Published: June 11, 2012
Languages: English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil)
Audiences: IT professionals
Technology: Microsoft SQL Server
Credit toward certification: MCP, 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.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

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As of February 18, 2016, this exam includes content covering both SQL Server 2012 and 2014. Please note that this exam does not include questions on features or capabilities that are present only in the SQL Server 2012 product. For more information, please download and review this document.

Design a database structure (25–30%)
Design for business requirements
Translate business needs to data structures; de-normalize a database by using SQL Server features, including materialization using indexed views, distributed partitioned views, filtered and non-key column indexes, and snapshots
Design physical database and object placement
Design a physical database, including file placement, FILESTREAM, FILETABLE, file groups, and RAID; configure system database settings
Design a table and index partitioning strategy
Develop the optimal strategy for indexing, archive using partitions and tables, design columnstore indexes, design XML indexes
Design a migration, consolidation, and upgrade strategy
Upgrade with minimal downtime; design a cross-cluster migration; plan a database deployment, including Windows PowerShell, Server Core, and contained databases; migrate query plans; design a migration strategy using Distributed Replay Controller; design a SQL Server virtualization strategy
Design SQL Server instances
Identify hardware for new instances; design CPU affinity; design clustered instances using Microsoft Distributed Transaction Control (MSDTC); define instance memory allocation; design installation strategies, including sysprep, slipstream, and SMB file server; define cross db ownership chaining
Design backup and recovery
Design a backup strategy based on business needs, including differential, file, log, and striped; design a database snapshot strategy; design appropriate recovery models; design a system database backup strategy; recover Tail-Log backups

Preparation resources
Create indexed views
Move user databases
Partitioned tables and indexes

Design databases and database objects (30–35%)
Design a database model
Design a logical schema; design a data access and data layer architecture; design a database schema; design a security architecture; design a cross-server instance database model, including linked servers, security, providers, distributed transactions, distributed partitioned views, and Service Broker
Design tables
Design tables appropriately, including physical tables, temp tables, temp table variables, common table expressions, columnstore indexes, user defined table types, FILESTREAM, FILETABLE, and In-Memory OLTP; design views and table valued functions; design a compression strategy, including row and page; select an appropriate data type; design computed columns
Design for concurrency
Develop a strategy to maximize concurrency; define a locking and concurrency strategy; design a transaction isolation strategy, including server database and session; design triggers for concurrency
Design T-SQL stored procedures
Create stored procedures; design a data access strategy using stored procedures; design appropriate stored procedure parameters, including input, output, and Table Valued; design error handling; design an In-Memory OLTP strategy for stored procedures
Design a management automation strategy
Create a data archiving solution; design automation and auditing, including jobs, alerts, operators, SSIS, CDC, auditing, DDL triggers, and Windows PowerShell; automate across multiple databases and instances; design data batch processing: design a database load test; deploy to different environments, including development, staging, and production
Design for transactions
Manage transactions, including time, savepoint, and mark; design for implicit and explicit transactions; ensure data integrity by using transactions; design error handling for transactions, including TRY, CATCH, and THROW

Preparation resources
ALTER DATABASE SET options (Transact-SQL)
In-Memory OLTP (In-Memory Optimization)

Design database security (10–15%)
Design an application strategy to support security
Design security, including security roles, signed stored procedures, encryption, contained logins, EXECUTE AS, and credentials; implement schemas and schema security; design security maintenance, including SQL logins, integrated authentication, permissions, and mirroring
Design database, schema, and object security permissions
Design a database schema that meets security requirements, schema ownership, ownership chaining, cross database chaining
Design instance-level security configurations
Implement separation of duties using different login roles; choose an authentication type, including logon triggers, regulatory requirements, and certificates; implement data encryption, including database master key and configuration; implement Data Description Language (DDL) triggers; define a secure service account

Preparation resources
Tutorial: Signing stored procedures with a certificate
cross db ownership chaining server configuration option
DDL triggers

Design a troubleshooting and optimization solution (25–30%)
Design a maintenance strategy for database servers
Design maintenance plans; design index maintenance, including rebuild, defragmentation, statistics, online rebuilds, offline rebuilds, and thresholds; maintain physical and logical consistency (DBCC); manage database files, including LDF, MDF, In-Memory OLTP, and garbage collection; define a retention policy
Troubleshoot and resolve concurrency issues
Examine deadlocking issues using SQL Server logs and trace flags; design a reporting database infrastructure, including replicated databases; monitor concurrency, including Dynamic Management Views (DMV); diagnose blocking, including live locking and deadlocking; diagnose waits; use Extended Events; implement query hints to increase concurrency
Design and implement a high availability solution
Configure failover clustering, including multi-subnet; design readable mirrors; create a highly available configuration with low recovery time; design and ensure uptime requirements, including monitoring and patching; design and implement a replication architecture; implement AlwaysOn Availability Groups and AlwaysOn failover clusters
Design a solution to monitor performance and concurrency
Identify performance monitor counters; monitor for performance and bottlenecks, including Wait Stats; design a query monitoring and review strategy; monitor for missing statistics
Design a monitoring solution at the instance level
Design auditing strategies, including Extended Events, Event traces, SQL Audit, Profiler-scheduled or event-based maintenance, Performance Monitor, and DMV usage; set up file and table growth monitoring; collect performance indicators and counters; create jobs to monitor server health; audit using Windows Logs

Preparation resources
sys.dm_tran_locks (Transact-SQL)
Overview of AlwaysOn Availability Groups (SQL Server)
Monitoring and troubleshooting merge for data and delta file pairs

You need to recommend a solution for the deployment of SQL Server 2014. The solution must meet the business requirements.
What should you include in the recommendation?

A. Create a new instance of SQL Server 2014 on the server that hosts the SQL Server 2008 instance.
B. Upgrade the existing SQL Server 2008 instance to SQL Server 2014.
C. Deploy two servers that have SQL Server 2014 installed and implement Failover Clustering.
D. Deploy two servers that have SQL Server 2014 installed and implement database mirroring.

Answer: C

Scenario: The databases must be available if the SQL Server service fails.
Failover Clustering Overview
Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) with SQL Server

You need to recommend a solution to allow application users to perform tables. The solution must meet the business requirements.
What should you recommend?

A. Create a Policy-Based Management Policy.
B. Create a user-defined database role and add users to the role.
C. Create stored procedures that use EXECUTE AS clauses.
D. Create functions that use EXECUTE AS clauses.

Answer: D

* c Clause (Transact-SQL)
In SQL Server you can define the execution context of the following user-defined modules: functions (except inline table-valued functions), procedures, queues, and triggers.
Reference: Using EXECUTE AS in Modules

You need to recommend a feature to support your backup solution.
What should you include in the recommendation?

A. Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)
B. Column-level encryption
C. An NTFS file permission
D. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Answer: A

* Scenario: You must encrypt the backup files to meet regulatory compliance requirements. The encryption strategy must minimize changes to the databases and to the applications.
* Transparent data encryption (TDE) performs real-time I/O encryption and decryption of the data and log files. The encryption uses a database encryption key (DEK), which is stored in the database boot record for availability during recovery.
Reference: Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)

You need to recommend a solution to synchronize Database2 to App1_Db1.
What should you recommend?

A. Change data capture
B. Snapshot replication
C. Master Data Services
D. Transactional replication

Answer: D

* Data from Database2 will be accessed periodically by an external application named Application1. The data from Database2 will be sent to a database named App1_Db1 as soon as changes occur to the data in Database2.
* All data in Database2 is recreated each day and does not change until the next data creation process.
Transactional Replication

You need to recommend a solution to improve the performance of usp.UpdateInventory. The solution must minimize the amount of development effort.
What should you include in the recommendation?

A. A table variable
B. A common table expression
C. A subquery
D. A cursor

Answer: A

*Scenario: Database2 will contain a stored procedure named usp_UpdateInventory. Usp_UpdateInventory will manipulate a table that contains a self-join that has an unlimited number of hierarchies.
* A table variable can be very useful to store temporary data and return the data in the table format.
* Example: The following example uses a self-join to find the products that are supplied by more than one vendor.
Because this query involves a join of the ProductVendor table with itself, the ProductVendor table appears in two roles. To distinguish these roles, you must give the ProductVendor table two different aliases (pv1 and pv2) in the FROM clause. These aliases are used to qualify the column names in the rest of the query. This is an example of the self-join Transact-SQL statement:
USE AdventureWorks2008R2; GO
SELECT DISTINCT pv1.ProductID, pv1.VendorID FROM Purchasing.ProductVendor pv1
INNER JOIN Purchasing.ProductVendor pv2
ON pv1.ProductID = pv2.ProductID
AND pv1.VendorID <> pv2.VendorID
ORDER BY pv1.ProductID
Not B: Using a CTE offers the advantages of improved readability and ease in maintenance of complex queries. The query can be divided into separate, simple, logical building blocks. These simple blocks can then be used to build more complex, interim CTEs until the final result set is generated.

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