Data WareHouse Interview Questions
Informatica Group URL for Real Time Problems: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/informaticadevelopment/
Kimbel Ralph URL's:-
STAR - SCHEMA :-
1.Can 2 Fact Tables share same dimensions Tables? How many Dimension tables are associated with one Fact Table ur project?
2.What is ROLAP, MOLAP, and DOLAP...?
Ans: ROLAP (Relational OLAP), MOLAP (Multidimensional OLAP), and DOLAP (Desktop OLAP). In these three OLAP
architectures, the interface to the analytic layer is typically the same; what is quite different is how the data is physically stored.
In MOLAP, the premise is that online analytical processing is best implemented by storing the data multidimensionally; that is,
data must be stored multidimensionally in order to be viewed in a multidimensional manner.
In ROLAP, architects believe to store the data in the relational model; for instance, OLAP capabilities are best provided
against the relational database.
DOLAP, is a variation that exists to provide portability for the OLAP user. It creates multidimensional datasets that can be
transferred from server to desktop, requiring only the DOLAP software to exist on the target system. This provides significant
advantages to portable computer users, such as salespeople who are frequently on the road and do not have direct access to
their office server.
3.What is an MDDB? and What is the difference between MDDBs and RDBMSs?
Ans: Multidimensional Database There are two primary technologies that are used for storing the data used in OLAP applications.
These two technologies are multidimensional databases (MDDB) and relational databases (RDBMS). The major difference
between MDDBs and RDBMSs is in how they store data. Relational databases store their data in a series of tables and
columns. Multidimensional databases, on the other hand, store their data in a large multidimensional arrays.
For example, in an MDDB world, you might refer to a sales figure as Sales with Date, Product, and Location coordinates of
12-1-2001, Car, and south, respectively.
Advantages of MDDB:
Retrieval is very fast because
• The data corresponding to any combination of dimension members can be retrieved with a single I/O.
• Data is clustered compactly in a multidimensional array.
• Values are caluculated ahead of time.
• The index is small and can therefore usually reside completely in memory.
Storage is very efficient because
• The blocks contain only data.
• A single index locates the block corresponding to a combination of sparse dimension numbers.
4. What is MDB modeling and RDB Modeling?
5. What is Mapplet and how do u create Mapplet?
Ans: A mapplet is a reusable object that represents a set of transformations. It allows you to reuse transformation logic and can
contain as many transformations as you need.
Create a mapplet when you want to use a standardized set of transformation logic in several mappings. For example, if you
have a several fact tables that require a series of dimension keys, you can create a mapplet containing a series of Lookup
transformations to find each dimension key. You can then use the mapplet in each fact table mapping, rather than recreate the
same lookup logic in each mapping.
To create a new mapplet:
1. In the Mapplet Designer, choose Mapplets-Create Mapplet.
2. Enter a descriptive mapplet name.
The recommended naming convention for mapplets is mpltMappletName.
3. Click OK.
The Mapping Designer creates a new mapplet in the Mapplet Designer.
4. Choose Repository-Save.
6. What for is the transformations are used?
Ans: Transformations are the manipulation of data from how it appears in the source system(s) into another form in the data
warehouse or mart in a way that enhances or simplifies its meaning. In short, u transform data into information.
This includes Datamerging, Cleansing, Aggregation: -
Datamerging: Process of standardizing data types and fields. Suppose one source system calls integer type data as smallint
where as another calls similar data as decimal. The data from the two source systems needs to rationalized when moved into
the oracle data format called number.
Cleansing: This involves identifying any changing inconsistencies or inaccuracies.
- Eliminating inconsistencies in the data from multiple sources.
- Converting data from different systems into single consistent data set suitable for analysis.
- Meets a standard for establishing data elements, codes, domains, formats and naming conventions.
- Correct data errors and fills in for missing data values.
Aggregation: The process where by multiple detailed values are combined into a single summary value typically summation numbers representing dollars spend or units sold.
- Generate summarized data for use in aggregate fact and dimension tables.
Data Transformation is an interesting concept in that some transformation can occur during the “extract,” some during the
“transformation,” or even – in limited cases--- during “load“ portion of the ETL process. The type of transformation function u
need will most often determine where it should be performed. Some transformation functions could even be performed in more
than one place. B’ze many of the transformations u will want to perform already exist in some form or another in more than
one of the three environments (source database or application, ETL tool, or the target db).
7. What is the difference btween OLTP & OLAP?
Ans: OLTP stand for Online Transaction Processing. This is standard, normalized database structure. OLTP is designed for
Transactions, which means that inserts, updates, and deletes must be fast. Imagine a call center that takes orders. Call takers are continually taking calls and entering orders that may contain numerous items. Each order and each item must be inserted into a database. Since the performance of database is critical, we want to maximize the speed of inserts (and updates and deletes). To maximize performance, we typically try to hold as few records in the database as possible.
OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing. OLAP is a term that means many things to many people. Here, we will use the term OLAP and Star Schema pretty much interchangeably. We will assume that star schema database is an OLAP system.( This is not the same thing that Microsoft calls OLAP; they extend OLAP to mean the cube structures built using their product, OLAP Services). Here, we will assume that any system of read-only, historical, aggregated data is an OLAP system.
A data warehouse(or mart) is way of storing data for later retrieval. This retrieval is almost always used to support decision-making in the organization. That is why many data warehouses are considered to be DSS (Decision-Support Systems).
Both a data warehouse and a data mart are storage mechanisms for read-only, historical, aggregated data.
By read-only, we mean that the person looking at the data won’t be changing it. If a user wants at the sales yesterday for a certain product, they should not have the ability to change that number.
The “historical” part may just be a few minutes old, but usually it is at least a day old.A data warehouse usually holds data that goes back a certain period in time, such as five years. In contrast, standard OLTP systems usually only hold data as long as it is “current” or active. An order table, for example, may move orders to an archive table once they have been completed, shipped, and received by the customer.
When we say that data warehouses and data marts hold aggregated data, we need to stress that there are many levels of aggregation in a typical data warehouse.
8. If data source is in the form of Excel Spread sheet then how do use?
Ans: PowerMart and PowerCenter treat a Microsoft Excel source as a relational database, not a flat file. Like relational sources,
the Designer uses ODBC to import a Microsoft Excel source. You do not need database permissions to import Microsoft
To import an Excel source definition, you need to complete the following tasks:
• Install the Microsoft Excel ODBC driver on your system.
• Create a Microsoft Excel ODBC data source for each source file in the ODBC 32-bit Administrator.
• Prepare Microsoft Excel spreadsheets by defining ranges and formatting columns of numeric data.
• Import the source definitions in the Designer.
Once you define ranges and format cells, you can import the ranges in the Designer. Ranges display as source definitions
when you import the source.
9. Which db is RDBMS and which is MDDB can u name them?
Ans: MDDB ex. Oracle Express Server(OES), Essbase by Hyperion Software, Powerplay by Cognos and
RDBMS ex. Oracle , SQL Server …etc.
10. What are the modules/tools in Business Objects? Explain theier purpose briefly?
Ans: BO Designer, Business Query for Excel, BO Reporter, Infoview,Explorer,WEBI, BO Publisher, and Broadcast Agent, BO
InfoView: IT portal entry into WebIntelligence & Business Objects.
Base module required for all options to view and refresh reports.
Reporter: Upgrade to create/modify reports on LAN or Web.
Explorer: Upgrade to perform OLAP processing on LAN or Web.
Designer: Creates semantic layer between user and database.
Supervisor: Administer and control access for group of users.
WebIntelligence: Integrated query, reporting, and OLAP analysis over the Web.
Broadcast Agent: Used to schedule, run, publish, push, and broadcast pre-built reports and spreadsheets, including event
notification and response capabilities, event filtering, and calendar based notification, over the LAN, e-
mail, pager,Fax, Personal Digital Assistant( PDA), Short Messaging Service(SMS), etc.
Set Analyzer - Applies set-based analysis to perform functions such as execlusion, intersections, unions, and overlaps
Developer Suite – Build packaged, analytical, or customized apps.
11.What are the Ad hoc quries, Canned Quries/Reports? and How do u create them?
(Plz check this page……C\:BObjects\Quries\Data Warehouse - About Queries.htm)
Ans: The data warehouse will contain two types of query. There will be fixed queries that are clearly defined and well understood, such as regular reports, canned queries (standard reports) and common aggregations. There will also be ad hoc queries that are unpredictable, both in quantity and frequency.
Ad Hoc Query: Ad hoc queries are the starting point for any analysis into a database. Any business analyst wants to know what is inside the database. He then proceeds by calculating totals, averages, maximum and minimum values for most attributes within the database. These are unpredictable element of a data warehouse. It is exactly that ability to run any query when desired and expect a reasonable response that makes the data warhouse worthwhile, and makes the design such a significant challenge.
The end-user access tools are capable of automatically generating the database query that answers any Question posed by the user. The user will typically pose questions in terms that they are familier with (for example, sales by store last week); this is converted into the database query by the access tool, which is aware of the structure of information within the data warehouse.
Canned queries: Canned queries are predefined queries. In most instances, canned queries contain prompts that allow you to customize the query for your specific needs. For example, a prompt may ask you for a School, department, term, or section ID. In this instance you would enter the name of the School, department or term, and the query will retrieve the specified data from the Warehouse.You can measure resource requirements of these queries, and the results can be used for capacity palnning and for database design.
The main reason for using a canned query or report rather than creating your own is that your chances of misinterpreting data or getting the wrong answer are reduced. You are assured of getting the right data and the right answer.
12. How many Fact tables and how many dimension tables u did? Which table precedes what?
13. What is the difference between STAR SCHEMA & SNOW FLAKE SCHEMA?
14. Why did u choose STAR SCHEMA only? What are the benefits of STAR SCHEMA?
Ans: Because it’s denormalized structure , i.e., Dimension Tables are denormalized. Why to denormalize means the first (and often
only) answer is : speed. OLTP structure is designed for data inserts, updates, and deletes, but not data retrieval. Therefore,
we can often squeeze some speed out of it by denormalizing some of the tables and having queries go against fewer tables.
These queries are faster because they perform fewer joins to retrieve the same recordset. Joins are also confusing to many
End users. By denormalizing, we can present the user with a view of the data that is far easier for them to understand.
Benefits of STAR SCHEMA:
• Far fewer Tables.
• Designed for analysis across time.
• Simplifies joins.
• Less database space.
• Supports “drilling” in reports.
• Flexibility to meet business and technical needs.
15. How do u load the data using Informatica?
Ans: Using session.
16. (i) What is FTP? (ii) How do u connect to remote? (iii) Is there another way to use FTP without a special utility?
Ans: (i): The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) utility program is commonly used for copying files to and from other computers. These
computers may be at the same site or at different sites thousands of miles apart. FTP is general protocol that works on UNIX
systems as well as other non- UNIX systems.
(ii): Remote connect commands:
ex: ftp 126.96.36.199 or ftp iesg
If the remote machine has been reached successfully, FTP responds by asking for a loginname and password. When u enter
ur own loginname and password for the remote machine, it returns the prompt like below
and permits u access to ur own home directory on the remote machine. U should be able to move around in ur own directory
and to copy files to and from ur local machine using the FTP interface commands.
Note: U can set the mode of file transfer to ASCII ( default and transmits seven bits per character).
Use the ASCII mode with any of the following:
- Raw Data (e.g. *.dat or *.txt, codebooks, or other plain text documents)
- SPSS Portable files.
- HTML files.
If u set mode of file transfer to Binary (the binary mode transmits all eight bits per byte and thus provides less chance of
a transmission error and must be used to transmit files other than ASCII files).
For example use binary mode for the following types of files:
- SPSS System files
- SAS Dataset
- Graphic files (eg., *.gif, *.jpg, *.bmp, etc.)
- Microsoft Office documents (*.doc, *.xls, etc.)
(iii): Yes. If u r using Windows, u can access a text-based FTP utility from a DOS prompt.
To do this, perform the following steps:
1. From the Start ? Programs ?MS-Dos Prompt
2. Enter “ftp ftp.geocities.com.” A prompt will appear
Enter ftp to get ftp prompt ? ftp> ?open hostname ex. ftp>open ftp.geocities.com (It connect to the specified host).
3. Enter ur yahoo! GeoCities member name.
4. enter your yahoo! GeoCities pwd.
You can now use standard FTP commands to manage the files in your Yahoo! GeoCities directory.
17.What cmd is used to transfer multiple files at a time using FTP?
Ans: mget ==> To copy multiple files from the remote machine to the local machine. You will be prompted for a y/n answer before
transferring each file mget * ( copies all files in the current remote directory to ur current local directory,
using the same file names).
mput ==> To copy multiple files from the local machine to the remote machine.
18. What is an Filter Transformation? or what options u have in Filter Transformation?
Ans: The Filter transformation provides the means for filtering records in a mapping. You pass all the rows from a source
transformation through the Filter transformation, then enter a filter condition for the transformation. All ports in a Filter
transformation are input/output, and only records that meet the condition pass through the Filter transformation.
Note: Discarded rows do not appear in the session log or reject files
To maximize session performance, include the Filter transformation as close to the sources in the mapping as possible.
Rather than passing records you plan to discard through the mapping, you then filter out unwanted data early in the
flow of data from sources to targets.
You cannot concatenate ports from more than one transformation into the Filter transformation; the input ports for the filter
must come from a single transformation. Filter transformations exist within the flow of the mapping and cannot be
unconnected. The Filter transformation does not allow setting output default values.
19.What are default sources which will supported by Informatica Powermart ?
• Relational tables, views, and synonyms.
• Fixed-width and delimited flat files that do not contain binary data.
• COBOL files.
20. When do u create the Source Definition ? Can I use this Source Defn to any Transformation?
Ans: When working with a file that contains fixed-width binary data, you must create the source definition.
The Designer displays the source definition as a table, consisting of names, datatypes, and constraints. To use a source
definition in a mapping, connect a source definition to a Source Qualifier or Normalizer transformation. The Informatica
Server uses these transformations to read the source data.
21. What is Active & Passive Transformation ?
Ans: Active and Passive Transformations
Transformations can be active or passive. An active transformation can change the number of records passed through it. A
passive transformation never changes the record count.For example, the Filter transformation removes rows that do not
meet the filter condition defined in the transformation.
Active transformations that might change the record count include the following:
• Advanced External Procedure
• Source Qualifier
Note: If you use PowerConnect to access ERP sources, the ERP Source Qualifier is also an active transformation.
You can connect only one of these active transformations to the same transformation or target, since the Informatica
Server cannot determine how to concatenate data from different sets of records with different numbers of rows.
Passive transformations that never change the record count include the following:
• External Procedure
• Sequence Generator
• Stored Procedure
• Update Strategy
You can connect any number of these passive transformations, or connect one active transformation with any number of
passive transformations, to the same transformation or target.
22. What is staging Area and Work Area?
Ans: Staging Area : -
- Holding Tables on DW Server.
- Loaded from Extract Process
- Input for Integration/Transformation
- May function as Work Areas
- Output to a work area or Fact Table
Work Area: -
- Temporary Tables
23. What is Metadata? (plz refer DATA WHING IN THE REAL WORLD BOOK page # 125)
Ans: Defn: “Data About Data”
Metadata contains descriptive data for end users. In a data warehouse the term metadata is used in a number of different
Metadata is used for:
• Data transformation and load
• Data management
• Query management
Data transformation and load:
Metadata may be used during data transformation and load to describe the source data and any changes that need to be made. The advantage of storing metadata about the data being transformed is that as source data changes the changes can be captured in the metadata, and transformation programs automatically regenerated.
For each source data field the following information is reqd:
• Unique identifier (to avoid any confusion occurring betn 2 fields of the same anme from different sources).
• Name (Local field name).
• Type (storage type of data, like character,integer,floating point…and so on).
- system ( system it comes from ex.Accouting system).
- object ( object that contains it ex. Account Table).
The destination field needs to be described in a similar way to the source:
• Unique identifier
• Type (database data type, such as Char, Varchar, Number and so on).
• Tablename (Name of the table th field will be part of).
The other information that needs to be stored is the transformation or transformations that need to be applied to turn the source data into the destination data:
• Transformation (s)
- Language (name of the lanjuage that transformation is written in).
- module name
The Name is the unique identifier that differentiates this from any other similar transformations.
The Language attribute contains the name of the lnguage that the transformation is written in.
The other attributes are module name and syntax. Generally these will be mutually exclusive, with only one being defined. For simple transformations such as simple SQL functions the syntax will be stored. For complex transformations the name of the module that contains the code is stored instead.
Metadata is reqd to describe the data as it resides in the data warehouse.This is needed by the warhouse manager to allow it to track and control all data movements. Every object in the database needs to be described.
Metadata is needed for all the following:
Aggregations, Partition information also need to be stored in Metadata( for details refer page # 30)
Metadata is also required by the query manger to enable it to generate queries. The same metadata can be used by the Whouse manager to describe the data in the data warehouse is also reqd by the query manager.
The query mangaer will also generate metadata about the queries it has run. This metadata can be used to build a history of all quries run and generate a query profile for each user, group of users and the data warehouse as a whole.
The metadata that is reqd for each query is:
- tables accessed
- columns accessed
- refence identifier
- restrictions applied
- column name
- table name
- reference identifier
- join Criteria applied
- aggregate functions used
- group by criteria ……
- sort criteria ……
- syntax - execution plan
- resources ……
24. What kind of Unix flavoures u r experienced?
Ans: Solaris 2.5 SunOs 5.5 (Operating System)
Solaris 2.6 SunOs 5.6 (Operating System)
Solaris 2.8 SunOs 5.8 (Operating System)
5.5.1 2.5.1 May 96 sun4c, sun4m, sun4d, sun4u, x86, ppc
5.6 2.6 Aug. 97 sun4c, sun4m, sun4d, sun4u, x86
5.7 7 Oct. 98 sun4c, sun4m, sun4d, sun4u, x86
5.8 8 2000 sun4m, sun4d, sun4u, x86
25. What are the tasks that are done by Informatica Server?
Ans:The Informatica Server performs the following tasks:
• Manages the scheduling and execution of sessions and batches
• Executes sessions and batches
• Verifies permissions and privileges
• Interacts with the Server Manager and pmcmd.
The Informatica Server moves data from sources to targets based on metadata stored in a repository. For instructions on how to move and transform data, the Informatica Server reads a mapping (a type of metadata that includes transformations and source and target definitions). Each mapping uses a session to define additional information and to optionally override mapping-level options. You can group multiple sessions to run as a single unit, known as a batch.
26. What are the two programs that communicate with the Informatica Server?
Ans: Informatica provides Server Manager and pmcmd programs to communicate with the Informatica Server:
Server Manager. A client application used to create and manage sessions and batches, and to monitor and stop the Informatica Server. You can use information provided through the Server Manager to troubleshoot sessions and improve session performance.
pmcmd. A command-line program that allows you to start and stop sessions and batches, stop the Informatica Server, and verify if the Informatica Server is running.
27. When do u reinitialize Aggregate Cache?
Ans: Reinitializing the aggregate cache overwrites historical aggregate data with new aggregate data. When you reinitialize the
aggregate cache, instead of using the captured changes in source tables, you typically need to use the use the entire source
For example, you can reinitialize the aggregate cache if the source for a session changes incrementally every day and
completely changes once a month. When you receive the new monthly source, you might configure the session to reinitialize
the aggregate cache, truncate the existing target, and use the new source table during the session.
/? Note: To be clarified when server manger works for following ?/
To reinitialize the aggregate cache:
1.In the Server Manager, open the session property sheet.
2.Click the Transformations tab.
3.Check Reinitialize Aggregate Cache.
4.Click OK three times to save your changes.
5.Run the session.
The Informatica Server creates a new aggregate cache, overwriting the existing aggregate cache.
/? To be check for step 6 & step 7 after successful run of session… ?/
6.After running the session, open the property sheet again.
7.Click the Data tab.
8.Clear Reinitialize Aggregate Cache.
28. (i) What is Target Load Order in Designer?
Ans: Target Load Order: - In the Designer, you can set the order in which the Informatica Server sends records to various target
definitions in a mapping. This feature is crucial if you want to maintain referential integrity when inserting, deleting, or updating
records in tables that have the primary key and foreign key constraints applied to them. The Informatica Server writes data to
all the targets connected to the same Source Qualifier or Normalizer simultaneously, to maximize performance.
28. (ii) What are the minimim condition that u need to have so as to use Targte Load Order Option in Designer?
Ans: U need to have Multiple Source Qualifier transformations.
To specify the order in which the Informatica Server sends data to targets, create one Source Qualifier or Normalizer
transformation for each target within a mapping. To set the target load order, you then determine the order in which each
Source Qualifier sends data to connected targets in the mapping.
When a mapping includes a Joiner transformation, the Informatica Server sends all records to targets connected to that
Joiner at the same time, regardless of the target load order.
28(iii). How do u set the Target load order?
Ans: To set the target load order:
1. Create a mapping that contains multiple Source Qualifier transformations.
2. After you complete the mapping, choose Mappings-Target Load Plan.
A dialog box lists all Source Qualifier transformations in the mapping, as well as the targets that receive data from each
3. Select a Source Qualifier from the list.
4. Click the Up and Down buttons to move the Source Qualifier within the load order.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for any other Source Qualifiers you wish to reorder.
6. Click OK and Choose Repository-Save.
29. What u can do with Repository Manager?
Ans: We can do following tasks using Repository Manager : -
? To create usernames, you must have one of the following sets of privileges:
- Administer Repository privilege
- Super User privilege
?To create a user group, you must have one of the following privileges :
- Administer Repository privilege
- Super User privilege
?To assign or revoke privileges , u must hv one of the following privilege..
- Administer Repository privilege
- Super User privilege
Note: You cannot change the privileges of the default user groups or the default repository users.
30. What u can do with Designer ?
Ans: The Designer client application provides five tools to help you create mappings:
Source Analyzer. Use to import or create source definitions for flat file, Cobol, ERP, and relational sources.
Warehouse Designer. Use to import or create target definitions.
Transformation Developer. Use to create reusable transformations.
Mapplet Designer. Use to create mapplets.
Mapping Designer. Use to create mappings.
Note:The Designer allows you to work with multiple tools at one time. You can also work in multiple folders and repositories
31. What are different types of Tracing Levels u hv in Transformations?
Ans: Tracing Levels in Transformations :-
Terse Indicates when the Informatica Server initializes the session and its components. Summarizes session results, but not at the level of individual records.
Normal Includes initialization information as well as error messages and notification of rejected data.
Verbose initialization Includes all information provided with the Normal setting plus more extensive information about initializing transformations in the session.
Verbose data Includes all information provided with the Verbose initialization setting.
Note: By default, the tracing level for every transformation is Normal.
To add a slight performance boost, you can also set the tracing level to Terse, writing the minimum of detail to the session log
when running a session containing the transformation.
31(i). What the difference is between a database, a data warehouse and a data mart?
Ans: -- A database is an organized collection of information.
-- A data warehouse is a very large database with special sets of tools to extract and cleanse data from operational systems
and to analyze data.
-- A data mart is a focused subset of a data warehouse that deals with a single area of data and is organized for quick
32. What is Data Mart, Data WareHouse and Decision Support System explain briefly?
Ans: Data Mart:
A data mart is a repository of data gathered from operational data and other sources that is designed to serve a particular
community of knowledge workers. In scope, the data may derive from an enterprise-wide database or data warehouse or be more specialized. The emphasis of a data mart is on meeting the specific demands of a particular group of knowledge users in terms of analysis, content, presentation, and ease-of-use. Users of a data mart can expect to have data presented in terms that are familiar.
In practice, the terms data mart and data warehouse each tend to imply the presence of the other in some form. However, most writers using the term seem to agree that the design of a data mart tends to start from an analysis of user needs and that a data warehouse tends to start from an analysis of what data already exists and how it can be collected in such a way that the data can later be used. A data warehouse is a central aggregation of data (which can be distributed physically); a data mart is a data repository that may derive from a data warehouse or not and that emphasizes ease of access and usability for a particular designed purpose. In general, a data warehouse tends to be a strategic but somewhat unfinished concept; a data mart tends to be tactical and aimed at meeting an immediate need.
A data warehouse is a central repository for all or significant parts of the data that an enterprise's various business systems collect. The term was coined by W. H. Inmon. IBM sometimes uses the term "information warehouse."
Typically, a data warehouse is housed on an enterprise mainframe server. Data from various online transaction processing (OLTP) applications and other sources is selectively extracted and organized on the data warehouse database for use by analytical applications and user queries. Data warehousing emphasizes the capture of data from diverse sources for useful analysis and access, but does not generally start from the point-of-view of the end user or knowledge worker who may need access to specialized, sometimes local databases. The latter idea is known as the data mart.
data mining, Web mining, and a decision support system (DSS) are three kinds of applications that can make use of a data warehouse.
Decision Support System:
A decision support system (DSS) is a computer program application that analyzes business data and presents it so that users can make business decisions more easily. It is an "informational application" (in distinction to an "operational application" that collects the data in the course of normal business operation).
Typical information that a decision support application might gather and present would be:
Comparative sales figures between one week and the next
Projected revenue figures based on new product sales assumptions
The consequences of different decision alternatives, given past experience in a context that is described
A decision support system may present information graphically and may include an expert system or artificial intelligence (AI). It may be aimed at business executives or some other group of knowledge workers.
33. What r the differences between Heterogeneous and Homogeneous?
Ans: Heterogeneous Homogeneous
Stored in different Schemas Common structure
Stored in different file or db types Same database type
Spread across in several countries Same data center
Different platform n H/W config. Same platform and H/Ware configuration.
34. How do you use DDL commands in PL/SQL block ex. Accept table name from user and drop it, if available else display msg?
Ans: To invoke DDL commands in PL/SQL blocks we have to use Dynamic SQL, the Package used is DBMS_SQL.
35. What r the steps to work with Dynamic SQL?
Ans: Open a Dynamic cursor, Parse SQL stmt, Bind i/p variables (if any), Execute SQL stmt of Dynamic Cursor and
Close the Cursor.
36. Which package, procedure is used to find/check free space available for db objects like table/procedures/views/synonyms…etc?
Ans: The Package ? is DBMS_SPACE
The Procedure ? is UNUSED_SPACE
The Table ? is DBA_OBJECTS
Note: See the script to find free space @ c:\informatica\tbl_free_space
37. Does informatica allow if EmpId is PKey in Target tbl and source data is 2 rows with same EmpID?If u use lookup for the same
situation does it allow to load 2 rows or only 1?
Ans: => No, it will not it generates pkey constraint voilation. (it loads 1 row)
=> Even then no if EmpId is Pkey.
38. If Ename varchar2(40) from 1 source(siebel), Ename char(100) from another source (oracle) and the target is having Name
varchar2(50) then how does informatica handles this situation? How Informatica handles string and numbers datatypes
39. How do u debug mappings? I mean where do u attack?
40. How do u qry the Metadata tables for Informatica?
41(i). When do u use connected lookup n when do u use unconnected lookup?
Connected Lookups : - A connected Lookup transformation is part of the mapping data flow. With connected lookups, you can have multiple return values. That is, you can pass multiple values from the same row in the lookup table out of the Lookup transformation.
Common uses for connected lookups include:
=> Finding a name based on a number ex. Finding a Dname based on deptno
=> Finding a value based on a range of dates
=> Finding a value based on multiple conditions
Unconnected Lookups : -
An unconnected Lookup transformation exists separate from the data flow in the mapping. You write an expression using
the :LKP reference qualifier to call the lookup within another transformation.
Some common uses for unconnected lookups include:
=> Testing the results of a lookup in an expression
=> Filtering records based on the lookup results
=> Marking records for update based on the result of a lookup (for example, updating slowly changing dimension tables)
=> Calling the same lookup multiple times in one mapping
41(ii). What r the differences between Connected lookups and Unconnected lookups?
Ans: Although both types of lookups perform the same basic task, there are some important differences:
Connected Lookup Unconnected Lookup
Part of the mapping data flow. Separate from the mapping data flow.
Can return multiple values from the same row. Returns one value from each row.
You link the lookup/output ports to another You designate the return value with the Return port (R).
Supports default values. Does not support default values.
If there's no match for the lookup condition, the If there's no match for the lookup condition, the server
server returns the default value for all output ports. returns NULL.
More visible. Shows the data passing in and out Less visible. You write an expression using :LKP to tell
of the lookup. the server when to perform the lookup.
Cache includes all lookup columns used in the Cache includes lookup/output ports in the Lookup condition
mapping (that is, lookup table columns included and lookup/return port.
in the lookup condition and lookup table
columns linked as output ports to other
42. What u need concentrate after getting explain plan?
Ans: The 3 most significant columns in the plan table are named OPERATION,OPTIONS, and OBJECT_NAME.For each step,
these tell u which operation is going to be performed and which object is the target of that operation.
TO USE EXPLAIN PLAN FOR A QRY...
SQL> EXPLAIN PLAN
2 SET STATEMENT_ID = 'PKAR02'
4 SELECT JOB,MAX(SAL)
5 FROM EMP
6 GROUP BY JOB
7 HAVING MAX(SAL) >= 5000;
TO QUERY THE PLAN TABLE :-
SQL> SELECT RTRIM(ID)||' '||
2 LPAD(' ', 2*(LEVEL-1))||OPERATION
3 ||' '||OPTIONS
4 ||' '||OBJECT_NAME STEP_DESCRIPTION
5 FROM PLAN_TABLE
6 START WITH ID = 0 AND STATEMENT_ID = 'PKAR02'
7 CONNECT BY PRIOR ID = PARENT_ID
8 AND STATEMENT_ID = 'PKAR02'
9 ORDER BY ID;
0 SELECT STATEMENT
2 SORT GROUP BY
3 TABLE ACCESS FULL EMP
43. How components are interfaced in Psoft?
44. How do u do the analysis of an ETL?
45. What is Standard, Reusable Transformation and Mapplet?
Ans: Mappings contain two types of transformations, standard and reusable. Standard transformations exist within a single
mapping. You cannot reuse a standard transformation you created in another mapping, nor can you create a shortcut to that transformation. However, often you want to create transformations that perform common tasks, such as calculating the average salary in a department. Since a standard transformation cannot be used by more than one mapping, you have to set up the same transformation each time you want to calculate the average salary in a department.
Mapplet: A mapplet is a reusable object that represents a set of transformations. It allows you to reuse transformation logic
and can contain as many transformations as you need. A mapplet can contain transformations, reusable transformations, and
shortcuts to transformations.
46. How do u copy Mapping, Repository, Sessions?
Ans: To copy an object (such as a mapping or reusable transformation) from a shared folder, press the Ctrl key and drag and drop
the mapping into the destination folder.
To copy a mapping from a non-shared folder, drag and drop the mapping into the destination folder.
In both cases, the destination folder must be open with the related tool active.
For example, to copy a mapping, the Mapping Designer must be active. To copy a Source Definition, the Source Analyzer must be active.
• To copy the mapping, open a workbook.
• In the Navigator, click and drag the mapping slightly to the right, not dragging it to the workbook.
• When asked if you want to make a copy, click Yes, then enter a new name and click OK.
• Choose Repository-Save.
Repository Copying: You can copy a repository from one database to another. You use this feature before upgrading, to
preserve the original repository. Copying repositories provides a quick way to copy all metadata you want to use as a basis for
a new repository.
If the database into which you plan to copy the repository contains an existing repository, the Repository Manager deletes the existing repository. If you want to preserve the old repository, cancel the copy. Then back up the existing repository before copying the new repository.
To copy a repository, you must have one of the following privileges:
• Administer Repository privilege
• Super User privilege
To copy a repository:
1. In the Repository Manager, choose Repository-Copy Repository.
2. Select a repository you wish to copy, then enter the following information:
-------------------------------- --------------------------- -------------------------------------------------
Copy Repository Field Required/ Optional Description
-------------------------------- --------------------------- -------------------------------------------------
Repository Required Name for the repository copy. Each repository name must be unique within
the domain and should be easily distinguished from all other repositories.
Database Username Required Username required to connect to the database. This login must have the
appropriate database permissions to create the repository.
Database Password Required Password associated with the database username.Must be in US-ASCII.
ODBC Data Source Required Data source used to connect to the database.
Native Connect String Required Connect string identifying the location of the database.
Code Page Required Character set associated with the repository. Must be a superset of the code
page of the repository you want to copy.
If you are not connected to the repository you want to copy, the Repository Manager asks you to log in.
3. Click OK.
5. If asked whether you want to delete an existing repository data in the second repository, click OK to delete it. Click Cancel to preserve the existing repository.
In the Server Manager, you can copy stand-alone sessions within a folder, or copy sessions in and out of batches.
To copy a session, you must have one of the following:
• Create Sessions and Batches privilege with read and write permission
• Super User privilege
To copy a session:
1. In the Server Manager, select the session you wish to copy.
2. Click the Copy Session button or choose Operations-Copy Session.
The Server Manager makes a copy of the session. The Informatica Server names the copy after the original session, appending a number, such as session_name1.
47. What are shortcuts, and what is advantage?
Ans: Shortcuts allow you to use metadata across folders without making copies, ensuring uniform metadata. A shortcut inherits all
properties of the object to which it points. Once you create a shortcut, you can configure the shortcut name and description.
When the object the shortcut references changes, the shortcut inherits those changes. By using a shortcut instead of a copy,
you ensure each use of the shortcut exactly matches the original object. For example, if you have a shortcut to a target
definition, and you add a column to the definition, the shortcut automatically inherits the additional column.
Shortcuts allow you to reuse an object without creating multiple objects in the repository. For example, you use a source
definition in ten mappings in ten different folders. Instead of creating 10 copies of the same source definition, one in each
folder, you can create 10 shortcuts to the original source definition.
You can create shortcuts to objects in shared folders. If you try to create a shortcut to a non-shared folder, the Designer
creates a copy of the object instead.
You can create shortcuts to the following repository objects:
• Source definitions
• Reusable transformations
• Target definitions
• Business components
You can create two types of shortcuts:
Local shortcut. A shortcut created in the same repository as the original object.
Global shortcut. A shortcut created in a local repository that references an object in a global repository.
Advantages: One of the primary advantages of using a shortcut is maintenance. If you need to change all instances of an
object, you can edit the original repository object. All shortcuts accessing the object automatically inherit the changes.
Shortcuts have the following advantages over copied repository objects:
• You can maintain a common repository object in a single location. If you need to edit the object, all shortcuts immediately inherit the changes you make.
• You can restrict repository users to a set of predefined metadata by asking users to incorporate the shortcuts into their work instead of developing repository objects independently.
• You can develop complex mappings, mapplets, or reusable transformations, then reuse them easily in other folders.
• You can save space in your repository by keeping a single repository object and using shortcuts to that object, instead of creating copies of the object in multiple folders or multiple repositories.
48. What are Pre-session and Post-session Options?
(Plzz refer Help Using Shell Commands n Post-Session Commands and Email) Ans: The Informatica Server can perform one or more shell commands before or after the session runs. Shell commands are
operating system commands. You can use pre- or post- session shell commands, for example, to delete a reject file or
session log, or to archive target files before the session begins.
The status of the shell command, whether it completed successfully or failed, appears in the session log file.
To call a pre- or post-session shell command you must:
1. Use any valid UNIX command or shell script for UNIX servers, or any valid DOS or batch file for Windows NT servers.
2. Configure the session to execute the pre- or post-session shell commands.
You can configure a session to stop if the Informatica Server encounters an error while executing pre-session shell commands.
For example, you might use a shell command to copy a file from one directory to another. For a Windows NT server you would use the following shell command to copy the SALES_ ADJ file from the target directory, L, to the source, H:
copy L:\sales\sales_adj H:\marketing\
For a UNIX server, you would use the following command line to perform a similar operation:
cp sales/sales_adj marketing/
Tip: Each shell command runs in the same environment (UNIX or Windows NT) as the Informatica Server. Environment settings in one shell command script do not carry over to other scripts. To run all shell commands in the same environment, call a single shell script that in turn invokes other scripts.
49. What are Folder Versions?
Ans: In the Repository Manager, you can create different versions within a folder to help you archive work in development. You can copy versions to other folders as well. When you save a version, you save all metadata at a particular point in development. Later versions contain new or modified metadata, reflecting work that you have completed since the last version.
Maintaining different versions lets you revert to earlier work when needed. By archiving the contents of a folder into a version each time you reach a development landmark, you can access those versions if later edits prove unsuccessful.
You create a folder version after completing a version of a difficult mapping, then continue working on the mapping. If you are unhappy with the results of subsequent work, you can revert to the previous version, then create a new version to continue development. Thus you keep the landmark version intact, but available for regression.
Note: You can only work within one version of a folder at a time.
50. How do automate/schedule sessions/batches n did u use any tool for automating Sessions/batch?
Ans: We scheduled our sessions/batches using Server Manager.
You can either schedule a session to run at a given time or interval, or you can manually start the session.
U needto hv create sessions n batches with Read n Execute permissions or super user privilege.
If you configure a batch to run only on demand, you cannot schedule it.
Note: We did not use any tool for automation process.
51. What are the differences between 4.7 and 5.1 versions?
Ans: New Transformations added like XML Transformation and MQ Series Transformation, and PowerMart and PowerCenter both
are same from 5.1version.
52. What r the procedure that u need to undergo before moving Mappings/sessions from Testing/Development to Production?
53. How many values it (informatica server) returns when it passes thru Connected Lookup n Unconncted Lookup?
Ans: Connected Lookup can return multiple values where as Unconnected Lookup will return only one values that is Return Value.
54. What is the difference between PowerMart and PowerCenter in 4.7.2?
Ans: If You Are Using PowerCenter
PowerCenter allows you to register and run multiple Informatica Servers against the same repository. Because you can run
these servers at the same time, you can distribute the repository session load across available servers to improve overall
With PowerCenter, you receive all product functionality, including distributed metadata, the ability to organize repositories into
a data mart domain and share metadata across repositories.
A PowerCenter license lets you create a single repository that you can configure as a global repository, the core component
of a data warehouse.
If You Are Using PowerMart
This version of PowerMart includes all features except distributed metadata and multiple registered servers. Also, the various
options available with PowerCenter (such as PowerCenter Integration Server for BW, PowerConnect for IBM DB2,
PowerConnect for SAP R/3, and PowerConnect for PeopleSoft) are not available with PowerMart.
55. What kind of modifications u can do/perform with each Transformation?
Ans: Using transformations, you can modify data in the following ways:
Calculate a value Expression
Perform an aggregate calculations Aggregator
Modify text Expression
Filter records Filter, Source Qualifier
Order records queried by the Informatica Server Source Qualifier
Call a stored procedure Stored Procedure
Call a procedure in a shared library or in the External Procedure
COM layer of Windows NT
Generate primary keys Sequence Generator
Limit records to a top or bottom range Rank
Normalize records, including those read Normalizer
from COBOL sources
Look up values Lookup
Determine whether to insert, delete, update, Update Strategy
or reject records
Join records from different databases Joiner
or flat file systems
56. Expressions in Transformations, Explain briefly how do u use?
Ans: Expressions in Transformations
To transform data passing through a transformation, you can write an expression. The most obvious examples of these are the
Expression and Aggregator transformations, which perform calculations on either single values or an entire range of values
within a port. Transformations that use expressions include the following:
Transformation How It Uses Expressions
Expression Calculates the result of an expression for each row passing through the transformation, using values from one or more ports.
Aggregator Calculates the result of an aggregate expression, such as a sum or average, based on all data passing through a port or on groups within that data.
Filter Filters records based on a condition you enter using an expression.
Rank Filters the top or bottom range of records, based on a condition you enter using an expression.
Update Strategy Assigns a numeric code to each record based on an expression, indicating whether the Informatica Server should use the information in the record to insert, delete, or update the target.
In each transformation, you use the Expression Editor to enter the expression. The Expression Editor supports the transformation language for building expressions. The transformation language uses SQL-like functions, operators, and other components to build the expression. For example, as in SQL, the transformation language includes the functions COUNT and SUM. However, the PowerMart/PowerCenter transformation language includes additional functions not found in SQL.
When you enter the expression, you can use values available through ports. For example, if the transformation has two input ports representing a price and sales tax rate, you can calculate the final sales tax using these two values. The ports used in the expression can appear in the same transformation, or you can use output ports in other transformations.
57. In case of Flat files (which comes thru FTP as source) has not arrived then what happens?Where do u set this option?
Ans: U get an fatel error which cause server to fail/stop the session.
U can set Event-Based Scheduling Option in Session Properties under General tab-->Advanced options..
----------------- ------------------- ------------------
Event-Based Required/ Optional Description
----------------- -------------------- ------------------
Indicator File to Wait For Optional Required to use event-based scheduling. Enter the indicator file
(or directory and file) whose arrival schedules the session. If you do
not enter a directory, the Informatica Server assumes the file appears
in the server variable directory $PMRootDir.
58. What is the Test Load Option and when you use in Server Manager?
Ans: When testing sessions in development, you may not need to process the entire source. If this is true, use the Test Load
Option(Session Properties ? General Tab ? Target Options ?Choose Target Load options as Normal (option button), with
Test Load cheked (Check box) and No.of rows to test ex.2000 (Text box with Scrolls)). You can also click the Start button.
59. SCD Type 2 and SGT difference?
60. Differences between 4.7 and 5.1?
61. Tuning Informatica Server for improving performance? Performance Issues?
Ans: See /* C:\pkar\Informatica\Performance Issues.doc */
62. What is Override Option? Which is better?
63. What will happen if u increase buffer size?
64. what will happen if u increase commit Intervals? and also decrease commit Intervals?
65. What kind of Complex mapping u did? And what sort of problems u faced?
66. If u have 10 mappings designed and u need to implement some changes(may be in existing mapping or new mapping need to
be designed) then how much time it takes from easier to complex?
67. Can u refresh Repository in 4.7 and 5.1? and also can u refresh pieces (partially) of repository in 4.7 and 5.1?
68. What is BI?
69. Benefits of BI?
70. BI Faq
71. What is difference between data scrubbing and data cleansing?
Ans: Scrubbing data is the process of cleaning up the junk in legacy data and making it accurate and useful for the next generations
of automated systems. This is perhaps the most difficult of all conversion activities. Very often, this is made more difficult when
the customer wants to make good data out of bad data. This is the dog work. It is also the most important and can not be done
without the active participation of the user.
DATA CLEANING - a two step process including DETECTION and then CORRECTION of errors in a data set
72. What is Metadata and Repository?
Metadata. “Data about data” .
It contains descriptive data for end users.
Contains data that controls the ETL processing.
Contains data about the current state of the data warehouse.
ETL updates metadata, to provide the most current state.
Repository. The place where you store the metadata is called a repository. The more sophisticated your repository, the more
complex and detailed metadata you can store in it. PowerMart and PowerCenter use a relational database as the
73. SQL * LOADER?
74. Debugger in Mapping?
75. Parameters passing in 5.1 vesion exposure?
76. What is the filename which u need to configure in Unix while Installing Informatica?
77. How do u select duplicate rows using Informatica i.e., how do u use Max(Rowid)/Min(Rowid) in Informatica?