Common SQL Queries Interview Questions 1 :

Common SQL Queries Interview Questions :


What is the system function to get the current user's details such as userid etc. ?
USER
USER_ID
USER_NAME
CURRENT_USER
SUSER_SID
HOST_NAME
SYSTEM_USER
SESSION_USER

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.

What is an extended stored procedure? Can you instantiate a COM object by using T-SQL?
An extended stored procedure is a function within a DLL (written in a programming language like C, C++ using Open Data Services (ODS) API) that can be called from T-SQL, just the way we call normal stored procedures using the EXEC statement. See books online to learn how to create extended stored procedures and how to add them to SQL Server. You can instantiate a COM (written in languages like VB, VC++) object from T-SQL by using sp_OACreate stored procedure.

What is Trigger?
A trigger is a SQL procedure that initiates an action when an event (INSERT, DELETE or UPDATE) occurs. Triggers are stored in and managed by the DBMS. Triggers are used to maintain the referential integrity of data by changing the data in a systematic fashion. A trigger cannot be called or executed; DBMS automatically fires the trigger as a result of a data modification to the associated table. Triggers can be viewed as similar to stored procedures in that both consist of procedural logic that is stored at the database level. Stored procedures, however, are not event-drive and are not attached to a specific table as triggers are. Stored procedures are explicitly executed by invoking a CALL to the procedure while triggers are implicitly executed. In addition, triggers can also execute stored procedures.

What is Nested Trigger?
A trigger can also contain INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE logic within itself, so when the trigger is fired because of data modification it can also cause another data modification, thereby firing another trigger. A trigger that contains data modification logic within itself is called a nested trigger.

What is a Linked Server?
Linked Servers is a concept in SQL Server by which we can add other SQL Server to a Group and query both the SQL Server databases using T-SQL Statements. With a linked server, you can create very clean, easy to follow, SQL statements that allow remote data to be retrieved, joined and combined with local data. Stored Procedure SP_AddLinkedServer, SP_AddLinkedSerevrLogin will be used add new Linked Server.

What is Cursor?
Cursor is a database object used by applications to manipulate data in a set on a row-by- row basis, instead of the typical SQL commands that operate on all the rows in the set at one time.
In order to work with a cursor we need to perform some steps in the following order:
  1. Declare cursor
  2. Open cursor
  3. Fetch row from the cursor
  4. Process fetched row
  5. Close cursor
  6. Deallocate cursor
What is sub-query? Explain properties of sub-query?
Sub-queries are often referred to as sub-selects, as they allow a SELECT statement to be executed arbitrarily within the body of another SQL statement. A sub-query is executed by enclosing it in a set of parentheses. Sub-queries are generally used to return a single row as an atomic value, though they may be used to compare values against multiple rows with the IN keyword.
A sub-query is a SELECT statement that is nested within another T-SQL statement. A sub-query SELECT statement if executed independently of the T-SQL statement, in which it is nested, will return a result-set. Meaning a sub-query SELECT statement can standalone and is not depended on the statement in which it is nested. A sub-query SELECT statement can return any number of values, and can be found in, the column list of a SELECT statement, a FROM, GROUP BY, HAVING, and/or ORDER BY clauses of a T-SQL statement. A Sub-query can also be used as a parameter to a function call. Basically a sub-query can be used anywhere an expression can be used.
What are different Types of Join?
  1. Cross Join A cross join that does not have a WHERE clause produces the Cartesian product of the tables involved in the join. The size of a Cartesian product result set is the number of rows in the first table multiplied by the number of rows in the second table. The common example is when company wants to combine each product with a pricing table to analyze each product at each price.
  2. Inner Join A join that displays only the rows that have a match in both joined tables is known as inner Join. This is the default type of join in the Query and View Designer.
  3. Outer Join A join that includes rows even if they do not have related rows in the joined table is an Outer Join. You can create three different outer join to specify the unmatched rows to be included:
    1. Left Outer Join: In Left Outer Join all rows in the first-named table i.e. "left" table, which appears leftmost in the JOIN clause are included. Unmatched rows in the right table do not appear.
    2. Right Outer Join: In Right Outer Join all rows in the second-named table i.e. "right" table, which appears rightmost in the JOIN clause are included. Unmatched rows in the left table are not included.
    3. Full Outer Join: In Full Outer Join all rows in all joined tables are included, whether they are matched or not.
  4. Self Join This is a particular case when one table joins to itself, with one or two aliases to avoid confusion. A self join can be of any type, as long as the joined tables are the same. A self join is rather unique in that it involves a relationship with only one table. The common example is when company has a hierarchal reporting structure whereby one member of staff reports to another. Self Join can be Outer Join or Inner Join.

What is User Defined Functions? What kind of User-Defined Functions can be created?
User-Defined Functions allow defining its own T-SQL functions that can accept 0 or more parameters and return a single scalar data value or a table data type.
Different Kinds of User-Defined Functions created are:
  1. Scalar User-Defined Function A Scalar user-defined function returns one of the scalar data types. Text, ntext, image and timestamp data types are not supported. These are the type of user-defined functions that most developers are used to in other programming languages. You pass in 0 to many parameters and you get a return value.
  2. Inline Table-Value User-Defined Function An Inline Table-Value user-defined function returns a table data type and is an exceptional alternative to a view as the user-defined function can pass parameters into a T-SQL select command and in essence provide us with a parameterized, non-updateable view of the underlying tables.
  3. Multi-statement Table-Value User-Defined Function A Multi-Statement Table-Value user-defined function returns a table and is also an exceptional alternative to a view as the function can support multiple T-SQL statements to build the final result where the view is limited to a single SELECT statement. Also, the ability to pass parameters into a TSQL select command or a group of them gives us the capability to in essence create a parameterized, non-updateable view of the data in the underlying tables. Within the create function command you must define the table structure that is being returned. After creating this type of user-defined function, It can be used in the FROM clause of a T-SQL command unlike the behavior found when using a stored procedure which can also return record sets.
What is Identity?
Identity (or AutoNumber) is a column that automatically generates numeric values. A start and increment value can be set, but most DBA leave these at 1. A GUID column also generates numbers; the value of this cannot be controlled. Identity/GUID columns do not need to be indexed.

What is Data-Warehousing?
  1. Subject-oriented, meaning that the data in the database is organized so that all the data elements relating to the same real-world event or object are linked together;
  2. Time-variant, meaning that the changes to the data in the database are tracked and recorded so that reports can be produced showing changes over time;
  3. Non-volatile, meaning that data in the database is never over-written or deleted, once committed, the data is static, read-only, but retained for future reporting.
  4. Integrated, meaning that the database contains data from most or all of an organization's operational applications, and that this data is made consistent.
How do you 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.
What are the different isolation levels ?
An isolation level determines the degree of isolation of data between concurrent transactions. The default SQL Server isolation level is Read Committed. Here are the other isolation levels (in the ascending order of isolation): Read Uncommitted, Read Committed, Repeatable Read, Serializable.
What would happen if you create an index on each column of a table ?
If you create an index on each column of a table, it improves the query performance, as the query optimizer tool of the Database engine can choose from all the existing indexes to come up with an efficient execution plan. At the same time, data modification operations (such as INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE) will become slow, as every time data changes in the table, all the indexes need to be updated. Another disadvantage is that, indexes need disk space, the more indexes you have, more disk space is used.

What is Lock escalation?
Lock escalation is the process of converting many fine-grain locks into fewer coarse-grain locks, reducing system overhead. When a transaction exceeds its escalation threshold, automatic  escalation of  row locks and page locks into table locks happens.
When a transaction requests rows from a table, SQL Server automatically acquires locks on those rows affected and places higher-level intent locks on the pages and table, or index, which contain those rows. When the number of locks held by the transaction exceeds its threshold, a  stronger lock is acquired, and all page and row level locks held by the transaction on the table are released, reducing lock overhead.
Lock escalation thresholds are determined dynamically by SQL Server and do not require configuration.
What is a live lock?
A live lock is one, where a request for an exclusive lock is repeatedly denied because a series of overlapping shared locks keeps interfering. SQL Server detects the situation after four denials and refuses further shared locks. A live lock also occurs when read transactions monopolize a table or page, forcing a write transaction to wait indefinitely.

What is blocking and how would you troubleshoot it?
Blocking happens when one connection from an application holds a lock and a second connection requires a conflicting lock type. This forces the second connection to wait, blocked on the first.

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