Friday, 29 October 2010

MCTS 70-448: Too bloated?

Over the past few years i've really started to embrace the power of SSIS and to a lesser extent SSRS. I think with a lot of these things, its only really possible to get engaged in a feature of SQL Server if you have a practical/real world use for the technology rather than just working through the tutorials and examples on the web. However, one area where I don't even have a basic knowledge of is SSAS mainly due to the fact that i've not had cause to dive in and get my hands dirty with it.

At the moment, i'm looking to complete the various SQL MS exams and have been successful in achieving certification in my "comfort zones" of Development and Administration. The next obvious step to complete the set is to take on the Business Intelligence exam MCTS 70-448 and its here we I have a slight issue. In my mind, this exam seems to be a "catch all" for the features of SQL Server that can be described as BI. Of course, i'm not saying that they aren't BI or indeed their principal features are BI but it seems to me that, particularly with the case of SSIS, the range of features/uses is so large that it warrants an exam all of its own.

I'm keen to demonstrate my knowledge of SSIS/SSRS and the MS certification program is a way of proving to others that you do have some level of expertise in these areas. However, SSAS seems to be such a large topic (akin to the Database Engine) that I think its unfair to expect users of SSIS/SSRS to have to know it to a working level in order to earn the 70-448 certification.

I am working through the self paced training kit for 70-448 but am finding it difficult to really get engaged in the SSAS section. Of course, reading through the material and the completing the exercises do help and I feel I am much further ahead than at the start of the week but I'm not sure i'd feel comfortable implementing an SSAS solution from scratch.

But i'll perserve and hopefully achieve certification soon but I hope in the future Microsoft consider realigning their exam content soon.

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