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MCITP Exams Now Live

Microsoft releases two more exams, aimed at MCITP for SQL Server DBA candidates.

Microsoft is hitting its stride with new-generation exams, having released two more exams aimed at MCITP candidates in the last week.

Last Friday, February 10, the company released Exam 70-444 PRO: Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administration Solution by Using SQL Server 2005. Then on February 13, Microsoft released Exam 70-443 PRO: Designing a Database Server Infrastructure by Using SQL Server 2005. These two exams, as well as the 70-431 TS: SQL Server 2005 - Implementation and Maintenance exam that was released last month, are required for completion of the Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Database Administrator title.

Keith Loeber, Group Product Manager of Microsoft's certification group, said that now that these exams are alive and kicking, the group would implement charter membership a bit differently, primarily based on feedback they received from customers.

"When you get the certification, you will get a charter member certificate if you get it within the first six months of [the certification] being available," he said. The six months would apply to the certification's availability, so, for the MCTS: SQL Server 2005 as an example, which was released on January 31, charter member certificates would be issued to those completing that exam up until June 30. Loeber calls this the "time-based" method, which supercedes the older, "by the numbers" method, in which Microsoft would provide certificates to the first 5,000 certification early adopters, such as they did for the MCDST program. Candidates "didn't know if they were going to make it" within the first 5,000, he explained. "As a customer, with this [new] method, I know exactly what I need to do to get that charter membership."

Shiny, new certificates are one thing, but Loeber says that new benefits are still being worked out. He said that the typical benefits package remains (Welcome Letter, certificate, wallet card, and 20-percent MCPeStore discount, although the older package also included a lapel pin), but they are looking at creating a benefit package would be "more applicable to the credential they receive," he said. Loeber would not peg a date on an announcement of new benefits, only saying that "that would probably be a while."

Microsoft also plans to release 70-447 later this month. As the name implies, Exam 70-447 Upgrade: MCDBA Skills to MCITP Database Administrator by Using SQL Server 2005 targets those holding a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator title who want to upgrade to the new certification. Exam 70-447, which was beta tested in December, is the sole requirement for MCDBAs seeking to obtain MCITP: Database Administrator status.

To find out more about the exams, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-443.asp, http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-444.asp and http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-447.asp. For more about the MCITP: Database Administrator, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcitp/dbadmin/.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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