Visual Studio logo

  • Published:
    September 17, 2012
  • Languages:
  • Audiences:
    IT professionals
  • Technology:
    Windows Server 2012
  • Credit toward certification:
    Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)

TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

This exam has been retired

For currently available options, please see the Microsoft Certification exam list.

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. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

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

Do you have feedback about the relevance of the skills measured on this exam? Please send Microsoft your comments. All feedback will be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate while still maintaining the validity and reliability of the certification process. Note that Microsoft will not respond directly to your feedback. We appreciate your input in ensuring the quality of the Microsoft Certification program.

If you have concerns about specific questions on this exam, please submit an exam challenge.

If you have other questions or feedback about Microsoft Certification exams or about the certification program, registration, or promotions, please contact your Regional Service Center.

Model data (20%)
  • Map entities and relationships by using the Entity Data Model
    • Use the Visual Designer, build an Entity Data Model from an existing database, manage complex entity mappings in EDMX, edit EDM XML, map to stored procedures, create user-defined associations between entities, generate classes with inheritance and map them to tables
    • This objective does not include: using MetadataWorkspace
  • Map entities and relationships by using LINQ to SQL
    • Use the Visual Designer, build a LINQ to SQL model from an existing database, map to stored procedures
  • Create and customize entity objects
    • Configure changes to an Entity Framework entity, use the ADO.NET EntityObject Generator (T4), extending, self-tracking entities, snapshot change tracking, ObjectStateManager, partial classes, partial methods in the Entity Framework
  • Connect a POCO model to the Entity Framework
    • Implement the Entity Framework with persistence ignorance, user-created POCO entities
    • This objective does not include: use the POCO templates
  • Create the database from the Entity Framework model
    • Customize the Data Definition Language (DDL) (templates) generation process, generate scripts for a database, Entity Data Model tools
  • Create model-defined functions
    • Edit the Conceptual Schema Definition Language (CSDL), enable model-defined functions by using the EdmFunction attribute, complex types
Manage connections and context (18%)
  • Configure connection strings and providers
    • Manage connection strings, including Entity Framework connection strings; use the Configuration Manager; correctly address the Microsoft SQL Server instance; implement connection pooling; manage User Instance and AttachDBfilename; switch providers; implement multiple active result sets (MARS)
    • This objective does not include: use the ConnectionStringBuilder, Oracle data provider, create and use a custom provider, use third-party providers
  • Create and manage a data connection
    • Connect to a data source, close connections, maintain the life cycle of a connection
  • Secure a connection
    • Encrypt and decrypt connection strings, use Security Support Provider Interface (SSPI) or SQL Server authentication, read-only versus read/write connections
    • This objective does not include: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Manage the DataContext and ObjectContext
    • Manage the life cycle of DataContext and ObjectContext, extend the DataContext and ObjectContext, support POCO
  • Implement eager loading
    • Configure loading strategy by using LazyLoadingEnabled, support lazy loading with POCO, explicitly loading entities
  • Cache data
    • DataContext and ObjectContext cache, including identity map; local data cache
    • This objective does not include: Velocity, SqlCacheDependency
  • Configure ADO.NET Data Services
    • Create access rules for entities, configure authorization and authentication, configure HTTP verbs
Query data (22%)
  • Execute a SQL query
    • DBCommand, DataReader, DataAdapters, DataSets, manage data retrieval by using stored procedures, use parameters, System.Data.Common namespace classes
  • Create a LINQ query
    • Syntax-based and method-based queries, join, filter, sort, group, aggregation, lambda expressions, paging, projection
    • This objective does not include: compile queries
  • Create an Entity SQL (ESQL) query
    • Join, filter, sort, group, aggregation, paging, use functions, query plan caching, return a reference to an entity instance, use parameters with ESQL, functionality related to EntityClient classes
  • Handle special data types
    • Query BLOBs, filestream, spatial and table-valued parameters
    • This objective does not include: implement data types for unstructured data, user-defined types, Common Language Runtime (CLR) types
  • Query XML
    • LINQ to XML, XmlReader, XmlDocuments, XPath
    • This objective does not include: XSLT, XmlWriter
  • Query data by using WCF.NET Data Services
    • Implement filtering and entitlement in WCF.NET Data Services, address resources, create a query expression, access payload formats, Data Services interceptors
Manipulate data (22%)
  • Create, update, or delete data by using SQL statements
    • Create/Update/Delete (CUD), use DataSets, call stored procedures, use parameters
  • Create, update, or delete data by using DataContext
    • CUD, call stored procedures, use parameters
    • This objective does not include: ObjectTrackingEnabled
  • Create, update, or delete data by using ObjectContext
    • CUD, calling stored procedures, using parameters, setting SaveOptions
  • Manage transactions
    • System.Transactions, DBTransaction, roll back a transaction, Lightweight Transaction Manager (LTM)
    • This objective does not include: distributed transactions, multiple updates within a transaction, multiple synchronization of data within an acidic transaction
  • Create disconnected objects
    • Create self-tracking entities in the Entity Framework, attach objects, DataSets, table adapters
Develop and deploy reliable applications (18%)
  • Monitor and collect performance data
    • Log generated SQL (ToTraceString), collect response times, implement performance counters, implement logging, implement instrumentation
  • Handle exceptions
    • Resolve data concurrency issues (handle OptimisticConcurrency exception, Refresh method), handle errors, transaction exceptions, connection exceptions, timeout exceptions, handle an exception from the Entity Framework disconnected object, security exceptions
  • Protect data
    • Encryption, digital signature, hashing, salting, least privilege
  • Synchronize data
    • Online/offline Entity Framework, synchronization services, save locally
  • Deploy ADO.NET components
    • Package and publish from Visual Studio, deploy an ADO.NET Services application, package and deploy Entity Framework metadata
    • This objective does not include: configure IIS, MSDeploy, MSBuild

Who should take this exam?

Candidates for this exam use Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and ADO.NET 4 to develop the data access layer of an application. Candidates should have a minimum of two to three years of experience developing application components that interact with a variety of data sources. In addition, candidates should have a thorough understanding of relational database concepts and should have a minimum of one to two years of experience using a relational database management system.

Candidates should also have a good grasp of the following:

  • ADO.NET 4 coding techniques and framework components
  • ADO.NET Data Services LINQ
  • LINQ to SQL
  • Entity Framework technologies
  • Structured Query Language (SQL)
  • Stored procedures
  • Database structures/schemas (objects) XML

More information about exams

Preparing for an exam

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 topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.