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DB2 Interview Questions and Answers

DB2 interview questions and answers explore the core concepts, practices, and complexities of DB2 to help candidates ace their next interview.

Enterprises widely use DB2, a powerful relational database management system. It enjoys widespread popularity, being one of the top 10 most used databases worldwide. Moreover, candidates with knowledge of DB2 are eligible for lucrative job opportunities. As such, the average base salary of a DB2 database administrator in the US is $90851 per year.

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Table of Contents


DB2 Interview Questions (Basic)

DB2 Interview Questions (Advanced)

Final Thoughts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Recommended Articles

Key Highlights

Understanding the different components and their roles in DB2 architecture is crucial to answering questions on DB2 architecture in an interview.

Knowing the syntax, usage, and performance implications of complex SQL queries can help candidates demonstrate their SQL skills.

Familiarity with various data management features in DB2, such as backup and recovery, data compression, data partitioning, and data replication, can help candidates showcase their ability to manage data effectively.

Demonstrating knowledge of performance tuning can make a candidate stand out in an interview.

Well-versed candidates in authentication, authorization, encryption, and auditing features can demonstrate their ability to maintain data security and integrity in an enterprise environment.

Part 1 – DB2 Interview Questions (Basic) Q1. What is the picture clause in DB2? How can one use it in case of the null indicator variable?

In DB2, the picture clause is used to define the format of a data item. It specifies the number of digits, the position of the decimal point, and the type of data, such as alphabetic or numeric.

The picture clause can define the format of the null indicator field in the program in the case of a null indicator variable.

The picture clause for a null indicator variable must be S9(4) COMP, which specifies that it is a signed numeric field with a length of four bytes.

The first two bytes are used to store the length of the data item, and the second two bytes are used to store a binary value indicating whether the data item is null or not.

The picture clause ensures the correct formatting of the null indicator variable, enabling the checking of null values in the data.

Q2. Explain what a DB2 deadlock is and how it can be identified.


A DB2 deadlock occurs when two or more transactions are waiting for each other to release resources needed to complete their work. Both transactions can become blocked, preventing them from proceeding and causing the application to hang or become unresponsive.

To identify DB2 deadlocks-

Enable tracing and monitoring tools, such as the IBM Data Server Manager or the DB2 Event Monitor, to capture and analyze the events and locks that occur during a transaction. These tools can help identify the resources causing the deadlock and the transactions involved.

Another method uses the DB2 administrative views and commands, such as the SYSIBMADM.SNAPLOCK table to monitor the locking activity and identify potential deadlocks.

DB2 utilities like the db2pd command or the db2top tool can display real-time lock and transaction information.

Q3. Every RDBMS database always follows some well-defined structure for the executed SQL statement in its environment. In the case of DB2, which component is responsible for executing the SQL statement? Explain with an example.


In DB2, the component responsible for executing SQL statements is the DB2 SQL Processor. The SQL Processor receives the SQL statement from the application and performs the following steps:

Parsing: The SQL statement is parsed to identify its structure and validate its syntax. Any errors are reported back to the application.

Binding: The SQL statement is bound to the database objects it references, such as tables and indexes. This process checks the objects’ availability, verifies the user’s permissions, and generates an execution plan for the statement.

Optimization: The DB2 Optimizer optimizes the execution plan generated during binding to determine the most efficient way to access and manipulate the data.

Execution: The DB2 Access Manager executes the optimized execution plan, retrieves the data from the database, and returns the results to the application.

For example, consider the following SQL statement:


When this statement executes, the SQL Processor will parse it to identify the SELECT and WHERE clauses, bind it to the EMPLOYEE table, optimize the execution plan to efficiently retrieve the rows with DEPT = ‘SALES’, and execute the plan to retrieve the desired results.

Q4. What is a DB2 index, and how does it work?


An index in DB2 is a data structure that helps speed up queries on large tables by quickly allowing the database to find the rows that match specific criteria.

DB2 can use the index to quickly find the subset of rows that match the criteria specified in the WHERE clause rather than scanning the entire table when executing a query that includes a WHERE clause.

For example, if there is a table of customer orders with millions of rows, one can create an index on the “customer_id” column to speed up those queries.

Q5. One of the common approaches in the RDBMS database is expecting the average salary for an entire organization from a specific table using the common aggregator AVG. Is there any possibility of giving some wrong average value for any common mistake? If yes, explain the mistake and how we can recover the same.


Yes, it is possible to give a wrong average value for an organization’s salary if the table contains NULL values for the salary column.

The AVG function in SQL considers only the non-NULL values to calculate the average.

If a column contains NULL values, the AVG function will exclude those values in its calculation, which can lead to a wrong average value.

To avoid this, one can use the COALESCE function to replace NULL values with a default value (e.g., 0) before calculating the average.

Alternatively, one can use the AVG function with the OVER clause and the ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND UNBOUNDED FOLLOWING specification to include all rows in the calculation, regardless of their NULL values. By using this approach, the average can be calculated correctly even if there are NULL values in the column.

Part 2 – DB2 Interview Questions (Advanced) Q6. Which component handles DB2 database startup and shutdown?

The component responsible for handling DB2 database startup and shutdown is the DB2 Database Manager (DBM).

DBM is responsible for starting and stopping instances of the DB2 database, which are collections of databases managed as a single unit.

DBM can be started and stopped manually using the db2start and db2stop commands or automatically using operating system facilities such as systemd or init.d.

Shutting down DBM terminates all processes and services associated with the database instance and releases any system resources allocated to it.

Q7. Explain different types of locks in the DB2 database.


Shared lock: A shared lock allows multiple transactions to read data but prevents them from modifying it. It is used for data that does not need to be updated frequently.

Exclusive lock: An exclusive lock allows transaction access to a piece of data, preventing other transactions from reading or updating it. It is used when data needs to be updated frequently.

Update lock: An update lock is similar to a shared lock in that it allows multiple transactions to read the data but reserves the right to update the data in the future. It ensures that another transaction does not update data before the current transaction can update it.

Intent lock: An intent lock indicates the type of lock a transaction intends to use on a piece of data. It is used to simplify lock management in complex transactions.

Row-level lock: A row-level lock allows a transaction to lock a specific row in a table, preventing other transactions from accessing or updating that row. It is used when a transaction needs to update a small portion of a table.

Table-level lock: A table-level lock locks an entire table, preventing other transactions from accessing or updating any data. It is used when a transaction needs to update a large portion of a table.

Q8. Explain isolation levels. At what level can it be added?


In DB2, one can specify the isolation level for the binding step.

DB2 defines the binding step as the compilation process on the database platform.

BIND ensures the proper compilation of Cobol programming.

It helps to DB2 optimizer for preparing the SQL statement in the executable code. 

Q9. Execution of DML statements like UPDATE, INSERT and DELETE impacts some number of rows. Which field helps to show the number of rows in SQLCA?


To check how many rows have been impacted or updated, it is necessary to validate SQLERRD, which contains that information.

Q10. What will be the defined length of physical storage for storing the timestamp in the IBM Db2 database?


Timestamps normally occupy 10 bytes. They store in the YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM: SS: NNNNNN format.

Final Thoughts

A thorough comprehension of database fundamentals and strong technical proficiency in SQL and data administration is necessary for DB2 interview preparation. Being familiar with the DB2 platform and related tools is also crucial. A variety of subjects, including database architecture, data modeling, database administration, performance tuning, and troubleshooting, may be covered in DB2 interview questions. Moreover, Showing that the candidate can work cooperatively with a team and solve problems is crucial. One can feel more secure and prepared to demonstrate your abilities and knowledge in a DB2 interview by studying these critical topics and rehearsing answers to typical interview questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answer: DB2 interview questions are questions that an interviewer may ask to assess a candidate’s knowledge and expertise in the DB2 database management system. Some common questions involve-

2. What are the four environments which can access DB2?

Answer: The four environments that can access DB2 are:

Application programming environment

Database administration environment

System administration environment

Operations and monitoring environment

3. What type of SQL is DB2?

Answer: DB2 uses a variant of SQL called Structured Query Language/Data System (SQL/DS).

4. What is the bind process in DB2?

Answer: DB2 uses the bind process to validate and resolve database object references in SQL statements and generate an optimized access plan for the statement. The DB2 Optimizer uses the access plan stored in the database to execute the SQL statement efficiently.

Recommended Articles

This article is an EDUCBA guide to DB2 interview questions. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information:

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