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Preparation Hints

Exam Objectives

The objectives for Exam 70-458 as stated by Microsoft are as follows:

Manage Data

  • Configure and maintain a backup strategy.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: manage different backup models, including point in time recovery; protect customer data even if backup media is lost; perform backup/restore based on proper strategies including backup redundancy; recover from a corrupted drive; manage a multi-terabyte database; implement and test a database implementation and a backup strategy (multiple files for user database and tempdb, spreading database files, backup/restore); back up a SQL Server environment; backup system databases

  • Restore databases.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: restore a database secured with TDE; recover data from a damaged DB; restore to a point in time; file group restore; page level restore

  • Implement and maintain indexes.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: inspect physical characteristics of indexes and perform index maintenance; identify fragmented indexes; identify unused indexes; implement indexes; defrag/rebuild indexes; set up a maintenance strategy for indexes and statistics; optimize indexes (full, filter); statistics (full, filter) force or fix queue; when to rebuild vs. reorg and index; full text indexes; column store indexes

  • Import and export data.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: transfer data; bulk copy; bulk insert

Implement Security

  • Manage logins and server roles.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: configure server security; secure the SQL Server using Windows Account/SQL Server accounts, server roles; create log in accounts; manage access to the server, SQL Server instance, and databases; create and maintain user-defined server roles; manage certificate logins

  • Manage database permissions.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: configure database security; database level permissions; protect objects from being modified

  • Manage users and database roles.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: create access to server/database with least privilege; manage security roles for users and administrators; create database user accounts; contained logins

  • Troubleshoot security.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: manage certificates and keys; endpoints

Implement High Availability

  • Implement AlwaysOn.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: implement a mirroring solution using AlwaysOn; failover

  • Implement database mirroring.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: set up mirroring; monitor the performance of database mirroring

  • Implement replication.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: troubleshoot replication problems; identify appropriate replication strategy

Design and Implement a Data Warehouse

  • Design and implement dimensions.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: design shared/conformed dimensions; determine whether you need support for slowly changing dimensions; determine attributes; design hierarchies; determine whether you need star or snowflake schema; determine the granularity of relationship with fact tables; determine the need for auditing or lineage; determine keys (business transactional or your own data warehouse/surrogate keys); implement dimensions; implement data lineage of a dimension table

  • Design and implement fact tables.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: design a data warehouse that supports many to many relationships; appropriately index a fact table using columnstore indexes; partitioning; additive measures; semi-additive measures; non-additive measures; implement fact tables; determine the loading method for the fact tables; implement data lineage of a fact table; design summary aggregation tables

Extract and Transform Data

  • Design data flow.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: define data sources and destinations; distinguish blocking and non-blocking transformations; use different methods to pull out changed data from data sources; determine appropriate data flow components; determine the need for supporting Slowly Changing Dimensions (SCD); determine whether to use SQL Joins or SSIS lookup or merge join transformations; batch processing vs. row by row processing; determine the appropriate transform to use for a specific task; determine the need and method for identity mapping and deduplicating; fuzzy lookup, fuzzy grouping, and Data Quality Services (DQS) transformation; determine the need for text mining; determine the need for custom data sources, destinations, and transforms; determine what to do with erroneous rows; determine auditing needs; determine sampling needs for data mining; trusted/authoritative data sources, including warehouse metadata

  • Implement data flow.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: debug data flow; use the appropriate data flow components; SQL/SSIS data transformation; create SSIS packages that support slowly changing dimensions; use the Lookup task in SSIS; map identities using SSIS Fuzzy Lookup; specify a data source and destination; use data flows; different categories of transformations; read, transform, and load data; understand which transforms to use to accomplish a specific business task; data correction transformation; performance tune an SSIS dataflow; optimize Integration Services packages for speed of execution; maintain data integrity, including good data flow

  • Implement script tasks in SSIS.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: determine whether it is appropriate to use a script task; extend the capability of a control flow; perform a custom action as needed (not on every row) during a control flow

Load Data

  • Design control flow.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: determine control flow; determine containers and tasks that are needed; determine precedence constraints; design an SSIS package strategy with rollback, staging, and transaction control; decide between one package or multiple packages; determine event handlers; determine variables; determine parameters on package and project level; determine connection managers and whether they are package or project level; determine the need for custom tasks; determine how much information you need to log from a package; determine the need for checkpoints; determine security needs

  • Implement package logic by using SSIS variables and parameters.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: user variables; variable scope, data type; implement parameterization of properties using variables; use variables in precedence constraints; refer to SSIS system variables; design dynamic SSIS packages; package configurations (file or SQL tables); expressions; package and project parameters; project level connection managers; implement dynamic package behavior; configure packages in SSIS for different environments, package configurations (xmlconfiguration file, SQLServer table, registry entry; parent package variables, environment variable); parameters (package and project level); project connection managers; property expressions (use expressions for connection managers)

  • Implement control flow.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: checkpoints; debug control flow; implement the appropriate control flow task to solve a problem; data profiling; use sequence containers and loop containers; manage transactions in SSIS Packages; manage parallelism; use precedence constraint to control task execution sequence; create package templates; use the execute package task

  • Implement data load options.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: implement a full and incremental data load strategy; plan for an incremental update of the relational Data Mart

Configure and Deploy SSIS Solutions

  • Troubleshoot data integration issues.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: performance issues; connectivity issues; execution of a task or transformation failed; logic issues; demonstrate awareness of the new SSIS logging infrastructure; troubleshoot a failed package execution to determine the root cause of failure; troubleshoot SSIS package failure from an invalid datatype; implement break points; data viewers; profile data with different tools; batch cleanup

  • Implement auditing, logging, and event handling.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: audit package execution by using system variables; propagate events; use log providers; log an SSIS execution; create alerting and notification mechanisms; use Event Handlers in SSIS to track ETL events and errors; implement custom logging

  • Deploy SSIS solutions.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: create and configure an SSIS catalog; deploy SSIS packages by using the deployment utility; deploy SSIS packages to SQL or file system locations; validate deployed packages; deploy packages on multiple servers; install custom components and tasks; deploy SSIS packages by using DTUTIL

Build Data Quality Solutions

  • Install and maintain Data Quality Services.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: installation prerequisites; use Data Quality Server Installer; add users to the DQ roles; identity analysis, including data governance

  • Implement master data management solutions.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: install Master Data Services (MDS); implement MDS; create models, entities, hierarchies, collections, and attributes; define security roles; import/export; subscriptions

  • Create a data quality project to clean data.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: profile Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and other source systems; data quality knowledge base management; create a data quality project; use Data Quality Client; improve data quality; identity mapping and deduplicating; handle history and data quality; manage data quality/cleansing

Where to Go from Here

After you pass the Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2 exam, you may want to take the following exams:

  • Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (70-461)
  • Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases (70-462)
  • Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (70-463)
  • Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases (70-464)
  • Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (70-465)
  • Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (70-466)
  • Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (70-467)
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