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1. Why would you choose a database system instead of simply storing data in operating system files? When would it make sense not to use a database system. Files in operating system refers to string of characters. Files in DBMS refers to collection of records. S.No 1. Points of distinction Main memory storage limit File Systems Limited memory to store and hold data. Secondary storage devices are used to hold data and relevant parts are to be loaded into main memory for processing as needed. DBMS More memory to store and hold data. Internal storage mechanisms need not be revealed to the user. Relevant parts of data are automatically loaded into main memory for processing as needed. Automatic commands and utilities are available to retrieve data. Searching complexity is less because efficient searching technique is adopted by DBMS itself. Data Integrity is maintained automatically by DBMS itself. DBMS protects users from the effects of system failures. DBMS provides more security measures by centralizing the administration of data when several users share the data . As the volume of data and number of users grow hundreds of gigabytes of data and thousands of users DBMS is efficient to manage Corporate databases.


Retrieval complexity Searching complexity Data Inconsistency Crash Recovery


A user has to write special programs to answer each question a user may want to ask about data. Searching complexity is more because of the large volume of data to be searched. The user must protect data from inconsistent changes made by different users while accessing the data concurrently. The user must ensure that data is restored to a consistent state if the system crashes while changes are being made. Operating systems provide only a password mechanism for security for files. This is not sufficiently flexible to enforce security policies in which different users have permission to access different subsets of data. As the volume of data and number of users grow hundreds of gigabytes of data and thousands of users file system is complex and unable to manage




Security Mechanism


Volume of data and no of users use

When the user should not use a DBMS : A DBMS should be used only for answering complex queries or handling many concurrent requests. It is not suitable for certain specialized applications with tight real-time constraints or applications with just a few well-defined critical operations for which efficient custom code must be written. An application sometimes may need to manipulate the data in ways that are not supported by the query language. In such cases, DBMS is not used. Eg. Relational databases do not support flexible analysis of text data. If specialized performance or data manipulation requirements are central to an application, the application may choose not to use a DBMS.

2. What are the Integrity Constraints supported by RDBMS?

Integrity Constraints are the set of constructs provided by a data model for specifying conditions that must be satisfied by the data. An Integrity constraint (IC) is a condition specified on a database schema and restricts the data that can be stored in an instance of the database. Integrity constraints can be Domain Constraints Key Constraints Foreign Key Constraints General Constraints

Domain Constraints

Domain refers to a set of possible values for each attribute associated with an entity set. Domain constraints in the schema specify an important condition that the user wants each instance of the relation to satisfy.

Key Constraints

A Key Constraint is a statement that a certain minimal subset of the fields of a relation is a unique identifier for a tuple. Super Key : It is a set of one or more attributes which put together enable us to identify uniquely an entity in the entity set. Candidate Key : A set of fields that uniquely identifies a tuple according to a key constraint is called a candidate key. A superkey for which no subset is a superkey is called a candidate key. ( A superkey that is minimal is a candidate key ) Eg. In students relation, sid is candidate key. Primary Key : It is a candidate key (there may be more than one) chosen by the database designer to identify entities in an entity set.

Foreign Key Constraints

The most common IC involving two relations is a foreign key constraint. Foreign Key : If the primary key of one table is referenced in the other table, then that key is called as foreign key in the another table. The foreign key in the referencing relation must match the primary key of the referenced relation.

General Constraints

General constraints : Domain, primary key and foreign key constraints are considered to be a fundamental part of the relational data model. It is also necessary to specify more general constraints. General constraints are o Table Constraints Table constraints are associated with a single table and checked whenever the table is modified. o Assertions Assertions involve several tables and are checked whenever any of these tables is modified.

3. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the trigger mechanism. Contrast triggers with other integrity constraints supported by SQL.

A Trigger is a procedure that is automatically invoked by the DBMS in response to specified changes to the database, and is typically specified by the DBA. A database that has a set of associated triggers is called an active database.

A trigger description contains three parts : Event : A change to the database that activates the trigger. Condition : A query or test that is run when the trigger is activated Action : A procedure that is executed when the trigger is activated and its condition is true. Strengths of Triggers A trigger functions as a daemon that monitors a database. Triggers offer a powerful mechanism for dealing with changes to a database. Weaknesses of Triggers Though Triggers are powerful, they must be used with caution. Triggers can be hard to understand. The effect of a collection of triggers can be very complex, and maintaining an active database can become very difficult. A judicial use of integrity constraints can replace the use of triggers.

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Points of distinction/ similarity Use Property

Constraints The meaning of a constraint is not defined operationally, unlike the effect of a trigger. Constraints are easier to understand and gives DBMS more opportunities to optimize execution. A constraint prevents data from being made inconsistent by any kind of statement. (This restriction makes a constraint easier to understand) Less flexible

Triggers The common use of triggers is to maintain database consistency. Triggers are hard to understand. A trigger is activated by a specific kind of statement.


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Integrity Maintenance Potential uses

Auditing information

Triggers allow the user to maintain database integrity in more flexible ways. The potential uses of triggers goes beyond integrity maintenance. Triggers can alert users to unusual events. Triggers can generate a log of events to support auditing and security checks.

4. Why are stored procedures important? How do we declare stored procedures and how are they called from application code?

A stored procedure is a program that is executed through a single SQL statement that can be locally executed and completed within the process space of the database server. The results can be packaged into one big result and returned to the application or the application logic can be performed directly at the server, without having to transmit the results to the client at all. Stored procedures are also beneficial for software engineering reasons. Once a stored procedure is registered with the database server, different users can re-use the stored procedure, eliminating duplication of efforts in writing SQL Queries or application logic, and making code maintenance easy. The application programmers do not need to know the database schema if they encapsulate all database access into stored procedures. Although they are called stored procedures, they do not have to be procedures in a programming language sense, they can be functions. Creating a Simple Stored procedure : Stored procedures must have a name. Stored procedures may or may not have parameters. Creating a procedure in PL/SQL :

A procedure is a subprogram that performs a specific action. The general syntax of PL/SQL procedure is

[CREATE [OR REPLACE]] PROCEDURE procedure_name[(parameter[, parameter]...)] [AUTHID {DEFINER | CURRENT_USER}] {IS | AS} [PRAGMA AUTONOMOUS_TRANSACTION;] [local declarations] BEGIN executable statements [EXCEPTION exception handlers] END [name]; where parameter stands for the following syntax: parameter_name [IN | OUT [NOCOPY] | IN OUT [NOCOPY]] datatype [{:= | DEFAULT} expression] Calling procedures : Procedures can be called in an interactive SQL with the CALL statement. The general syntax is CALL procedurename(arg1,arg2,..argn) Creating a function in PL/SQL : A function is a subprogram that computes a value. Functions and procedures are structured alike, except that functions have a RETURN clause. The general syntax of PL/SQL function is

[CREATE [OR REPLACE]] FUNCTION function_name[(parameter[, parameter]...)] RETURN datatype} [AUTHID {DEFINER | CURRENT_USER}] [PARALLEL_ENABLE] [DETERMINISTIC] {IS | AS} [PRAGMA AUTONOMOUS_TRANSACTION;] [local declarations] BEGIN executable statements [EXCEPTION exception handlers] END [name]; Calling functions : Functions can be called in an interactive SQL with the CALL statement. The general syntax is Variable name := CALL functionname(arg1,arg2,..argn) 5. What is a three-tier architecture? What advantages does it offer over singletier and two-tier architectures? Give a short overview of the functionality at each of the three tiers. The predecessors of three-tier architectures are single-tier and client-server architectures.

In a Single-Tier Architecture the data-intensive applications were combined into a single tier, including the DBMS, application logic, and user interface. Two-Tier Architectures are also referred to as Client-Server Architectures, consisting of a client computer and a server computer, which interact through a well-defined protocol. Three-Tier Architecture also separates application logic from data management. The three tiers are Presentation Tier : Users require a natural interface to make requests, provide input, and to see results. Web-based interfaces are popular Middle Tier : The application logic executes here. An application is coded in general-purpose languages such as C++ or Java Data Management Tier : Data-intensive Web applications involve DBMSs Architecture Advantages Disadvantages Single-Tier The application typically ran on Users expect graphical Architecture a mainframe, and users accessed interfaces that require much it through dumb terminals that more computational power than could perform only data input simple dumb terminals and display Do not scale thousands of users Easily maintained by a central administrator Two Tier The client implements just a The thick-client model has Architecture graphical user interface and are several disadvantages when often called as thin clients (Eg. compared to thin-client model Web browsers) o There is no central place The server implements both the to update and maintain business logic and the data the business logic management. o A large amount of trust is (VB, Powerbuilder) required between the Powerful clients that implement server and the clients both user interface and business o Does not scale with the logic are often called as thick number of clients clients. (Cannot handle more Two-Tier Architectures physically than few hundred clients) separate the user interface from o Do not scale as the the data management layer application accesses Implementing Two-Tier more and more database Architectures, does not require systems to have dumb terminals on the client side Three-Tier Heterogeneous Systems : Architecture Applications can utilize the strengths of different platforms and different software components at the different tiers. Easy to modify or replace the code at any tier without affecting other tiers Thin Clients : Web Browsers Integrated Data Access : The

data can be managed from several sources Scalability to many clients : Each client is lightweight and all access to the system is through the middle tier Software Development Benefits : The application is clearly divided into parts o Address presentation o Data access o Business logic Each application tier can be built out of reusable components that can be individually developed, debugged and tested


What are ACID properties? Define Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability and illustrate them through examples. The ACID Properties

A transaction is an execution of a user program, seen by the DBMS as a series of read and write operations. A DBMS must ensure four important properties to maintain data in the face of concurrent access and system failures:

ACID properties : Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability Atomicity : Users should be able to regard the execution of each transaction as atomic : Either all transactions are carried out or none are. Users should not have to worry about the effect of incomplete transactions (when a system crash occurs). Consistency : Each transaction, run by itself with no concurrent execution of other transactions, must preserve the consistency of the database. The DBMS assumes that consistency holds for each transaction. Ensuring this property of a transaction is the responsibility of the user. Isolation : Users should be able to understand a transaction without considering the effect of other concurrently executing transactions, even if the DBMS interleaves the actions of several transactions for performance reasons. This property is sometimes referred to as isolation. Transactions are isolated, or protected, from the effects of concurrently scheduling other transactions. Durability : Once the DBMS informs the user that a transaction has been successfully completed, its effects should persist even if the system crashes before all its changes are reflected on disk. This property is called durability.

7. What does the lock manager do? Describe the lock table and transaction table data structures and their role in lock management. A DBMS must be able to ensure that only serializable, recoverable schedules are allowed and that no actions of committed transactions are lost while undoing aborted transactions. A DBMS typically uses a locking protocol to achieve this. A lock is a small bookkeeping object associated with a database object. A lock is a mechanism used to control access to database object. Two kinds of locks are commonly supported by a DBMS : Shared locks : Shared locks on an object can be held by two different transactions at the same time. Exclusive locks : Exclusive lock on an object ensures that no other transactions hold any lock on this object. A locking protocol is a set of rules to be followed by each transaction (and enforced by the DBMS) to ensure that, even though actions of several transactions might be interleaved, the net effect is identical to executing all transactions in some serial order. Eg. Every transaction begins by obtaining a shared lock on each data object that it needs to read and an exclusive lock on each data object that it needs to modify, then releases all its locks after completing all actions. The part of the DBMS that keeps track of the locks issued to transactions is called the lock manager. The lock manager maintains a lock table, which is a hash table with the data object identifier as the key, The DBMS also maintains a descriptive entry for each transaction in a transaction table, and among other things, the entry contains a pointer to a list of locks held by the transaction. This list is checked before requesting a lick, to ensure that a transaction does not request the same lock twice. A lock table entry for an object can be a page, a record and so on depending on the DBMS. It contains the following information The number of transactions currently holding a lock on the object. ( this can be more than one if the object is locked in shared mode ) The nature of the lock ( shared or exclusive) A pointer to a queue of lock requests.

8. Compare RDBMS with ORDBMS. Describe an application scenario for which you would choose an RDBMS and explain why. Similarly, describe an application scenario for which you would choose an ORDBMS and explain why. S.No 1 2 3 RDBMS Relational Database Management Systems Based on Relational Data Model Dominant model ORDBMS Object Relational Database Systems Based on Object Data Model (ODM) Gaining popularity

RDBMS support a small, fixed collection of data types ( eg. Integers, dates, strings ) which has proven adequate for traditional application domains such as administrative data processing Supports Structured Query Language ( SQL )

RDBMS products : IBMs DB2 Informix Oracle Sybase Microsofts Access Fox Base Paradox Tandem Teradata Supports Standard data types and additional data types

ORDBMS is an attempt to extend relational database systems to provide a bridge between the relational and object-oriented paradigms. ORDBMS is based on ObjectOriented Database systems and Relational Database systems and are aimed at application domains where complex objects play a central role. Supports Object Query Language ( OQL ) SQL : 1999 standard extends SQL to incorporate support for the object-relational model of data Object-oriented model products: Objectstore Versant Object-relational model products: Used in DBMS products from IBM Informix Objectstore Oracle Versant Others Supports standard data types and new richer data types. The new richer data types supported are User-defined data types that supports image, voice and video footage and these must be stored in the database Inheritance data types to inherit the commonality between different types (eg. To inherit some features of image objects while defining compressed image objects and lowresolution image objects Object Identity data types like references or pointers to objects (eg video) for giving objects a unique object identity, which can be used to refer or point to them from elsewhere in the data.

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Case Scenario :

Case Scenario :

Compare the similarities and differences between OODBMS and ORDBMS. In particular compare OQL and SQL : 1999 and discuss the underlying data model.

S.No 1 2

OODBMS : Object-Oriented Database Management Systems ORDBMS : Object-Relational Database Management Systems Similarities Both supports user-defined ADTs, structured types, object identity and reference types and inheritance. Both supports an extended form of SQL. OODBMS support ODL/OQL. ORDBMS support an extended form of SQL. ORDBMS consciously try to add OODBMS features to an RDBMS and OODBMS in turn have developed query language based on relational query languages. Both provide DBMS functionality such as concurrency control and recovery. Differences ORDBMS Such integration is not an important goal for an ORDBMS. An ORDBMS is optimized for applications in which large data collections are the focus, even though objects may have a rich structure and be fairly large, The query facilities are the centerpiece of an ORDBMS.

OODBMS OODBMSs aim to achieve seamless integration with a programming language such as C++, Java. An OODBMS is aimed at applications where an object-centric viewpoint is appropriate. The query facilities of OQL are not supported efficiently in most OODBMSs.