Posted by: rcosic | 06/03/2008

MCITP Database Developer 2005 ?

How to pass this certificates and what can I say about it, you can read here…

After MCPD certificate passed, I thoght about at which field I can improve myself until the new generation (3.5) arrives. Since I somehow lacked with knowledge of databases (becase, for example, in MCSD generation was the requirement to pass one exam about database – then, it was SQL Server 2000), I’ve decided to try myself in more ‘sysop’ certificate – Microsoft Certified IT Professional.
The certificate itself is, as far as database is concerned, splitted into three tracks, from which the most developerish is very this one I’ll describe in the following post – titled Database Developer. List of all certifications and corresponding exams you can find here.

What you have to pass to get MCITP-DD certificate?

You need to pass three exams which cover the area of SQL Server 2005, and these are:

70-431: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance,
70-441: PRO: Designing Database Solutions by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and
70-442: PRO: Designing and Optimizing Data Access by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

Generally, this order was logical to me, becase in the first exam (70-431) you tackle with the installation and maintenance of the server, in the second exam (70-441) you create the solutions of database (you build its structure and architecture), and in the last one (70-442) you connect to the database and do the queries and optimizations. It seems so logical to pass it in this way, and I think it was easier and senseful to get it.

How I studied (and probably learned something)?

I’ve tried to solve it by reading just one, let’s say, main book, and by reading lots of other information on the way. For the main book I’ve choose Pro SQL Server 2005 from Apress and I didn’t regret it. The book is very good written, you have my review somewhere in the posts. Anyway, I’ve read it from the beginning to the end, after that, I’ve seen if I covered it all by exam course agenda. Then I’ve gathered PDF versions of some books and consulted with the MSDN documentation on internet. That was enough.
Unfortunatelly, I didn’t read all the books I’ve planned, especially those concerning Data Mining and Data Warehousing, because I’m interested in, but doesn’t matter. Probably I’ll have chance to deal with it later.

What you can find in the exams?

70-431 (administration of sql 2005) – cleaned up with 1000/1000, simulations with 70%

(jeez, I’ve lost my paper with the exam results 😦 )

The exam was extremely good, questions clear and obvious, so that was the result. I don’t have any objections except that it’s constantly pushed those already known, and that is – new features. Well, everything is already known and feasible… But, then, there is surprise! After all the questions I’ve answered and nervous waiting on exam results, there comes the second part of the exam, and these are: the simulations!

You can expect the facade of SQL server in which you can click on different options, open windows and find the errors inside the queries. Sounds easy? Well, to me it was pain, but somehow I managed. I was passing through the questions to read every single checkbox and textbox from the screen before I gave the final answer. An, huh, I solved!

70-441 (architecture of sql 2005) – passed with 866/1000

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Exam was ok. Enlisted were exams from six case studies:Woodgrove Bank, Contoso, Northwind Traders, etc.
Those of you passing the exams for longer time, these are well-known ‘guys’ in exams. Questions are quite clear and solid made, but for some of them I could’n get the right answer, therefore I got worse result. Anyway, crucial is to know and use SQL Server 2005 in everyday life, and that, I hope, stands for the next exam.

70-442 (everyday life with sql 2005) – passed with 960/1000

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Here, finally, I passed today this exam! The exam was really good and I’ve solved it well (96%).
It was structured consisting of 7 case studies (each with cca 6 questions) and additional set of independent questions (about 15 questions). Basic problem was, as in the other sql exams, to read carefully and investigate what exactly is the problem and what clue can be found inside the text. I began to like this because the following reasons; actually, a developer is forced to think with his head, not just blindly to answer on a question. More, he/she is forced to think criticaly on all the possibilities to solve the problem, and moreover to anayze the case in a manner that the problem is saturated and splitted in tiny details – either important ones or waste. I can get the feeling that I’m playing a CSI forensics and that feels just great – to analyse the case and discover the solution to a problem.

Topics you can find most wanted to know:

– MARS = multiple active result sets,
– transaction isolation levels (read uncommited, commited, snapshot, serializable…),
– using marked and distributed transactions,
– locking mechanism strategies (updlock, nolock, keylock..),
– xml data type methods (.nodes, .value, .query, .exist, .modify),
– sumarizing data (cube, rollup, compute),
– ranking data (rank, diverse rank, ntile),
– query hints (recompile, optimize for..),
– declaring cursors (insensitive, scroll, static, keyset, optimistic..),
– execute context (execute as self, owner, caller).

Anyway, through passing these exams, I’ve learned a lot, partially already applied in everyday life, but the significant part I hope I would be able to apply in near future.

Kind regards and good luck on exams!

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