SQL SERVER – Microsoft Certification – SQL Server 2012

Microsoft has recently introduced few changes in how the certification works. I have tried to simplify the same thing over here. The new certification line is called Microsoft cloud-built Certifications.

The mapping of the certifications is here.

Microsoft Certifications Microsoft Colud-build Certifications
MCM (Master) MCSM (Solutions Master)
MCITP (IT Professional)
MCPD (Professional Developer)
MCSE (Solutions Expert)
MCSD (Solutions Developer)
MCTS (Technology Specialist) MCSA (Solutions Associate)

Here is the image of pyramid which quickly explains the hierarchy of the indexes.

cert1 SQL SERVER   Microsoft Certification   SQL Server 2012

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

If you want to get MCSA you will need to pass following three exams.

  • Exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
  • Exam 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

There two separate certifications are introduced in MCSE. One should have MCSA certification before they can attempt for MCSE.

1) MCSE: Data Platform

One has to pass following three exams besides having MCSA certification to get MCSE: Data Platform

  • Exam 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
  • Exam 70-465: Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012

2) MCSE: Business Intelligence

One has to pass following three exams besides having MCSA certification to get MCSE: Data Platform

  • Exam 70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-467: Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

cert2 SQL SERVER   Microsoft Certification   SQL Server 2012

Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)

When I am writing this there is not much changes in this program, but it is quite possible this program is changed based on when you are reading it. You are encouraged to read and validated further details about this program on its official page over here.

Read about Certifications over here.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Exam 70-433 – MCTS – Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development

I often receive lots of questions regarding how to pass SQL Server Certification exams. I have previously written about the road map over SQL SERVER – Roadmap of Microsoft Certifications – SQL Server Certifications. I have tremendous respect for Microsoft Certification and I enjoy the preparation phase as well as attending the real exam. The real value is after passing the exams as I am always sure that during the whole process, I have learned something new and my knowledge has been updated.

Prometric Testing Center Experience:

I had a Prometric voucher for one free exam, which was expiring on June 30. It has been with me for more than a year now. I wanted to take the Microsoft Certification Exam, but kept procrastinating because of various reasons. Finally, as the deadline was nearing, I was feeling more pressurised to get ready for the exam as I have not taken this exam earlier. If you know me, I currently stay in Gandhinagar, a very small town; however, the adjacent town Ahmedabad is the seventh largest economy in India and only 20 km away from my place. I checked in my city and there was no Prometric center for the exam, and in fact, I had already expected this. However, Ahmedabad has the most number of Prometric centers in India; so I decided to drive to Ahmedabad. Overall, this travel added one hour to my testing process – staying in a small city has some drawbacks like this.

I registered for the exam earlier this month, but I have been traveling like crazy recently; you can read my experience of the recent travels at SQLAuthority News – Training and Consultancy and Travel – Story of Last 30 Days. Due to the same reason, I could not find sufficient time to prepare for this exam. On the day of test, I woke up early, checked my emails and blog comments and left for the exam right away.

Exam Experience:

test SQLAuthority News   Exam 70 433   MCTS   Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development

The security at the exam was very strict and I was asked to produce passport size photographs along with two identity proofs. I was asked to agree and sign few documents at the testing location. Once that was done, I given a computer, where once again I had to accept few terms and begin the exam. The exam duration was four hours and the questions were quite good. There were a few good questions. I have only one complaint about some of the “Best Practices” type of questions. Best Practices are usually guidelines, and the opinions can vary across different configurations. I have left my comments on those questions in the exams. Overall, I like how it was set, and the time provided for attendees to come up with the answers is more than enough. I finished the exam two hour earlier than the given time; as I mentioned before, the time was plenty and in case of the questions, the situation is either we know the answer or we do not know the answer. There were no design-level questions or questions with calculations. I was even provided the notepad, but I did not use it.

Exam Preparation:

I can boast that I did not prepare for the exam and just walked in the center and passed it easily. Let me be honest here; I did not prepare specifically for the exam, but I have been working with SQL Server for a long time. I have helped and trained many developers, and moreover, I work as consultant in the field. I have hands on experience of writing codes, and this has made me capable to handle difficult codes. I also went over the course outline a week before. The outline for the course is listed here. I also looked up on Internet for some of the keywords from the outline which I was not familiar with. When I have to search any SQL-related matter on the Internet, I usually search in my blog first as I find it convenient to read something that I have written myself. You can search in this blog at http://search.sqlauthority.com.

The result:

I passed the exam with good grades and I was given the result right away. If you have taken the certifications, you know that it is very instant process, and also, the result provides good description of how one fared in the exams. I always find it interesting to go through the scorecard.

If one has the real-world experience of the subject, there is no need to do any additional preparation for the exams. I did learn something new from the exam, and I believe that attending this exam has indeed sharpened my skills.

Question to you:

What is your opinion about Microsoft Certification Exam? Does your organization require it, encourage it and reward you for taking the exams? How much personal gain do you get when you are preparing for exam and attempting the exam?

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://www.SQLAuthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Mirroring Configured Without Domain – The server network address TCP://SQLServerName:5023 can not be reached or does not exist

Regular readers of my blog will be aware of my friend who called me few days ago with very a funny SQL Problem SQL SERVER – SSMS Query Command(s) completed successfully without ANY Results. This time, it did not take long before he called me up with another interesting problem, although the issue he was facing this time was not that interesting and also very specific to him, however, he insisted me to share with all of you. Let us understand his situation at first.

My friend is preparing for DBA exam Exam 70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Server Infrastructure using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and for the same, he was trying to set up replication on his local laptop. He had installed two different instances of SQL Server on his computer and every time when he started the mirroring, it failed with common error message.

The server network address “TCP://SQLServer:5023″ cannot be reached or does not exist.
Check the network address name and that the ports for the local and remote endpoints are operational.
(Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 1418)

Well, before he contacted me, he searched online and checked my article written on the error in mirroring. However, he tried all the four suggestions, but it did not solve his problem. He called me at a reasonable time of late evening (unlike last time, which was midnight!). I even tried all the seven different suggestions myself, as previously proposed in my article; however, none of them worked. While looking at closely at services, I noticed something very simple. He was running all the instances on ‘Network Services’. In fact, his computer was a stand-alone computer. There was no network at all. Also, there was no domain or any other advance network concepts implemented.

mirroringservice1 SQL SERVER   Mirroring Configured Without Domain   The server network address TCP://SQLServerName:5023 can not be reached or does not exist

I just changed services from ‘Network Services’ to ‘Local System’ as his SQL Server was running on his local system and there were no network services. This prompted to restart the services. As this was not the production server and his development machine, we restarted the services on the laptop (do not restart services on production server without proper planning).

mirroringservice3 SQL SERVER   Mirroring Configured Without Domain   The server network address TCP://SQLServerName:5023 can not be reached or does not exist

mirroringservice2 SQL SERVER   Mirroring Configured Without Domain   The server network address TCP://SQLServerName:5023 can not be reached or does not exist

After changing the ‘services log on’ account to localsystem, when he attempted to reconfigure the mirroring it worked right away. As usually in production server, proper domains are configured and advance network concepts are implemented I had never faced this type of problem earlier. My friend insisted to post this solution to his situation, wherein there was no domain configured and setting up mirroring was throwing an error. According to him, this is bound to help people, like him, who are preparing for certification using single system.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)