Published: June 11, 2012
Languages: English, Japanese
Audiences: IT professionals
Technology: Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Credit toward certification: MCP, MCSA, MCSE

Skills measured
This 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. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

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Create database objects
Create and alter tables using T-SQL syntax (simple statements)
Create tables without using the built-in tools; ALTER; DROP; ALTER COLUMN; CREATE
Design views
Ensure code non regression by keeping consistent signature for procedure, views, and function (interfaces); security implications
Create and alter DML triggers
Inserted and deleted tables; nested triggers; types of triggers; update functions; handle multiple rows in a session; performance implications of triggers

Preparation resources

Work with data
Query data by using SELECT statements
Use the ranking function to select top(X) rows for multiple categories in a single query; write and perform queries efficiently using the new 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
Identify problematic elements in query plans; pivot and unpivot; apply operator; cte statement; with statement
Implement data types
Use appropriate data; understand the uses and limitations of each data type; impact of GUID (newid, newsequentialid) on database performance, when to use which data type for columns

Preparation resources
SELECT (Transact-SQL)
INTO clause (Transact-SQL)
FROM (Transact-SQL)

Modify data
Create and alter stored procedures (simple statements)
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 stored procedure results; create a stored procedure for data access layer; program stored procedures, triggers, and functions with T-SQL
Modify data by using INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements
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
Work with functions
Understand deterministic and non-deterministic functions; scalar and table values; apply built-in scalar functions; create and alter user-defined functions (UDFs)

Preparation resources
INSERT (Transact-SQL)

Troubleshoot and optimize queries
Optimize queries
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 in which they would be used
Manage transactions
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
When to use cursors; impact of scalar UDFs; combine multiple DML operations
Implement error handling
Implement try/catch/throw; use set based rather than row based logic; transaction management

Preparation resources
Transaction statements (Transact-SQL)

Install and configure SQL Server
Plan installation
Evaluate installation requirements; design the installation of SQL Server and its components (including drives and service accounts); plan scale up vs. scale out basics; plan for capacity, including if/when to shrink, grow, autogrow, and monitor growth; manage the technologies that influence SQL architecture (including service broker, full text, and scale out); design the storage for new databases (drives, filegroups, partitioning); design database infrastructure; configure a SQL Server standby database for reporting purposes; Windows-level security and service level security; Core mode installation; benchmark a server before using it in a production environment (SQLIO, Tests on SQL Instance); choose the right hardware
Install SQL Server and related services
Test connectivity; enable and disable features; install SQL Server database engine and SSIS (not SSRS and SSAS); configure an operating system disk
Implement a migration strategy
Restore vs. detach/attach; migrate security; migrate from a previous version; migrate to new hardware; migrate systems and data from other sources
Configure additional SQL Server components
Set up and configure Analysis Services (AS), Reporting Services (RS), and SharePoint integration in a complex and highly secure environment; configure full-text indexing; SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) security; filestream; filetable
Manage SQL Server Agent
Create, maintain, and monitor jobs; administer jobs and alerts; automate (setup, maintenance, monitoring) across multiple databases and multiple instances; send to “Manage SQL Server Agent jobs”

Preparation resources
Understanding surface area configuration
Hardware and software requirements for installing SQL Server 2012
Quick-start installation of SQL Server 2012

Maintain instances and databases
Manage and configure databases
Design multiple file groups; database configuration and standardization: autoclose, autoshrink, recovery models; manage file space, including adding new filegroups and moving objects from one filegroup to another; implement and configure contained databases; data compression; configure Transparent Data Encryption (TDE); partitioning; manage log file growth; Database Console Commands (DBCC)
Configure SQL Server instances
Configure and standardize a database including autoclose, autoshrink, recovery models; install default and named instances; configure SQL to use only certain CPUs (for example, affinity masks); configure server level settings; configure many databases/instance, many instances/server, virtualization; configure clustered instances including Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC); memory allocation; database mail; configure SQL Server engine including memory, filffactor, sp_configure, and default options
Implement a SQL Server clustered instance
Install a cluster; manage multiple instances on a cluster; set up subnet clustering; recover from a failed cluster node
Manage SQL Server instances
Install an instance; manage interaction of instances; SQL patch management; install additional instances; manage resource utilization by using Resource Governor; cycle error logs

Preparation resources
ALTER DATABASE file and filegroup options (Transact-SQL)
Contained databases
Data compression

Optimize and troubleshoot SQL Server
Identify and resolve concurrency problems
Examine deadlocking issues using the SQL server logs using trace flags; design reporting database infrastructure (replicated databases); monitor via Dynamic Management Views (DMV) or other Microsoft product; diagnose blocking, live locking, and deadlocking; diagnose waits; performance detection with built-in DMVs; locate and if necessary kill processes that are blocking or claiming all resources
Collect and analyze troubleshooting data
Monitor using Profiler, collect performance data by using System Monitor, collect trace data by using SQL Server Profiler, identify transactional replication problems; identify and troubleshoot data access problems; gather performance metrics; identify potential problems before they cause service interruptions; identify performance problems, use Extended Events (XEvents) and DMVs; create alerts on critical server condition; monitor data and server access by creating audit and other controls; identify IO vs. memory vs. CPU bottlenecks; use the Data Collector tool
Audit SQL Server instances
Implement a security strategy for auditing and controlling the instance; configure an audit; configure server audits; track who modified an object; monitor elevated privileges as well as unsolicited attempts to connect; policy-based management

Preparation resources
Configure login auditing (SQL Server Management Studio)
Data collection
Administer servers by using policy-based management

You work as a database developer at has a SQL Server 2012 database
named SalesDB that has a table named WeeklySales. The WeeklySales table records the sales
amount for each of’s 20 sales representatives.
You need to write a Transact-SQL query that ranks the sales representatives by the average sales
amount for the past year. You want the sales representatives with the same average sales amount
to be ranked in the same sequence as they are being processed with no rank being skipped.
Which ranking function should you use?

A. The RANK( ) OVER function.
B. The NTILE( ) OVER function
C. The DENSE_RANK( ) OVER function
D. The ROW_NUMBER( ) OVER function
E. The FORMAT function.

Answer: C


You work as a database developer at has a SQL Server 2012 database
named SalesDB that has a table named WeeklySales. The WeeklySales table records the sales
amount for each of’s 20 sales representitives.
You need to write a Transact-SQL query that ranks the sales representatives by the average sales
amount for the past year. You want the sales representatives with the same average sales amount
to have the same rank with the subsequent rank being skipped.
Which ranking function should you use?

A. The RANK( ) OVER function.
B. The NTILE( ) OVER function
C. The DENSE_RANK( ) OVER function
D. The ROW_NUMBER( ) OVER function
E. The FORMAT function.

Answer: C


You work as a SQL Server 2012 database developer at You are developing a query for
a database driven Web application that allows visitors to vote for the cricket player of the week.
The number of votes is stored in a table named WeeklyVotes that has columns named Week,
PlayerName, Votes.
You need to write a Transact-SQL query that ranks the top 30 cricket players by the average votes
over the last 12 months. You want the top 10 cricket players to have a rank of 1, the next 10 to
have a rank of 2, and the last 10 to have a rank of 3.
Which of the following SELECT statement would you use?
To answer, type the correct code in the answer area.

Answer: SELECT TOP 50 PlayerName,
FROM WeeklyVotes
GROUP BY PlayerName

You work as a database developer at ABC has an in-house application named
ABCApp3 that runs a Transact-SQL query against a SQL Server 2012 database.
You want to run an execution plan against the query that will provide detailed information on
missing indexes.
How would you accomplish this task?

A. You should make use of the READPAST hint in the queries.
B. You should make use of the READCOMMITTED hint in the queries.
C. You should make use of the SET SHOWPLAN_XML ON statement in the query.
D. You should make use of the SET STATISTICS XML ON statement in the query.
E. You should make use of the SET XACT_ABORT OFF statement in the query.
F. You should make use of the SET CONTEXT_INFO statement in the query.

Answer: C


You work as a database administrator at has a SQL Server 2012 database
infrastructure that contains a database named ABCDB.
The ABCDB database is used by an in-house application named ABCApp3 that queries a readonly
table with a clustered index. users report that ABCApp3 is functioning sluggishly.
You suspect query the application uses is causing the problem. You analyze the query and
discover that column referenced in the WHERE clause is not part of the clustered index. You also
notice that the query returns five columns, as well as a COUNT (*) clause grouped on the five
How would you improve the efficiency of this query?

A. You should replace the query with recursive stored procedure.
B. You should replace the COUNT (*) clause with a persisted computed column.
C. You should create nonclustered indexes on all columns used in the query.
D. You should create a filtered index on the column used in the WHERE clause.
E. You should add an INCLUDE clause to the clustered index.
F. You should create a columnstore index on all columns used in the query.
G. You should create a unique clustered index on the column used in the WHERE clause.

Answer: F



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