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Sql Server interview questions and answers

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What is denormalization?

Denormalization is the process of putting one fact in numerous places (its vice –versa of normalization). Only one valid reason exists for denormalizing a relational design –to enhance performance or if we are doing data warehousing and data mining. The sacrifice to performance is that you increase redundancy in database.

What is a candidate key ?

A table may have more than one combination of columns that could uniquely identify the rows in a table : each combination is a candidate key. During database design you can pick up one of the candidate keys to be the primary key . For example, in the supplier table supplieried and suppliername can be candidate key but you will only pick up supplierid as the primary key.

What are indexes and what is the difference between clustered and nonclustered ?

Indexes in SQL Server are similar to the indexes in books . They help SQL Server retrieve the data quickly there are clustered and nonclustered indexes. A clustered index is a special type of index that reorders the way in which records in the table are physically stored. Therefore, table can have only one clustered index. The leaf nodes of a clustered index contain the data pages.

A nonclustered index is a special type of index in which the logical order of the index does not match the physical stored order of the rows on disk. The leaf node of a nonclustered index does not consist of the data pages. Instead, the leaf nodes contain index rows.

What is DTS ?

DTS is used to import data and while importing it helps us to transform and modify data. The name itself is self explanatory DTS (Data transformation Services).

What is fill factor ?

The ‘fill factor’ option specifies how full SQL Server will make each index page. When there is no free space to insert new row on the index page, SQL Server will create new index page and transfer some rows from the previous page to the new one This operation is called page splits. You can reduce the number of page splits by setting the appropriate fill factor option to reserve free space on each index page. the fill factor is a value from 1 through 100 that specifies the percentage of the index page to be left empty. The default value for fill factor is 0. It is treated similarly to a fill factor value of 100, the difference in that SQL Server leaves some space within the upper level of the index tree for FILLFACTOR = 0. The fill factor percentage is used only at the time when the index is created . If the table contains read only data (or data that very rarely changed) , you can set the ‘fill factor’ option to 100. When the table’s data is modified very often , you can decrease the fill factor to 70% or whatever you think is best.