70-761 Exam: Newly Added Topics

The 70-761 Exam covers SQL Server 2016.  Since this exam covers querying data, most of the topics covered in the 70-461 Exam are also covered, so if you’re familiar with that exam you’re in luck.

If not, I would recommend checking out our study guide, as it details every topic covered by the 70-761 exam.

The purpose of this post is to highlight added topics, which fortunately are few.

JSON – JavaScript Object Notation

JSON is a popular text format used for exchanging data between application.  It is used in mobile apps, and used to store unstructured data.  If you’re familiar with XML, then check out this example.

Since JSON is becoming more prevalent is makes sense SQL Server can handle this format as it can XML.  Key JSON capabilities you’ll want to focus on for the 70-761 exam are how to:

  • Store JSON documents in SQL Server
  • Import JSON documents into SQL Server
  • Index JSON data
  • Validate JSON data
  • Query and modify JSON data using built-in functions.

To prep for this section of the 70-761 exam I recommend visiting the post JSON data in SQL Server.

Temporal Tables

Temporal is part of the ANSI SQL 2011 specification.  A temporal table provide built in support for providing information about data stored at any given time with in a table, as opposed to the last save.  Since this is new to SQL Server 2016, you can expect to see this heavily covered on the 70-761 Exam.

70-761 Exam Temporal Tables

This allows for point-in-time analysis as a full history of table changes are maintained., without you, the DBA, having to keep separate logs.

There are several reasons to use temporal tables including:

  • Auditing – provide a built-in audit trail of changes.
  • Constructing Trends – provides a means to show trends in data changes.
  • Forensics – show history of data changes
  • Recovering from accidental data changes.

You want to know how temporal tables work, how to create temporal tables, and query them.

Each of these three concepts are new, but extensions of items you should already know.  For example:

Creating Tables – You’ll still use the CREATE Table command; however, now you specify a history table.

Querying Tables – When temporal tables are created, special column SysStartTime and SysEndTime are created and their values automatically maintained.   To query temporal tables, you query a special column named SYSTEM_TIME.


Though there aren’t many new topics on the exam, they can be conceptually difficult, so please study!

Speaking of studying, my I recommend our 70-761 Exam resource page? There you’ll find several useful articles, books, and guide to help you with your certification.

Kris Wenzel

Kris Wenzel has been working with databases over the past 28 years as a developer, analyst, and DBA. He has a BSE in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and a MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Kris has written hundreds of blog articles and many online courses. He loves helping others learn SQL.

  • sumit says:

    I am working as a SQL developer having total 12 years experience, can you recommend me any book for performance tuning.

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