Daniel Calbimonte
SQL Certification list

SQL Certifications

August 7, 2020 by


Many people ask me how to get the Microsoft SQL Certification. SQL Server has a lot of certifications and specializations. In this article, we will provide an introduction to each of them and provide some tips related. At the time of this publication, we are under the Coronavirus era. Many people are at home with free time. Instead of watching all the bad COVID 19 news, it is a great idea to earn a new certification.

Here we have some tips for you!

SQL Certifications

There are several SQL Server certifications. The following link provides the list of all the certifications available:

List of SQL Server Certifications

SQL Certification list

As you can see the list is large. Which one to choose?

Here, you have some tips:

  • Do not choose the exams related to SQL Server on-premises, because they will be deprecated soon (January 2021)
  • Basically, you are encouraged to take the Azure SQL exams. These exams will not be deprecated soon
  • There is a Cosmos DB certification. This is a NoSQL database. If you want to focus on SQL, you may want to ignore Cosmos DB at the moment
  • However, if you do not have database experience, you may want to take the Database Fundamentals

If you are new in the database world, your first choice is the Database Fundamentals:

SQL Certification fundamental exam

This exam is for the personnel who do not have a database background. It is a basic exam. If you have database experience, you will pass it without studying.

If you are a Database Administrator, this certification may help you to enrich your knowledge:

The exam for this certification is in beta version at the time of writing this article (July 2020):

In this article, we will talk about Administering Relational Databases on the Microsoft Azure exam.

What are the skills being measured in the exam?

The first thing that you need to read is skills measures. You can find the skills here:

The following areas are evaluated:

  • How to plan and Implement the Data Platform Resources
  • How to Implement Secure Environments
  • Monitor and optimize resources
  • Optimize performance on queries
  • Automate tasks
  • Implement and plan high availability solutions
  • Administer tasks using T-SQL

I do not have Azure at work. Why is Microsoft removing the Microsoft SQL Server on-premises exams?

If you do not want to study Azure yet, you can study for the on-premises exam, but I do not recommend paying for the exam, because it will expire soon. Microsoft believes that Azure is the future and that’s the reason for encouraging everybody to the cloud. I recommend taking a look at cloud technology and migrate to it soon.

What material can be used for this exam?

The main material is the SQL Azure documentation. You can find the documentation here:

SQL Certification documentation

Basically, you have to check the skills measured and read the SQL documentation.

Is the Course DP-300T00-A: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure recommended?

It helps to start, but the exam is harder and the course does not cover all the topics. In Oracle, the course and the books are usually enough to pass the exam. In Microsoft, the exams are usually more difficult and neither a single book, a single course will cover everything. So, I strongly recommend reading multiple sources of material.

Here is the link to the course:

I do not have Azure experience. What should I do?

The first step is to have an Azure Account. You can start here:

You will have a credit of 200 USD for free per 1 month and other free services per 1 year. Once that you have your account, this tutorial is nice for beginners:

How much do I need to study?

If you do not have any experience in Azure, at least 6 months. If you are familiar with all the topics, 1 month could be enough considering you already have experience with Microsoft exams.

Why is the price of the certification exam different in each country?

The economy is different in each country and Microsoft tries to set prices according to the economy in each country.

Is the exam in other languages?

Currently, the exam is in English, but that may change in the future.

What is the score to pass the exam?

700/1000 approx.

How many questions does the exam have?

40-45 approx.

Can I retake the exam if I fail?

Yes, you can retake the exam 5 times per year. Here you have the retake policies:


In this article, we learned about SQL Certifications. We noticed that Microsoft is orienting the certifications to the Cloud (Azure). These exams are complex and it requires to study a lot. However, it will enrich your skills and open your mind. The Azure world is exciting and I am sure you will enjoy it.

Daniel Calbimonte
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