Why the SQL Server 2008 Certifications Don’t Cover R2

SQL Server 2008 R2 has just released and some of you are asking if the current exams will be updated to reflect the changes from SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2008 R2. The short answer is no, we will not update the exams to reflect the deltas between the two versions. Our investigations revealed that our current exam content still covers the important aspects of working with SQL Server 2008 and that the additions in R2 did not adversely impact the current exam content or coverage.

That’s good news, since it means that if you’ve already earned a certification on SQL Server 2008 it’s still a valid indicator of your capabilities in the R2 version of the software. And it helps keep our certification landscape cleaner as we begin to focus our development efforts on the upcoming major release of SQL Server. What I mean by “cleaner” is simply that each time we upgrade an exam outside of a major version change, we face the issue of what happens to those who are already certified on the previous major version. For example, if we updated the exam content to reflect the changes in R2, what does that mean for those certified on SQL Server 2008 non-R2? Do they get grandfathered in? No, can’t do that because they haven’t been tested on the new material. Do we “require” them to take the exam again? That doesn’t seem fair either.  

As an aside, the training will be updated so that people can be trained on the new technology, we just won’t certify it.

Hope that makes sense, and I fully expect that some will not agree while others will. As usual, comments and questions are welcomed.