If this sounds like you, then we are one and the same. I am still sitting on my MCDBA SQL Server 2000. Shame on me at least, but not necessarily on you.
So, what are we to do? How can we fix this, assuming we want to fix it? The answer is simple. UPGRADE! How? When? Let me tell you all about it.
It’s been 5 years between SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005. That means we had a lot of time to be comfortable with our platform for database usage. That may have led us to be a little complacent or at the very least, slow to respond to the changes.
The MCDBA certification will be retiring soon, along with the MCAD and MCSD. That means that we MCDBAs are at a crossroads. The three choices we are faced with are;
1) Remain MCDBA certified and not worry about upgrading because we either don’t see a need for it, or we won’t be upgrading our database software
2) Look at upgrading to SQL Server 2005
3) Look at upgrading to SQL Server 2008
The road you take depends largely on your organization and what platform you will be adopting. For example, if you will continue to use SQL Server 2000, then by all means, choose option 1. You don’t need to upgrade your certification at all, unless of course you want to.
More than likely, you, or your organization will be upgrading SQL Server 2000 to either 2005 or 2008. That one single event will help you to make your decision.
Once you have chosen the version you want to upgrade to, you need to know how to go about getting there. Remember that we are now dealing with a new generation of certifications. Instead of multiple exams to get one MCDBA certification, you will face different numbers and sets of exams for the new generation of certifications Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP).
Whether you decide on 2005 or 2008, the MCTS track is simple. There is no upgrade path from MCDBA to MCTS because the number of exams required to obtain MCTS is simply one.
For SQL Server 2005, you only need to pass exam 70-431 to obtain the credential of TS: SQL Server 2005. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
For SQL Server 2008, you can specialize now as either a TS: SQL Server 2008 Database Administrator (exam 70-432), TS: SQL Server 2008 Database Developer (exam 70-433), or TS: SQL Server 2008 BI (exam 70-448). Either path requires only one exam.
As a result of the one exam requirement, there is no logical reason to create an upgrade exam as it would only be one exam as well.
Now, what if you want to become an MCITP? Well now, that story becomes a little more involved. The reason for this is because the current SQL 2005 credential in the pro space is split into either MCITP Database Developer, MCITP Database Administrator or MCITP BI. MCITP Developer requires two exams plus 70-431 as the prerequisite. MCITP Administrator requires two different exams plus the 70-431 prerequisite. For BI, you will need to pass 70-445, the TS exam, plus the Pro exam 70-446.
There is, of course, and upgrade path for MCDBA to SQL 2005 MCITP. If you are interested in the MCITP DBA role, you can take 70-431 as the prerequisite and the 70-447 which is the MCDBA to MCITP Database Administrator skills upgrade exam.
Because there wasn’t a database developer equivalent credential in the MCDBA time frame, there is no upgrade path from MCDBA to MCITP Database Developer, nor is there an upgrade path from MCDBA to MCITP BI.
All of the exam prep guides and outlines are available for you to review if you visit the exam search page which also lists the certifications.