Category: database


70-765 Provisioning SQL Databases Certification Exam

Microsoft has been expanding out the certification offerings around Microsoft Azure. The Provisioning SQL Databases (70-765) exam fits right along with this as it measures expertise around SQL Server and Azure SQL Databases. With the ever increasing adoption of the Cloud, the lines between traditional on-premises style systems / applications and cloud applications is being blurred. This exam fits right along with that as it covers Azure SQL Databases and hosting SQL Server within Virtual Machines (VMs).

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Provisioning SQL Databases (70-765) certification exam is centered round SQL Server and Azure SQL Database. The exam is designed to target candidates who are Architects, Senior Developers, Infrastructure Specialists, and Development Leads. These candidates should have experience and knowledge of the various cloud service models and service model architectures, data storage options, and data synchronization techniques. It will also be good to have a working knowledge of deployment models, upgrading and migrating databases, and applications and services, in addition to integrating Azure applications with external resources.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on the Provisioning SQL Databases (70-765) exam. The percentages next to each of the objectives represent the percentage of the exam questions that will be focus on that specific objective.

  • Implement SQL in Azure (30-35%)
    • Deploy a Microsoft Azure SQL Database
    • Plan for SQL Server installation
    • Deploy SQL Server instances
  • Manage databases and instances (35-40%)
    • Configure secure access to Microsoft Azure SQL Databases
    • Configure SQL Server performance settings
    • Manage SQL Server instances
  • Deploy and migrate applications (30-35%)
    • Deploy applications to Microsoft Azure SQL Database
    • Deploy applications to SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
    • Migrate client applications

When studying for this exam, you’ll certainly want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives covered. You’ll need to study each and every one of the objectives measured on the exam before attempting to take it.

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary of the 70-765 Provisioning SQL Databases exam, there is a limited amount of Exam specific training material available. You’ll need to rely fairly heavily on the Microsoft documentation when studying for this exam. No exam guide or prep books are available, however there is a Practice Test available.

Happy studying!


MCSE: Data Management and Analytics Certification

mcse_datamanagementandanalyticsMicrosoft continues to expand out their certification program to better fit the newly emerging “cloud-based” world of IT. As a result, the existing Microsoft Azure exams as well as new exams being published are being integrated into the broad spectrum of Microsoft certifications; such as the MCSE. The MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification has recently been introduced as part of a new redesign and restructuring of the MCSE certifications. This article explains some of the details around how you can go about earning the new MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification.

On the path to earning the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics an MCSA certification will first be earned.

The MCSA Foundation

On the path to earning the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification an MCSA certification will first be earned. It’s really good to have a milestone along the way, instead of having to take a tone of exams before claiming any single certification title / credential. Additionally, instead of just a single MCSA choice to earn, there are actually multiple tracks to choose from based on your unique combination of expertise and interests.

Here’s the list of the MCSA certification tracks, along with the exams you’ll need to pass to achieve each of them:

As you can see the MCSA foundations mostly require 2 exams to be passed; these are the newer MCSA’s. The older MCSA for SQL Server 2012/2014 requires 3 exams to be passed to earn. All these MCSA’s fill provide a solid foundation of SQL Server in the specific track that you choose.

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics

Once a qualifying MCSA certification (as listed above) has been earned, the next path to the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification is to pass only 1 more exam. Also, best of all, you get to choose which exam you would like to take from a list of elective exams.

Here’s the list of elective exams to choose from to build on top of the MCSA foundation when achieving the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification:

Even if you choose to focus on SQL Server 2012/2014 or SQL Server 2016 with the MCSA you earned, it’s up to you if you want to mix some Azure / Cloud expertise into  your certification for the MCSE, Or, you can still with SQL Server for your choice elective exam as well.

Once a qualifying MCSA certification (as listed above) is earned, the next path is to pass 1 more exam to earn the full MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification!

Happy studying!

Updated May 27, 2017: Microsoft announced a renaming of a few of the MCSA certifications and the addition of more elective exams for the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification.

Updated Apr 13, 2017: Added info about MCSA Data Science certification.


Migrate Between Azure SQL Database and SQL Server

For years it’s been difficult to migrate a database that was built in SQL Server to Microsoft Azure SQL Database. Originally, the T-SQL support in Azure SQL wasn’t the same as SQL Server, which caused a lot of pain over the years. The T-SQL support in Azure SQL has been greatly updated / enhanced over the years, but at times a migration is still necessary. Fortunately, SQL Server Management Studio includes the “Deploy Database to Microsoft Azure Database Wizard” which has built-in support to migrate a database from SQL Server to Azure SQL Database. This tool actually works BOTH ways, from Azure to SQL Server and SQL Server to Azure! Read More


Azure Certification: 70-473 Cloud Data Platform Solutions Specialist – Oct 2015

There have been a few Microsoft Azure certifications for awhile now, and on October 27, 2015 Microsoft added another with the Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (70-473) exam. Passing this exam will earn you the Microsoft Specialist: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions certification. This is a Microsoft Azure certification centered around SQL Server databases in the cloud; from Azure SQL Database to SQL Server running inside a Virtual Machine.

Update July 2017: This article is out-of-date. The 70-473 exam was update in June 2017 with new exam objectives. Please refer to the newer exam objectives and study resource list outlined in the 70-473 Designing and Implementing Could Data Platform Solutions Certification Exam – June 2017 Update article instead. Happy Studying!

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Azure Infographic: SQL Server 2016

The SQL Server 2016 infographic provides a visual overview of SQL Server 2016 features: on-premises, in the cloud, and in between. How can your current skills and knowledge of SQL Server help you transition to SQL Server within a Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure, or to an Azure SQL Database?


You can download the full infographic PDF at the following URL:


Free eBook: Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure

eBookAzureMigratingSqlServerThe “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure” book written by Carl Rabeler has been made a free eBook by Microsoft Press. This book is part of the “Microsoft Azure Essentials” books series. With this book you will learn how SQL Server in Azure is similar to SQL Server in an on-premises environment. You will also learn how they are different. The author, Carl Rabeler, is a content lead for and will walk you through the steps of getting started with SQL Server in an Azure Virtual Machine as well as Azure SQL Databases. Read More