Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Second Edition of the Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-533 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified IT Professional. Read More
The 70-537 Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack certification exam is now available. The exam was originally announced back in November 2017, has now finally been released. Plus, the full exam objectives have now been announced as IT Pros are able to start taking the certification exam. Read More
The 70-537 Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack certification exam is currently in development and is planned to be released in January 2018. At this time there is very limited information about what the exam objectives will be covering, however, as the exam title describes it seems this exam will be aimed at an IT Professional audience. Below is a summary of the information that can be found about this exam. Read More
Microsoft is offering a discount on the purchase of exam vouchers with the inclusion of a retake voucher you can use in case you fail the exam the first time you take it. Microsoft has been offering this deal for some time, and recently they extended it to run until sometime next year. It’s called the “Microsoft Exam Replay” offer, and it’s an incredible deal if you’re looking to get certified.
The Microsoft Exam Replay is available in the following 2 versions for purchase: Read More
The 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is being released as a replacement for the older 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam. In the past Microsoft has simply updated the exam objectives of the 70-534 exam periodically over time. Although, this update is a significant update to the exam and they’ve decided to change the exam number to better signify the larger shift in skills measured on the exam.
The exam objectives listed in this post for the 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam are “tentative” as the exam hasn’t been officially released yet. You should expect these details to updated / changed when Microsoft does release the exam.
Currently, the 70-535 exam is scheduled to be made available on November 30, 2017. After that date you will no longer be able to register for the older 70-534 exam. Read More
New exams are announced every so often as Microsoft continues to grow the array of Microsoft Azure and Cloud certifications to compliment the broad array of services they offer. These exams test and verify the skills necessary to work with, build with, and manage these various services. One of the latest exams being added is the new 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam. This exam will test and verify your skills in building a modern datacenter; one that uses software-defined networking using Windows Server 2016 and Virtual Machine Manager (VMM); rather than the traditional hardware-based networking model from the old days of on-premises datacenter.
NOTE: At the time of writing this exam summary of the 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam, the exam was just recently released as a Beta exam. There is limited information available on the exam at this time, but I will update this post with more information as it becomes available.
Certification Target Audience
The 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam is geared towards IT Professionals with experience building out, securing, and managing Software-Defined Networking (SDN) environments for hosting Virtual Machines and Storage solutions. The exam will test your familiarity and understanding of Software-Defined Networking using Windows Server 2016 and Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).
Here’s a very high level list of the skills and objectives measures on the 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam:
- Plan and implement System Center Virtual Machine (VMM) Core Infrastructure
- Implement Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
- Implement Software-Defined Storage
- Implement DataCenter Compute Solutions with Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
- Secure your Software-Defined Datacenter
- Monitor and Maintain the Software-Defined Datacenter
Being a newly announced exam (at the time of writing this) there is still a very limited amount of training / study material available for the 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam. You’ll want to focus mostly on the Microsoft documentation for Windows Server 2016 and Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) when studying at this time.
Fortunately, there is also a Exam Reference book announced from Microsoft Press to be coming soon. The Exam Ref 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter book will offer you the ability to hone in your studying to focus on the specific objectives and skills measured by this exam.
The Exam Ref 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter preparation book from Microsoft Press currently scheduled for release on July 25, 2017.
Among the various Microsoft MCSA certification, the MCSA: Linux on Azure is certainly a little of it’s own league. This is the only Microsoft certification that requires a Linux Foundation certification in order to earn. This certification will validate and test your skills in a good combination of Microsoft Azure cloud and Linux system administration.
This exam was retired December 31, 2018. Read More
There are many different certification exams from Microsoft covering all the different technology areas. There are also many different certification paths like the newly redesigned MCSE and MCSA certifications that are made up of multiple certification exams. Unfortunately, the list of Microsoft certification exams can be a bit cumbersome and difficult to search through on the official Microsoft Learning site. For this reason, I have created a simple, open source, Microsoft certification exam finder tool.
The Build Azure Exam Finder allows you to search and filter through a list of Microsoft certification exams. It works by having all the exams in the list assigned Tags that you can easily filter on to find the exam(s) you’re looking for. You can filter on a combination of technologies or larger certifications like MCSE and MCSA to find the exams you’re looking for.
You can access the Build Azure Exam Finder tool here: http://exams.buildazure.com
The tool currently includes 31 exams in the list, and I’m planning on adding more soon to fill it out to contain a nice list of the various Microsoft certification exams available. I hope this tool helps others discover the certification exams and larger MCSA or MCSE certification paths that fit their expertise and knowledge areas. I was inspired to build this simple tool by many of the Microsoft certification questions people have been asking me through this blog and elsewhere online, as it helped me realize that there’s a real discoverability problem in how Microsoft present the certification information on the official Microsoft Learning site.
In the past once you passed a specific Microsoft certification exam you were not allowed to retake that exam again, ever. After all, there wasn’t really any benefit to since you passed the exam and it counted towards earning you a specific certification. Back then the exams did not undergo any major updates or restructuring until they were retired and replace with a brand new exam on the latest technology and product releases. With the recent changes and restructuring of the Microsoft certification program, the exam are now getting updated periodically and you will now be able to retake an exam after such updates have been made.
As of March 17, 2017, the necessary changes have been put into place to allow for exam to be retaken on an annual basis. After a period of 365 days from the date you pass a certification exam, you will now be able to retake that exam again. This will allow for you to retake a particular exam, or at least the most recent update of that exam, to be used as the qualifying elective exam necessary to renew an MCSD or MCSE certification and keep it active for the current year.
Currently, the exams eligible to be retaken are:
- 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
- 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services
- 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
- 70-475: Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
- 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016
- 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016
- 70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016
This new retake policy is a really great improvement. It was previously assumed that only a new elective needed to be passed every year to keep the MCSD or MCSE certifications current for the given year. If this were required then you would be required to keep learning new technologies and product releases to pass an exam even if they didn’t relate to you job duties. However, by allowing already passed exams to be retaken annually, you will now be able to renew and keep up-to-date by continually brushing up and maintaining the exam skills that pertain to your daily job duties over time.
This change goes along with the other improvements being made to the Microsoft certification that are really making the program much better than it was in the past by keeping the certifications relevant and useful.
The Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464) certification exam is one of the elective exams that counts towards the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certifications. This exam centers around objectives that cover the areas of developing Microsoft SQL Server databases.
Certification Target Audience
The focus of the 70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Server Database certification exam is centered around SQL Server technologies. This exam was first published in 2012, with more recent updates done in 2016, so it doesn’t seem to contain the Azure SQL Database topics that other exams cover.
This exam targets those database professionals who build and implement databases across organizations and who ensure high levels of data availability. The database professionals roles would include creating database files, data types, and tables; planning, creating, and optimizing indexes; ensuring data integrity; implementing views, stored procedures, and functions; and managing transactions and locks.
Here’s a high level outline of the skill objectives measured on the Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464) certification exam. The percentages next to each of the exam objectives represents the percentage of exam questions in that particular exam objective area.
- Implement database objects (30-35%)
- Create and alter tables
- Design, implement, and troubleshoot security
- Design the locking granularity level
- Implement indexes
- Implement data types
- Create and modify constraints
- Implement programming objects (15-20%)
- Design and implement stored procedures
- Design T-SQL table-valued and scalar functions
- Create, use, and alter user-defined functions (UDFs)
- Create and alter views
- Design database objects (25-30%)
- Design tables
- Design for concurrency
- Design indexes
- Design data integrity
- Design for implicit and explicit transactions
- Optimize and troubleshoot queries (25-30%)
- Optimize and tune queries
- Troubleshoot and resolve performance problems
- Optimize indexes
- Capture and analyze execution plans
- Collect performance and system information
When studying for this exam, you’ll definitely want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the complete list of objectives covered. You’ll need to study each and every one of the objectives measured on the exam before attempting the exam successfully.
At the time of writing this summary, the 70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Databases exam has a limited amount of Exam preparation material available. As a result, you may need to focus primarily on Microsoft documentation surrounding the technologies and skills measured on this exam.
However, there is a bit of overlap between this exam and the 70-762 Developing SQL Databases exam. It’s unclear at this time if this new exam is meant to replace this one, but there seems to be overlap either way. As a result, you may be able to use the study materials for 70-762 when studying for the 70-464 exam. You’ll at least want to check it out.