MCITP Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Database Administrator Core Requirements Self Paced Training Kit Paperback – 2 Dec 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I don't believe reference books should be like OS's that need a service pack in order to get through the written practice's. A little quality control would have done wonders!
Point #1 - Errors.
There are plenty of errors in the book, but most are dealt with adequately on the errata page available via the Microsoft website. The 70-431 edition I received had the vast majority of the errors already corrected, so Microsoft Press obviously print corrected editions which many exam prep book publishers do not. I did have cause to email Microsoft Press about an error I found which was not referenced in the errata. They replied within 24 hours (and agreed with me)! That's impressive. So kudos to Microsoft for that.
Point #2 - Practice Test.
The book comes a CD which contains hundreds of practice questions. Some of these are way too simplistic compared to what's on the actual exam. Some questions reference material which isn't even in the book. Often I'd review the answer explanation which includes a chapter and lesson reference, but when I re-checked the reference, there's absolutely no mention of what the question was asking about! That's poor.
Point #3 - Superfluous Material.
The book is littered with side notes about reading sections from Books Online or someone's blog or whatever. As someone who was preparing for the exam, I grew increasingly concerned about whether or not I needed to read these external references in order to pass the exam. The book doesn't make it clear if it's useful background reading or required reading. An exam prep book should always be self contained and not rely of copious amounts of external material to cover all the necessary bases. Looking back, I felt the book was way more than an exam prep tool. It would actually serve pretty well as a SQL Server 2005 teaching aid as well as an exam prep book.
Point #4 - Real World Content.
Many chapters contain a brief real world comment on the use or implementation of the technology presented in that chapter. In the context of an exam prep book it's not strictly necessary and the authors didn't waste too much page space (or our time) with their observations. Apart from one. Michael Hotek. I have no idea who this person is though I suspect he's a 'name' within the SQL Server world. And doesn't he know it! The meandering drivel this guy writes is tedious in the extreme and really only serves to promote how great he obviously thinks he is. I cannot reproduce his egotistical tripe here, but I can do an impression. Here goes: I awoke at 6:29AM sharp, a full one minute before the alarm would welcome me into another hectic day. As I sipped my freshly squeezed orange juice, I contemplated a replication performance issue which had overshadowed the day before. An issue which would once again stretch my considerable talents. Leaving the house that morning, I caught my reflection in the hallway mirror. My hair looked magnificent. Strolling purposefully to my car my attention was taken by the ringing of my cell 'phone......and so he goes on and on and on. I found myself screaming at the page "WHAT'S YOUR POINT MICHAEL? CAN WE GET TO THE CORE ISSUE WHILE WE'RE STILL YOUNG? So what's my point? Taking out the superfluous material and the meandering writing style of Hotek would make this book thinner, concise, more focused and infinitely more manageable for the reader who really only wants to know what they need to know to pass an exam.
Point #5 - Subject Grouping and Exam Retirement.
The exam has six subject areas which draw from the 21 chapters presented in the 70-431 book. Some exam sections require the reading of 2 or 3 chapters. Others require the reading of 7 or 8 chapters. Those sections are unwieldy and very difficult to manage. Imagine having to read, understand and comprehend several hundred pages of material BEFORE you can try a practice exam on a single exam section. That's not easy. More exam sections mapping to fewer book chapters is the way to go. Microsoft needs to look at how they group exam sections and Microsoft Press needs to look at the amount of superfluous material present in their exam prep books. As I mentioned, I only read the 70-431 book because Microsoft are retiring the SQL Server 2005 exams at the end of June 2011 and I basically ran out of time to prepare for the exams covered by the other 2 books.
I don't expect Amazon or anyone else for that matter will be selling many more of these SQL Server 2005 titles since the exams, after the end of tomorrow (6/30), will no longer be available. That said, the 70-431 book is a pretty decent text for teaching SQL Server 2005 so maybe the other books are as well. In which case, they may continue to be useful to some people since SQL Server 2005 will be around for a good while yet.
I passed the 70-431 exam using this book, the included SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition software, referencing Books Online and using a few practice exams from some third party companies. So, did the book do its job? Yes, it did.
The content is precise and teach you exactly what you need to know for the exams.
The test exams that comes with it are a good real practice.
Did I mention that it also came with a discount for the real test when you want your certification?
Go for it!
I think it is a great book even if you are not applying for the certificate. It helped me in my work, certificate, and personal SQL Server 2005 knowledge.
I would recommend this book for every one who is looking for a SQL Server 2005 book.
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