SQL Server 2008 - Interview Questions and Answers

  1. What is RAISEERROR?
    RaiseError generates an error message and initiates error processing for the session. RAISERROR can either reference a user-defined message stored in the sys.messages catalog view or build a message dynamically. The message is returned as a server error message to the calling application or to an associated CATCH block of a TRY | CATCH construct.
  2. How to rebuild Master Database?

    Master database is system database and it contains information about running server's configuration. When SQL Server 2005 is installed it usually creates master, model, msdb, tempdb resource and distribution system database by default. Only Master database is th one which is absolutely must have database. Without Master database SQL Server cannot be started. This is the reason it is extremely important to backup Master database.

    To rebuild the Master database, Run Setup.exe, verify, and repair a SQL Server instance, and rebuild the system databases. This procedure is most often used to rebuild the master database for a corrupted installation of SQL Server.

  3. What is XML Datatype?
    The xml data type lets you store XML documents and fragments in a SQL Server database. An XML fragment is an XML instance that is missing a single top-level element. You can create columns and variables of the xml type and store XML instances in them. The xml data type and associated methods help integrate XML into the relational framework of S Server.
  4. What is Data Compression?
    In SQL SERVE 2008 Data Compression comes in two flavors:
    1. Row Compression: Row compression changes the format of physical storage of data. It minimize the metadata (column information, length, offsets etc) associated with each record. Numeric data types and fixed length strings are stored in variable-length storage format, just like Varchar.
    2. Page Compression: Page compression allows common data to be shared between rows for a given page. Its uses the following techniques to compress data:
      1. Row compression.
      2. Prefix Compression. For every column in a page duplicate prefixes are identified. These prefixes are saved in compression information headers (CI) which resides after page header. A reference number is assigned to these prefixes and that reference number is replaced where ever those prefixes are being used.
    3. Dictionary Compression: Dictionary compression searches for duplicate values throughout the page and stores them in CI. The main difference between prefix and dictionary compression is that prefix is only restricted to one column while dictionary is applicable to the complete page.
  5. What is Catalog Views?
    Catalog views return information that is used by the SQL Server Database Engine. Catalog Views are the most general interface to the catalog metadata and provide the most efficient way to obtain, transform, and present customized forms of this information. All user- available catalog metadata is exposed through catalog views.
  6. What is PIVOT and UNPIVOT?

    A Pivot Table can automatically sort, count, and total the data stored in one table or spreadsheet and create a second table displaying the summarized data. The PIVOT operator turns the values of a specified column into column names, effectively rotating a table.

    UNPIVOT table is reverse of PIVOT Table.