It’s been real and it’s been fun… Now here’s The Quiz.

This month (on top of all the other excitement), I’ve been the facilitator for the MVP Academy course "Designing Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 Databases." (Calling me the instructor would be like putting lipstick on a pig — with apologies to the pig.)

If you’re not an MVP or if you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside an MVP Academy course, here’s The Quiz that my vic-, er, students were given to wrap up the one month course (five MSL eLearning courses rolled up into one collection).

Please reply to me PRIVATELY with your new understanding of the following in order to receive credit for completion of the course and qualify for the exam voucher. You’ll note that there is not a single "right" answer to many of these questions. Please treat this as a structured interview survey: pretend that I’m the hiring manager and that you actually want the job. 😉

Oh, and it’s due Monday. It’s open book, but please don’t bother cutting-and-pasting your answers from the course materials (or each other). I will send Chuck Norris to visit cheaters. (After he’s done campaigning for Huckabee.)

1. Compare and contrast in your own words (preferably no more than 250 of them) the conceptual modeling methodologies ORM, ER, NIAM and UML as discussed in the course materials and/or the course newsgroup.

2. In your opinion, what is the most frequent mistake made with regards to data modeling artifacts?

3. Describe the salient points of the "surrogate key versus natural key" jihad. (Surrogate key is often used in the course text as a synonym for artificial key.)

4. Compare (or contrast, if you wish) two different auditing techniques for tracking application data manipulation: centralized (aka simple) audit versus history.

5. Discuss the implications for non-repudiation with regards to simple audit.

6. Which new feature of SQL Server 2005 is best suited for preserving the integrity of a database during a data migration?

7. Give me one good reason why you would ever want to use Snapshot Isolation.

8. Which SQL Server tool is the most helpful in determining the appropriate clustered index? Describe (briefly) how best to use this tool with the least amount of impact on production systems? How would you validate the clustered index selection was appropriate?

9. Imagine a scenario in which a CLR stored procedure would the ideal solution and describe the requirements which would justify the additional development and maintenance cost.

10. What is the Windows service which enables and manages distributed transactions? Describe the limitations of and caveats for using this service, particularly with regards to a heterogeneous enterprise platform environment. What is one possible alternative to using distributed transactions?