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Roadmap to Success is a series that helps learners understand certification pathways, career options associated with them, and the next steps beyond certification.
UPDATED: This article was updated on February 21, 2017 in order to reflect the latest changes to Microsoft MCSE: Data Platform certification curriculum.
As more businesses and organizations adopt Azure, the popularity of the MCSE Data Platform certification is growing rapidly. This certification will allow learners to be qualified for roles such database designers, database developers, administrators, and other positions related to cloud functionality.
MCSE: Data Platform
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Get started training. CRITICAL UPDATE – Microsoft has restructured its certifications. The MCSE Data Platform certification will be formally withdrawn March 31, 2017. It will be replaced with the MCSE Data Management and Analytics. You can read our recent post, “What to Expect from the New Microsoft Certification Paths” for more information about the restructure.
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Data Platform was created to allow learners to demonstrate their skills in building and managing enterprise-scale data solutions in both on-premises environments and in cloud environments. The MCSE: Data Platform certification consists of five exams. All of them are covered by SPOTO training.
70-461 – Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012.
70-462 – Administration of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
70-463 – Implementing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Warehouse

*Please note that passing the 70-461, 70-462 and 70-463 exams will result in the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), SQL Server 2012 certification.
70-464- Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases for SQL Server 2014Or, you can choose to take 70-464- Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases for SQL Server 2012.

70-465 – Designing Solutions for SQL Server 2012 (for SQL Server 2012). Please note that SPOTO recently published a course specifically focused on SQL Server 2014 Azure updates for its 70-465 exam.

This certification requires that learners have at least two (2) years of experience with SQL Server. To be successful in their MCSE: Data Platform projects, learners should also be proficient in writing T-SQL queries. The MCSE is an intermediate-level certification. Learners should have some experience before they embark on this certification path.
Exam DetailsPearson is the testing center that provides the most Microsoft exams. They offer a great Exam Profile series that covers almost all of the MCSE: Data Platform exams.
70-461 Exam Profile
70-462 Exam Profile
70-463 Exam Profile
70-464 Exam Profile

The following exam details apply to each exam that is part of the MCSE Data Platform certification.
Time allotted for exam: 2 hours (120 minutes) per examNumber of questions: 45-55*Passing score: 700 (approximate)Question types: Multiple choice; multiple choice/multiple answer; scenarioExam registration: Microsoft Learning or Pearson VueExam cost: $165 (USD) per examSkills Measured: Each exam registration page on the Microsoft website provides a list of Skills Measured (free resource) to guide your study and preparation. *Microsoft doesn’t publish exact numbers of questions for its exams.
Microsoft exams are known for being difficult. Many learners find that they need to take multiple exams to be successful. Microsoft recognizes the difficulty of their exams and offers an “Exam replay” that allows learners to retake them at no cost. The Exam Replay may not be available all the time. As of the date of this post’s publication, MCSE: Data Platform exams included an Exam Replay. However, that could change. Learner