1. What is Index? It’s purpose?
Indexes in databases are similar to indexes in books. In a database, an index allows the database program to find data in a table without scanning the entire table. An index in a database is a list of values in a table with the storage locations of rows in the table that contain each value. Indexes can be created on either a single column or a combination of columns in a table and are implemented in the form of B-trees. An index contains an entry with one or more columns (the search key) from each row in a table. A B-tree is sorted on the search key, and can be searched efficiently on any leading subset of the search key. For example, an index on columns A, B, C can be searched efficiently on A, on A, B, and A, B, C

2.    Explain about Clustered and non clustered index? How to choose between a Clustered Index and a Non-Clustered Index?
There are clustered and nonclustered indexes. A clustered index is a special type of index that reorders the way records in the table are physically stored. Therefore table can have only one clustered index. The leaf nodes of a clustered index contain the data pages.
A nonclustered index is a special type of index in which the logical order of the index does not match the physical stored order of the rows on disk. The leaf nodes of a nonclustered index does not consist of the data pages. Instead, the leaf nodes contain index rows.
Consider using a clustered index for:
o    Columns that contain a large number of distinct values.
o    Queries that return a range of values using operators such as BETWEEN, >, >=, <, and <=.
o    Columns that are accessed sequentially.
o    Queries that return large result sets.
Non-clustered indexes have the same B-tree structure as clustered indexes, with two significant differences:
o    The data rows are not sorted and stored in order based on their non-clustered keys.
o    The leaf layer of a non-clustered index does not consist of the data pages. Instead, the leaf nodes contain index rows. Each index row contains the non-clustered key value and one or more row locators that point to the data row (or rows if the index is not unique) having the key value.
o    Per table only 249 non clustered indexes.
3.    Disadvantage of index?
Every index increases the time in takes to perform INSERTS, UPDATES and DELETES, so the number of indexes should not be very much.
4.    Given a scenario that I have a 10 Clustered Index in a Table to all their 10 Columns. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A: Only 1 clustered index is possible.
5.    How can I enforce to use particular index?
You can use index hint (index=<index_name>) after the table name.
SELECT au_lname FROM authors (index=aunmind)
6.    What is Index Tuning?
One of the hardest tasks facing database administrators is the selection of appropriate columns for non-clustered indexes. You should consider creating non-clustered indexes on any columns that are frequently referenced in the WHERE clauses of SQL statements. Other good candidates are columns referenced by JOIN and GROUP BY operations.
You may wish to also consider creating non-clustered indexes that cover all of the columns used by certain frequently issued queries. These queries are referred to as “covered queries” and experience excellent performance gains.
Index Tuning is the process of finding appropriate column for non-clustered indexes.
SQL Server provides a wonderful facility known as the Index Tuning Wizard which greatly enhances the index selection process.
7.    Difference between Index defrag and Index rebuild?
When you create an index in the database, the index information used by queries is stored in index pages. The sequential index pages are chained together by pointers from one page to the next. When changes are made to the data that affect the index, the information in the index can become scattered in the database. Rebuilding an index reorganizes the storage of the index data (and table data in the case of a clustered index) to remove fragmentation. This can improve disk performance by reducing the number of page reads required to obtain the requested data
DBCC INDEXDEFRAG - Defragments clustered and secondary indexes of the specified table or view.
**
8.    What is sorting and what is the difference between sorting & clustered indexes?
The ORDER BY clause sorts query results by one or more columns up to 8,060 bytes. This will happen by the time when we retrieve data from database. Clustered indexes physically sorting data, while inserting/updating the table.
9.    What are statistics, under what circumstances they go out of date, how do you update them?
Statistics determine the selectivity of the indexes. If an indexed column has unique values then the selectivity of that index is more, as opposed to an index with non-unique values. Query optimizer uses these indexes in determining whether to choose an index or not while executing a query.
Some situations under which you should update statistics:
1) If there is significant change in the key values in the index
2) If a large amount of data in an indexed column has been added, changed, or removed (that is, if the distribution of key values has changed), or the table has been truncated using the TRUNCATE TABLE statement and then repopulated
3) Database is upgraded from a previous version
10.    What is fillfactor? What is the use of it ? What happens when we ignore it? When you should use low fill factor?
When you create a clustered index, the data in the table is stored in the data pages of the database according to the order of the values in the indexed columns. When new rows of data are inserted into the table or the values in the indexed columns are changed, Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 may have to reorganize the storage of the data in the table to make room for the new row and maintain the ordered storage of the data. This also applies to nonclustered indexes. When data is added or changed, SQL Server may have to reorganize the storage of the data in the nonclustered index pages. When a new row is added to a full index page, SQL Server moves approximately half the rows to a new page to make room for the new row. This reorganization is known as a page split. Page splitting can impair performance and fragment the storage of the data in a table.
When creating an index, you can specify a fill factor to leave extra gaps and reserve a percentage of free space on each leaf level page of the index to accommodate future expansion in the storage of the table's data and reduce the potential for page splits. The fill factor value is a percentage from 0 to 100 that specifies how much to fill the data pages after the index is created. A value of 100 means the pages will be full and will take the least amount of storage space. This setting should be used only when there will be no changes to the data, for example, on a read-only table. A lower value leaves more empty space on the data pages, which reduces the need to split data pages as indexes grow but requires more storage space. This setting is more appropriate when there will be changes to the data in the table.

DATA TYPES
11.    What are the data types in SQL

bigint    Binary    bit    char    cursor      
datetime    Decimal    float    image    int      
money    Nchar    ntext    nvarchar    real      
smalldatetime    Smallint    smallmoney    text    timestamp      
tinyint    Varbinary    Varchar    uniqueidentifier          
12.    Difference between char and nvarchar / char and varchar data-type?
char[(n)] - Fixed-length non-Unicode character data with length of n bytes. n must be a value from 1 through 8,000. Storage size is n bytes. The SQL-92 synonym for char is character.
nvarchar(n) - Variable-length Unicode character data of n characters. n must be a value from 1 through 4,000. Storage size, in bytes, is two times the number of characters entered. The data entered can be 0 characters in length. The SQL-92 synonyms for nvarchar are national char varying and national character varying.
varchar[(n)] - Variable-length non-Unicode character data with length of n bytes. n must be a value from 1 through 8,000. Storage size is the actual length in bytes of the data entered, not n bytes. The data entered can be 0 characters in length. The SQL-92 synonyms for varchar are char varying or character varying.
13.    GUID datasize?
128bit
14.    How GUID becoming unique across machines?
To ensure uniqueness across machines, the ID of the network card is used (among others) to compute the number.
15.    What is the difference between text and image data type?
Text and image. Use text for character data if you need to store more than 255 characters in SQL Server 6.5, or more than 8000 in SQL Server 7.0. Use image for binary large objects (BLOBs) such as digital images. With text and image data types, the data is not stored in the row, so the limit of the page size does not apply.All that is stored in the row is a pointer to the database pages that contain the data.Individual text, ntext, and image values can be a maximum of 2-GB, which is too long to store in a single data row.

JOINS
16.    What are joins?
Sometimes we have to select data from two or more tables to make our result complete. We have to perform a join.
17.    How many types of Joins?
Joins can be categorized as:
·    Inner joins (the typical join operation, which uses some comparison operator like = or <>). These include equi-joins and natural joins.
Inner joins use a comparison operator to match rows from two tables based on the values in common columns from each table. For example, retrieving all rows where the student identification number is the same in both the students and courses tables.
·    Outer joins. Outer joins can be a left, a right, or full outer join.
Outer joins are specified with one of the following sets of keywords when they are specified in the FROM clause:
·    LEFT JOIN or LEFT OUTER JOIN -The result set of a left outer join includes all the rows from the left table specified in the LEFT OUTER clause, not just the ones in which the joined columns match. When a row in the left table has no matching rows in the right table, the associated result set row contains null values for all select list columns coming from the right table.
·    RIGHT JOIN or RIGHT OUTER JOIN - A right outer join is the reverse of a left outer join. All rows from the right table are returned. Null values are returned for the left table any time a right table row has no matching row in the left table.
·    FULL JOIN or FULL OUTER JOIN - A full outer join returns all rows in both the left and right tables. Any time a row has no match in the other table, the select list columns from the other table contain null values. When there is a match between the tables, the entire result set row contains data values from the base tables.
·    Cross joins - Cross joins return all rows from the left table, each row from the left table is combined with all rows from the right table. Cross joins are also called Cartesian products. (A Cartesian join will get you a Cartesian product. A Cartesian join is when you join every row of one table to every row of another table. You can also get one by joining every row of a table to every row of itself.)
18.    What is self join?
A table can be joined to itself in a self-join.
19.    What are the differences between UNION and JOINS?
A join selects columns from 2 or more tables. A union selects rows.
20.    Can I improve performance by using the ANSI-style joins instead of the old-style joins?
Code Example 1:
select o.name, i.name
from sysobjects o, sysindexes i
where o.id = i.id
Code Example 2:
select o.name, i.name
from sysobjects o inner join sysindexes i
on o.id = i.id
You will not get any performance gain by switching to the ANSI-style JOIN syntax.
Using the ANSI-JOIN syntax gives you an important advantage: Because the join logic is cleanly separated from the filtering criteria, you can understand the query logic more quickly.
The SQL Server old-style JOIN executes the filtering conditions before executing the joins, whereas the ANSI-style JOIN reverses this procedure (join logic precedes filtering).
Perhaps the most compelling argument for switching to the ANSI-style JOIN is that Microsoft has explicitly stated that SQL Server will not support the old-style OUTER JOIN syntax indefinitely. Another important consideration is that the ANSI-style JOIN supports query constructions that the old-style JOIN syntax does not support.
21.    What is derived table?
Derived tables are SELECT statements in the FROM clause referred to by an alias or a user-specified name. The result set of the SELECT in the FROM clause forms a table used by the outer SELECT statement. For example, this SELECT uses a derived table to find if any store carries all book titles in the pubs database:
SELECT ST.stor_id, ST.stor_name
FROM stores AS ST,
     (SELECT stor_id, COUNT(DISTINCT title_id) AS title_count
      FROM sales
      GROUP BY stor_id
     ) AS SA
WHERE ST.stor_id = SA.stor_id
AND SA.title_count = (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM titles)