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Database Management System for Interviews Part - 1

Organization of Records in Files

Heap File Organization

Any record can be placed anywhere in the file where there is space for the record. There is no ordering of records. Typically, there is a single file for each relation.

Sequential File Organization

Records are stored in sequential order, according to the value of a “search key” of each record.

Hashing File Organization

A hash function is computed on some attribute of each record. The result of the hash function specifies in which block of the file the record should be placed.


HAVING works on row by row data, WHERE works on aggregate data.

    Student, Score
    Score >=40
    Student, SUM(score)
    total > 70

Clustered and Non-Clustered Index

Clustered indices are indices whose order of the rows in the database correspond to the order of the rows in the index. Here, search key also defines the sequential order of the file.

Non-clustered index is a separate structure from the data stored in a table used to improve the performance of frequent queries. Here search key specifies an order different from the sequential order of the file.

Clustering indices are also called primary indices whereas non-clustered indices are called secondary indices.

Clustered vs Non-clustered index

Clustered Index Non-clustered Index
Clustered index modifies the way records are stored in a database based on the indexed column Non-clustered index creates a separate structure within the table which references the original table
A table can have only a single clustered index A table can have multiple non-clustered indices
Relatively slower Relatively faster

Standard Rules of Functional Dependency (FD)

Basic Rules over FDs/Armstrong’s Axioms

  1. Reflexibility: If α\alpha and β\beta are attributes in RR and βα\beta \subset \alpha, then αβ\alpha \rightarrow \beta holds.
  2. Augmentation: If αβ\alpha \rightarrow \beta holds and γ\gamma is another set of attributes, then αγβγ\alpha\gamma\rightarrow\beta\gamma holds.
  3. Transitivity: If αβ\alpha\rightarrow\beta and βγ\beta\rightarrow\gamma hold, then αγ\alpha\rightarrow\gamma also holds.

Derived Rules

  1. Union: If αβ\alpha\rightarrow\beta and αγ\alpha\rightarrow\gamma hold, then αβγ\alpha\rightarrow\beta\gamma holds.
  2. Decomposition: If αβγ\alpha\rightarrow\beta\gamma holds, then αβ\alpha\rightarrow\beta and αγ\alpha\rightarrow\gamma hold.
  3. Pseudotransitivity: If αβ\alpha\rightarrow\beta and βγδ\beta\gamma\rightarrow\delta hold, then αγδ\alpha\gamma\rightarrow\delta holds.



  1. To minimize redundancy.
  2. To minimize insertion, deletion and update anomaly.


  1. First Normal Form (1NF): It does not allow multi-valued attributes.
  2. Second Normal Form (2NF): A relation is said to be in 2NF iff it is 1NF and every non-prime attribute is fully functional dependent on its primary key.
  3. Third Normal Form (3NF): A relation is said to be in 3NF iff it is 2NF and every non-prime attribute is non-transitively dependent on its primary key.
  4. Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF): A relation is said to be in BCNF iff all the determinants are candidate keys.

ACID Properties

A transaction is a single logical unit of work which accesses and possibly modifies the contents of a database. Transactions access data using read and write operations. In order to maintain consistency in a database, before and after the transaction, certain properties are followed.

  • Atomicity (A): Either all or none transaction should take place.
  • Consistency (C): Before and after transaction, the data should be consistent.
  • Isolation (I): One transaction should be isolated from another.
  • Durability (D): Once the transaction has completed execution, the updates and modifications to the database are transferred from MM to disk and they persist even if a system failure occurs.


Portions of this note is taken from geeksforgeeks and from Database System Concepts by Silberschatz, Kroth and Srinivasan, 6th edition book.