Top Informatica MDM Interview Questions & Answers [ UPDATED ]
Informatica MDM Interview Questions and Answers

Top Informatica MDM Interview Questions & Answers [ UPDATED ]

Last updated on 08th Jun 2020, Blog, Interview Questions

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Informatica MDM stands for Informatica Master Data Management. It is an Informatica system that is used widely by organizations for business management. A collaboration of programs across various business departments. Ensuring the security and safety of the organization’s data. Providing critical business information.  

1. What is MDM?


Master data management (MDM) is a comprehensive method of enabling an enterprise to link all of its critical data to one file, called a master file, that provides a common point of reference. When properly done, MDM streamlines data sharing among personnel and departments.

2. Define Dimensional Modeling?


 There are two types of table involved in Dimensional Modeling and this model concept is different from the third normal form. The Dimensional data model concept makes use of a facts table containing the measurements of the business and dimension table containing the measurement context.

3. What are the data movement modes in Informatica?


A data movement mode determines how the power center server handles the character data. We choose the data movement in the Informatica server configuration settings.

Two types of data movement modes available in Informatica.

  • ASCII mode
  • Unicode mode

4. Are you seeing awareness translate into bigger budgets for MDM?


It’s a matter of awareness and the problem becoming urgent. We are seeing budgets increased and greater success in closing deals, particularly in the Pharmaceutical and Financial services industries. Forrester predicts MDM will be a $6 billion market by 2010, which is a 60 percent growth rate over the $1 billion MDM market last year. Gartner forecasted that 70 percent of Global 2000 companies will have an MDM solution by the year 2010. These are pretty big numbers

5. What are the different ways to migrate from one environment to another in Informatica?


  • We can export repository and import into the new environment
  • We can use Informatica deployment groups
  • We can Copy folders/objects
  • We can Export each mapping to XML and import in a new environment

6. What are the fundamental stages of Data Warehousing?


  • Offline Operational Databases : Data warehouses in this initial stage are developed by simply copying the database of an operational system to an off-line server where the processing load of reporting does not impact on the operational system’s performance.
  • Offline Data Warehouse : Data warehouses in this stage of evolution are updated on a regular time cycle (usually daily, weekly or monthly) from the operational systems and the data is stored in an integrated reporting-oriented data structure.
  • Real-Time Data Warehouse: Data warehouses at this stage are updated on a transaction or event basis, every time an operational system performs a transaction (e.g. an order or a delivery or a booking, etc.)
  • Integrated Data Warehouse : Data warehouses at this stage are used to generate activity or transactions that are passed back into the operational systems for use in the daily activity of the organization.

7. Explain Transformation?


It is a repository object that helps in generating, modifying or passing data. In a mapping, transformations make a representation of the operations integrated with service performs on the data. All the data goes by transformation ports that are only linked with maple or mapping.

8. Describe the foreign key columns in fact table and dimension table?


  • Foreign keys of dimension tables are the primary keys of entity tables.
  • Foreign keys of facts tables are the primary keys of dimension tables.

9. What is a mapplet?


A Mapplet is a reusable object that contains a set of transformations and enables to reuse that transformation logic in multiple mappings.

10. What are the Different methods of loading Dimension tables?


There are two different ways to load data in dimension tables:

  • Conventional (Slow): All the constraints and keys are validated against the data before, it is loaded; this way data integrity is maintained.
  • Direct (Fast): All the constraints and keys are disabled before the data is loaded. Once data is loaded, it is validated against all the constraints and keys. If data is found invalid or dirty it is not included in the index and all future processes are skipped on this data. 

11. Define Informatica Power Center?


Designed by Informatica Corporation, it is data integration software providing an environment that lets data loading into a centralized location like a data warehouse. From here, data can be easily extracted from an array of sources, also can be transformed as per the business logic and then can be easily loaded into files as well as relation targets.

12. Describe the parallel degree of data loading properties in MDM?


This specifies the parallelism’s degree that is set upon the base object table as well as its related tables. Although it doesn’t occur for all batch processes, it can have a positive consequence on performance once it’s used. Nevertheless, its use is restricted by the number of CPUs on the database server machine along with the amount of available memory. 1 is the default value.

13. Has MDM gone mainstream? Do people “get it?


There is a huge awareness of MDM. Gartner recently hosted an MDM conference for the first time [piggy-backing on its CRM conference], and they pulled in about 500 attendees.

As to whether they “get it,” it depends on who you’re talking to. Most of the IT people get it. Business users understand the moniker, but they might or might not understand MDM quite as well. I find that business users often require education in terms of what it can do for them and what value it brings. With IT people, it’s a different conversation; they want to know more about the features and how we differentiate ourselves from the competition.

14. What are the biggest technical and management challenges in adopting MDM?


Technical folks often have a challenge in data governance in selling the project and getting the funding. Management is looking for a return on investment; they need MDM tied to quantifiable benefits that business leaders understand, like dollar amounts around ROI.

15. Name various components of Informatica Power Center. 


There are various components of Informatica PowerCenter. They are as follows:

  • PowerCenter Repository
  • PowerCenter Domain
  • PowerCenter Client
  • Administration Console
  • Integration Service
  • Repository Service
  • Data Analyser
  • Web Services Hub
  • PowerCenter Repository Reports
  • Metadata Manager

16. What is Data Mining?


Data Mining is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information.

17. What is a different type of repository that can be created using the Informatica Repository Manager?


  • Standalone Repository: A repository which functions individually and is unrelated to any other repositories.
  • Global Repository : This is a centralized repository in a domain. This repository can contain shared objects across the repositories in a domain. The objects are shared through global shortcuts.
  • Local Repository: The local repository is within a domain. The local repository can connect to a global repository using global shortcuts and can use objects in it’s shared folders.

18. What is the Dimension table?


The dimensional table contains textual attributes of measurements stored in the facts tables. The dimensional table is a collection of hierarchies, categories, and logic which can be used for the user to traverse in hierarchy nodes.

19. What is the expiration module of automatic lock-in Informatica MDM?


In every 60 seconds, the hub console is refreshed in the current connection. A lock can be released manually by a user. In case the user switches to another database while having a hold of a lock, then the lock will be released automatically. In case the hub console is terminated by the user, then the lock will be expired after a minute.

20. Define Data Warehousing?


It is the main depot of an organization’s historical data and its corporate memory, containing the raw material for the decision support system of management. What leads to the use of data warehousing is that it allows a data analyst to execute complex queries and analysis like data mining on the info without making any slow in an operational system. Collection of data in Data warehousing is planned for supporting decision making of the management. These warehouses contain an array of data presenting a coherent image of business conditions in time at a single point. Data Warehousing is a repository of information that is available for analysis and query.

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    21. What is the difference between the mapping parameter and variable?


    •  A Mapping Parameter is a static value that you define before running the session and its value remains until the end of the session. When we run the session PowerCenter evaluates the value from the parameter and retains the same value throughout the session. When the session runs again it reads from the file for its value.
    • A Mapping Variable is dynamic or changes anytime during the session. PowerCenter reads the initial value of the variable before the start of the session and changes its value by using variable functions and before ending the session its saves the current value (last value held by the variable). Next time when the session runs the variable value is the last saved value in the previous session.

    22. What is a Fact table?


     Fact table contains measurements of business processes also fact table contains the foreign keys for the dimension tables. For example, if your business process is “paper production” then “average production of paper by one machine” or “weekly production of paper” would be considered as a measurement of the business process

    23. Name various objects that can’t be used in mapplet?


     There are a number of objects that you cannot use in a mapplet. They are:

    • Joiner transformations 
    • COBOL source definition
    • Target definitions
    • IBM MQ source definitions 
    • XML source definitions
    • Normaliser transformations 
    • Non reusable sequence generator transformations 
    • Power mart 3.5 style Lookup functions 
    • Post or pre session stored procedures

    24. What is OLAP?


     OLAP is an abbreviation of Online Analytical Processing. This system is an application that collects, manages, processes and presents multidimensional data for analysis and management purposes.

    25. Describe all the biggest management and technical challenges in adopting MDM?


    There is always a challenge for technical folks in data governance to sell the project and get the fund. There is always a look for ROI by management. They require MDM knotted to quantifiable benefits that are considered by business leaders such as dollar amounts around ROI.

    26. How many sources were present in your last project and what are those?


    This question is normally followed with several questions which depend on the number of sources configured. So provide the number of source systems which you configured in the project. Also, provide the name of source systems and what kind of data contributed by each source system. The source system names such as SALES, CRM, HCM etc.

    27. How to delete duplicate records in Informatica?


     Following are ways to remove duplicate records:

    • In the source, qualifier use select distinctly
    • Use Aggregator and group by all fields
    • Override SQL query in Source qualifier

    28. Name the tables that are linked with staging data in Informatica MDM?


    There are various tables that are linked with staging data in Informatica MDM. They are:

    • Landing Table
    • Raw Table
    • Rejects Table
    • Staging Table

    29. Explain various types of LOCK used in Informatica MDM 10.1?


    Two types of LOCK are used in Informatica MDM 10.1. They are:

    • Exclusive Lock: Letting just one user make alterations to the underlying operational reference store.
    • Write Lock: Letting multiple users make amendments to the underlying metadata at the same time.

    30. What is the way to find all the invalid mappings in a folder?


    By using a query all the invalid mappings in a folder can be found. It is:


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    31. What is Mapping?


    A mapping is a set of source and target definitions linked by transformation objects that define the rules for data transformation. Mappings represent the data flow between sources and targets

    32. Name the tool which does not require Lock in Informatica MDM?


    Merge manager, data manager and hierarchy manager do not demand for write locks. Besides. The audit manager also does not need write locks.

    33. Name various tools that require LOCK in Informatica MDM?


    There are several tools that require LOCK to make configuration changes to the database of MDM Hub Master. They are:

    • Message Queues 
    • Tool Access 
    • Users 
    • Security Providers 
    • Databases 
    • Repository Manager

    34. How can we filter rows in Informatica?


    There are two ways to filter rows in Informatica, they are as follows:

    • Source Qualifier Transformation: It filters rows while reading data from a relational data source. It minimizes the number of rows while mapping to enhance performance. Also, Standard SQL is used by the filter condition for executing in the database.
    • Filter Transformation: It filters rows within a mapped data from any source. It is added close to the source to filter out the unwanted data and maximize performance. It generates true or false values based on conditions.

    35. In Informatica Workflow Manager, how many repositories can be created?


    Depending upon the number of ports that are required, repositories can be created. In general, however, there can be any number of repositories.

    36. What are the types of lookup transformation?


    There are four different types of lookup transformation:

    • Relational or flat file lookup: It performs lookup on relational tables.
    • Pipeline lookup: It performs lookup on application sources.
    • Connected or unconnected lookup: While the connected lookup transformation receives data from source, performs lookup, and returns the result to the pipeline, the unconnected lookup happens when the source is not connected. It returns one column to the calling transformation.
    • Cached or uncached lookup: Lookup transformation can be configured to cache lookup data, or we can directly query the lookup source every time a lookup is invoked.

    37. How do pre- and post-session shell commands function?


    A command task can be called as a pre- or post-session shell command for a session task. Users can run it as a pre-session command, a post-session success command, or a post-session failure command. Based on use cases, the application of shell commands can be changed or altered.

    38. What can we do to improve the performance of Informatica Aggregator Transformation?


    Aggregator performance improves dramatically if records are sorted before passing to the aggregator and if the ‘sorted input’ option under Aggregator Properties is checked. The record set should be sorted on those columns that are used in the Group By operation. It is often a good idea to sort the record set in the database level, e.g., inside a source qualifier transformation, unless there is a chance that the already sorted records from the source qualifier can again become unsorted before reaching the aggregator.

    39. What is the difference between STOP and ABORT options in Workflow Monitor?


    On issuing the STOP command on the session task, the integration service stops reading data from the source although it continues processing the data to targets. If the integration service cannot finish processing and committing data, we can issue the abort command.

    ABORT command has a timeout period of 60 seconds. If the integration service cannot finish processing data within the timeout period, it kills the DTM process and terminates the session

    40. Why is sorter an active transformation?


    When the Sorter transformation is configured to treat output rows as distinct, it assigns all ports as part of the sort key. The integration service discards duplicate rows that were compared during the sort operation. The number of input rows will vary as compared to the output rows and hence it is an active transformation.

    41. What are data driven sessions?


    When you configure a session using update strategy, the session property data driven instructs Informatica server to use the instructions coded in mapping to flag the rows for insert, update, delete or reject. This is done by mentioning DD_UPDATE or DD_INSERT or DD_DELETE in the update strategy transformation.

    “Treat source rows as” property in session is set to “Data Driven” by default when using a update strategy transformation in a mapping.

    42. What is the use of source qualifier?


    The source qualifier transformation is an active, connected transformation used to represent the rows that the integrations service reads when it runs a session. You need to connect the source qualifier transformation to the relational or flat file definition in a mapping. The source qualifier transformation converts the source data types to the Informatica native data types. So, you should not alter the data types of the ports in the source qualifier transformation.

    43. What can Informatica be used for in an organization?


    Informatica can be used for data migration—for example, a company is transitioning from an older mainframe system to a new database system; data warehousing—an ETL tool would be needed for moving data from the production system to the warehouse; data integration—incorporating data from multiple databases or file-based systems, for example; and cleaning up data.

    44. What is an enterprise data warehouse?


     An enterprise data warehouse is a single unified database that holds an organization’s business information and distributes it throughout the company. There are variations, but it likely includes a unified approach to sorting and presenting data, and data can be classified and accessed according to the subject.

    45. Describe an Informatica workflow.


    In the workflow manager, you build a workflow by logically connecting tasks to execute code (for example, scripts). The final workflow will automatically run all the tasks within it in the specified order.

    46. What is the domain?


    A domain is composed of relationships and nodes covered by one organizational point.

    47. What are some of the types of transformation?


    Some transformation types are aggregator, expression, filter, joiner, lookup, rank, router, and normalizer.

    48. What’s the difference between active and passive transformation?


    An active transformation can change the number of rows that pass through it, can change the transaction boundary and can change the actual row type. A passive transformation doesn’t change either the number of rows that pass through it or the row type and doesn’t change the transaction boundary.

    49. Why might router transformation be better than filter transformation?


    With router transformation, you can have better performance, and it’s less complex and more efficient than filter transformation.

    50. Why would you want to partition a section?


    It improves the server’s efficiency; other transformations are carried out in parallel.

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    51. How would you self-join in an Informatica mapping?


    To self-join, place one transformation minimum between the source qualifier and the joiner in one branch minimum. You must pre-sort the data and then configure the joiner to accept sorted input.

    52. What are the different join types within a joiner transformation?


    There are four join types: normal join, master outer join, detail outer join and full outer join.

    53. What are the different dimensions in Informatica?


    Three dimensions are available in Informatica: junk, degenerative and conformed.

    54. What is the difference between a session and a batch?


     A session is a set of commands by which the server moves data to the target. A batch is a set of individual tasks.

    55. How many sessions can be grouped in a batch?


    There is no limit to the number of sessions that can comprise a batch. But the fewer the sessions, the easier the migration.

    56. What is the aggregator cache used for?


     It stores transitional files found in the local buffer memory, and stores transformation values if extra memory is required.

    57. What Are The Data Movement Modes In Informatica?


     Data movement modes determine how the power center server handles the character data. We choose the data movement in the informatica server configuration settings. Two types of data movement modes available in informatica.

    • ASCII mode
    • Unicode mode

    58. How will you define a project?


    A project is a set of tasks/activities undertaken to create a product, service or results. These are temporary, in the sense that they are not routine work like production activity but most often one time set of activities undertaken.

    58. Provide some examples.


    A project for a product will result in a complete product or part of a product. An example would be the creation of the Microsoft Surprise tablet that used a liquid magnesium deposition process to create the enclosure. The process developed in the project will be used for subsequent production of the tablet. Examples could include development of a new product or process (as in the example), constructing a road or a bridge (infrastructure in general), developing a computer/information system, etc.

    60. What is your view of Project Management?


    Project management involves applying the knowledge & skills of the project team members including the project manager, application of tools and techniques available to ensure the defined tasks are completed properly. Proper completion means achievement of end results within given cost and time constraints. It usually means balancing of the constraints of scope, budget, schedule, quality, risks and resources.

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    61. Are there distinct kinds of activities in a project?


    Most often any project goes through some easily identifiable set of activities during its lifetime. Some typical activities can be identified as related to initiating a project. Planning set of activities is required to plan the activities to be undertaken to achieve the defined goals. Executing a group of activities helps get the project done. A related set of activities are required to monitor and correct the course of actions to keep the project on the planned course charted for it. Final set of activities are related to the systematic closure of the project. Most important of which is, of course, to formally record what has been learnt during the execution of the project. When documented, this set of documents, related forms to be used, the way estimates are to be made, database of estimates of similar projects etc. are often referred to as Organizational process assets.

    62. What do you think is the difference between projects, programs and a portfolio?


    Projects are undertaken for a specific or a set of related purposes. A program is a set of projects managed in a coordinated manner to achieve different parts of an overall goal. For example the NASA lunar landing program had the development of the command module and the lunar landing modules as separate projects. A portfolio is a collection of projects, programs and even other portfolios that help an organization achieve some common high level business purpose.

    63. Who is a stakeholder?


    Any person, organization or an entity whose interest is affected, positively or negatively, because of the project. The influence of stakeholders is an important issue to take into account in any planning and subsequently during execution of it as well.

    64. Can you explain the project life cycle?


    A project has distinct phases when the range of activities required to carry out the project work differ. There is a distinct “start” phase, followed by an organizing and preparing phase. “Carrying out” is the actual execution part of the project. “Closing” phase makes sure the temporary activities related to the project are closed systematically. The points in time when the phase changes happen are named variously as phase gate, exits, milestones or kill points. If a project is to be closed, it is decided at these stages based on the performance or if the need of the project has disappeared.

    65. What do you understand by a project charter?


     This is a document where it all begins. Project authorization is done on this document and a project would be initiated with the top level requirements listed in this document. Initial requirements as seen by stakeholders and the outcomes of the project also are listed in it.

    66. What do you understand about plan baselines?


     Baselines are the final version of all plans before the project execution starts. Project baselines are the starting versions of all related plans of a project, be it the time schedule, the quality plan, the communication plan or whatever. This acts as the reference against which project performance is measured.

    67. What qualifications are required to be an effective project manager?


    Besides being a good professional manager, the PM needs to have additional personal skills for being effective. It is not only essential for him to have project management skills but be proficient in them. Attitude, core personality characteristics and leadership qualities are needed. Team management and leadership skills that help the team reach common objectives and goals are required.

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