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MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-433): Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 - Database Development Hardcover – 25 Feb 2009
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About the Author
Tobias Thernstrom has 13+ years' experience with SQL Server, serves as program manager on the SQL Engine Platform Team at Microsoft, and helped develop several Microsoft certifications for SQL Server.
Ann Weber, MCITP, MCSE, is an instructor, consultant, and author with more than 12 years' experience with SQL Server. A Microsoft Certified Trainer, Ann has developed several courses and other learning materials for Microsoft.
Mike Hotek is a SQL Server® expert with three decades' experience as a consultant and solution developer. He has written several books, including Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Step by Step.
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One thing I will say, is that books written by multiple authors never seem to have that flowing consistency as with single author books, but I guess with technical books like this one, its needed. Having said that, I feel in one way or another the book definitely covered everything needed... Sometimes in great detail, other times just a mention so you can go away and do your own research, but everything none-the-less.
Given the depth of knowledge you need to take the exam, just bear in mind you wont get all the knowledge you need from the book, you will need to go away and research some areas more thoroughly (full syntatx and different usage / options of some statements etc). I say this, because some people think you can read the book and take the exam next day, which would be wrong. You do need some real world experience of using SQL Server, and the book states this from the start.
In addition to the book, you also get an electronic version on CD, trial version of the software in case you don't have SQL Server 2008, and trial exams. The trial exams were also invaluable, as reading the book gives you the areas you need to learn, and the exams tell you how you need to learn them - for example, some of the questions that ask you to put a list of statements in the right order for example (with extra statements not required), use different ways of writing SQL than I am used to (for example it will just say join, instead of inner, left etc, or will sometimes seem ambiguous, so you must know the full sytax of statements including any abbreviations, default or optional keywords etc).
I certainly found there was a lot to learn, but thats good. If I'd come away thinking I could take the exam the next day, I would have failed and therefore been ripped off, so I am glad! I am now going to try the exam (have it booked for mid jan, 2010), and the book also comes with a 15% voucher off the exam which also helped greatly.
If you don't have a decent amount of experience with SQL Server then you may well struggle - this isn't a book to teach someone new to the software.
There are a few typos, although nothing serious - just annoying. Also, in a couple of areas it will mention a command or property and not explain it until later. Another reason you wouldn't want to learn the subject from scratch.
I have always been disappointed with the practice tests in the kits and after reading the reviews I decided not even to bother installing it this time.
As usual the CD is bound in the middle of the chapter review section, making it unpleasant to use the index
This book is really good if you already have a bit of experience and want to refresh your memory of the syntax and the rules.
I have also taken a practise certification exam and realised that quite a few topics covered in the exam are NOT covered in the book, eg. creating a trace, cloning a session etc or that the book doesnt cover these sections in much detail.
I have found, however, that it covers XML quite extensively which I am pleased with.
I have found that reading through this book and then looking at the MSDN website for complete understanding and also practising coding in SQL Server has benefited me more...just hope I can pass the exam :-D
Overall, I am happy with the purchase and it has taught me a lot already.
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