Saturday, March 29, 2008

FAQ - Database Testing ( 81 to 90 )

81. What are the different index configurations a table can have?

A table can have one of the following index configurations:
No indexes
A clustered index
A clustered index and many non-clustered indexes
A non-clustered index
Many non-clustered indexes

82. 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:

Declare cursor
Open cursor
Fetch row from the cursor
Process fetched row
Close cursor
Deallocate cursor

83. What is the use of DBCC commands?

DBCC stands for database consistency checker. We use these commands to check the consistency of the databases, i.e., maintenance, validation task and status checks.
E.g. DBCC CHECKDB - Ensures that tables in the db and the indexes are correctly linked.
DBCC CHECKALLOC - To check that all pages in a db are correctly allocated.
DBCC CHECKFILEGROUP - Checks all tables file group for any damage.

84. 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 dbs 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. Storped Procedure sp_addlinkedserver, sp_addlinkedsrvlogin will be used add new Linked Server.

85. What is Collation?

Collation refers to a set of rules that determine how data is sorted and compared. Character data is sorted using rules that define the correct character sequence, with options for specifying case sensitivity, accent marks, kana character types and character width.

86. What are different types of Collation Sensitivity?

Case sensitivity
A and a, B and b, etc.
Accent sensitivity
a and á, o and ó, etc.
Kana Sensitivity
When Japanese kana characters Hiragana and Katakana are treated differently, it is called Kana
sensitive.
Width sensitivity
When a single-byte character (half-width) and the same character when represented as a double-byte
character (full-width) are treated differently then it is width sensitive.

87. What's the difference between a primary key and a unique key?

Both primary key and unique enforce uniqueness of the column on which they are defined. But by default primary key creates a clustered index on the column, where are unique creates a non-clustered index by default. Another major difference is that, primary key doesn't allow NULLs, but unique key allows one NULL only.

88. 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.

89. What is a NOLOCK?

Using the NOLOCK query optimizer hint is generally considered good practice in order to improve concurrency on a busy system. When the NOLOCK hint is included in a SELECT statement, no locks are taken when data is read. The result is a Dirty Read, which means that another process could be updating the data at the exact time you are reading it. There are no guarantees that your query will retrieve the most recent data. The advantage to performance is that your reading of data will not block updates from taking place, and updates will not block your reading of data. SELECT statements take Shared (Read) locks. This means that multiple SELECT statements are allowed simultaneous access, but
other processes are blocked from modifying the data. The updates will queue until all the reads have completed, and reads requested after the update will wait for the updates to complete. The result to your system is delay(blocking).

90. What is difference between DELETE & TRUNCATE commands?

Delete command removes the rows from a table based on the condition that we provide with a WHERE clause. Truncate will actually remove all the rows from a table and there will be no data in the table after we run the truncate command.

TRUNCATE

TRUNCATE is faster and uses fewer system and transaction log resources than DELETE.
TRUNCATE removes the data by deallocating the data pages used to store the table’s data, and only the page deallocations are recorded in the transaction log.
TRUNCATE removes all rows from a table, but the table structure and its columns, constraints, indexes and so on remain. The counter used by an identity for new rows is reset to the seed for the column.
You cannot use TRUNCATE TABLE on a table referenced by a FOREIGN KEY constraint.
Because TRUNCATE TABLE is not logged, it cannot activate a trigger.
TRUNCATE can not be Rolled back.
TRUNCATE is DDL Command.
TRUNCATE Resets identity of the table.

DELETE

DELETE removes rows one at a time and records an entry in the transaction log for each deleted row.
If you want to retain the identity counter, use DELETE instead. If you want to remove table definition and its data, use the DROP TABLE statement.
DELETE Can be used with or without a WHERE clause
DELETE Activates Triggers.
DELETE Can be Rolled back.
DELETE is DML Command.
DELETE does not reset identity of the table.

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