Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Exciting certification changes with SQL Server 2016

Guest Author: Annabelle Harris

Microsoft have kicked off 2016 with new and impressive announcements regarding SQL Server. On June 1st, they announced the launch of the latest version of their database platform - SQL Server 2016 - with a range of new features and functions.

Some of the most exciting enhancements include :

  • All-out security protection using revolutionary encryption abilities, meaning data is always encrypted whether in use or in motion.
  • Business intelligence for all employees using the SQL Server on any device. As well as new BI support for iOS, android and Windows Phone devices.
  • A main memory database system backing for any and all workload with performance surges up to 30-100x
  • Innovative analytics, integrating R support, allowing clients to do immediate predictive analytics on operational and analytic data.
  • Exclusive cloud functions that allow clients to install hybrid architectures that divides assignments and workloads throughout Azure, helping cut costs and increase agility for users.
There are four deployments of SQL Server 2016:

The four editions

SQL Server enthusiasts amongst you will be happy to hear that regardless of all the major performance enhancements, there are no costs increases for the latest platform. 



Changes to MCSA SQL Server 2016


These are not the only changes Microsoft have made with SQL Server 2016. For those of you looking to upskill and get to grips with SQL Server 2016 - seeking training and certification - things are now a little different.

The previous certification pathway for SQL Server 2012 and 2014 required you to attain an MCSA in the basics of SQL Server before moving on to the role-based certifications of MCSE: Business Intelligence and MCSE: Data Platform. No more, Microsoft have reverted to the days of SQL Server 2008, with the reintroduction of role based certifications at the MCSA level. 


You now have the option of three new MCSA certification pathways. They focus on the roles of Database Administration, Database Development or Business Intelligence. Let’s take a closer look at those certifications.

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development

This course will allow you to learn abilities needed to use the Transact-SQL language, critical to all SQL Server disciplines. This language is not only important to database development, but also to database administration and business intelligence.

You will learn database development abilities such as advanced table designs, column store indexes and using in-memory table. These are all great skills that grow your SQL competencies.

This course is targeted towards experts that work closely with SQL Server 2016, who are creating and managing databases and want to advance and improve their database skills.

Two exams are required to be able to obtain the MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development certification:


  • Exam 70-761 - Querying Data with Transact-SQL
  • Exam 70-762 - Developing SQL Databases

If you have already achieved MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14, you can upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development by passing exam 70-762.



MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Administration

This certification course teaches to administer, develop and manage SQL Server 2016 databases. You’ll learn about handling and approving user access, assigning and creating different types of database roles while also learning to automate SQL Server management. You will also master how to install, configure and manage SQL Server 2016.

This particular course is targeted toward database administrators, precisely those that use SQL Server 2016 on a regular basis. Two exams are required to be able to obtain the MCSA: SQL Server 2016 Database Administration certification


  • Exam 70-764 - Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure
  • Exam 70-765 - Provisioning SQL Databases

If you have already achieved MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14, you can upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Administration by passing exam 70-765.

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Business Intelligence Development

This certification course teaches you the fundamentals of Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2016. You will learn how to implement a SQL Server 2016 data warehouse solution to support a business intelligence. You will also learn to navigate your way through all the core features of the SQL server 2016, able to produce business solutions.

You will develop the expertise to question, process, analyse and report on a large quantity of raw business data. Other abilities learnt throughout the duration of the course will consist of creating multidimensional databases and cubes, using MDX, DAX and data mining.

This course is targeted towards database experts who work with the SQL server 2016 and who lead business intelligence solutions. 

To attain the MCSA in Business Intelligence Development, you must pass two exams: 

  • Exam 70-767 - Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse
  • Exam 70-768 - Developing SQL Data Models

If you have already achieved MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14, you can upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Business Intelligence Development by passing exam 70-768.