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demystify Microsoft sql certifications for me please !!!

Posted on 2010-11-30
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ok so i am royally confused about the certifications Microsoft has out for SQL server.

from what i can gather from reading their site as well as others is there are various levels of tests (like in university) they have level 100 series tests, 200, 300... up to about 4oo for the new master of sql server level.

i wanted to knock a few out since i am doing daily SQL work now i figure i can get on the job practice and learning where i fall short.

where do i start? what test and test details do i need to know to take + pass each exam? what order should i take them in?

hints about what should be my 1st sql exam, 2nd exam... would really be great.

thanks all!!!

PS. i know of the links on the Microsoft site and want to find out explicitly what test to take to move up the SQL developer path.

also any test prep tips, books, links, sample test are welcome !
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Question by:realcoding
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Rich Weissler earned 2000 total points
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Okay, this reply might be a little 'link heavy' -- I apologize in advance, and I'm going to have a bias towards SQL 2008 because that'll be the newer track.  Lets start at the Microsoft SQL Certification Page:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server.aspx

The first level certs are for Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MSTS).  For the SQL Developer path, that'll be "MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development" -- which requires just one exam "Exam 70-433:
TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development"  ( http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-433&locale=en-us )
That page also has links for prep materials, again with a Microsoft Bias.  I'm coming at things from the admin side of the house, and haven't found any really good SQL 2008 prep materials yet, so may have to resort back to MS Press books myself.

The second level cert is Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MSITP).  Again, for the SQL Developer path, the prerequisite will be the MCTS cert above, and has one additional exam -- Exam 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008   ( http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-451&locale=en-us )

The third level cert is Microsoft Certified Master (MCM).  It requires (has prerequisites of) the second level developer cert, as well as the equivalent administrative cert (which means two more exams as well.)  The MCM level certs and above, as I understand them, are closer in concept to the Cisco CCIE certs -- where you go to their lab, and they test you on site.  No more simple travel to your local Prometric testing center.

The fourth level cert would be Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA).  More of level three, and then some.

So, start with:
 Exam 70-433: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development
 Exam 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Then maybe the administrative path:
 Exam 70-432: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Installation and Maintenance
 Exam 70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Server Infrastructure using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

And start the path towards the MCM level.
Alternately, you can go the Business Intelligence route:
 Exam 70-448: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
 Exam 70-452: PRO: Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
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