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Exam Objectives

Exam Objectives

The exam objectives are broken up into four different categories. The 70-461 exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below.

The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam.

The objectives for Exam 70-461 as stated by Microsoft are as follows:

Create Database Objects (24%)

  • Create and alter tables using T-SQL syntax (simple statements).
  • May include but not limited to: create tables without using the built in tools; ALTER; DROP; ALTER COLUMN; CREATE

  • Create and alter views (simple statements).
  • May include but not limited to: create indexed views; create views without using the built in tools; CREATE, ALTER, DROP

  • Design views.
  • May include but not limited to: ensure code non regression by keeping consistent signature for procedure, views and function (interfaces); security implications

  • Create and modify constraints (simple statements).
  • May include but not limited to: create constraints on tables; define constraints; unique constraints; default constraints; primary and foreign key constraints

  • Create and alter DML triggers.
  • May include but not limited to: inserted and deleted tables; nested triggers; types of triggers; update functions; handle multiple rows in a session; performance implications of triggers

Work with Data (27%)

  • Query data by using SELECT statements.
  • May include but not limited to: use the ranking function to select top(X) rows for multiple categories in a single query; write and perform queries efficiently using the new (SQL 2005/8->) code items such as synonyms, and joins (except, intersect); implement logic which uses dynamic SQL and system metadata; write efficient, technically complex SQL queries, including all types of joins versus the use of derived tables; determine what code may or may not execute based on the tables provided; given a table with constraints, determine which statement set would load a table; use and understand different data access technologies; case versus isnull versus coalesce

  • Implement sub-queries.
  • May include but not limited to: identify problematic elements in query plans; pivot and unpivot; apply operator; cte statement; with statement

  • Implement data types.
  • May include but not limited to: use appropriate data; understand the uses and limitations of each data type; impact of GUID (newid, newsequentialid) on database performance,when to use what data type for columns

  • Implement aggregate queries.
  • May include but not limited to: new analytic functions; grouping sets; spatial aggregates; apply ranking functions

  • Query and manage XML data.
  • May include but not limited to: understand xml datatypes and their schemas and interop w/, limitations & restrictions; implement XML schemas and handling of XML data; XML data: how to handle it in SQL Server and when and when not to use it, including XML namespaces; import and export xml; xml indexing

Modify Data (24%)

  • Create and alter stored procedures (simple statements).
  • May include but not limited to: write a stored procedure to meet a given set of requirements; branching logic; create stored procedures and other programmatic objects; techniques for developing stored procedures; different types of storeproc result; create stored procedure for data access layer; program stored procedures, triggers, functions with T-SQL

  • Modify data by using INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements.
  • May include but not limited to: given a set of code with defaults, constraints, and triggers, determine the output of a set of DDL; know which SQL statements are best to solve common requirements; use output statement

  • Combine datasets.
  • May include but not limited to: difference between UNION and UNION all; case versus isnull versus coalesce; modify data by using MERGE statements

  • Work with functions.
  • May include but not limited to: understand deterministic, non-deterministic functions; scalar and table values; apply built-in scalar functions; create and alter user-defined functions (UDFs)

Troubleshoot & Optimize (25%)

  • Optimize queries.
  • May include but not limited to: understand statistics; read query plans; plan guides; DMVs; hints; statistics IO; dynamic vs. parameterized queries; describe the different join types (HASH, MERGE, LOOP) and describe the scenarios they would be used

  • Manage transactions.
  • May include but not limited to: mark a transaction; understand begin tran, commit, and rollback; implicit vs explicit transactions; isolation levels; scope and type of locks; trancount

  • Evaluate the use of row-based operations vs. set-based operations.
  • May include but not limited to: when to use cursors; impact of scalar UDFs; combine multiple DML operations

  • Implement error handling.
  • May include but not limited to: implement try/catch/throw; use set based rather than row based logic; transaction management

Where to Go from Here

After you pass the Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exam, you may want to take the following exams:

  • 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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