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1. 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.

2. How would you handle error in SQL SERVER 2008?

SQL Server now supports the use of TRY...CATCH con
handling. TRY...CATCH lets us build error handling at the level we need, in the way w
to, by setting a region where if any error occurs, it will break out of the region and head to 
an error handler. 

The basic structure is as follows:

BEGIN TRY 

stmts.. 

END TRY

BEGIN CATCH

stmts..

END CATCH

3. What are Sparse Columns?

A sparse column is another tool used to reduce the amount of physical storage used in a 
database. They are the ordinary columns that have an optimized storage for null values. 
Sparse columns reduce the space requirements for null values at the cost of more overhead 
to retrieve nonnull values.

4. What are synonyms?

Synonyms give you the ability to provide alternate names for database objects. You can 
alias object names; for example, using the Employee table as Emp. You can also shorten 
names. This is especially useful when dealing with three and four part names; for example, 
shortening server.database.owner.object to object.

5. What are the Advantages of using CTE?

• Using CTE improves the readability and makes maintenance of complex queries easy. 
• The query can be divided into separate, simple, logical building blocks which can be then used to build more complex CTEs until final result set is generated. 
• CTE can be defined in functions, stored procedures, triggers or even views. 
• After a CTE is defined, it can be used as a Table or a View and can SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE or DELETE Data.

6. What are the basic functions for master, msdb, model, tempdb and resource databases?

• The master database holds information for all databases located on the SQL Server instance and is theglue that holds the engine together. Because SQL Server cannot start without a 
functioning masterdatabase, you must administer this database with care.
• The msdb database stores information regarding database backups, SQL Agent information, 
DTS packages, SQL Server jobs, and some replication information such as for log shipping.
• The tempdb holds temporary objects such as global and local temporary tables and stored procedures.
• The model is essentially a template database used in the creation of any new user database created in the instance.
• The resoure Database is a read-only database that contains all the system objects that are 
included with SQL Server. SQL Server system objects, such as sys.objects, are physically 
persisted in the Resource database, but they logically appear in the sys schema of every 
database. The Resource database does not contain user data or user metadata.

7. What do you mean by Table Sample?

TABLESAMPLE allows you to extract a sampling of rows from a table in the FROM clause. The rows retrieved are random and they are not in any order. This sampling can be based
on a percentage of number of rows. You can use TABLESAMPLE when only a sampling of rows is necessary for the application instead of a full result set.

8. What does TOP Operator Do?

The TOP operator is used to specify the number of rows to be returned by a query. The TOP 
operator has new addition in SQL SERVER 2008 that it accepts variables as well as literal 
values and can be used with INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETES statements.

9. What is Aggregate Functions?

Aggregate functions perform a calculation on a set of values and return a single value. Aggregate functions ignore NULL values except COUNT function. HAVING clause is used, 
along with GROUP BY, for filtering query using aggregate values.

Following functions are aggregate functions. 

AVG, MIN CHECKSUM_AGG, SUM, COUNT, STDEV, COUNT_BIG, STDEVP, GROUPING, VAR, MAX. VARP

10. What is B-Tree?

The database server uses a B-tree structure to organize index information. B-Tree generally has following types of index pages or nodes:

• root node: A root node contains node pointers to branch nodes which can be only one.
• branch node: A branch node contains pointers to leaf nodes or other branch nodes which can be two or more.
• leaf nodes: A leaf node contains index items and orizantal pointers to other leaf nodes which can be many.

11. 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.

12. What is CLR?

In SQL Server 2008, SQL Server objects such as user-defined functions can be created using 
such CLR languages. This CLR language support extends not only to user-defined functions, 
but also to stored procedures and triggers. You can develop such CLR add-ons to SQL Server 
using Visual Studio 2008.

13. What is CTE?

CTE is an abbreviation Common Table Expression. A Common Table Expression (CTE) is an 
expression that can be thought of as a temporary result set which is defined within the 
execution of a single SQL statement. A CTE is similar to a derived table in that it is not stored 
as an object and lasts only for the duration of the query.

14. What is Data Compression?

In SQL SERVE 2008 Data Compression comes in two flavors: 

• 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.
• Page Compression: Page compression allows common data to be shared between rows for a given page. Its uses the following techniques to compress data:
    
    • Row compression.
    • 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.
    

• 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.

15. What is Dirty Read ?

A dirty read occurs when two operations say, read and write occurs together giving the incorrect or unedited data. Suppose, A has changed a row, but has not committed the 
changes. B reads the uncommitted data but his view of the data may be wrong so that is Dirty Read.

16. What is Filtered Index?

Filtered Index is used to index a portion of rows in a table that means it applies filter on 
INDEX which improves query performance, reduce index maintenance costs, and reduce 
index storage costs compared with full-table indexes. When we see an Index created with 
some where clause then that is actually a FILTERED INDEX.

17. What is Isolation Levels?

Transactions specify an isolation level that defines the degree to which one transaction 
must be isolated from resource or data modifications made by other transactions. Isolation 
levels are described in terms of which concurrency side-effects, such as dirty reads or 
phantom reads, are allowed.

Transaction isolation levels control:

• Whether locks are taken when data is read, and what type of locks are requested. 
• How long the read locks are held.
• Whether a read operation referencing rows modified by another transaction:
    
    • Blocks until the exclusive lock on the row is freed.
    • Retrieves the committed version of the row that existed at the time the statement or transaction started.
    • Reads the uncommitted data modification.
    

18. What is LINQ?

Language Integrated Query (LINQ) adds the ability to query objects using .NET languages. 
The LINQ to SQL object/relational mapping (O/RM) framework provides the following basic 
features:

• Tools to create classes (usually called entities) mapped to database tables
• Compatibility with LINQ's standard query operations 
• The DataContext class, with features such as entity record monitoring, automatic SQL statement generation, record concurrency detection, and much more

19. What is MERGE Statement?

MERGE is a new feature that provides an efficient way to perform multiple DML operations. 
In previous versions of SQL Server, we had to write separate statements to INSERT, UPDATE, 
or DELETE data based on certain conditions, but now, using MERGE statement we can 
include the logic of such data modifications in one statement that even checks when the 
data is matched then just update it and when unmatched then insert it. One of the most 
important advantages of MERGE statement is all the data is read and processed only once.

20. 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.

21. What is Policy Management?

Policy Management in SQL SERVER 2008 allows you to define and enforce policies for 
configuring and managing SQL Server across the enterprise. Policy-Based Management is 
configured in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Navigate to the Object Explorer and 
expand the Management node and the Policy Management node; you will see the Policies, 
Conditions, and Facets nodes.

22. 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.

23. What is Replication and Database Mirroring?

Database mirroring can be used with replication to provide availability for the publication 
database. Database mirroring involves two copies of a single database that typically reside 
on different computers. At any given time, only one copy of the database is currently 
available to clients which are known as the principal database. Updates made by clients to 
the principal database are applied on the other copy of the database, known as the mirror 
database. Mirroring involves applying the transaction log from every insertion, update, or 
deletion made on the principal database onto the mirror database.

24. What is Service Broker?

Service Broker is a message-queuing technology in SQL Server that allows developers to 
integrate SQL Server fully into distributed applications. Service Broker is feature which 
provides facility to SQL Server to send an asynchronous, transactional message. it allows a 
database to send a message to another database without waiting for the response, so the 
application will continue to function if the remote database is temporarily unavailable.

25. What is the difference between UNION and UNION ALL?

UNION The UNION command is used to select related information from two tables, much like the JOIN command. However, when using the UNION command all selected columns need to be of the same data type. With UNION, only distinct values are selected.
• UNION ALL The UNION ALL command is equal to the UNION command, except that UNION ALL selects all values.

The difference between Union and Union all is that Union all will not eliminate duplicate rows, instead it just pulls all rows from all tables fitting your query specifics and combines them into a table.

26. What is use of EXCEPT Clause?

EXCEPT clause is similar to MINUS operation in Oracle. The EXCEPT query and MINUS query returns all rows in the first query that are not returned in the second query. Each SQL statement within the EXCEPT query and MINUS query must have the same number of fields in the result sets with similar data types.

27. 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.

28. Where SQL server user names and passwords are stored in SQL server?

They get stored in System Catalog Views sys.server_principals and sys.sql_logins.

29. Which are new data types introduced in SQL SERVER 2008?

The GEOMETRY Type: The GEOMETRY data type is a system .NET common language runtime (CLR) data type in SQL Server. This type represents data in a two-dimensional Euclidean coordinate system.
• The GEOGRAPHY Type: The GEOGRAPHY datatype’s functions are the same as with GEOMETRY. The difference between the two is that when you specify GEOGRAPHY, you are usually specifying points in terms of latitude and longitude. 
• New Date and Time Datatypes: SQL Server 2008 introduces four new datatypes related to date and time: DATE, TIME, DATETIMEOFFSET, and DATETIME2.
    
    • DATE: The new DATE type just stores the date itself. It is based on the Gregorian calendar and handles years from 1 to 9999. 
    • TIME: The new TIME (n) type stores time with a range of 00:00:00.0000000 through 
    23:59:59.9999999. The precision is allowed with this type. TIME supports seconds 
    down to 100 nanoseconds. The n in TIME (n) defines this level of fractional second 
    precision, from 0 to 7 digits of precision. 
    • The DATETIMEOFFSET Type: DATETIMEOFFSET (n) is the time-zone-aware version of 
    a datetime datatype. The name will appear less odd when you consider what it really 
    is: a date + a time + a time-zone offset. The offset is based on how far behind or 
    ahead you are from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) time.
    • The DATETIME2 Type: It is an extension of the datetime type in earlier versions of 
    SQL Server. This new datatype has a date range covering dates from January 1 of 
    year 1 through December 31 of year 9999. This is a definite improvement over the 
    1753 lower boundary of the datetime datatype. DATETIME2 not only includes the 
    larger date range, but also has a timestamp and the same fractional precision that 
    TIME type provides