DBMS - Interview Questions and Answers


  1. Describe concurrency control.
    Concurrency control is the process managing simultaneous operations against a database so that database integrity is not compromised. There are two approaches to concurrency control. The pessimistic approach involves locking and the optimistic approach involves versioning.
  2. Explain locking.
    Locking is denying others the ability to update a record until someone completes the update or releases the record. Locking can occur on many different levels in a database. It can occur at the database, table, record, or field level. A lock can be shared (another can read the record while an update is in progress) or exclusive (no one can read the record while an update is in progress).
  3. Explain issues for database performance.
    The installation of the database is an important issue since the better the installation, the better the performance could be. Memory usage is learning how the DBMS uses main memory and then using that knowledge to enable better performance. I/O is usually very intense in a DB, so understanding how users will use the data will help to prepare the database better. CPU usage and application tuning are also important considerations.
  4. Describe the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous distributed database.
    A homogenous database is one that uses the same DBMS at each node. Either each node can work independently or a central DBMS may coordinate database activities. A heterogeneous database is one that may have a different DBMS at each node. It may support some or all of the functionality of one logical database. It may support full Distributed DBMS functionality or partial Distributed DBMS functionality.
  5. What is a distributed database?
    A distributed database is a single logical database that is spread across more than one node or locations that are all connected via some communication link. It requires multiple DBMSs, running at each remote site. A distributed database can be either homogenous (same DBMS at each node) or heterogeneous (different DBMS at some nodes).
  6. What is the difference between horizontal and vertical partitioning?
    Horizontal partitioning is where some rows of a table are placed into the base relations at one site and other rows are placed at another site. Vertical partitioning is where some columns of a table are placed into the base relations at one site and other columns are placed at another site but each all of these relations must share a common domain.

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