Although Microsoft's database administrator credential -- the MCDBA -- doesn't get the same level of attention
as its more publicized cousins, the MCSE and the MCSA, it is still a pretty popular and serious credential. Its purpose is to identify competent database professionals who work with SQL Server and other Microsoft database tools and technologies. At last count, on Aug. 13, the program boasted nearly 73,000 certified professionals.
On Oct. 16, Microsoft announced it was adding six new electives to the MCDBA program: the MCAD/MCSD .NET core exams have made their official debuts over the past two months. The electives include:
- Exam 70-305: Developing and implementing Web applications with Visual Basic .NET and Visual Studio .NET
- Exam 70-306: Developing and implementing Windows-based applications with Visual Basic .NET and Visual Studio .NET
- Exam 70-310: Developing XML Web services and server components with Visual Basic .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework
- Exam 70-315: Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Visual C# .NET and Visual Studio .NET
- Exam 70-316: Developing and implementing Windows-based applications with Visual C# .NET and Visual Studio .NET
- Exam 70-320: Developing XML Web services and server components with Visual C# and the Microsoft .NET Framework
This brings to 11 the total number of allowable MCDBA electives. Other valid electives for the MCDBA include:
- Exam 70-015: Designing and implementing distributed applications with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0
- Exam 70-019: Designing and implementing data warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
- Exam 70-155: Designing and implementing distributed pplications with Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6.0
- Exam 70-175: Designing and implementing distributed applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
- Exam 70-216: Implementing and administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 network infrastructure; (70-276 is also listed but won't be available until some time in Q1'2003)
As this list of additional exams indicates, elements from older MCSD programs are still included, which makes developer exams a key component of the MCDBA program. The MCDBA also requires three core exams: one on SQL Server administration, one on SQL Server design, and a third on networking systems, for a total of four exams altogether.
Slowly but surely, Microsoft is weaving Windows .NET Server exams into all of its certification programs as the next generation of server software works its way toward final release. It's just a matter of time before we learn about .NET-based successors to the MCSE design core exams, and to the various BackOffice component exams as well.
Ed Tittel runs a content development company in Austin, Texas, and is the creator of the Exam Cram series. He's worked on many books on Microsoft, CompTIA, CIW, Sun/Java, and security certifications. His team is currently at work on TICSA and Security+ study guides for Que Certification Press.