The database is the most significant and widely used feature in the software industry. Data is one of the core entities in app design and architecture. Often apps are developed using data-driven techniques like domain-driven design (DDD) where the focus is on data objects and entities. Data plays a prominent role in app development and cloud computing.
AWS offers various SQL and No-SQL database services for storage with additional features like events, load-balancing, security, logging, backup/recovery, and failover support. These services and resources can be configured easily with AWS Systems Manager to facilitate instant development setup with automatic maintenance support for OS/software version updates, patches, etc.
The AWS Certified Database - Specialty certification focuses on deep concepts of databases and their critical aspects such as designing, security, configuration, deployment, migration, monitoring, automation, and troubleshooting. This certification is for experienced database developers to achieve a badge of excellence in AWS database development.
This guide covers the important details of the AWS Certified Database - Specialty certification and provides tips and recommended resources with in-depth details.
The AWS Certified Database - Specialty certification primarily focuses on the AWS database for collection, storage, processing, and visualization services with the best practices using available tools. This includes services:
S3, or Simple Storage Service, stores data as an object. S3 data objects are stored in buckets (like folders) that can be organized using labeled prefixes. The objects can be images, songs, videos, logs, or other data files.
S3 data objects can be stored using different S3 storage classes:
S3 also offers services like web hosting, version control, events, etc.
RDS, or Relational Database Service, stores data in a structured format (tables with rows and columns). RDS can support database engines such as MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and Amazon Aurora. The important benefit of using RDS is the automatic handling of maintenance tasks such as patching, backup, recovery, failure detection, and repair.
RDS provides multiple configuration options for:
AWS Elastic Block Store, or EBS, provides persistent block-level data storage that stores files in multiple volumes called blocks, which act as separate hard drives. Often an app is hosted using an EC2 (virtual machine) instance with required tools and services. EBS storage volumes can be attached with EC2 instances to store files, set up software or services, etc. EBS also supports different volume types for different hardware storage types based on performance, cost, and capacity.
AWS offers different types of NoSQL databases for different requirements:
ElasticSearch is an analytics tool to process data such as logs or events for monitoring and performance analysis.
QLDB, or Amazon Quantum Ledger Database, stores immutable records with cryptographically verifiable hash values, i.e. digest or secure summary. It is quite suitable for blockchain technology-based apps to store the data history using audit tables with cryptic hash values.
Like other AWS certifications, there are no prerequisites for AWS Certified Database Specialty certification. Achieving an AWS Practitioner or Associate certification can help to build a strong foundation towards achieving AWS specialty or professional certifications.
The AWS Certified Database - Specialty exam will evaluate database and AWS skills based on different criteria: security, cost, performance, etc. Questions require an understanding of inter-service compatibility with the available configuration settings to achieve the best solution from the given options. The recommended experience for this certification consists of:
The exam will cover various data-oriented domains and skills:
Exam details play a significant role in effective preparation. The crucial attributes of the exam are:
The exam is comprised of multiple-choice questions, and answers can have multiple correct choices. Marks are only given if only the correct choices are selected.
The criteria for passing scores is set by using statistical analysis (scaled scoring models) and is subject to change. Points are not given for incorrect answers.
The exam can be taken online (proctored exam) or given at a physical test center provided by PSI or Pearson VUE. The benefit of opting for a physical test center is the opportunity to meet other developers and make new connections.
For an online proctored exam, applicants must be able to speak English to communicate with a proctor, who will monitor the testing environment. Online proctoring exams are not available for candidates in mainland China, Japan, Slovenia, or South Korea. More details are available here. Find the additional information about system requirements and policies here.
The duration of the exam is 180 minutes, though it could vary in the future depending on the content.
There is a one-time fee of $300 for a AWS Certified Database - Specialty exam and the practice exam fee is $40.
Amazon has a beta program for certification with changes to the exam’s outline or new certifications. Early access is available to a limited number of candidates (on a first come, first served basis) who can take the beta exam as well as the stable exam once it’s out of beta). This allows applicants to take the exam twice without any additional fee. The beta program also provides the benefit of 50% off of the standard exam pricing.
The exam can be rescheduled up to 24 hours before the scheduled exam time; otherwise there will be no refund and the next exam can be scheduled only after 24 hours. In case of unsuccessful attempts, the next exam can be scheduled after 14 days with the same fee, though you can use vouchers to retake the exam.
The AWS Certified Database - Specialty certification is valid for three years. The certificates will be available within five working days after a positive exam result.
Details about content and pricing vary, so make sure to verify it here.
The AWS Certified Database - Specialty certification qualifies you for various positions such as database, migration, and administrator roles, and can be applicable for associate architect roles.
Also, make sure to check Database Consultant jobs on Amazon.
Below is a list of helpful resources such as AWS Whitepapers and study material for best practices and insights.
This guide explained the necessary details to get started with the AWS Certified Database - Specialty certification. Good luck with your certification.