Showing posts with label sql server. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sql server. Show all posts

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.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Microsoft unveil new MOCs at WPC 2015

This year the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference was held in Orlando, from the 12th July until the 16th. Whilst we were expecting news on SQL Server 2016, Windows Server 2016 and SharePoint 2016, Microsoft also unveiled new MOC titles.

In this blog we’ve compiled a list of the newly announced MOC’s, including discussion and speculation. Microsoft has not yet stated which certification, if any, each MOC is relevant to.



Windows 10

Windows 10, Microsoft’s new multi-platform operating system, is planned for release on 29th July. Microsoft revealed new MOC titles to accompany the launch of Windows 10, which should align to MCSA, MCSE and MCSD certifications.

Expected to be released around September this year, Microsoft revealed these new MOC titles:

  • Installing and configuring Windows 10
  •  Deploying and Managing Windows 10 in the Enterprise
  •  Partner Applied Workshop: What’s new in Windows 10
  • Supporting and Troubleshooting Windows 10 in the Enterprise
  • Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications
  • Administering System Center Configuration Manager and Intune

As Windows 10 is an upgrade for Windows 8.1, one would assume that certifications like MCSA: Windows 8.1 would be updated too. The first two MOCs in the above list are similar to those in MCSA: Windows 8.1 titled “Configuring Windows 8.1” and “Supporting Windows 8.1”. This supports the thinking that these new MOCs are direct upgrades.

Plus, the “Supporting and Troubleshooting Windows 10 in the Enterprise” could be an addition to the MCSA: Windows 10, whilst the “Partner Applied Workshop: What’s new in Windows 10” MOC appears completely new.

The current version of “Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications” is included in MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps certification. It looks likely that we will now see an update of this certification that includes these new MOCs.








Windows Server/System Center

These MOCs apply to another new release for Microsoft, Windows Server 2016, as well as System Center:

  • Fundamentals of a Windows Server Infrastructure 
  • Fundamentals of Windows Server Storage and Virtualisation 
  • Configuring and Managing Windows 10 Devices (ecm) 
  • Planning and Implementing a Microsoft Infrastructure 
  • Planning and Implementing an Advanced Microsoft Infrastructure 
  • Planning and Implementing an Enterprise Windows Infrastructure 
  • Managing and Maintaining a Windows Cloud Infrastructure 
  • Upgrading your MCSA/MCSE to Windows Server Vnext

We can only assume that the first three courses in the list apply to the new MCSA: Windows Server 2012 R2 course because the current MOC titles are worded slightly differently; “Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services” and “Administering Windows Server 2012” for example.

The new Windows Server 2016 (WS2016) is expected September/October and the new MOCS normally arrive 3-6 months after the technology, so expect these in 2016. These could possibly be upgrades to the curriculum for “MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2”, “MCSE:Server Infrastructure”, “MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure” and “MCSE: Private Cloud”. However the names are so far removed, it is hard to tell what Microsoft has planned.

“Upgrading your MCSA/MCSE to Windows Server Vnext” is an upgrade path from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016. If you have an existing MCSA or MCSE relating to Windows Server 2016 (could also be related to Windows Server 2008), this will be the course for upgrading your certification.

Data Platform

SQL Server 2016 is scheduled for released in September or October this year. This means certifications like MCSA: SQL Server, MCSE:Business Intelligence (SQL Server) and MCSE: Data Platform (SQL Server) will be updated. The newly unveiled MOC titles are:

  • Updating your MCSD to SQL Server 2016 (this is an upgrade path) 
  • Install and Configure SQL Databases 
  • Query Data with Transact-SQL 
  • Analyze and Visualize Data with Power BI 
  • Developing SQL Databases 
  • Developing Data Clients with MVC and LINQ 
  • Performance Tuning and Optimizing SQL Databases 
  • Developing Non-Relational Databases 
  • Provisioning a SQL Database Infrastructure 
  • Operating a SQL Database Infrastructure 
  • Implementing SQL Server High Availability 
  • Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse 
  • Implementing Data Models and Reports 
  • Delivering Dashboards and Self-Service BI

Again, we are likely to see the new MOCs arrive in early 2016, 3-6 months after SQL Server 2016’s release. Many of these titles are similar to those in current SQL Server certifications -  e.g. “Querying Microsoft SQL Server” and “Implementing Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server” in the MCSA: SQL Server certification.

Expect some to be added to other certifications, but it is difficult to predict exactly how and where. In addition, “Updating your MCSD to SQL Server 2016” is clearly an upgrade path for the new technology.

Messaging

Lync Server began the transition to Skype for Business Server on April 14th 2015. Businesses now benefit from a familiar Skype interface, a more global reach and continuity from existing Lync features. At WPC Microsoft revealed these new Messaging MOCs:

  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
  • Managing Office 365 Identities and Services
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 (no exam)
  • Core solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 (no exam)

In line with this, the MCSE: Communication certification will be updated, probably with “Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015.”

The second MOC on the list, “Managing Office 365 Identities and Services” is included within the current MCSA: Office 365 certification. It’s safe to assume that there is a direct update on the way for this certification.

“Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016” and “Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016”, are directly linked to the MOCs within the existing MCSE: Messaging. Finally, the last two MOCs are part of the MCSE: SharePoint course. We can be confident that this is a direct curriculum update for the existing MCSE SharePoint certification.

It’s worth noting that currently, both the “Advanced Solutions” of Microsoft Exchange/SharePoint Server MOCs, align to an exam. Whereas, the versions revealed at WPC the 2016 technologies do not align to an exam. Perhaps this will become clearer when Microsoft Exchange Server is released around September or October.

We’ll keep you updated with anymore MOC news coming out of WPC and beyond.  As always, expect accelerated Firebrand courses for Microsoft’s newest technologies.


About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Frequently Asked Questions about MCSA: SQL Server


By Sarah Morgan


Microsoft’s SQL Server is one of the top database management systems in the world – even surpassing IBM’s second place market share in 2013.

With the MCSA: SQL Server cert you’ll get the skills needed to maintain a SQL Server database. You’ll learn how to use a broad range of tools and add-ons for business intelligence, data-driven applications and data warehousing.

It’s a pervasive technology, commonplace in organisations that use Microsoft’s Visual Studio environment for software development.

And to demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to SQL Server, you’ll also find database-related certifications at each level of Microsoft’s certification program – from MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) to MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert).




There’s a lot to know about this popular MCSA cert, and a lot of frequently asked questions - let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones…


Q. Why should you get the MCSA: SQL Server certification?

A. SQL Server training gives you an edge in a career as a database administrator, developer or analyst. You’ll not only have a broad range of SQL Server knowledge, you’ll also be able to prove it with a recognised certification.

If you’re aiming for positions like database developer or database analyst (or the previously mentioned careers) this certification is ideal.


Q. Am I ready for the MCSA: SQL Server?

A. Whilst there aren’t any solid prerequisites for this MCSA cert, you will be expected to have a basic knowledge of Microsoft’s Windows operating system and a working knowledge of relational databases is preferred.

However, it can still be rewarding to take an MCSA: SQL Server course without previous experience with SQL Server. You’ll still get a wealth of useful SQL knowledge as well as the tools to start using SQL Server for yourself. Ultimately, you’ll get the information to make gaining the certification more achievable.

If you’re new to technology we recommend you start with Microsoft’s entry level MTA: Database Fundamentals course. You’ll learn the basics of relational databases, data security concepts and database administration. With this solid base of knowledge, you’ll then be able to move on to the more advanced MCSA.



You'll need to pass these three exams





Q. What options are available for me to study MCSA: SQL Server?

A. When it comes to taking on your certification exams, there are two primary paths to follow: self-study & instructor-led / classroom training.

Self-study consists of research, reading and independent practice before arranging and taking the related exam(s). This approach will often save you money in the short term – training materials will cost less than time in the classroom but it can take you much longer to source and learn the right material.

You can also self-study through the use of virtual classrooms and virtual courses. These hybrid products provide a flexible way to learn – you’ll be able to learn when you want and get guided through a set curriculum of revision resources. Some good providers will even allow you to speak one-on-one to instructors online.

Classroom study provides you with the material you need to know and a good environment to learn it. Plus, with good training providers you’ll also get access to hands-on labs where you’ll be able to practice your SQL as soon as you’re taught it. You can set-up your own labs, but it will take an investment of time and effort.

Plus, it’s hard to put a value on the ‘instructor’ of instructor-led training. Nothing beats speaking to somebody in person about a tricky SQL Server query or learning first-hand from a master of the technology.

Whichever path you choose you’ll find brilliant support for both. Your choice should depend on how you prefer to learn, how quickly you need to get certified, how much time you can commit to studying and your/your organisations budget.


Q. I want to prepare myself for MCSA: SQL Server – where’s a good place to start revising?

A. If you want to build your knowledge before taking on a course, or are ready to dive into self-study, you should first take a look at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

Here you’ll find some great, free e-learning resources. Our Firebrand SQL Server instructor has singled out these MVA resources as particularly useful:

1. Database Fundamentals – a great introduction to database terminology, concepts and skills for beginners

2. Administering SQL Server 2012 Jump Start – This Jump Start video will help you prepare for exam 70-462, one of the three you’ll need to pass for the MCSA: SQL Server cert.

3. Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Jump Start – If you’re already familiar with database fundamentals and working with SQL server, this is a great advanced resource for you. An equally useful resource if you’re preparing for exam 70-461.


Microsoft also offer paid revision materials. ‘Training Kits’ include lessons, practical exercises and online practice tests for each exam (70-461, 70-462 and 70-463)


Q. What about the new SQL Server 2014 product, does this affect my MCSA SQL Server certification?

A. In April 2014, Microsoft updated the MCSE SQL Server exams to include SQL Server 2014 topics.

However, the three MCSA exams are still focused on SQL Server 2012 and as a result haven’t been changed. The new SQL Server 2014 features (performance tuning and high availability) are best suited for the advanced MCSE level certs and can only be found in the relevant MCSE exams.

For a more detailed description of the new changes, take a look at this blog post.


Q. I’ve finished my MCSA, but I still want to expand my skills – what else can I do?

This MCSA is your first step toward the advanced MCSE: Data Platform and MCSE: Business Intelligence certifications.

Achieve these certs and you’ll gain specialised knowledge of Microsoft SQL Server, singling you out as a proven expert in this popular technology.

Take a look at these pages for more information on the MCSE: Data Platform and the MCSE: Business Intelligence certs.


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About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.