MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-431): Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Implementation & Maintenance Hardcover – May 31 2006
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About the Author
The mentors at Solid Quality Learning combine deep technical expertise and real-world implementation experience to provide advanced solutions and training for the Microsoft SQL Server database platform.
Top Customer Reviews
Each chapter begins with a brief introduction of the concepts to be covered. Each concept has its own section. Then there is a great lesson Summary to review and highlight the objectives of the chapters and what you should now know. Then there is a written review, both theoretical questions and practical case studies. The software on the student CD, has self tests, that can be used for chapter review of certification prep. They can be used both in a learning mode or exam mode.
This book was used in the Microsoft academy that I attended. It is a great resource that I am sure to reference for years to come.
The book has been reading very nicely and I believe that I have learned a lot from it but I have become very frustrated with the way the not all the examples/practice areas can be accessed with the limitations of the included software
Good graphics and cover in detail the objectives.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Very well organized book. Chapters and content are divided in small chunks of information (lessons). For busy people (like me) or those which like to do self study at own pace this is a big aid.
I like the writing style also. Not boring, not too technical altought you should have a previous SQL 2000 background if you want to take full advantage of this book.
I did like chapter 11, the backup and restore processes. This is a must for every SQL admin. and it is well covered. The same for the Maintenance Plan and Job topics (Ch 14)
The 15% off in the test price is a good bonus. You should consider this if you're in a low budget.
Cons or critics:
The test engine is an added value but... i don't know ... after taking a few custom tests ... i am not pretty sure about their content's difficulty. I mean, IMO, questions seems too easy for me. I've took a lot of Microsoft tests before (i'm MCSA) and i've never seen easy questions like these in most of them. You must read a lot and think well before mark an answer and i don't feel that when i'm taking this book's test engine. Do not misunderstand what i'm saying, a free Test Engine is a nice bonus, i just want to give a non parcial review. I'm a customer too and we must rely in good study sources to avoid test failures.
Chapter 5: just a brief T-SQL review; use a Sybex SQL 2000 Design book for better preparation or buy the Ben Forta book instead (ISBN: 0672325675), you won't regret and it will help you a lot.
Chapter 12: hey! what happened with the pics here? ... too much words and just a few pics for this topic. Fragmentation concepts are easier to understand when you see how they works; here's when drawings and pics enter into action.
Currently, this is the only book for this test in the market. Sybex and the others are still in press, so there are not much choices either but overall, is a good election anyway; easy to read and very well organized. Find a good PC or laptop, VMWARE or Virtual PC and that's all you need for your study track (SQL 2005 evaluation version is included)
Need extra info? Try SQL 2005 Stanek pocket book ...
I already have the new Sybex book for this test. And 'till now, what i've read so far ... i've not found it better than Solid's book. Some Sybex chapters are just a re impression of their old 70-228 book. I keep you informed ...
This is a hard bound book (I'm very impressed of the cover design). The papers are white and of high quality.
The contents are organized by exam objectives (there is also a card you can tear from the book that outlines the exam objectives and tells you what chapter and lesson you will find the objective discussed in the book). Every lesson has its summary and review questions. Reading some lessons and browsing through the pages of the book, I believe this is a comprehensive study guide for this exam and is, by itself, sufficient to prepare you to pass the exam.
I am a SQL Server developer and instructor for Microsoft SQL Server 2000/2005 certification courses, and recommend this text to students who plan to take MCTS cert exam 70-431.
I recommend reading the book straight through, performing practice labs as desired, then using the Transcender practice exam to reveal your weak areas. If you set yourself a goal of 20-30 pages a day (hard to absorb much more), you'll finish in a month or two.
I passed the MCTS exam with a high grade, but thanks only in part to the practice exam that comes with this text. The text's one weakness is that the practice questions are not at all like those on the real cert exam; they are more like flash-card type questions. Even the Transcender exam was not up to their usual standards, but it is much better than what is included with the book.
The quality of the book itself, however, aside from the practice questions, is excellent. Highly recommended.
Then I went to take the test and I was shocked. Many, many questions were not covered by the material in this book! I have a very good memory, and read the book while laid off so it only took me two weeks to get through it, so my memory is not the issue here. Microsoft produced a book and represents it's purpose as prep for the test, but it doesn't cover all the material the test does!
Most of the questions were covered so it is possible to pass from this book, but I couldn't.
One particularly galling question on the exam involved a port number that was not in the book, I checked.
Needless to say, I am disappointed. I hope that if I need another certification the kit is more representative of the exam content.
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