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MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-431): Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Implementation & Maintenance Hardcover – May 31 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (May 31 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073562271X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735622715
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 5 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on July 5 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was a team effort from the Solid Quality Learning team. The authors include: Daren Bieniek, Randy Dyess, Mike Hotek, Javier Loria, Adam Machanic, Antonia Soto and Adolfo Wiernik. In my experience, sometimes group projects like that fail because of too many hands in the pot. Not in this case. This book is excellently written. The Self-Paced Training Kits (SPTK), are designed for just that - for a person to be able to buy it, and work through the material, either to prepare for the certification exam, or because they want to deepen their knowledge of a product, to either be more proficient in their job or to advance their career. This book will help reach all of those objectives and more. At nearly a thousand pages it is chock full of information to absorb; fortunately it is structured in such a way as to make that possible.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Many examples in this book can not be compleated with the "Evaluation Software" that is included with the book. Chapters 14, and 15 both reference features not included in this version of the software.

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
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cover all the objectives of the certification exam, the bundle CDROM have a bunch of questions different as you can find on the book
Good graphics and cover in detail the objectives.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll cut to the chase... This book and it's companions for exam 70-443 and 70-444 helped me pass the exams and get the MCITP certification. For these books that's what matters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9da93174) out of 5 stars 53 reviews
78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d98fb04) out of 5 stars Good book July 7 2006
By Jose - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Taking the test which this study guide is focus to is a very important step before give any content's feedback (i'm still preparing myself for the test) But i will give my 1st impression about the book anyway.

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.

Final comment.
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 ...

UPDATED 7/26/2006:
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 ...
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9de9754c) out of 5 stars Good Book -- great value Dec 6 2006
By Stephen Moore - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I just passed 70-431. I'm a DBA w/ experience on SQL 2005 and SQL 2000. This book and the accompanying CD were the only tools I used to study. I read the book cover to cover, although I skipped the actual practices. (I would only recommend skipping the practices if you have a lot of real world experience with the product.) Then I moved on to the practice tests on CD, and had pretty mediocre passing scores on three practice tests in certification mode (45 questions, answers scored at end). Finally, I used the practice test in study mode, where you could review your answers as you went to drill down into areas that I needed more work on. Having the accompanying practice test (295 questions) makes this kit a great value. I felt as though I learned a lot during all of this and wasn't just "studying for the test". One word on the test format itself -- there were plenty of simulations to do -- everything was not multiple choice.
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da80180) out of 5 stars 2-in-1 training kit June 9 2006
By MarriedRhombus - Published on
Format: Hardcover
These 2 extras alone is worth more than the price of this book: First, there is the 15% discount on MCP exams. This translates to about $15. Then, there is the practice test software with 295 questions which is very similar to other commercial practice tests (cost at least $59). NOTE: I bought this book from other site because this book was already available there a week earlier than here at Amazon. The price of this book in Amazon is about $8 lower.

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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa153a8f4) out of 5 stars Outstanding Technical Book Feb. 23 2007
By Clyde LeBonz - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding technical book. It covers many areas of a very rich and complex product, and covers almost all of these areas well. The writing style and presentation is excellent. It will be useful to DBA's whether or not they go for the Microsoft certification. The extremely thorough chapter on XML is particularly impressive.

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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da121a4) out of 5 stars Not applicable to the exam as of August '07 Aug. 26 2007
By J. Tocci - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I installed the evaluation edition of SQL Server that came with the book. Then I went through the book, read every page, did every sample test and more than half of the practice items (many were redundant).

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.