In-Depth

MCDBA: Going for the Checkered Flag

How does the release of SQL Server 2000 affect your Windows 2000 certification upgrade efforts?

If you hold the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator certification or have an emphasis on SQL Server in your MCSE electives selection, have you taken the time to figure out what to do now that SQL Server 2000 approaches? After all, current MCDBAs are required to upgrade their certifications to the new Windows 2000 track by the end of 2001 to remain certified.

Microsoft advises that MCDBA candidates have at least one year of experience working with SQL Server. We advise that you make that a year of experience with Windows 2000 while you’re at it, since at least half the tests you pass have that as their focus—even though SQL runs on any number of OSs.

  1. If you’ve passed the three Windows NT 4.0 core tests—70-067, 70-068, and 70-073—then you can tackle exam 70-240, Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam for MCPs Certified on Windows NT 4.0, as one core test. The advantage of choosing to take it is that exam 70-240 also fulfills your elective requirement and, of course, you will then be that much further ahead in your quest for the new MCSE title. If you haven’t passed the three NT 4.0 core tests, then you need to take exam 70-215, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows 2000 Server.
  2. Next, if you’ve passed or plan to take exam 70-028, Administering SQL Server 7.0, which went live last year, that’s your second core test. Or you can tackle 70-228, Installing, Configuring, and Administering SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition. This test goes into beta during December.
  3. For your final core test, you need to pass exam 70-029, Designing and Implementing Databases with SQL Server 7.0, or 70-229, Designing and Implementing Databases with SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition. The latter exam goes into beta testing in January 2001.
  4. If you’re not in a position to take the accelerated exam, then you’ll have to pass a single elective test. You can choose from this list of tests not scheduled for retirement by the end of this year:
  • 70-216: Implementing and Administering a Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure
  • 70-015: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Visual C++ 6.0
  • 70-019: Designing and Implementing Data Warehouses with SQL Server 7.0
  • 70-155: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Visual FoxPro 6.0
  • 70-175: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Visual Basic 6.0

Under the new track, candidates have to pass three core exams and one elective, though not in the order given here: What if you’ve already gotten through the SQL 7.0 exams? Microsoft hasn’t pronounced a retirement for those, so you’re sitting pretty—at least until SQL 9.0 is announced (and presuming Microsoft keeps a couple of its SQL exam tracks live concurrently). But it’s no time to rest. You’ve still got that OS requirement. If you’re an NT 4.0 junkie, then take that free accelerated test. If not, study up for 70-215, the Win2K Server exam and make sure you’ve passed an elective from step 4 above.

If you’ve got SQL 7.0 electives in your MCSE past, not to worry. Those exams are still alive and kicking. If SQL 6.5 surfaces on your transcript, be prepared to upgrade to 7.0 or 2000 or something else altogether. Note that if you achieve the new MCDBA title, you won’t receive new benefits. Your reward is the fact that you’ve upgraded your skills to be current with what Microsoft is selling. And, no, you won’t get a new logo that references Win2K or SQL 2000. An MCDBA by any name is still the maestro of the database.

About the Author

Dian L. Schaffhauser is a freelance writer based in Northern California.

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