2023 Top Questions & Answers for DB2 Interviews - IQCode

DB2 Interview Questions for Freshers

1. Can you explain what DB2 is?

Answer: DB2 is a family of data management products developed by IBM. It includes a relational database that helps manage both structured and unstructured data using AI-powered data management tools.

2. What is a database?

Answer: A database is a collection of logically related or inter-related data.

3. What is a relational database?

Answer: A relational database arranges data in the form of tables (rows and columns) and is used to manage large sets of data. Examples of relational databases include MySQL, DB2, and PostgreSQL.

4. What are the attributes of a table in a DB2 database?

Answer: Attributes of a table in a DB2 database are the characteristics of the data contained in the table, such as data type, size, and constraints.

5. What is SQL?

Answer: SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a language used to manage and manipulate data within a relational database.

6. What are the different components of a DB2 database?

Answer: DB2 database has three major components: a database manager, a catalog, and a directory.

7. What is the purpose of a database manager?

Answer: A database manager serves as an interface between the applications and the physical database. It provides security, concurrency, and backup and recovery features.

8. What is a stored procedure?

Answer: A stored procedure is a precompiled set of SQL statements that perform a specific task or function and can be reused in multiple applications.

9. What is normalization in DB2 database?

Answer: Normalization is a process to organize the data in a database to reduce redundancy and dependency. It helps improve the performance of the database and avoid data inconsistencies.

10. What is a primary key in a DB2 database?

Answer: A primary key is a unique identifier for a record in a table. It helps in maintaining database integrity and enforcing data constraints.

Different Data Types Available in DB2

In DB2, there are various data types available including numeric, character, date/time, string, binary, and user-defined types. Each data type has its own storage size and format. Numeric data types are used to store numeric values such as integers and decimal values, while character data types are used to store alphanumeric values such as names and addresses. Date/time data types are used to store dates and time values, while string data types are used to store variable length character strings. Binary data types are used to store binary data such as images and user-defined data types are used to define a new data type based on existing data types. It is important to select the appropriate data type based on the requirements of the application and the type of data to be stored.

Differences between SMALLINT and INTEGER data types

In MySQL, SMALLINT and INTEGER are both data types used for storing numeric values. The main difference between them is their size and range.

SMALLINT is a 2-byte signed integer that can store values between -32,768 to 32,767 while INTEGER is a 4-byte signed integer that can store values between -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.

If you need to store smaller values, you can use SMALLINT to save storage space and improve performance. However, if you are dealing with larger values, you will need to use INTEGER.

Difference between CHAR and VARCHAR in SQL

In SQL, CHAR and VARCHAR are used to define character data types. The main difference between them is the storage mechanism.

CHAR data type is used to store fixed-length character strings. For example, if a column is defined as CHAR(10), it will always occupy 10 characters in the database, whether or not all of them are used. If the stored value is shorter than 10 characters, the remaining characters will be filled with spaces.

On the other hand, VARCHAR data type is used to store variable-length character strings. It will only occupy the necessary space required to store the data and will not add any extra spaces. For example, if a column is defined as VARCHAR(10) and the stored value is "hello", then it will only occupy 5 characters in the database.

Therefore, if you have a lot of fixed-length data, it is better to use CHAR. But if the length of the data may vary, VARCHAR should be used to save space.Code:

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM <table_name>

Replace `` with the actual name of the DB2 table for which you want to find the row count. This query will return the number of rows in the specified table.

Deleting all rows from a table in DB2 using SQL query

To delete all rows from a table in DB2, you can use the following SQL query:

DELETE FROM your_table_name;

Replace "your_table_name" with the actual name of the table that you want to delete all rows from.

Deleting an Entire Table in DB2 Using SQL Query

To delete an entire table in DB2 using SQL query, use the following syntax:

DELETE FROM table_name;



with the name of the table you want to delete.

It's important to note that once a table has been deleted, all data stored in that table will be permanently removed from the database and cannot be recovered. So, use this command with caution and make sure to backup your data before executing this query.

Here's an example SQL query that deletes a table called



DELETE FROM employees;

This will delete the entire


table from the database.H3 tag: Difference between DELETE and DROP queries

The DELETE query is used to remove one or more rows from a table while keeping the table structure intact. The operation can be rolled back if needed.

On the other hand, the DROP query is used to remove an entire table along with all its data. This operation cannot be rolled back and the table structure will be lost permanently.

Therefore, it is important to use the appropriate query based on your purpose and the desired outcome.

Understanding UNION and UNION ALL in DB2

In DB2, UNION and UNION ALL are used to combine results from two or more SELECT statements into a single result set. However, there is a slight difference between the two.

The main difference between UNION and UNION ALL is that UNION only returns distinct or unique rows, whereas UNION ALL returns all rows, including duplicates.

To differentiate between the two, simply determine if you want to include any duplicate rows in the result set. If duplicates are acceptable, use UNION ALL, otherwise, use UNION.

Understanding Concurrency in DB2

In DB2, concurrency refers to the ability of multiple transactions to access the same data concurrently without interfering with each other. It ensures that different transactions can read and modify data simultaneously without negatively impacting the integrity and consistency of the database. This is achieved through various techniques such as locking, isolation levels, and multiversion concurrency control. Concurrency is essential for ensuring efficient and reliable database operations in multi-user environments.

What is a Cursor and What is Its Use?

A cursor

is a database object used in SQL that is essentially a pointer to a result set. It allows traversal of rows in a database table and manipulation of each individual row. Cursors are used when the data needs to be accessed in a sequential manner, rather than an efficient set-wise manner obtained with queries.

For instance, if you want to update a specific row within a table based on certain criteria, you can use a cursor to iterate through the table, find the row that meets your criteria, and update the row's values. Cursors are also used when dealing with stored procedures that return multiple rows of data or when the data access operations are too complex to be done using a single query.

However, using cursors can cause performance issues, as it involves a lot of I/O operations between the database server and client. As a best practice, it is recommended to avoid using cursors whenever possible and use set-based operations instead.

Explanation of MAX function in DB2 and its usability in CHAR column:

In DB2, MAX is an aggregate function that returns the maximum value of a column. It can be used on numerical as well as character data types.

The use of MAX function on a CHAR column depends on the content of the column. If the CHAR column contains alphanumeric values and you want to retrieve the maximum among those values, then using MAX is a possible solution. However, if the CHAR column contains textual data, using MAX would not make sense as there is no inherent maximum or minimum value for text.

For example, if you have a CHAR column named "Product_Code" containing values like "P001", "P002", "P003", etc., you can use MAX(Product_Code) to get the highest product code value. But if the column contains values like "Laptops", "Mobiles", "Televisions", etc., using MAX would be meaningless.

In summary, whether or not to use MAX on a CHAR column depends on the nature of the data in the column.

How to move a tablespace to a different DASD volume allocated to that tablespace by using a STOGROUP?

In order to move a tablespace to a different DASD volume allocated to that tablespace using a STOGROUP, you must follow these steps:

1. Create a new DASD volume using the appropriate attributes for the tablespace, such as the block size and the record format. 2. Assign the new DASD volume to the desired STOGROUP. 3. Allocate the tablespace to the STOGROUP, using ALTER TABLESPACE. 4. Use the MOVE command to move the tablespace to the new volume.

Before carrying out these steps, make sure to perform a full backup of the tablespace, as well as a log backup. This will ensure that you can recover the tablespace in case anything goes wrong during the move.

Understanding Isolation Levels in Databases

In databases, there are two levels of isolation:

1. Read Committed 2. Serializable

The major difference between these two levels is that "Read Committed" allows a transaction to read only committed data, while "Serializable" prevents transactions from reading uncommitted data that could be changed by other transactions. In other words, Serializable level provides the highest level of isolation and prevents dirty reads, nonrepeatable reads, and phantom reads. However, Serializable level may also result in lower concurrency. On the other hand, Read Committed level allows a higher degree of concurrency but may result in the aforementioned problems. Therefore, the choice of isolation level depends on the specific needs and trade-offs of a given application.

How does DB2 determine which lock size to use for a given situation?

DB2 uses the size of the requested data set to determine which lock size to use. Specifically, if the data set is small, a smaller lock size is used, whereas a larger lock size is used for larger data sets. The goal is to optimize performance and ensure data integrity by minimizing deadlock and contention.

Explanation of DCLGEN in DB2

In DB2, DCLGEN stands for Data Control Language GENerator. It is a tool for generating SQL statements that can control the access to a database. When a table is defined in DB2, DCLGEN can create the SQL statements that are needed to control the access to that table. These SQL statements can then be used to define security rules that limit the operations that can be performed on the table. This tool is helpful in ensuring the security and integrity of data stored in DB2.

Difference between INNER JOIN and JOIN

When we write `JOIN` in a SQL query, it is by default considered as an `INNER JOIN`. Therefore, there is no difference between writing `INNER JOIN` and simply writing `JOIN`.

However, there are other types of joins, such as `LEFT JOIN` and `RIGHT JOIN`, which are used when we want to include all the records from one table and only matching records from another table.

To summarize, `JOIN` is equivalent to `INNER JOIN`, and it only returns the matching records from both tables.

DB2 Interview Questions for Experienced

18. Is it possible to open more than one cursor in a program?

Yes, it is possible to open more than one cursor in a program. However, it's important to ensure that each cursor is assigned a unique name and operates on a different set of data to avoid any conflicts or errors.

Number of SQLCAs Needed for Application with SQL Statements

When writing an application that includes SQL statements, you must provide at least one SQLCA (SQL Communications Area).

Usage of Multiple SQLCA in Programming Languages

In which programming languages is it possible to use more than one SQLCA?


It is possible to use multiple SQLCAs in programming languages like COBOL and FORTRAN by defining separate SQLCA variables for each connection or operation. However, it is generally recommended to use only one SQLCA per program to avoid confusion and ensure proper error handling.

Maximum Length of SQLCA in SQL

In SQL, the maximum length of SQLCA (SQL Communications Area) is 136 bytes. SQLCA is a structure that is used to return information about the execution of a SQL statement. It includes information such as SQLCODE (return code), SQLSTATE (status code), and error messages. It is used by many programming languages when working with SQL databases.

Can a Table be Altered While Another User is Accessing and Updating Values?

Yes, it is possible to alter a table by adding a column to it while another user is accessing and updating values in it. However, the alteration may cause a temporary lock on the table, which might delay the other user's transaction until the alteration is complete. Therefore, it is recommended to perform such alterations during off-peak hours or when the table is not in heavy use to avoid any inconvenience to other users.

Calculating Average Attendance using SQL Query

Consider a student database containing student information such as names, addresses, attendance percentage, etc. To calculate the average attendance of all students, we can run an SQL query:

SELECT AVG(attendance) FROM students_table;

In this query, we use the AVG function to calculate the average attendance of all the students in the "students_table".

The SQL query would return a single value, which is the average attendance of all the students in the table.

Details on Acquire and Release in BIND

Acquire and Release are operations that are used in BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) to control access to shared data structures. Acquire is used to gain exclusive access to a particular data structure in order to perform some operation on it, while Release is used to release that exclusive access once the operation is complete. These operations are important for ensuring that concurrent modifications of shared data structures are properly synchronized and do not result in race conditions or other conflicts.

Location of SQL statements in a COBOL-DB2 program

In a COBOL-DB2 program, all SQL statements are typically coded in the program's source code as embedded SQL statements. These statements are usually placed within the PROCEDURE DIVISION of the COBOL program, where they are executed using DB2's precompiler. The precompiler parses the SQL statements, translates them into COBOL code, and generates the necessary interface code for communication between the COBOL program and DB2. Therefore, the SQL statements can be integrated seamlessly into the COBOL code.

Overview of SPUFI and QMF

SPUFI (SQL Processing Using File Input) and QMF (Query Management Facility) are both interactive tools used for executing SQL queries on IBM mainframe systems. The main difference between them lies in their functionality and user interface.

SPUFI is a tool that allows users to perform ad-hoc querying of DB2 databases. It is primarily used by developers and database administrators who need to test and debug SQL statements. SPUFI provides a command-line interface, where queries can be entered manually or read from a file. The results of the query are displayed on the screen, and users can save them to a file or manipulate them using various formatting options.

QMF, on the other hand, is a full-featured query and reporting tool that provides a graphical user interface and a wide range of features. It allows users to interactively create, run, and save SQL queries against DB2 databases. In addition to ad-hoc querying, QMF also provides advanced reporting functionalities, such as charts and graphs, pivot tables, and report formatting options. QMF is generally used by business analysts and other non-technical users who need to extract data from databases and create reports.

In summary, SPUFI is a lightweight tool used for ad-hoc SQL querying, while QMF is a more comprehensive tool that provides both querying and reporting capabilities through a graphical user interface.

Identifying Performance Issues in Programs that Use Dynamic SQL

Suppose you have a program that uses dynamic SQL, and it has been working well until recently. However, you have now noticed a deterioration in performance. You might be wondering what could be causing this issue.I'm sorry, I cannot provide a response without additional context. Can you please provide more information about the previous answer and what you are referring to when you mention "run stats"?

Reasons for avoiding SELECT in embedded SQL programs

In embedded SQL programs, the SELECT statement should be avoided for a few reasons:

  1. Performance: When there are many rows in a table, SELECT can be time-consuming compared to using other SQL statements.
  2. Complexity: SELECT queries can be complex, which may result in increased complexity in an application's code.
  3. Security: SELECT statements could be misused to obtain data that should not be accessed by the user, which should be prevented.

Therefore, it's ideal to avoid using SELECT statements in embedded SQL programs to improve performance, simplify code, and increase security.

Explanation of DSNDB07

DSNDB07 is a DB2 catalog table space used to store DB2 system catalog data. It contains information about tables, indexes, authorization and other database objects that are created in DB2. This table space is created during the DB2 installation process and is crucial for proper functioning of DB2.

Achieving Record Level Locking in Older Versions of DB2 without Support

When working with DB2 versions that don't support record level locking, achieving it can be a challenge. One approach is to use two-phase locking, where a transaction acquires all the necessary locks before initiating any changes to the database. This ensures that other transactions cannot modify the records while the first transaction is making changes, which effectively provides the same level of protection as record level locking.

Another alternative is to use table partitioning, which splits a table into smaller, more manageable parts. By doing this, it's possible to lock only the relevant partitions rather than the entire table. This approach can help to reduce contention and improve performance.

Finally, consider upgrading to a newer version of DB2 that supports record level locking if possible. This will provide the best level of protection and performance for your database.

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