Exam 70-459

Transition Your MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform

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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 logo
  • Published: June 11, 2012
  • Languages: English, Japanese
  • Audiences: IT Professionals
  • Technology: Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Credit toward certification: MCSA, MCSE

Convince your boss email

Copy the following content into an email message to your boss and update [the bracketed text] with the appropriate content.

Dear [your boss's name]:

I'd like to expand and prove my technical skills by earning a Microsoft Certification. My next step is taking Exam 70-459. The registration fee is $150.00 USD.

When I pass this certification, you'll have proof of my ability to work with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 . Microsoft has training and online resources to help me prepare for the exam. I believe I'll be more effective and productive after achieving this valuable technical certification.

Let me know if you have any questions. In the meantime, you can find out more about this exam at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-459.aspx. As you can see, the exam validates skills that are crucial to our team's success.

Thank you for your support,

[your name]

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.

Starting May 15, 2014, the questions on this exam will include content covering SQL Server 2014.

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

  • Create and alter tables

    • Develop an optimal strategy for using temporary objects (table variables and temporary tables); manage a table without using triggers; data version control and management; create tables without using the built-in tools; understand the difference between @Table and #table

  • Design, implement, and troubleshoot security

    • Grant, deny, revoke; connection issues; execute as; certificates; loginless user; database roles and permissions; contained users; change permission chains

  • Create and modify constraints (complex statements)

    • Create constraints on tables; define constraints; performance implications

  • Design and implement stored procedures

    • Create stored procedures and other programmatic objects; techniques for developing stored procedures; different types of stored procedure results; create stored procedures for data access layer; analyze and rewrite procedures and processes; program stored procedures with T-SQL and CLR#; use table-valued parameters; encryption

  • Design T-SQL table-valued and scalar functions

    • Ensure code non-regression by keeping consistent signature for procedure, views, and function (interfaces); turn scripts that use cursors and loops into a SET-based operation

  • Create and alter views

    • Set up and configure partitioned tables and partitioned views; design for using views and stored procedures, and remove the direct usage of tables

  • Design tables

    • Data design patterns; develop normalized and de-normalized SQL tables; understand the difference between physical tables, temp tables, temp table variables, and common table expressions; design transactions; design views; understand advantages and disadvantages of using a GUID as a clustered index; understand performance implications of # vs. @ temp tables and how to decide which to use, when, and why; use of set-based vs. row-based logic; encryption (other than TDE); table partitioning; filestream and filetable

  • Create and alter indexes

    • Create indexes and data structures; create filtered indexes; create an indexing strategy; design and optimize indexes; design indexes and statistics; assess which indexes on a table are likely to be used given different search arguments (SARG); column store indexes; semantic indexes

  • Design data integrity

    • Design table data integrity policy (checks, private key/foreign key, uniqueness, XML schema); select a primary key; data usage patterns

  • Optimize and tune queries

    • Tune a badly performing query; identify long running queries; review and optimize code; analyze execution plans to optimize queries; tune queries using execution plans and database tuning advisor (DTA); design advanced queries using pivots and utilizing common table expressions (CTE); design the database layout and optimize queries (for speed and/or data size); understand different data types; basic knowledge of query hints; tune query workloads; demonstrate use of recursive CTE; full text search; control execution plans

  • Troubleshoot and resolve performance problems

    • Interpret performance monitor data; impact of recovery modal on database size, and recovery; how to clean up if .MDF and .LDF files get to large; identify and fix transactional replication problems; detect and resolve server hung failure; identify and troubleshoot data access problems

  • Collect performance and system information

    • Use Data Management Views to determine performance issues; from system metadata; gather trace information by using the SQL Server Profiler; develop monitoring strategy for production database; run a profiler trace and analyze the results; use profiler to troubleshoot applications; collect output from the Database Engine Tuning Advisor; extended events

  • Design for business requirements

    • Business to data translations; identify which SQL Server components to use to support business requirements; design a normalization area; de-normalize by using SQL Server features (such as materialization via indexed views)

  • Design physical database and object placement

    • Filestream and filetable; logical vs. physical design; file groups

  • Design SQL Server instances

    • Create a specification for hardware for new instances; design an instance; design SQL to use only certain CPUs (including affinity masks); design clustered instances including Microsoft Distributed Transaction Control (MSDTC); memory allocation

  • Design a database model

    • Design a logical schema; design a normalized database; design data access and data layer architecture; understand the relational model; design a normalized data model; design a database schema; create and maintain a schema upgrade and downgrade script that include the most optimal schema deployment and data migration; Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) modeling, generalization/specialization, star-schema; optimize the design for normalization to the right level for the application; design security architecture; understand impact of collation, ANSI NULLS, and QUOTED IDENTIFIER

  • Design tables

    • Data design patterns; develop normalized and de-normalized SQL tables; understand the difference between physical tables, temp tables, temp table variables, and common table expressions; design transactions; design views; understand the performance implications of # vs. @ temp tables and how to decide which to use, when, and why; use of set-based rather than row-based logic; filestream and filetable; semantic engine; sequences; row/page compression; data type selection

  • Design T-SQL stored procedures

    • Write a stored procedure to meet a given set of requirements; design using views and stored procedures to remove the direct usage of tables

  • Design an application strategy to support security

    • Design security; implement schemas and schema security; design maintenance, including SQL logins vs. integrated authentication, permissions, and mirroring issues; use appropriate mechanisms to enforce security roles and signed stored procedures; encryption; contained logins

  • Design instance-level security configurations

    • Implement separation of duties using different login roles; design and implement a data safety strategy that meets the requirements of the installation; choose authentication type, logon triggers, and regulatory requirements; transparent data encryption; DDL triggers

  • Troubleshoot and resolve concurrency issues

    • Examine deadlocking issues using the SQL server logs; design the reporting database infrastructure; monitor issues via DMV; diagnose blocking, live locking, and deadlocking; diagnose waits; performance detection with built-in DMVs; know how concurrency affects performance

  • Design a monitoring solution at the instance level

    • Design auditing strategies including XE, Profiler, Perfmon, and DMV usage; set up file and table growth monitoring; collect performance indicators and counters; content management systems; policies

Who should take this exam?

This exam is intended for candidates who have already earned the MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 certification, have completed the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 certification, and who wish to transition their skills to MCSE: Data Platform on SQL Server 2012.

More information about exams

We recommend that you review this exam preparation guide in its entirety and familiarize yourself with the resources on this website before you schedule your exam. See the Microsoft Certification exam overview for information about registration, videos of typical exam question formats, and other preparation resources. For information on exam policies and scoring, see the Microsoft Certification exam policies and FAQs.

This preparation guide is subject to change at any time without prior notice and at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft exams might include adaptive testing technology and simulation items. Microsoft does not identify the format in which exams are presented. Please use this preparation guide to prepare for the exam, regardless of its format. To help you prepare for this exam, Microsoft recommends that you have hands-on experience with the product and that you use the specified training resources. These training resources do not necessarily cover all of the topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.