows you to schedule and automate various tasks, including running SQL Server jobs at specific intervals. You can create a new job, define the schedule using the Job Schedule Properties window, and specify the desired frequency (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). Additionally, you can set up alerts and notifications for job status updates.
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