What is SQL Server MCM, MCSM and MVP?

The good point of Microsoft is providing multi level certifications, I regularly speak at local SQL Server user group in Malaysia and few times happened that some of participants ask me whether I am MVP holder or not! I straight away mention ‘No, I am not. But I am MCM holder’, then they ask me what is MCM?!?
In this article I would like to make it clear what is MCM, MCSM and MVP and how it is possible to obtain them and what is the ratio of MCM, MCSM and MVP holders around the world.

Lets start with MVP, it stands for Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, it is an award given by Microsoft to who does frequent speak about Microsoft product or organize an event for any of Microsoft products such as SQL Server, Microsoft gives this award to around 4000 professionals every year and this award needs to be renewed, means the awarded professional needs to keep on speaking about Microsoft product. Keep in mind that Microsoft Employee cannot be nominated as MVP.

The Microsoft masters-level certifications validate the deepest level of product expertise.

MCM, it stands for Microsoft Certified Master, it is a certificate program from Microsoft to who completes the MCM certification program, to obtain MCM, the participant needs to take two exams, first called ‘Knowledge Exam’ and the second called ‘Lab Exam’, ‘Knowledge Exam’ is computerized exam with advance and detail technical questions regarding SQL Server database engine (Ohhfff…), the participant is only eligible to take the ‘Lab Exam’ after he/she passes the ‘Knowledge Exam’, In the ‘Lab Exam’ at Microsoft Corporation, the participant required to FIX real world SQL Server production server issues within 6 hours and needs to get final score 100 out of 100. Only ONE MISTAKE can cause everything goes wrong unlike presentation and speak. Keep in mind that Microsoft Employee can be MCM and/or MCSM holder. There are only 190 MCM holder around the world.

MCSM stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, it is same as MCM but only for SQL Server 2012, Microsoft corporation gives MCSM – Charter Data Platform certificate to whoever obtain MCM certificate. There are less than 10 MCSM holder around the world.


Unfortunately/Fortunately MCM and MCSM certification programs already retired since 31 December 2013 by Microsoft Corporation.

You can download MCM, MCA and MCSM list from HERE.

The ration of MCM, MCSM against MVP is 1:20 (roughly) and the MCM holder distribution is as below:


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