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2 September 2014

SQL Server- Replication Administration Interview Questions and Answers - DotNet Brother

Does activity need to be stopped on a database when it is published?

No. Activity can continue on a database while a publication is being created. Be aware that producing a snapshot can be resource-intensive, so it is best to generate snapshots during periods of lower activity on the database (by default a snapshot is generated when you complete the New Publication Wizard).

Are tables locked during snapshot generation?

The length of time that the locks are taken depends on the type of replication used:
  • For merge publications, the Snapshot Agent does not take any locks.
  • For transactional publications, by default the Snapshot Agent takes locks only during the initial phase of snapshot generation.
  • For snapshot publications the Snapshot Agent takes locks during the entire snapshot generation process.
Note:- Because locks prevent other users from updating the tables, the Snapshot Agent should be scheduled to execute during periods of lower activity on the database, especially for snapshot publications.

When is a subscription available; when can the subscription database be used?

 

A subscription is available after the snapshot has been applied to the subscription database. Even though the subscription database is accessible prior to this, the database should not be used until after the snapshot has been applied. Use Replication Monitor to check the status of snapshot generation and application:

·         The snapshot is generated by the Snapshot Agent. View the status of snapshot generation on the Agents tab for a publication in Replication Monitor.
·         The snapshot is applied by the Distribution Agent or Merge Agent. View the status of snapshot application in the Distribution Agent or Merge Agent page of Replication Monitor.

What happens if the Snapshot Agent has not completed when the Distribution or Merge Agent starts?

 

It will not cause an error if the Distribution Agent or Merge Agent runs at the same time as the Snapshot Agent. However, you must be aware of the following:

·         If the Distribution Agent or Merge Agent is configured to run continuously, the agent applies the snapshot automatically after the Snapshot Agent completes.

·         If the Distribution Agent or Merge Agent is configured to run on a schedule or on-demand, and there is no snapshot available when the agent runs, the agent will shut down with a message stating that a snapshot is not yet available. You must run the agent again to apply the snapshot after the Snapshot Agent has completed.

Should I script my replication configuration?

Yes. Scripting the replication configuration is a key part of any disaster recovery plan for
 a replication topology.

What recovery model is required on a replicated database?

Replication functions properly using any of the recovery models: simple, bulk-logged, or
full. Merge replication tracks change by storing information in metadata tables.
Transactional replication tracks changes by marking the transaction log, but this marking
 process is not affected by the recovery model.

Why does replication add a column to replicated tables; will it be removed if the table isn't published?

To track changes, merge replication and transactional replication with queued updating
 subscriptions must be able to uniquely identify every row in every published table. To
 accomplish this:

·         Merge replication adds the column rowguid to every table, unless the table already has a column of data type uniqueidentifier with the ROWGUIDCOL property set (in which case this column is used). If the table is dropped from the publication, the rowguid column is removed; if an existing column was used for tracking, the column is not removed.
·         If a transactional publication supports queued updating subscriptions, replication adds the column msrepl_tran_version to every table. If the table is dropped from the publication, the msrepl_tran_version column is not removed.

·         A filter must not include the rowguidcol used by replication to identify rows. By default this is the column added at the time you set up merge replication and is named rowguid.

How do I manage constraints on published tables?

There are a number of issues to consider regarding constraints on published tables:


 Transactional replication requires a primary key constraint on each published table. Merge replication does not require a primary key, but if one is present, it must be replicated. Snapshot replication does not require a primary key. By default, primary key constraints, indexes, and check constraints are replicated to Subscribers.

The NOT FOR REPLICATION option is specified by default for foreign key constraints and check constraints; the constraints are enforced for user operations but not agent operations.


How do I manage identity columns?

Replication provides automatic identity range management for replication topologies that include updates at the Subscriber.


Can the same objects be published in different publications?

Yes, but with some restrictions.


Can multiple publications use the same distribution database?

Yes. There are no restrictions on the number or types of publications that can use the same distribution database. All publications from a given Publisher must use the same Distributor and distribution database.

If you have multiple publications, you can configure multiple distribution databases at the Distributor to ensure that the data flowing through each distribution database is from a single publication. Use the Distributor Properties dialog box or sp_adddistributiondb  to add a distribution database.


Does replication encrypt the data?

No. Replication does not encrypt data that is stored in the database or transferred over the network.


How do I replicate data over the Internet?

Replicate data over the Internet using:

  •  A Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • The Web synchronization option for merge replication.

Note:- All types of Microsoft SQL Server replication can replicate data over a VPN, but you should consider Web synchronization if you are using merge replication.


Does replication resume if a connection is dropped

Yes. Replication processing resumes at the point at which it left off if a connection is dropped. If you are using merge replication over an unreliable network, consider using logical records, which ensures related changes are processed as a unit.


Does replication work over low bandwidth connections? Does it use compression?

Yes, replication does work over low bandwidth connections. For connections over TCP/IP, it uses the compression provided by the protocol but does not provide additional compression. For Web synchronization connections over HTTPS, it uses the compression provided by the protocol and also additional compression of the XML files used to replicate changes.


Are logins and passwords replicated?

No. You could create a DTS package to transfer logins and passwords from a Publisher to one or more Subscribers.

What are schemas and how are they replicated?

Beginning with Microsoft SQL Server 2005, schema has two meanings:
·         The definition of an object, such as a CREATE TABLE statement. By default, replication copies the definitions of all replicated objects to the Subscriber.
·         The namespace within which an object is created: <Database>.<Schema>.<Object>. Schemas are defined using the CREATE SCHEMA statement.
·         Replication has the following default behavior in the New Publication Wizard with respect to schemas and object ownership:
·         For articles in merge publications with a compatibility level of 90 or higher, snapshot publications, and transactional publications: by default, the object owner at the Subscriber is the same as the owner of the corresponding object at the Publisher. If the schemas that own objects do not exist at the Subscriber, they are created automatically.
·         For articles in merge publications with a compatibility level lower than 90: by default, the owner is left blank and is specified as dbo during the creation of the object on the Subscriber.
·         For articles in Oracle publications: by default, the owner is specified as dbo.
·         For articles in publications that use character mode snapshots (which are used for non-SQL Server Subscribers and SQL Server Compact Subscribers): by default, the owner is left blank. The owner defaults to the owner associated with the account used by the Distribution Agent or Merge Agent to connect to the Subscriber.
The object owner can be changed through the Article Properties - <Article> dialog box and through the following stored procedures: sp_addarticlesp_addmergearticle,  sp_changearticle, and sp_changemergearticle.

How can grants on the subscription database be configured to match grants on the publication database?

By default, replication does not execute GRANT statements on the subscription database. If you want the permissions on the subscription database to match those on the publication database, use one of the following methods:
·         Execute GRANT statements at the subscription database directly.
·         Use a post-snapshot script to execute the statements.
·         Use the stored procedure sp_addscriptexec to execute the statements.

What happens to permissions granted in a subscription database if a subscription is reinitialized?

By default, objects at the Subscriber are dropped and recreated when a subscription is reinitialized, which causes all granted permissions for those objects to be dropped. There are two ways to handle this:
·         Reapply the grants after the reinitialization using the techniques described in the previous section.
·         Specify that objects should not be dropped when the subscription is reinitialized. Prior to reinitialization, either:
o    Execute sp_changearticle or sp_changemergearticle. Specify a value of 'pre_creation_cmd' (sp_changearticle) or 'pre_creation_command' (sp_changemergearticle) for the parameter @property and a value of 'none', 'delete' or 'truncate' for the parameter @value.
o    In the Article Properties - <Article> dialog box in the Destination Object section, select a value of Keep existing object unchanged, Delete data. If article has a row filter, delete only data that matches the filter. or Truncate all data in the existing object for the option Action if name is in use.

 

Why can't I run TRUNCATE TABLE on a published table?

TRUNCATE TABLE is a non-logged operation that does not fire triggers. It is not permitted because replication cannot track the changes caused by the operation: transactional replication tracks changes through the transaction log; merge replication tracks changes through triggers on published tables.

What is the effect of running a bulk insert command on a replicated database?

For transactional replication, bulk inserts are tracked and replicated like other inserts. For merge replication, you must ensure that change tracking metadata is updated properly.

Does replication affect the size of the transaction log?

Merge replication and snapshot replication do not affect transaction log size, but transactional replication can. If a database includes one or more transactional publications, the log is not truncated until all transactions relevant to the publications have been delivered to the distribution database. If the transaction log is growing too large, and the Log Reader Agent is running on a scheduled basis, consider shortening the interval between runs. Or, set it to run in continuous mode. If it is set to run in continuous mode (the default), ensure that it is running.

Additionally, if you have set the option 'sync with backup' on the publication database or distribution database, the transaction log is not truncated until all transactions have been backed up. If the transaction log is growing too large, and you have this option set, consider shortening the interval between transaction log backups.

How do I rebuild indexes or tables in replicated databases?

There are a variety of mechanisms for rebuilding indexes. They can all be used with no special considerations for replication, with the following exception: primary keys are required on tables in transactional publications, so you cannot drop and recreate primary keys on these tables.

How do I add or change indexes on publication and subscription databases?

Indexes can be added at the Publisher or Subscribers with no special considerations for replication (be aware that indexes can affect performance). CREATE INDEX and ALTER INDEX are not replicated, so if you add or change an index at, for example, the Publisher, you must make the same addition or change at the Subscriber if you want it reflected there.

How do I move or rename files for databases involved in replication?

In versions of SQL Server prior to SQL Server 2005, moving or renaming database files required detaching and reattaching the database. Because a replicated database cannot be detached, replication had to be removed from these databases first. Beginning with SQL Server 2005, you can move or rename files without detaching and re-attaching the database, with no effect on replication.

How do I drop a table that is being replicated?

First drop the article from the publication using sp_droparticle, sp_dropmergearticle, or the Publication Properties - <Publication> dialog box, and then drop it from the database using DROP <Object>. You cannot drop articles from snapshot or transactional publications after subscriptions have been added; you must drop the subscriptions first.

How do I add or drop columns on a published table?

SQL Server supports a wide variety of schema changes on published objects, including adding and dropping columns. For example, execute ALTER TABLE … DROP COLUMN at the Publisher, and the statement is replicated to Subscribers and then executed to drop the column. Subscribers running versions of SQL Server prior to SQL Server 2005 support adding and dropping columns through the stored procedures sp_repladdcolumn and sp_repldropcolumn.

 

How do I add a table to an existing publication?

It is not necessary to stop activity on the publication or subscription databases in order to add a table (or another object). Add a table to a publication through thePublication Properties - <Publication> dialog box or the stored procedures sp_addarticle and sp_addmergearticle.

How do I remove a table from a publication?

Remove a table from the publication using sp_droparticle, sp_dropmergearticle, or the Publication Properties - <Publication> dialog box. You cannot drop articles from snapshot or transactional publications after subscriptions have been added; you must drop the subscriptions first. 

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