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MS SQL Server Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode

MS SQL Server Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode

SQL Server is Microsoft's relational database management system (RDBMS). It is a full-featured databse primarily designed to compete against competitors Oracle Database (DB) and MySQL. Like all major RBDMS, SQL Server supports ANSI SQL, the standard SQL language. SQL Server offers the right editions to meet your needs, including Enterprise, Business Intelligence, Standard, Express, and Developer. SQL Server is a Microsoft product used to manage and store information. Technically, SQL Server is a ?relational database management system? (RDMS). Broken apart, this term means two things. First, that data stored inside SQL Server will be housed in a ?relational database?, and second, that SQL Server is an entire ?management system?, not just a database. SQL itself stands for Structured Query Language. This is the language used to manage and administer the database server.

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MS SQL Server Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode
Try MS SQL Server Interview Questions & Answers - Exam Mode
Question: How to set the current database in MS SQL Server?

Answer: Once you are connected to the SQL Server, you should select a database to work with and set it as the current database using the "USE" statement with this syntax:

USE database_name

The following tutorial example shows you how to set "YourDataBaseName" as the current database, and create a table in "YourDataBaseName":

USE YourDataBaseName
Changed database context to 'YourDataBaseName'.


SELECT name, ty Source:
Question: What is a database table?

Answer: A table in database is a data object used to store data. Tables have the following features:

* Data is stored in a table with a structure of rows and columns.
* Columns must be pre-defined with names, types and constrains.
* A table object may have other associated data objects like, constrains, triggers, indexes, and statistics.

For example, a table called Address may have columns defined to store different elements of an address like, street number, city, country, postal co Source:
Question: What Are Commonly Used ODBC Functions in PHP?

Answer: If you look at the PHP 5 manual, you will see a group of functions listed under the ODBC Functions (Unified) setion. The commonly used ODBC functions are:
* odbc_connect ? Establish an OBDC connection.
* odbc_data_source ? Returns information about a current connection.
* odbc_close ? Close an ODBC connection.
* odbc_exec ? Prepare and execute a SQL statement.
* odbc_fetch_row ? Fetch a row - moving the pointer to the a new row in a result object.
* odbc_result ? Get the value Source:
Question: How To List All Tables in the Database using odbc_tables()?

Answer: If you want to get a list of all tables in the database, you can use the odbc_tables() function, which can actually be used to list all tables and views in the database. The syntax of odbc_tables() is:

$result_set = odbc_tables($connection_object,
$qualifier, # database name for SQL Server
$owner, # schema name for SQL Server
$name, # table or view name for SQL Server
$type # valid type names are TABLE and VIEW
#- The returning result set contains 5 fields:
#- TABLE Source:
Question: How can SQL Server Agent Mail send messages in SQL Server 2005?

Answer: SQL Mail through Extended MAPI or Database mail.
SQL Server Agent Mail can be configured to use Database Mail or Extended MAPI. Source:
Question: How To Change a Login Name in MS SQL Server?

Answer: If you want to change a login name, you can use the "ALTER LOGIN" statement as shown in this tutorial example:

-- Login with "sa"

-- Change login name
ALTER LOGIN ggl_Login WITH NAME = Dba_Login;

-- View login names
SELECT name, sid, type, type_desc FROM sys.server_principals
WHERE type = 'S';

name sid type type_desc

-------- ----------------------------------- ---- ---------

sa 0x Source:
Question: What Are the Requirements on SQL Server Network Connections?

Answer: By default, SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is installed only one connection protocol enabled:

* Shared Memory - SQL Server connection protocol for applications that are running on the same machine where the SQL Server is running. For example, if you are running SQLCMD tool on the SQL Server machine, it will use the "Shared Memory" protocol.

If you want application that are running remotely to connect and access the SQL Server you need enable the "TCP/IP" protocol.

For appli Source:
Question: How To Declare and Use Cursor Variables?

Answer: There are two ways to representing a cursor:

1. A cursor name - A static name representing a cursor object. A cursor name should be linked to a cursor object in the DECLARE statement.

2. A cursor variable name - A variable name pointing to a cursor object. A cursor variable name should be declared with the CURSOR data type. It should be then assigned with a cursor object using the SET statement.

The tutorial exercise below shows you how to declare a cursor variable and assig Source:
Question: How To List All Stored Procedures in the Current Database using MS SQL Server?

Answer: If you want to see a list of stored procedures in your current database, you can use the system view, sys.procedures as shown in this tutorial exercise:

USE GlobalGuideLineDatabase;

SELECT * FROM sys.procedures;

Name object_id schema_id type type_desc

---------- ----------- ----------- ---- --------------------

Hello 1621580815 1 P SQL_STORED_PROCEDURE

date 1653580929 1 P SQL_STORED_ Source:
Question: How To Replace Given Values with NULL using NULLIF()?

Answer: Sometime you want to hide certain values by replacing them with NULL values. SQL Server offers you a nice function called NULLIF() to do this:

NULLIF(expression, value)
-- Returns NULL if "expression" equals to value"
-- Returns "expression", otherwise

NULLIF() can be viewed as the reverse function of ISNULL(). The tutorial script below shows you a good example of using NULLIF():

USE GlobalGuideLineDatabase;

SELECT id, counts FROM ggl_links;

i Source:
Question: How To Execute the Cursor Queries with "OPEN" Statements?

Answer: Once a cursor is declared, you need to execute the query attached to the cursor so that the result set returned from the query can be accessed through the cursor. To execute the cursor query, you should use the OPEN statement as in this format:

OPEN cursor_name;

When you are done with using the result set attached to a cursor, you should close the result set to free up server resources.

The tutorial example below shows you how to open and close a cursor:

USE GlobalGui Source:
Question: How To How To Convert Numeric Expression Data Types using the CONVERT() Function??

Answer: If you want to convert the data type of a numeric expression to a new data type, you can use the CONVERT(data_type, expression) function. The tutorial exercise below shows you how to use the CONVERT() function:

-- FLOAT converted to NUMERIC by CONVERT()
SET @pi = 3.141592E+00;

-- FLOAT converted to NUMERIC by CONVERT()
SET @x = 12345.12E+00;
Question: How to provide column names in INSERT Statements in MS SQL Server?

Answer: If you don't want to specify values for columns that have default values, or you want to specify values to columns in an order different than how they are defined, you can provide a column list in the INSERT statement. If a column is omitted in the column, SQL Server applies 3 rules:

* If default value is defined for the column, that default value will be used.
* If no default value is defined for the column and NULL is allowed, NULL will be used.
* If no default value is define Source:
Question: What does the CEILING() function do?

Answer: Returns the smallest integer greater than or equal to the value passed in.
CEILING() returns the smallest integer that is great than or equal to the value passed in. Source:
Question: How To Delete All Rows with TRUNCATE TABLE Statement in MS SQL Server?

Answer: If you want to delete all rows from a table, you have two options:

* Use the DELETE statement with no WHERE clause.
* Use the TRUNCATE TABLE statement.

The TRUNCATE statement is more efficient the DELETE statement. The tutorial exercise shows you a good example of TRUNCATE statement:

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM ggl_rates


SELECT COUNT(*) FROM ggl_rates
0 Source:
Question: What is the cost threshhold for parallelism in SQL Server 2005?

Answer: This is the number of seconds that a serialplan cannot exceed if it is to be used. A parallel plan is used if the estimate exceeds this value.
This is the threshold at which SQL Server determines whether a serial or parallel plan is to be used. When SQL Server calculates that a serial plan exceeds the threshold, it will elect to use a parallel plan instead. Source:
Question: How To Enter Unicode Character String Literals in MS SQL Server?

Answer: Unicode characters are multi-byte characters. They are very hard to be entered as string literals, because it requires:

* The SQL client tool to support Unicode characters. The command line tool 'sqlcmd' does not support Unicode. But SQL Server Management Studio does support Unicode.
* A special Unicode character input tool to allow you to enter multi-byte Unicode characters.

But if you know the code value of a Unicode character, you can enter it with the help of the NCH Source:
Question: How To View Existing Indexes on an Given Table using sys.indexes?

Answer: Another way to view existing indexes defined for a given table is to use the system view called "sys.indexes". The tutorial exercise shows you how many indexes were defined from the previous tutorial on table "ggl_links":

USE GlobalGuideLineDatabase;

SELECT * FROM sys.indexes WHERE object_id = (
SELECT object_id FROM sys.tables WHERE name = 'ggl_links'

object_id name index_id type_desc is_unique

--------- ------------- -- Source:
Question: What Happens When Converting Big Values to Integers?

Answer: If you are converting a numeric expression to an integer data type and the value is too big for integer storage size, you will get an arithmetic overflow error as shown in the following examples:

-- Overflow error on implicit conversion
SET @x = 12345.12E+00;
SET @y = @x;
Msg 232, Level 16, State 1, Line 4
Arithmetic overflow error for type tinyint,
value = 12345.120117.

-- Overflow error on explicit
Question: How To Divide Query Output into Multiple Groups with the GROUP BY Clause in MS SQL Server?

Answer: Sometimes, you want to divide the query output into multiple groups, and apply group functions on each individual groups. Dividing query output into multiple groups can be done with the GROUP BY clause. Here is the syntax of a SELECT statement with a GROUP BY clause.

SELECT group_level_fields FROM source_tables
WHERE search_condition
GROUP BY group_by_expression

* group_by_express - An list of columns to be used as the group criteria - Rows that have the same combination of v Source:

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