Category Archives: Oracle

Oralce Interview Questions – Year 2009 Part – II

1. Give one method for transferring a table from one schema to another: 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 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

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

       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

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?

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?

This result 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?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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 balls 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

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?

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

      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 -ef|grep oracle|wc -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

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

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 are nearing 0.3.

 

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Oracle Interview Questions – Year 2009 – Part I

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 ball in time. The benefit of taking a cold backup is that it is typically easier to administer the backup and recovery

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.

3. How do you switch from an init.ora file to a spfile?
Issue the create spfile from pfile command.

4. Explain the difference between a data block, an extent and a segment?
A data block is the smallest unit of logical storage for a database object. As objects grow they take chunks of additional storage that are composed of contiguous data blocks. These groupings of contiguous data blocks are called extents. All the extents that an object takes when grouped together are considered the segment of the database object.

5. Give two examples of how you might determine the structure of the table DEPT?
Use the describe command or use the dbms_metadata.get_ddl package.

6. Where would you look for errors from the database engine?
In the alert log

7. Compare and contrast TRUNCATE and DELETE for a table.
Both the truncate and delete command have the desired outcome of getting rid of all the rows in a table. The difference between the two is that the truncate command is a DDL operation and just moves the high water mark and produces a now rollback. The delete command, on the other hand, is a DML operation, which will produce a rollback and thus take longer to complete.

8. Give the reasoning behind using an index.
Faster access to data blocks in a table.

9. Give the two types of tables involved in producing a star schema and the type of data they hold.
Fact tables and dimension tables. A fact table contains measurements while dimension tables will contain data that will help describe the fact tables.

10. What type of index should you use on a fact table?
A Bitmap index

11. Give two examples of referential integrity constraints.
A primary key and a foreign key are the example of refe

12. A table is classified as a parent table and you want to drop and re-create it. How would you do this without affecting the children tables?
Disable the foreign key constraint to the parent, drop the table, re-create the table, enable the foreign key constraint.

13. Explain the difference between ARCHIVELOG mode and NOARCHIVELOG mode and the benefits and disadvantages to each.
ARCHIVELOG mode is a mode that you can put the database in for creating a backup of all transactions that have occurred in the database so that you can recover to any ball in time. NOARCHIVELOG mode is basically the absence of ARCHIVELOG mode and has the disadvantage of not being able to recover to any ball in time. NOARCHIVELOG mode does have the advantage of not having to write transactions to an archive log and thus increases the performance of the database slightly.

14. What command would you use to create a backup control file?
Alter database backup control file to trace.

15. Give the stages of instance startup to a usable state where normal users may access it.
STARTUP NOMOUNT – Instance startup
STARTUP MOUNT – The database is mounted
STARTUP OPEN – The database is opened

16. What column differentiates the V$ views to the GV$ views and how?
The INST_ID column which indicates the instance in a RAC environment the information came from.

17. How would you go about generating an EXPLAIN plan?
Create a plan table with utlxplan.sql.
Use the explain plan set statement_id = ‘tst1’ into plan_table for a SQL statement
Look at the explain plan with utlxplp.sql or utlxpls.sql

18. How would you go about increasing the buffer cache hit ratio?
Use the buffer cache advisory over a given workload and then query the v$db_cache_advice table. If a change was necessary then I would use the alter system set db_cache_size command.

19. Explain an ORA-01555
you get this error when you get a snapshot too old within rollback. It can usually be solved by increasing the undo retention or increasing the size of rollbacks. You should also look at the logic involved in the application getting the error message.

20. Explain the difference between $ORACLE_HOME and $ORACLE_BASE.
ORACLE_BASE is the root directory for oracle. ORACLE_HOME located beneath ORACLE_BASE is where the oracle products reside.

Oracle Databse Questions and Answers

  1. What is Log Switch? – The point at which ORACLE ends writing to one online redo log file and begins writing to another is called a log switch.
  2. What is On-line Redo Log? – The On-line Redo Log is a set of tow or more on-line redo files that record all committed changes made to the database. Whenever a transaction is committed, the corresponding redo entries temporarily stores in redo log buffers of the SGA are written to an on-line redo log file by the background process LGWR. The on-line redo log files are used in cyclical fashion.
  3. Which parameter specified in the DEFAULT STORAGE clause of CREATE TABLESPACE cannot be altered after creating the tablespace? – All the default storage parameters defined for the tablespace can be changed using the ALTER TABLESPACE command. When objects are created their INITIAL and MINEXTENS values cannot be changed.
  4. What are the steps involved in Database Startup? – Start an instance, Mount the Database and Open the Database.
  5. What are the steps involved in Instance Recovery? – Rolling forward to recover data that has not been recorded in data files, yet has been recorded in the on-line redo log, including the contents of rollback segments. Rolling back transactions that have been explicitly rolled back or have not been committed as indicated by the rollback segments regenerated in step a. Releasing any resources (locks) held by transactions in process at the time of the failure. Resolving any pending distributed transactions undergoing a two-phase commit at the time of the instance failure.
  6. Can Full Backup be performed when the database is open? – No.
  7. What are the different modes of mounting a Database with the Parallel Server? – Exclusive Mode If the first instance that mounts a database does so in exclusive mode, only that Instance can mount the database. Parallel Mode If the first instance that mounts a database is started in parallel mode, other instances that are started in parallel mode can also mount the database.
  8. What are the advantages of operating a database in ARCHIVELOG mode over operating it in NO ARCHIVELOG mode? – Complete database recovery from disk failure is possible only in ARCHIVELOG mode. Online database backup is possible only in ARCHIVELOG mode.
  9. What are the steps involved in Database Shutdown? – Close the Database, Dismount the Database and Shutdown the Instance.
  10. What is Archived Redo Log? – Archived Redo Log consists of Redo Log files that have archived before being reused.
  11. What is Restricted Mode of Instance Startup? – An instance can be started in (or later altered to be in) restricted mode so that when the database is open connections are limited only to those whose user accounts have been granted the RESTRICTED SESSION system privilege.
  12. What is Partial Backup? – A Partial Backup is any operating system backup short of a full backup, taken while the database is open or shut down.
  13. What is Mirrored on-line Redo Log? – A mirrored on-line redo log consists of copies of on-line redo log files physically located on separate disks, changes made to one member of the group are made to all members.
  14. What is Full Backup? – A full backup is an operating system backup of all data files, on- line redo log files and control file that constitute ORACLE database and the parameter.
  15. Can a View based on another View? – Yes.
  16. Can a Tablespace hold objects from different Schemes? – Yes.
  17. Can objects of the same Schema reside in different tablespaces? – Yes.
  18. What is the use of Control File? – When an instance of an ORACLE database is started, its control file is used to identify the database and redo log files that must be opened for database operation to proceed. It is also used in database recovery.
  19. Do View contain Data? – Views do not contain or store data.
  20. What are the Referential actions supported by FOREIGN KEY integrity constraint? – UPDATE and DELETE Restrict – A referential integrity rule that disallows the update or deletion of referenced data. DELETE Cascade – When a referenced row is deleted all associated dependent rows are deleted.
  21. What are the type of Synonyms? – There are two types of Synonyms Private and Public
  22. What is a Redo Log? – The set of Redo Log files YSDATE,UID,USER or USERENV SQL functions, or the pseudo columns LEVEL or ROWNUM.
  23. What is an Index Segment? – Each Index has an Index segment that stores all of its data.
  24. Explain the relationship among Database, Tablespace and Data file.? – Each databases logically divided into one or more tablespaces one or more data files are explicitly created for each tablespace
  25. What are the different type of Segments? – Data Segment, Index Segment, Rollback Segment and Temporary Segment.
  26. What are Clusters? – Clusters are groups of one or more tables physically stores together to share common columns and are often used together.
  27. What is an Integrity Constrains? – An integrity constraint is a declarative way to define a business rule for a column of a table.
  28. What is an Index? – An Index is an optional structure associated with a table to have direct access to rows, which can be created to increase the performance of data retrieval. Index can be created on one or more columns of a table.
  29. What is an Extent? – An Extent is a specific number of contiguous data blocks, obtained in a single allocation, and used to store a specific type of information.
  30. What is a View? – A view is a virtual table. Every view has a Query attached to it. (The Query is a SELECT statement that identifies the columns and rows of the table(s) the view uses.)
  31. What is Table? – A table is the basic unit of data storage in an ORACLE database. The tables of a database hold all of the user accessible data. Table data is stored in rows and columns.
  32. What is a Synonym? – A synonym is an alias for a table, view, sequence or program unit.
  33. What is a Sequence? – A sequence generates a serial list of unique numbers for numerical columns of a database’s tables.
  34. What is a Segment? – A segment is a set of extents allocated for a certain logical structure.
  35. What is schema? – A schema is collection of database objects of a User.
  36. Describe Referential Integrity? – A rule defined on a column (or set of columns) in one table that allows the insert or update of a row only if the value for the column or set of columns (the dependent value) matches a value in a column of a related table (the referenced value). It also specifies the type of data manipulation allowed on referenced data and the action to be performed on dependent data as a result of any action on referenced data.
  37. What is Hash Cluster? – A row is stored in a hash cluster based on the result of applying a hash function to the row’s cluster key value. All rows with the same hash key value are stores together on disk.
  38. What is a Private Synonyms? – A Private Synonyms can be accessed only by the owner.
  39. What is Database Link? – A database link is a named object that describes a “path” from one database to another.
  40. What is a Tablespace? – A database is divided into Logical Storage Unit called tablespaces. A tablespace is used to grouped related logical structures together
  41. What is Rollback Segment? – A Database contains one or more Rollback Segments to temporarily store “undo” information.
  42. What are the Characteristics of Data Files? – A data file can be associated with only one database. Once created a data file can’t change size. One or more data files form a logical unit of database storage called a tablespace.
  43. How to define Data Block size? – A data block size is specified for each ORACLE database when the database is created. A database users and allocated free database space in ORACLE datablocks. Block size is specified in INIT.ORA file and can’t be changed latter.
  44. What does a Control file Contain? – A Control file records the physical structure of the database. It contains the following information. Database Name Names and locations of a database’s files and redolog files. Time stamp of database creation.
  45. What is difference between UNIQUE constraint and PRIMARY KEY constraint? – A column defined as UNIQUE can contain Nulls while a column defined as PRIMARY KEY can’t contain Nulls. 47.What is Index Cluster? – A Cluster with an index on the Cluster Key 48.When does a Transaction end? – When it is committed or Rollbacked.
  46. What is the effect of setting the value “ALL_ROWS” for OPTIMIZER_GOAL parameter of the ALTER SESSION command? – What are the factors that affect OPTIMIZER in choosing an Optimization approach? – Answer The OPTIMIZER_MODE initialization parameter Statistics in the Data Dictionary the OPTIMIZER_GOAL parameter of the ALTER SESSION command hints in the statement.
  47. What is the effect of setting the value “CHOOSE” for OPTIMIZER_GOAL, parameter of the ALTER SESSION Command? – The Optimizer chooses Cost_based approach and optimizes with the goal of best throughput if statistics for atleast one of the tables accessed by the SQL statement exist in the data dictionary. Otherwise the OPTIMIZER chooses RULE_based approach.
  48. What is the function of Optimizer? – The goal of the optimizer is to choose the most efficient way to execute a SQL statement.
  49. What is Execution Plan? – The combinations of the steps the optimizer chooses to execute a statement is called an execution plan.
  50. What are the different approaches used by Optimizer in choosing an execution plan? – Rule-based and Cost-based.

FAQs in SQL Server and Oracle

1. What is database?

A database is a logically coherent collection of data with some inherent meaning, representing some aspect of real world and which is designed, built and populated with data for a specific purpose.

2. What is DBMS?
It is a collection of programs that enables user to create and maintain a database. In other words it is general-purpose software that provides the users with the processes of defining, constructing and manipulating the database for various applications.

3. What is a Database system?
The database and DBMS software together is called as Database system.

4. Advantages of DBMS?
Ø Redundancy is controlled.
Ø Unauthorised access is restricted.
Ø Providing multiple user interfaces.
Ø Enforcing integrity constraints.
Ø Providing backup and recovery.

5. Disadvantage in File Processing System?
Ø Data redundancy & inconsistency.
Ø Difficult in accessing data.
Ø Data isolation.
Ø Data integrity.
Ø Concurrent access is not possible.
Ø Security Problems.

6. Describe the three levels of data abstraction?
The are three levels of abstraction:
Ø Physical level: The lowest level of abstraction describes how data are stored.
Ø Logical level: The next higher level of abstraction, describes what data are stored in database and what relationship among those data.
Ø View level: The highest level of abstraction describes only part of entire database.

7. Define the “integrity rules”
There are two Integrity rules.
Ø Entity Integrity: States that “Primary key cannot have NULL value”
Ø Referential Integrity: States that “Foreign Key can be either a NULL value or should be Primary Key value of other relation.

8. What is extension and intension?
Extension –
It is the number of tuples present in a table at any instance. This is time dependent.
Intension –
It is a constant value that gives the name, structure of table and the constraints laid on it.

9. What is System R? What are its two major subsystems?
System R was designed and developed over a period of 1974-79 at IBM San Jose Research Center. It is a prototype and its purpose was to demonstrate that it is possible to build a Relational System that can be used in a real life environment to solve real life problems, with performance at least comparable to that of existing system.
Its two subsystems are
Ø Research Storage
Ø System Relational Data System.

10. How is the data structure of System R different from the relational structure?
Unlike Relational systems in System R
Ø Domains are not supported
Ø Enforcement of candidate key uniqueness is optional
Ø Enforcement of entity integrity is optional
Ø Referential integrity is not enforced

11. What is Data Independence?
Data independence means that “the application is independent of the storage structure and access strategy of data”. In other words, The ability to modify the schema definition in one level should not affect the schema definition in the next higher level.
Two types of Data Independence:
Ø Physical Data Independence: Modification in physical level should not affect the logical level.
Ø Logical Data Independence: Modification in logical level should affect the view level.
NOTE: Logical Data Independence is more difficult to achieve

12. What is a view? How it is related to data independence?
A view may be thought of as a virtual table, that is, a table that does not really exist in its own right but is instead derived from one or more underlying base table. In other words, there is no stored file that direct represents the view instead a definition of view is stored in data dictionary.
Growth and restructuring of base tables is not reflected in views. Thus the view can insulate users from the effects of restructuring and growth in the database. Hence accounts for logical data independence.

13. What is Data Model?
A collection of conceptual tools for describing data, data relationships data semantics and constraints.

14. What is E-R model?
This data model is based on real world that consists of basic objects called entities and of relationship among these objects. Entities are described in a database by a set of attributes.

15. What is Object Oriented model?
This model is based on collection of objects. An object contains values stored in instance variables with in the object. An object also contains bodies of code that operate on the object. These bodies of code are called methods. Objects that contain same types of values and the same methods are grouped together into classes.

16. What is an Entity?
It is a ‘thing’ in the real world with an independent existence.

17. What is an Entity type?
It is a collection (set) of entities that have same attributes.

18. What is an Entity set?
It is a collection of all entities of particular entity type in the database.

19. What is an Extension of entity type?
The collections of entities of a particular entity type are grouped together into an entity set.

20. What is Weak Entity set?
An entity set may not have sufficient attributes to form a primary key, and its primary key compromises of its partial key and primary key of its parent entity, then it is said to be Weak Entity set.

21. What is an attribute?
It is a particular property, which describes the entity.

22. What is a Relation Schema and a Relation?
A relation Schema denoted by R(A1, A2, …, An) is made up of the relation name R and the list of attributes Ai that it contains. A relation is defined as a set of tuples. Let r be the relation which contains set tuples (t1, t2, t3, …, tn). Each tuple is an ordered list of n-values t=(v1,v2, …, vn).

23. What is degree of a Relation?
It is the number of attribute of its relation schema.

24. What is Relationship?
It is an association among two or more entities.

25. What is Relationship set?
The collection (or set) of similar relationships.

26. What is Relationship type?
Relationship type defines a set of associations or a relationship set among a given set of entity types.

27. What is degree of Relationship type?
It is the number of entity type participating.

25. What is DDL (Data Definition Language)?
A data base schema is specifies by a set of definitions expressed by a special language called DDL.

26. What is VDL (View Definition Language)?
It specifies user views and their mappings to the conceptual schema.

27. What is SDL (Storage Definition Language)?
This language is to specify the internal schema. This language may specify the mapping between two schemas.

28. What is Data Storage – Definition Language?
The storage structures and access methods used by database system are specified by a set of definition in a special type of DDL called data storage-definition language.

29. What is DML (Data Manipulation Language)?
This language that enable user to access or manipulate data as organised by appropriate data model.
Ø Procedural DML or Low level: DML requires a user to specify what data are needed and how to get those data.
Ø Non-Procedural DML or High level: DML requires a user to specify what data are needed without specifying how to get those data.

31. What is DML Compiler?
It translates DML statements in a query language into low-level instruction that the query evaluation engine can understand.

32. What is Query evaluation engine?
It executes low-level instruction generated by compiler.

33. What is DDL Interpreter?
It interprets DDL statements and record them in tables containing metadata.

34. What is Record-at-a-time?
The Low level or Procedural DML can specify and retrieve each record from a set of records. This retrieve of a record is said to be Record-at-a-time.

35. What is Set-at-a-time or Set-oriented?
The High level or Non-procedural DML can specify and retrieve many records in a single DML statement. This retrieve of a record is said to be Set-at-a-time or Set-oriented.

36. What is Relational Algebra?
It is procedural query language. It consists of a set of operations that take one or two relations as input and produce a new relation.

37. What is Relational Calculus?
It is an applied predicate calculus specifically tailored for relational databases proposed by E.F. Codd. E.g. of languages based on it are DSL ALPHA, QUEL.

38. How does Tuple-oriented relational calculus differ from domain-oriented relational calculus
The tuple-oriented calculus uses a tuple variables i.e., variable whose only permitted values are tuples of that relation. E.g. QUEL
The domain-oriented calculus has domain variables i.e., variables that range over the underlying domains instead of over relation. E.g. ILL, DEDUCE.

39. What is normalization?
It is a process of analysing the given relation schemas based on their Functional Dependencies (FDs) and primary key to achieve the properties
Ø Minimizing redundancy
Ø Minimizing insertion, deletion and update anomalies.

40. What is Functional Dependency?
A Functional dependency is denoted by X Y between two sets of attributes X and Y that are subsets of R specifies a constraint on the possible tuple that can form a relation state r of R. The constraint is for any two tuples t1 and t2 in r if t1[X] = t2[X] then they have t1[Y] = t2[Y]. This means the value of X component of a tuple uniquely determines the value of component Y.

41. When is a functional dependency F said to be minimal?
Ø Every dependency in F has a single attribute for its right hand side.
Ø We cannot replace any dependency X A in F with a dependency Y A where Y is a proper subset of X and still have a set of dependency that is equivalent to F.
Ø We cannot remove any dependency from F and still have set of dependency that is equivalent to F.

42. What is Multivalued dependency?
Multivalued dependency denoted by X Y specified on relation schema R, where X and Y are both subsets of R, specifies the following constraint on any relation r of R: if two tuples t1 and t2 exist in r such that t1[X] = t2[X] then t3 and t4 should also exist in r with the following properties
Ø t3[x] = t4[X] = t1[X] = t2[X]
Ø t3[Y] = t1[Y] and t4[Y] = t2[Y]
Ø t3[Z] = t2[Z] and t4[Z] = t1[Z]
where [Z = (R-(X U Y)) ]

43. What is Lossless join property?
It guarantees that the spurious tuple generation does not occur with respect to relation schemas after decomposition.

44. What is 1 NF (Normal Form)?
The domain of attribute must include only atomic (simple, indivisible) values.

45. What is Fully Functional dependency?
It is based on concept of full functional dependency. A functional dependency X Y is full functional dependency if removal of any attribute A from X means that the dependency does not hold any more.

46. What is 2NF?
A relation schema R is in 2NF if it is in 1NF and every non-prime attribute A in R is fully functionally dependent on primary key.

47. What is 3NF?
A relation schema R is in 3NF if it is in 2NF and for every FD X A either of the following is true
Ø X is a Super-key of R.
Ø A is a prime attribute of R.
In other words, if every non prime attribute is non-transitively dependent on primary key.

48. What is BCNF (Boyce-Codd Normal Form)?
A relation schema R is in BCNF if it is in 3NF and satisfies an additional constraint that for every FD X A, X must be a candidate key.

49. What is 4NF?
A relation schema R is said to be in 4NF if for every Multivalued dependency X Y that holds over R, one of following is true
Ø X is subset or equal to (or) XY = R.
Ø X is a super key.

50. What is 5NF?
A Relation schema R is said to be 5NF if for every join dependency {R1, R2, …, Rn} that holds R, one the following is true
Ø Ri = R for some i.
Ø The join dependency is implied by the set of FD, over R in which the left side is key of R.

51. What is Domain-Key Normal Form?
A relation is said to be in DKNF if all constraints and dependencies that should hold on the the constraint can be enforced by simply enforcing the domain constraint and key constraint on the relation.

52. What are partial, alternate,, artificial, compound and natural key?
Partial Key:
It is a set of attributes that can uniquely identify weak entities and that are related to same owner entity. It is sometime called as Discriminator.
Alternate Key:
All Candidate Keys excluding the Primary Key are known as Alternate Keys.
Artificial Key:
If no obvious key, either stand alone or compound is available, then the last resort is to simply create a key, by assigning a unique number to each record or occurrence. Then this is known as developing an artificial key.
Compound Key:
If no single data element uniquely identifies occurrences within a construct, then combining multiple elements to create a unique identifier for the construct is known as creating a compound key.
Natural Key:
When one of the data elements stored within a construct is utilized as the primary key, then it is called the natural key.

53. What is indexing and what are the different kinds of indexing?
Indexing is a technique for determining how quickly specific data can be found.
Types:
Ø Binary search style indexing
Ø B-Tree indexing
Ø Inverted list indexing
Ø Memory resident table
Ø Table indexing

54. What is system catalog or catalog relation? How is better known as?
A RDBMS maintains a description of all the data that it contains, information about every relation and index that it contains. This information is stored in a collection of relations maintained by the system called metadata. It is also called data dictionary.

55. What is meant by query optimization?
The phase that identifies an efficient execution plan for evaluating a query that has the least estimated cost is referred to as query optimization.

56. What is join dependency and inclusion dependency?
Join Dependency:
A Join dependency is generalization of Multivalued dependency.A JD {R1, R2, …, Rn} is said to hold over a relation R if R1, R2, R3, …, Rn is a lossless-join decomposition of R . There is no set of sound and complete inference rules for JD.
Inclusion Dependency:
An Inclusion Dependency is a statement of the form that some columns of a relation are contained in other columns. A foreign key constraint is an example of inclusion dependency.

57. What is durability in DBMS?
Once the DBMS informs the user that a transaction has successfully completed, its effects should persist even if the system crashes before all its changes are reflected on disk. This property is called durability.

58. What do you mean by atomicity and aggregation?
Atomicity:
Either all actions are carried out or none are. Users should not have to worry about the effect of incomplete transactions. DBMS ensures this by undoing the actions of incomplete transactions.
Aggregation:
A concept which is used to model a relationship between a collection of entities and relationships. It is used when we need to express a relationship among relationships.

59. What is a Phantom Deadlock?
In distributed deadlock detection, the delay in propagating local information might cause the deadlock detection algorithms to identify deadlocks that do not really exist. Such situations are called phantom deadlocks and they lead to unnecessary aborts.

60. What is a checkpoint and When does it occur?
A Checkpoint is like a snapshot of the DBMS state. By taking checkpoints, the DBMS can reduce the amount of work to be done during restart in the event of subsequent crashes.

61. What are the different phases of transaction?
Different phases are
Ø Analysis phase
Ø Redo Phase
Ø Undo phase

62. What do you mean by flat file database?
It is a database in which there are no programs or user access languages. It has no cross-file capabilities but is user-friendly and provides user-interface management.

63. What is “transparent DBMS”?
It is one, which keeps its Physical Structure hidden from user.

64. Brief theory of Network, Hierarchical schemas and their properties
Network schema uses a graph data structure to organize records example for such a database management system is CTCG while a hierarchical schema uses a tree data structure example for such a system is IMS.

65. What is a query?
A query with respect to DBMS relates to user commands that are used to interact with a data base. The query language can be classified into data definition language and data manipulation language.

66. What do you mean by Correlated subquery?
Subqueries, or nested queries, are used to bring back a set of rows to be used by the parent query. Depending on how the subquery is written, it can be executed once for the parent query or it can be executed once for each row returned by the parent query. If the subquery is executed for each row of the parent, this is called a correlated subquery.
A correlated subquery can be easily identified if it contains any references to the parent subquery columns in its WHERE clause. Columns from the subquery cannot be referenced anywhere else in the parent query. The following example demonstrates a non-correlated subquery.
E.g. Select * From CUST Where ’10/03/1990′ IN (Select ODATE From ORDER Where CUST.CNUM = ORDER.CNUM)

67. What are the primitive operations common to all record management systems?
Addition, deletion and modification.

68. Name the buffer in which all the commands that are typed in are stored
‘Edit’ Buffer

69. What are the unary operations in Relational Algebra?
PROJECTION and SELECTION.

70. Are the resulting relations of PRODUCT and JOIN operation the same?
No.
PRODUCT: Concatenation of every row in one relation with every row in another.
JOIN: Concatenation of rows from one relation and related rows from another.

71. What is RDBMS KERNEL?
Two important pieces of RDBMS architecture are the kernel, which is the software, and the data dictionary, which consists of the system-level data structures used by the kernel to manage the database
You might think of an RDBMS as an operating system (or set of subsystems), designed specifically for controlling data access; its primary functions are storing, retrieving, and securing data. An RDBMS maintains its own list of authorized users and their associated privileges; manages memory caches and paging; controls locking for concurrent resource usage; dispatches and schedules user requests; and manages space usage within its table-space structures
.
72. Name the sub-systems of a RDBMS
I/O, Security, Language Processing, Process Control, Storage Management, Logging and Recovery, Distribution Control, Transaction Control, Memory Management, Lock Management

73. Which part of the RDBMS takes care of the data dictionary? How
Data dictionary is a set of tables and database objects that is stored in a special area of the database and maintained exclusively by the kernel.

74. What is the job of the information stored in data-dictionary?
The information in the data dictionary validates the existence of the objects, provides access to them, and maps the actual physical storage location.

75. Not only RDBMS takes care of locating data it also
determines an optimal access path to store or retrieve the data

76. How do you communicate with an RDBMS?
You communicate with an RDBMS using Structured Query Language (SQL)

77. Define SQL and state the differences between SQL and other conventional programming Languages
SQL is a nonprocedural language that is designed specifically for data access operations on normalized relational database structures. The primary difference between SQL and other conventional programming languages is that SQL statements specify what data operations should be performed rather than how to perform them.

78. Name the three major set of files on disk that compose a database in Oracle
There are three major sets of files on disk that compose a database. All the files are binary. These are
Ø Database files
Ø Control files
Ø Redo logs
The most important of these are the database files where the actual data resides. The control files and the redo logs support the functioning of the architecture itself.
All three sets of files must be present, open, and available to Oracle for any data on the database to be useable. Without these files, you cannot access the database, and the database administrator might have to recover some or all of the database using a backup, if there is one.

79. What is an Oracle Instance?
The Oracle system processes, also known as Oracle background processes, provide functions for the user processes—functions that would otherwise be done by the user processes themselves
Oracle database-wide system memory is known as the SGA, the system global area or shared global area. The data and control structures in the SGA are shareable, and all the Oracle background processes and user processes can use them.
The combination of the SGA and the Oracle background processes is known as an Oracle instance

80. What are the four Oracle system processes that must always be up and running for the database to be useable
The four Oracle system processes that must always be up and running for the database to be useable include DBWR (Database Writer), LGWR (Log Writer), SMON (System Monitor), and PMON (Process Monitor).

81. What are database files, control files and log files. How many of these files should a database have at least? Why?
Database Files

The database files hold the actual data and are typically the largest in size. Depending on their sizes, the tables (and other objects) for all the user accounts can go in one database file—but that’s not an ideal situation because it does not make the database structure very flexible for controlling access to storage for different users, putting the database on different disk drives, or backing up and restoring just part of the database.
You must have at least one database file but usually, more than one files are used. In terms of accessing and using the data in the tables and other objects, the number (or location) of the files is immaterial.
The database files are fixed in size and never grow bigger than the size at which they were created
Control Files
The control files and redo logs support the rest of the architecture. Any database must have at least one control file, although you typically have more than one to guard against loss. The control file records the name of the database, the date and time it was created, the location of the database and redo logs, and the synchronization information to ensure that all three sets of files are always in step. Every time you add a new database or redo log file to the database, the information is recorded in the control files.
Redo Logs
Any database must have at least two redo logs. These are the journals for the database; the redo logs record all changes to the user objects or system objects. If any type of failure occurs, the changes recorded in the redo logs can be used to bring the database to a consistent state without losing any committed transactions. In the case of non-data loss failure, Oracle can apply the information in the redo logs automatically without intervention from the DBA.
The redo log files are fixed in size and never grow dynamically from the size at which they were created.

82. What is ROWID?
The ROWID is a unique database-wide physical address for every row on every table. Once assigned (when the row is first inserted into the database), it never changes until the row is deleted or the table is dropped.
The ROWID consists of the following three components, the combination of which uniquely identifies the physical storage location of the row.
Ø Oracle database file number, which contains the block with the rows
Ø Oracle block address, which contains the row
Ø The row within the block (because each block can hold many rows)
The ROWID is used internally in indexes as a quick means of retrieving rows with a particular key value. Application developers also use it in SQL statements as a quick way to access a row once they know the ROWID

83. What is Oracle Block? Can two Oracle Blocks have the same address?
Oracle “formats” the database files into a number of Oracle blocks when they are first created—making it easier for the RDBMS software to manage the files and easier to read data into the memory areas.
The block size should be a multiple of the operating system block size. Regardless of the block size, the entire block is not available for holding data; Oracle takes up some space to manage the contents of the block. This block header has a minimum size, but it can grow.
These Oracle blocks are the smallest unit of storage. Increasing the Oracle block size can improve performance, but it should be done only when the database is first created.
Each Oracle block is numbered sequentially for each database file starting at 1. Two blocks can have the same block address if they are in different database files.

84. What is database Trigger?
A database trigger is a PL/SQL block that can defined to automatically execute for insert, update, and delete statements against a table. The trigger can e defined to execute once for the entire statement or once for every row that is inserted, updated, or deleted. For any one table, there are twelve events for which you can define database triggers. A database trigger can call database procedures that are also written in PL/SQL.

85. Name two utilities that Oracle provides, which are use for backup and recovery.
Along with the RDBMS software, Oracle provides two utilities that you can use to back up and restore the database. These utilities are Export and Import.
The Export utility dumps the definitions and data for the specified part of the database to an operating system binary file. The Import utility reads the file produced by an export, recreates the definitions of objects, and inserts the data
If Export and Import are used as a means of backing up and recovering the database, all the changes made to the database cannot be recovered since the export was performed. The best you can do is recover the database to the time when the export was last performed.

86. What are stored-procedures? And what are the advantages of using them.
Stored procedures are database objects that perform a user defined operation. A stored procedure can have a set of compound SQL statements. A stored procedure executes the SQL commands and returns the result to the client. Stored procedures are used to reduce network traffic.

87. How are exceptions handled in PL/SQL? Give some of the internal exceptions’ name
PL/SQL exception handling is a mechanism for dealing with run-time errors encountered during procedure execution. Use of this mechanism enables execution to continue if the error is not severe enough to cause procedure termination.
The exception handler must be defined within a subprogram specification. Errors cause the program to raise an exception with a transfer of control to the exception-handler block. After the exception handler executes, control returns to the block in which the handler was defined. If there are no more executable statements in the block, control returns to the caller.
User-Defined Exceptions
PL/SQL enables the user to define exception handlers in the declarations area of subprogram specifications. User accomplishes this by naming an exception as in the following example:
ot_failure EXCEPTION;
In this case, the exception name is ot_failure. Code associated with this handler is written in the EXCEPTION specification area as follows:
EXCEPTION
when OT_FAILURE then
out_status_code := g_out_status_code;
out_msg := g_out_msg;
The following is an example of a subprogram exception:
EXCEPTION
when NO_DATA_FOUND then
g_out_status_code := ‘FAIL’;
RAISE ot_failure;
Within this exception is the RAISE statement that transfers control back to the ot_failure exception handler. This technique of raising the exception is used to invoke all user-defined exceptions.
System-Defined Exceptions
Exceptions internal to PL/SQL are raised automatically upon error. NO_DATA_FOUND is a system-defined exception. Table below gives a complete list of internal exceptions.

PL/SQL internal exceptions.
PL/SQL internal exceptions.

Exception Name Oracle Error
CURSOR_ALREADY_OPEN ORA-06511
DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX ORA-00001
INVALID_CURSOR ORA-01001
INVALID_NUMBER ORA-01722
LOGIN_DENIED ORA-01017
NO_DATA_FOUND ORA-01403
NOT_LOGGED_ON ORA-01012
PROGRAM_ERROR ORA-06501
STORAGE_ERROR ORA-06500
TIMEOUT_ON_RESOURCE ORA-00051
TOO_MANY_ROWS ORA-01422
TRANSACTION_BACKED_OUT ORA-00061
VALUE_ERROR ORA-06502
ZERO_DIVIDE ORA-01476

In addition to this list of exceptions, there is a catch-all exception named OTHERS that traps all errors for which specific error handling has not been established.

88. Does PL/SQL support “overloading”? Explain
The concept of overloading in PL/SQL relates to the idea that you can define procedures and functions with the same name. PL/SQL does not look only at the referenced name, however, to resolve a procedure or function call. The count and data types of formal parameters are also considered.
PL/SQL also attempts to resolve any procedure or function calls in locally defined packages before looking at globally defined packages or internal functions. To further ensure calling the proper procedure, you can use the dot notation. Prefacing a procedure or function name with the package name fully qualifies any procedure or function reference.

89. Tables derived from the ERD
a) Are totally unnormalised
b) Are always in 1NF
c) Can be further denormalised
d) May have multi-valued attributes

(b) Are always in 1NF

90. Spurious tuples may occur due to
i. Bad normalization
ii. Theta joins
iii. Updating tables from join
a) i & ii b) ii & iii
c) i & iii d) ii & iii

(a) i & iii because theta joins are joins made on keys that are not primary keys.

91. A B C is a set of attributes. The functional dependency is as follows
AB -> B
AC -> C
C -> B
a) is in 1NF
b) is in 2NF
c) is in 3NF
d) is in BCNF

(a) is in 1NF since (AC)+ = { A, B, C} hence AC is the primary key. Since C B is a FD given, where neither C is a Key nor B is a prime attribute, this it is not in 3NF. Further B is not functionally dependent on key AC thus it is not in 2NF. Thus the given FDs is in 1NF.

92. In mapping of ERD to DFD
a) entities in ERD should correspond to an existing entity/store in DFD
b) entity in DFD is converted to attributes of an entity in ERD
c) relations in ERD has 1 to 1 correspondence to processes in DFD
d) relationships in ERD has 1 to 1 correspondence to flows in DFD

(a) entities in ERD should correspond to an existing entity/store in DFD

93. A dominant entity is the entity
a) on the N side in a 1 : N relationship
b) on the 1 side in a 1 : N relationship
c) on either side in a 1 : 1 relationship
d) nothing to do with 1 : 1 or 1 : N relationship

(b) on the 1 side in a 1 : N relationship

94. Select ‘NORTH’, CUSTOMER From CUST_DTLS Where REGION = ‘N’ Order By
CUSTOMER Union Select ‘EAST’, CUSTOMER From CUST_DTLS Where REGION = ‘E’ Order By CUSTOMER

The above is
a) Not an error
b) Error – the string in single quotes ‘NORTH’ and ‘SOUTH’
c) Error – the string should be in double quotes
d) Error – ORDER BY clause
(d) Error – the ORDER BY clause. Since ORDER BY clause cannot be used in UNIONS

95. What is Storage Manager?
It is a program module that provides the interface between the low-level data stored in database, application programs and queries submitted to the system.

96. What is Buffer Manager?
It is a program module, which is responsible for fetching data from disk storage into main memory and deciding what data to be cache in memory.

97. What is Transaction Manager?
It is a program module, which ensures that database, remains in a consistent state despite system failures and concurrent transaction execution proceeds without conflicting.

98. What is File Manager?
It is a program module, which manages the allocation of space on disk storage and data structure used to represent information stored on a disk.

99. What is Authorization and Integrity manager?
It is the program module, which tests for the satisfaction of integrity constraint and checks the authority of user to access data.

100. What are stand-alone procedures?
Procedures that are not part of a package are known as stand-alone because they independently defined. A good example of a stand-alone procedure is one written in a SQL*Forms application. These types of procedures are not available for reference from other Oracle tools. Another limitation of stand-alone procedures is that they are compiled at run time, which slows execution.

 

101. What are cursors give different types of cursors.
PL/SQL uses cursors for all database information accesses statements. The language supports the use two types of cursors
Ø Implicit
Ø Explicit

102. What is cold backup and hot backup (in case of Oracle)?
Ø Cold Backup:
It is copying the three sets of files (database files, redo logs, and control file) when the instance is shut down. This is a straight file copy, usually from the disk directly to tape. You must shut down the instance to guarantee a consistent copy.
If a cold backup is performed, the only option available in the event of data file loss is restoring all the files from the latest backup. All work performed on the database since the last backup is lost.
Ø Hot Backup:
Some sites (such as worldwide airline reservations systems) cannot shut down the database while making a backup copy of the files. The cold backup is not an available option.
So different means of backing up database must be used — the hot backup. Issue a SQL command to indicate to Oracle, on a tablespace-by-tablespace basis, that the files of the tablespace are to backed up. The users can continue to make full use of the files, including making changes to the data. Once the user has indicated that he/she wants to back up the tablespace files, he/she can use the operating system to copy those files to the desired backup destination.
The database must be running in ARCHIVELOG mode for the hot backup option.
If a data loss failure does occur, the lost database files can be restored using the hot backup and the online and offline redo logs created since the backup was done. The database is restored to the most consistent state without any loss of committed transactions.

103. What are Armstrong rules? How do we say that they are complete and/or sound
The well-known inference rules for FDs
Ø Reflexive rule :
If Y is subset or equal to X then X Y.
Ø Augmentation rule:
If X Y then XZ YZ.
Ø Transitive rule:
If {X Y, Y Z} then X Z.
Ø Decomposition rule :

If X YZ then X Y.
Ø Union or Additive rule:
If {X Y, X Z} then X YZ.
Ø Pseudo Transitive rule :
If {X Y, WY Z} then WX Z.
Of these the first three are known as Amstrong Rules. They are sound because it is enough if a set of FDs satisfy these three. They are called complete because using these three rules we can generate the rest all inference rules.

104. How can you find the minimal key of relational schema?
Minimal key is one which can identify each tuple of the given relation schema uniquely. For finding the minimal key it is required to find the closure that is the set of all attributes that are dependent on any given set of attributes under the given set of functional dependency.
Algo. I Determining X+, closure for X, given set of FDs F
1. Set X+ = X
2. Set Old X+ = X+
3. For each FD Y Z in F and if Y belongs to X+ then add Z to X+
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until Old X+ = X+

Algo.II Determining minimal K for relation schema R, given set of FDs F
1. Set K to R that is make K a set of all attributes in R
2. For each attribute A in K
a. Compute (K – A)+ with respect to F
b. If (K – A)+ = R then set K = (K – A)+

105. What do you understand by dependency preservation?
Given a relation R and a set of FDs F, dependency preservation states that the closure of the union of the projection of F on each decomposed relation Ri is equal to the closure of F. i.e.,
((PR1(F)) U … U (PRn(F)))+ = F+
if decomposition is not dependency preserving, then some dependency is lost in the decomposition

106. What is meant by Proactive, Retroactive and Simultaneous Update.
Proactive Update:
The updates that are applied to database before it becomes effective in real world .
Retroactive Update:
The updates that are applied to database after it becomes effective in real world .
Simulatneous Update:
The updates that are applied to database at the same time when it becomes effective in real world .

107. What are the different types of JOIN operations?
Equi Join: This is the most common type of join which involves only equality comparisions. The disadvantage in this type of join is that there