Welcome to what is probably the most difficult exam in the current range of SQL Server 2005
exams available, the “Designing Database Solutions by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005”
The reason why it is such a difficult exam is because it has both a breadth and a depth that
does not exist in the other SQL Server 2005 exams. It is not a DBA exam that focuses on a
solution to a particular event or set of circumstances. And it is not a development exam asking
you what syntax to use for a particular requirement.
It is a design exam that will ask you what the best solution is, given a large set of business
and technical requirements in the context of a particular environment. There will be many
requirements, and they might conflict with each other at times, as in the real world. It is up to
you to untangle these various requirements so as to be able to recommend the best solution.
Designing database solutions can be a bit of an art form, requiring years of experience, a
good theoretical background, and a broad knowledge of peripheral technologies and software
development techniques. Consequently, I have tried to focus on best practices and database
design techniques, giving alternatives and various considerations as appropriate, instead of
simply giving you syntax and “a set of rules to follow.”
I have had the good fortune and privilege over the past 10-odd years of working on a vari-
ety of database solutions for numerous public and private sector organizations, each with their
own set of requirements, budgets, problems, and politics. I have brought those experiences
and lessons learned from the field to this book. You’d be surprised at how poorly a database
solution can be designed, given a simple set of requirements. Grab me for a beer if you ever see
me, and I will gladly fill you in.
In addition, I hope this book will go beyond helping you pass the exam and will
give you some practical advice on how to develop a database solution based on Microsoft
SQL Server 2005.