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  1. Senior Member
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    #51
    Starting up again, working through data flow design and implementation. Just as I thought since I have more experience working with this tool these modules are "sticking" in my mind a lot faster. Looking at spending ~ 2 hours maybe more going through the modules. Hopefully I can get these done in 2 weeks, that's my time line. Then spend another 2 weeks flash cards and practice exams. I'm not 100% sure but I think you have to buy the booster pack before september so I am going to go ahead and buy another booster for 463. Not sure about 462, haven't looked at the material yet and I honestly dont want to. I find myself easily getting side tracked so laser focus on 463.
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    #52
    Things are going a little slower than I thought, a lot of info I am picking up just through the first couple of modules. I plan on watching dimensions and facts again before moving on. Trying not to microwave this, I can see myself doing that barely getting through and not having enough for the most challenging one (I think) 462...... So slowing it down and being really thorough.
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  4. Senior Member
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    #53
    Hit dimensions again.

    Recommendation, I would install SQL server on your own OS and download the practice scripts from the virtual nugget lab, the VM is terrible to be honest. Also when you are installing the database files I usually just download the BAK file from MS and just do a backup. One thing you'll need to go into the database and make sure you set the Owner to sa or you won't be able to launch the diagrams which you'll want when you are going through the training modules. At least with CBT nuggets.

    So far went through these modules, however I had the speed set to 2.0, so I dropped it to 1.0 and started over and made it through 2. Dimensions. No need to go over 1. again. I'm still up in the air, I think I may go through 3. again tonight at 1.0 speed and call it a night. I am trying to make it through 22 nuggets/modules in 2 weeks, now less than.

    1. Introduction to 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with SQL Server 2012 (21 min)
    2. Designing and Implementing Dimensions (45 min)
    3. Designing and Implementing Fact Tables (35 min)
    4. Introduction to SSIS and Connection Managers (54 min)
    5. Designing Data Flow (35 min)
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  5. Senior Member
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    #54
    I'll be hitting it hard tonight, today was crazy. Stalled big time on a large mining structure, using MDX is not "easy", when you start to get into the deeper aspects of it.

    Oh well good experience, these topics will be on the MCSE level exams so it will pay off eventually.
    Last edited by DatabaseHead; 08-23-2016 at 03:13 AM.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #55
    Completed going through Facts again, covered Lineage, Indexes (including column stores) and partitions. Actually learned quite a bit with the partitions. I've hit both 2 - 3 Dimension and Facts already I'll be moving into SSIS next time I study. I'm WFH tomorrow so I'll pop on early and go through a module, the next one is 56 minutes long so that will probably be it for tomorrow, but you never know!
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  7. Senior Member
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    #56
    Made it through the intro to configuring SSIS, module 4. This one was ~55 minutes, it was LONG, but VERY informative. Lot's of good take away's from this nugget for real world. I build packages from time to time usually deploying SSAS cubes, mining structures or in memory tabular models. However I have set up table updates, drop and reloads etc. This went in depth especially for an intro nugget, very impressed with this one. I've got some work to do, but I am feeling good. I'd like to get one more nugget completed today. Next up nugget 5 Designing Data Flow ~35 minutes long. One thing I did notice it seems as you move through the nuggets they become shorter and shorter, around 20 minutes or a little over. If I am having a good day I could see myself getting through 3 MAYBE 4 which might be a stretch, but aligns with my aggressive goal of getting the nuggets completed by September 2nd.

    I'll be purchasing a booster pack for 463 soon, I might have to go ahead and buy one for 462 as well. I believe they are good up to 6 months after purchase even if the promotion expires which I believe it does after August. (I think)........

    Not really sure about the MCSE Business Intelligence exams, I believe one is in regards to SSAS which I am excited about, would love to fill the knowledge gaps. Since this is a big part of my project work I get.
    Last edited by DatabaseHead; 08-23-2016 at 03:03 PM.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #57
    Went through Designing Data Flow ~35 minutes, going to have to go through this one again, partially because I was distracted slightly and partial due to all the contents. Very good nuggets from my perspective learned a lot and if I watch it again I learn some more. Covered blocking, semi-blocking no blocking. Along with source, destitnations and transformations, a TON of these. Great stuff and very useful for my position, I am consistently taking data and designing solutions reports etc. Including data from other disparate systems. Either way going through this one again for sure, probably tomorrow AM, before work.

    I am staying some what try to form, going through each module back to back then on to another. It seems to help, getting the initial exposure and then following back up again with some practical review.

    Side note I am pretty dang sure I am getting both boosters for 462 and this one 463.

    According to the dashboard I have 9 hours left and 25% completed.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #58
    Watched Designing Data Flow again. Went slow, interrupted a few times nothing to much. Reviewed all the transformations, source and destinations. Covered the limitations of lookups, merges, unions and joining at the SQL level prior to the SSIS process. lookups = no blocking, merges requires sorting which locks / blocks the full transaction and requires a ton of memory depending on how large the process is. It's coming along well, I'm going to hit 6 tonight. This will leave me with 16 modules left.
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  10. Senior Member
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    #59
    Side note....... Going through this certification track has just unlocked so many creative ideas for the way we do business.

    Projects Right Now

    - Setting up a invoice project from SSIS. Pulling the data from a sql task and using a script task with VB to use the provided template to generate individual invoices for over 120 vendors. Executed by a job. Once tested and reviewed I'll add an email transformer to the end and email out the invoices directly to the individuals.

    - Catalog update, right now it's MANUAL, i'm talking ad hoc scripts to insert records and then ending records. The idea is creating a STORED PROC with a front end, calling the variables in the front end which in turn will protect the database from slip ups and goofs

    -SSAS cube extraction into relational tables using a series of source task along with union all and a few others.

    Fired to complete 463
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  11. Senior Member
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    #60
    Another module down, done through 6. Implementing Data Flow.

    It was a decent module, he did cover a few different items I wasn't aware of. Learning and certing good times. I'm off next monday and the following so I should get some good module review time in. Haven't cracked or even purchased the book, I do have a virtual books on line membership so I'll be able to review for free when that time comes.
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    #61
    I was able to bang out Data Execution in SSIS, module 7. Grinding my way through, I am actually debating hitting two more before the end of the day, I think that will pretty much wipe me out. I've never been able to grind past 3 of these modules, there is a lot of content around them. I am thinking about swinging back to nugget 4, (work related and cert related) and then back to 8.
    Last edited by DatabaseHead; 08-26-2016 at 04:32 PM.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #62
    I went ahead and went back through Nugget 4 again on 1.6X speed. Great review, didn't help me solve my work problem but it was a good certification review.

    At this point in my career I can only do certifications that bump against my real world task. Obviously some gray area is fine, but if the cert is learning a completely new concept I am not going to do that.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #63
    Knocked out 2 modules this evening while sipping on some Rum....

    Chapter 8 and 9. Script tasking using VB or C# within the VSTA environment to build executable task to further push the capability of SSIS. 9 was control flow using containers such as for loops and for each loops, along with sequence grouping. It was a strong two modules, I felt 8 will need to be revised 9 was pretty much 101 SSIS.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #64
    Felt like I have been spamming this forum thread so I wanted to pull back a little.

    Complete all the modules twice and completed a SSIS project at work, a very large one involving SSAS, OH SOOOOO MUCH fun, thankfully that won't be on the exam.... Starting to review the practice exam, I look to schedule this exam shortly.

    70-462 has me freaked out, but this journey is one step at a time.
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  16. Senior Member
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    #65
    70-463 has been scheduled for the 21st. This hopefully will be enough time. Very excited the booster back is going through september.
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  17. Junior Member
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    #66
    This thread is very helpful, what a great idea. I'm going the same route you are as I plan to take 70-463 after I take 70-461. Actually I'm more excited about studying for the DW exam since I use SSIS quite a bit. Just need to get 70-461 out of the way once and for all.

    How do you like CBT nuggets for 70-463? I'm trying out the free trial for 70-461. I really like the instructor but the subscription is killing me. Might be worth it though but I'd definitely have to cancel Pluralsight and SafariBooks if I decide to stay with CBT.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #67
    I cancelled my subscription on the 19th (Sept), two months at ~84 a month is enough. For 462 no clue yet I'll cross that road when I get there. I've gone through 463 twice so far in regards to the nuggets. I like it quite a bit, but the information all at once can be a little overwhelming. Overall I dig it.
    I am completely focused on the practice test at this time. They seem to help, they did last time so I am sticking to the same strategy. Booster pack was extended through the month of september so take advantage of that even if it's just for 461. I'll keep you all posted. The psychology behind the booster back is hilarous. The mindset you are in, knowing you have 4 other retakes in priceless.

    Truth be told, I might stop at the MCSA this has been a HUGE investment of my time and I just don't know if I have enough for the full BI MCSE. I've spent HOURS studying for 463 and haven't even touched 462. It literally took me 3 years to pass 461, that is borderline insanity. Thankfully I have built several packages (dozens) in SSIS including the use of SSAS etc....... The one thing that I keep thinking is the SSAS exam (Dont know the exam name of the exam) shouldnt be to bad either, meaning I could probably power through in a month or so, but I am not sure.

    Right now laser focus on 463.

    One last thing...... I am potentially putting my bonus at work at risk. Before picking back up on this goal, I had quite a bit bandwidth to work on projects at work on the weekends off hours etc, now I don't. This could cost me 5-10% of my gross potentially if I miss stretch. "Hope it's worth it"!
    Last edited by DatabaseHead; 09-04-2016 at 06:03 AM.
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  19. Junior Member
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    #68
    I've only been at 70-461 the last four years, literally... noticed when I joined this forum? lol

    I've never taken it though. I scheduled it a couple of years ago but chickened out in the end. I read about so many people failing it, and these were seasoned developers. People who have worked with sql for years and still failed it. So I didn't think I had a chance, but now I feel a little more confident about it. The unfortunate thing is that no matter how much I prepare for the exam, the bottom line is that I'm a terrible test taker. So because of that I absolutely have to take advantage of the retakes in the booster pack.

    Good luck with 463, I'm going to continue to follow this thread. Might start my own to keep me on track. I agree, this is very time consuming but hopefully it's worth it in the end.
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  20. Senior Member
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    #69
    Stick with it my friend you'll get it. I agree though I have ~4 years of SQL and it killed me when I was at year 1. I literally had no chance I was laughing out loud at the testing center while taking the test. I finally just starting picking C. Think I score a 390 or something pathetic second time was a 590 ish maybe 550 dont remember last time was 713 barely.

    I can believe seasoned developers bombing this thing....... It's a TOUGH exam. Hoping 463 isn't quite as tough! Thanks again for the well wishes

    On a side note, I did review the Kaplan practice exams provided by Nuggets today, ~ 40 questions. Making progress! I'm off tomorrow, I plan on either running a mile with my son or going on a massive hike early on and then getting back into the practice exams. Hopefully another 40 - 50 questions. I am capping myself on the practice test I am going for the quality over quantity.

    Peace!
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  21. Senior Member
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    #70
    Took a break this week sort of..........

    Been working on a stored procedure for work, for fun. Weird I know......

    Finishing up in ~ 20 minutes then going to run through some practice exam questions.

    Side Note - Learning more and more about CDC, pretty nice to implement once you get the hang of it. Trying to keep everything straight while visioning how this can be applied to my own environment. Good times!
    Last edited by DatabaseHead; 09-06-2016 at 05:00 AM.
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  22. Senior Member
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    #71
    Just a heads up additional test questions, from Kaplan. I'm giving myself an hour on this then it's back to my SSIS project, which is what I am studying!

    Just a side note, I could never ever cert in something I wasn't working with that would be BRUTAL.
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  23. Senior Member
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    #72
    I actually went through 20 questions on the practice exam, got bored and actually started watching the first nugget again ~21 minutes long. Hit it on 1.6 x to speed up the viewing. Back to the question then work. Fun......
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  24. Senior Member
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    #73
    Last night I had an opportunity to go through the Kaplan (Transender) exam for ~ 40 more questions. Tonight I'll focus on going through dimension and fact modules, chapter 2 and 3, ~1.5 hours. This will be 3rd time I think....... Ha losing count, but anyway staying with it.

    Since I am working on several SSIS packages I find myself swinging around the material aligning with my current work effort.
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  25. Senior Member
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    #74
    Quote Originally Posted by DatabaseHead View Post
    Last night I had an opportunity to go through the Kaplan (Transender) exam for ~ 40 more questions. Tonight I'll focus on going through dimension and fact modules, chapter 2 and 3, ~1.5 hours. This will be 3rd time I think....... Ha losing count, but anyway staying with it.

    Since I am working on several SSIS packages I find myself swinging around the material aligning with my current work effort.

    Not certification related, but........ Just got my SSIS package working, only took 2 weeks. It goes out to our Master Data view and stages the data temp table, then the magic begins. I have my template and query in a foreach loop, it goes through the database and based off of variables to pulls the data into a template and kicks it out into a folder. In other words our invoice process for 140+ vendors has been automated. I can't take all the credit my good friend and co worker helped me build the script task using C#, we need methods to call the data and push SSIS beyond's it' threshold.
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  26. Senior Member
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    #75
    Failed to mention one last thing..... This is extracting data from a mining structure using MDX, which presents a whole BUNCH of challenges. The amount of data flow changes just to get this data into a relational table is crazy. What's great is that this will drive all of our forecasting for usage and volume.
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