I passed the 70-461 exam on my first shot — “Querying SQL Server 2012”. I thought that the exam would be trivial, since I have so much experience, and the exam is called “Querying”. That’s partly true, but I learned some things that I should have known, and I learned some things specific to SQL Server 2012. In that sense, certification fulfilled the goal of improving my craft and staying current with technology.
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A snapshot is an instant read-only copy of a database that can be queried or used as a restore point. You might take a snapshot before running any modification queries in production, or to give yourself a restore point when performing a deployment. Even in a sophisticated team, I’m certain that snapshots can solve an existing problem for every developer.
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Think of index fragmentation on SQL Server like hard drive fragmentation. Every time you edit a file, the computer stores pieces of the file all over the hard drive. Over time, this gets worse. Pretty soon, your computer has to jump all over the hard drive to find all the piece of a single file, and performance suffers. The same thing happens to indexes in a database. Every time somebody makes an insert, update or delete, the index becomes fragmented. Technically, the physical order of the index becomes increasingly different than the logical order. Pretty soon, the index needs to be rebuilt. This applies to clustered and nonclustered indexes.
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There is a fundamental difference in the way Application Developers and GIS Analysts have traditionally approached their solutions. Unfortunately, those GIS deliverables can become quickly and dangerously outdated. But, as technology changes, traditional roles and workflows are changing, too.
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The agency I work for has not deployed ArcServer. But, our biologists really need to see their dots on a map, and they need to create dots on a map, to say nothing of some of the more complicated tasks like editing geometries and linear referencing. Installing ArcServer is outside of my control. So, to provide our biologists with the geospatial tools they required, I decided to build a spatial server into my application myself.
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The Wildlife Division had five separate Access databases, accessible from only one location. Not only were the databases functioning poorly, they had also become a chokepoint in the workflow of one of the Game & Fish Department’s core functions. The project involved migrating these databases into a single subsystem of an existing ASP.NET MVC web application running on a SQL Server enterprise database.
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The Wyoming Game & Fish Department had an existing photo database that required enhancements. I rebuilt the system using ASP.NET MVC, and integrated it into an existing SQL Server enterprise database.
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The WGFD Fish Division maintains a database of Streams and Lakes, the characteristics of the waters, the hydrologic boundaries, and also the species presence and abundance on all of those waters. This data is one the Division’s most critical assets, containing historical observations going back nearly 100 years. The data was originally stored on index cards, and later moved to an N-able database. Then, it was migrated to Access, and finally to SQL Server, .NET web application.
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