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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is a Database?
3.
What is a Relational Database?
4.
Basic DB2 Interview Questions
4.1.
1) What is DB2?
4.2.
2) What are the different data types that are accessible in DB2?
4.3.
3) What's the difference between a SMALLINT and an INTEGER?
4.4.
4) What's the difference between DELETE and DROP queries?
4.5.
5) What does DB2 concurrency mean?
4.6.
6) What are UNION and UNION ALL in DB2? Explain the difference between the two?
4.7.
7) What is a CURSOR, and what does it do?
4.8.
8) What does MAX stand for in DB2? Is using MAX in a CHAR column possible?
4.9.
9) What exactly is the distinction between CHAR and VARCHAR?
4.10.
10) Is it possible to open multiple cursors in a program?
5.
Intermediate Level DB2 Interview Questions
5.1.
11) What is SQLCA, and how does it work?
5.2.
12) For an application that uses SQL statements, how many SQLCA must be provided?
5.3.
13) What is the maximum SQLCA length?
5.4.
14) What exactly is DSNDB07? What exactly does it do?
5.5.
15) In DB2 versions, how will you achieve record-level locking?
5.6.
16) What is the difference between ACQUIRE and RELEASE in BIND?
5.7.
17) What distinguishes INNER JOIN from merely writing a JOIN?
5.8.
18) What is the purpose of an index in DB2?
5.9.
19) Explain the difference between a primary key and a unique key constraint in DB2.
5.10.
20) What is a stored procedure in DB2, and how is it used?
6.
Advanced Level DB2 Interview Questions
6.1.
21) What are the different isolation levels supported by DB2, and how do they impact concurrency control?
6.2.
22) Explain the purpose of the LOCKSIZE parameter in DB2 table creation.
6.3.
23) How does DB2 handle transactions and ensure ACID properties?
6.4.
24) What is the purpose of the EXPLAIN statement in DB2, and how is it used?
6.5.
25) Explain the concept of table partitioning in DB2, and what are its benefits?
6.6.
26) What are Materialized Query Tables (MQTs) in DB2, and how are they used?
6.7.
27) Explain the purpose of the DB2 LOAD utility, and how is it different from the IMPORT utility?
6.8.
28) What are the advantages of using stored procedures in DB2 applications?
6.9.
29) How does DB2 handle concurrency control and ensure data consistency in a multi-user environment?
6.10.
30) What is a DB2 package, and how is it used in database applications?
7.
Frequently Asked Questions
7.1.
What do you understand by DB2?
7.2.
What is SQLCA, and how does it work?
7.3.
What is the difference between the two isolation levels, and what is the main distinction?
7.4.
What do you mean by RUN STATS?
7.5.
For an application that uses SQL statements, how many SQLCA must be provided?
8.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2024
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DB2 Interview Questions

Author Manan Singhal
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18 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

In the dynamic landscape of database management, proficiency in IBM's DB2 is a valuable asset sought after by organizations worldwide. Whether you're vying for a DB2 administrator role, a database developer position, or aiming to enhance your knowledge in database technologies, preparing for a DB2 interview is crucial to demonstrate your expertise and secure your desired role.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the realm of DB2 interview questions, offering a roadmap to navigate the intricacies of database management and ace your upcoming interviews with confidence.

DB2 Interview Questions

What is a Database?

A database is a structured collection of data organized and stored in a manner that facilitates efficient retrieval, management, and manipulation. It serves as a centralized repository for storing and accessing various types of information, ranging from text and numbers to multimedia files. Databases are commonly used in applications, websites, and enterprise systems to store and retrieve data dynamically.

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What is a Relational Database?

A relational database is a type of database that organizes data into tables consisting of rows and columns. It follows the principles of the relational model, where data is structured in a tabular format and relationships between tables are established using keys. Relational databases rely on SQL (Structured Query Language) for querying and manipulating data. They offer flexibility, scalability, and data integrity, making them widely used in diverse applications such as financial systems, inventory management, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Basic DB2 Interview Questions

1) What is DB2?

IBM created the DB2 family of data management technologies. However, when it comes to databases, IBM's DB2 is a relational database. Many programming languages were used to create DB2, including C, C++, Java, and Assembly Language. It has a Linux and Windows-compatible operating system.

2) What are the different data types that are accessible in DB2?

In DB2, there are a total of 8 data types. SMALLINT, INTEGER, FLOAT, DECIMAL, CHAR, VARCHAR, DATE, and TIME.

3) What's the difference between a SMALLINT and an INTEGER?

(Important DB2 interview questions)

The SMALLINT data type can store numbers up to 15 bits of accuracy with a range of -32768 to +32767, whereas the INTEGER data type can store values up to 31 bits of precision with a range of -2,147,483,648 to +2147483648. In addition, there is another data type for storing integer data. BIGINT is its name and has a range even greater than INTEGER.

4) What's the difference between DELETE and DROP queries?

(Important DB2 interview questions)

Although the DELETE * FROM table-name query deletes all the rows from the table, the database still has an empty table with no rows and columns. The DROP TABLE table-name query, on the other hand, deletes all of the rows and columns, as well as the table from the database, i.e., the table is removed from the database.

5) What does DB2 concurrency mean?

Concurrency refers to the ability of many DB2 application processes to access data at the same time. Concurrency can lead to difficulties such as missed updates, unrepeatable reads, and uncommitted data.

6) What are UNION and UNION ALL in DB2? Explain the difference between the two?

(Important DB2 interview questions)

The union command combines two or more SELECT statements, which can be used for a single table or several tables. The major difference between UNION and UNION ALL is that UNION removes the duplicate rows when applied to the tables, whereas UNION ALL retains the duplicates.

7) What is a CURSOR, and what does it do?

A CURSOR is a programming device that locates a set of records that match a SELECT command. The rows, however, are displayed one at a time.

8) What does MAX stand for in DB2? Is using MAX in a CHAR column possible?

MAX() is a function that returns the highest value from a set of values. For example, if we have a database of movies, we can use MAX(rating) on the rating attribute to choose the rows that include the highest-rated movies. MAX can be applied to a CHAR column.

9) What exactly is the distinction between CHAR and VARCHAR?

(Important DB2 interview questions)

The fundamental distinction between CHAR and VARCHAR is that CHAR has a fixed length, whereas VARCHAR has a variable length. This indicates that a char has a fixed length for storing text, whereas a VARCHAR modifies its length according to its length, saving memory. Furthermore, the CHAR data type has a maximum size of 254 bytes, but the VARCHAR data type has a maximum value of 4046.

10) Is it possible to open multiple cursors in a program?

(Important DB2 interview questions)

Yes, in the same software, many cursors can be opened.

Intermediate Level DB2 Interview Questions

11) What is SQLCA, and how does it work?

The Structured Query Language Communication Area is the full version of SQLCA. It is a set of variables that is updated after each SQL statement execution.

12) For an application that uses SQL statements, how many SQLCA must be provided?

For an application with executable SQL statements, only one SQLCA is required. SQLCA, on the other hand, does not apply to Java applications.

13) What is the maximum SQLCA length?

SQLCA has a maximum length of 136 characters.

14) What exactly is DSNDB07? What exactly does it do?

DSNDB07 is a database where the DB2 sorting operations are performed. It contains the DB2 sort work area as well as external storage.

15) In DB2 versions, how will you achieve record-level locking?

In DB2 versions, we can accomplish record level locking by making the record length bigger than the page length.

16) What is the difference between ACQUIRE and RELEASE in BIND?

(Important DB2 interview questions)

When DB2 acquires or releases locks on tables and/or tablespaces at a certain point in a program.

17) What distinguishes INNER JOIN from merely writing a JOIN?

If we don't provide the type of join, an INNER JOIN is used by default. As a result, there is no difference between writing INNER JOIN and just JOIN.

18) What is the purpose of an index in DB2?

An index in DB2 is used to improve the performance of query operations by providing quick access to rows in a table based on the indexed columns. It speeds up data retrieval and can enhance overall database performance.

19) Explain the difference between a primary key and a unique key constraint in DB2.

  • Primary Key Constraint: Ensures that each row in a table is uniquely identified and cannot contain null values. Only one primary key constraint can be defined per table.
  • Unique Key Constraint: Ensures that each value in the specified column or combination of columns is unique across the table. Unlike primary keys, unique key constraints allow null values.

20) What is a stored procedure in DB2, and how is it used?

A stored procedure in DB2 is a precompiled collection of SQL and procedural logic stored in the database. It can accept input parameters, perform operations on the database, and return results. Stored procedures improve code modularity, reusability, and security in database applications.

Advanced Level DB2 Interview Questions

21) What are the different isolation levels supported by DB2, and how do they impact concurrency control?

DB2 supports various isolation levels, including Read Uncommitted, Read Committed, Repeatable Read, and Serializable. Each isolation level defines the level of visibility and concurrency control for transactions. For example, higher isolation levels offer stricter concurrency control but may lead to increased locking and decreased concurrency.

22) Explain the purpose of the LOCKSIZE parameter in DB2 table creation.

The LOCKSIZE parameter in DB2 table creation specifies the granularity of locking for data modifications on the table. It can be set to ROW or TABLE. ROW-level locking allows concurrent access to individual rows, while TABLE-level locking locks the entire table during data modifications. Choosing the appropriate LOCKSIZE can impact concurrency and performance in DB2 applications.

23) How does DB2 handle transactions and ensure ACID properties?

DB2 ensures Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability (ACID) properties for transactions using mechanisms such as logging, locking, and transaction management. It maintains transaction logs to track changes, uses locking to control access, and ensures data consistency and durability through commit and rollback operations. These mechanisms guarantee transactional integrity and reliability in DB2 databases.

24) What is the purpose of the EXPLAIN statement in DB2, and how is it used?

The EXPLAIN statement in DB2 is used to analyze and optimize SQL query performance by providing insight into the access paths chosen by the query optimizer. It helps identify potential performance bottlenecks, such as missing indexes or inefficient query execution plans, allowing developers to optimize SQL queries for better performance.

25) Explain the concept of table partitioning in DB2, and what are its benefits?

Table partitioning in DB2 involves dividing large tables into smaller, more manageable partitions based on a partitioning key. It improves query performance, data management, and scalability by allowing data to be distributed across multiple storage devices or tablespaces. Partition elimination reduces I/O and improves query performance by accessing only relevant partitions during query execution.

26) What are Materialized Query Tables (MQTs) in DB2, and how are they used?

Materialized Query Tables (MQTs) in DB2 are precomputed, persistent tables that store the results of complex queries. They improve query performance by storing intermediate results and reducing the need for costly query execution. MQTs are automatically updated based on changes to underlying tables, ensuring data consistency and query optimization.

27) Explain the purpose of the DB2 LOAD utility, and how is it different from the IMPORT utility?

The DB2 LOAD utility is used to efficiently load large volumes of data into DB2 tables from external data sources. It is optimized for high-speed data loading and supports various data formats and loading options. In contrast, the IMPORT utility is used to import data from external files into DB2 tables, but it is slower and less efficient compared to the LOAD utility.

28) What are the advantages of using stored procedures in DB2 applications?

Stored procedures in DB2 applications offer several advantages:

  • Improved performance: Precompiled stored procedures reduce overhead and improve execution speed.
  • Code modularity and reusability: Stored procedures encapsulate logic, making it easier to maintain and reuse across multiple applications.
  • Enhanced security: Stored procedures can be granted access privileges, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  • Reduced network traffic: Stored procedures minimize network traffic by executing complex operations on the server side, reducing data transfer between the client and server.

29) How does DB2 handle concurrency control and ensure data consistency in a multi-user environment?

DB2 employs various concurrency control mechanisms, such as locking, isolation levels, and transaction management, to ensure data consistency in a multi-user environment. It uses locking to prevent concurrent transactions from accessing or modifying the same data simultaneously, and it supports different isolation levels to control the visibility of changes made by concurrent transactions. DB2's transaction management features, such as commit and rollback operations, ensure the atomicity and durability of transactions, maintaining data consistency and integrity.

30) What is a DB2 package, and how is it used in database applications?

A DB2 package is a compiled unit of executable code that contains SQL statements and procedural logic. It is stored in the DB2 catalog and can be bound to an application program to provide access to database objects and execute SQL statements. Packages improve application performance by precompiling SQL statements, reducing parsing overhead, and optimizing query execution plans. They also facilitate versioning and management of application code, ensuring consistency and reliability in database applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you understand by DB2?

IBM created the DB2 family of data management technologies. However, when it comes to databases, IBM's DB2 is a relational database. Many programming languages were used to create DB2, including C, C++, Java, and Assembly Language.

What is SQLCA, and how does it work?

The Structured Query Language Communication Area is the full version of SQLCA. It is a set of variables that is updated after each SQL statement execution.

What is the difference between the two isolation levels, and what is the main distinction?

The two isolation levels are cursor Stability (CS) and Repeatable Readability (RR). The main difference between these two levels is that Cursor Stability (CS) releases the lock on a page after use. In contrast, Repeatable Read (RR) keeps all locks until the transaction is completed.

What do you mean by RUN STATS?

RUN STATS is a DB2 utility for collecting statistics on TABLES data values. The optimizer uses it to determine the best access path. RUN STATS also collects information for space management purposes. The DB2 catalog tables contain these statistics.

For an application that uses SQL statements, how many SQLCA must be provided?

For an application with executable SQL statements, only one SQLCA is required. SQLCA, on the other hand, does not apply to Java applications.

Conclusion

In this article, we have looked at some of the DB2 interview questions. We hope this blog will help you understand the questions asked by the interviewer, and if you want to learn more about the DB2 interview questions, check out our other blogs on DB2.

Also see, Selenium interview question

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