MCTS, MCITP, MCPD: What is dead may never die, but rises again, more certified than before

August 14, 2013 at 8:15 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Just over a year ago, George posted a comprehensive list of the exams scheduled to retire on July 31, 2013, which can be summed up as “looks like practically everything.” For a while, it also appeared that all Visual Studio 2010 exams would expire last month.

However, Microsoft listened to customer feedback and extended, or suspended entirely, retirement of some of the more sought-after tests. Next, it turned out that the demise of the MCTS and MCITP was greatly exaggerated as well. While many of the exams for those technologies did expire, Microsoft softened the rollover by shifting many existing 2008 exams to the resurrected MCSE and MCSA certifications, and extended deadlines for certifying in key technologies into 2014.

These zombie tests have escaped the headsman’s axe… FOR NOW. We suggest you not delay your study plans, because by 2014 they may be going back into the grave, never to rise again.

What is dead may never die, but rises again, stronger than before....

What is dead may never die, but rises again, stronger than before….

When you play the game of certs, you upgrade….or you die

While most Visual Studio 2010 exams are gone, if you currently hold an MCPD certification on Visual Studio 2008, you can still upgrade your certifications to Visual Studio 2010.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0: Upgrade Paths
    • 70-521: Upgrade: Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Developer Skills to MCPD .NET 4.0 Windows Applications Developer. Exam retires July 31, 2014.
    • 70-523: Upgrade: Transition Your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Web Developer Skills to MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer. Exam retires July 31, 2014.

And although the component exams are retired, those who hold an MCSE on Windows Server 2003 can still take the three-in-one 70-649 to earn the triple home run of three MCTS (Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration, Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration, and Windows Server 2008 Application Platform Configuration ).

  •  Windows Server 2003 MSCE to Windows Server 2008 MCTS: Upgrade Path
    • 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist (hurry; retires January 2014)


If you are still seeking the elusive one-test certification, the MCTS, these options are still alive and kicking. Expiration dates vary between January and July 2014, and in some cases are still listed as July 2013 on the individual exam pages, so please confirm availability with Microsoft or Prometric:

  • 70-177: Earns the MCTS: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuration
  • 70-433: Earns the MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development
  • 70-506: Earns the MCTS: Silverlight 4, Development
  • 70-643: Earns the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuration (note: as of this writing, this exam is listed as expiring in the overview, but is shown as live until January 2014 on the Microsoft master list)
  • 70-659: Earns the Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-662: Earns the MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuration
  • 70-667: Earns the MCTS: SharePoint 2010, Configuration
  • 70-669: Earns the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • 70-681: Earns the MCTS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deployment

If you are still working toward an MCITP, these component exams have been extended until January 2014:

  • 70-450: PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution
  • 70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-663: Pro: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • 70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator
  • 70-682: Pro: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
  • 70-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

Finally, although the component exams may have been salvaged and reassigned to different certifications, you only have until January 2014 to earn the MCITP or MCTS credential itself. After that date, even if the same exam is still active, it will count toward a different certification.

They’re Dead, Jim

These exams ARE RETIRED as of July 31, 2013. Requiescat in pace.

Windows Client:

70-270 – Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional
70-620 – TS: Configuring Microsoft Windows Vista Client
70-622 – Pro: Microsoft Desktop Support – ENTERPRISE
70-623 – Pro: Microsoft Desktop Support – CONSUMER
70-635 – TS: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008, Desktop Deployment
70-660 – TS: Windows Internals
70-683 – TS: Windows 7, Preinstalling for OEMs

Windows Server:

70-169 – TS: Windows Small Business Server 7, Configuring
70-290 – Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
70-291 – Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-293 – Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-294 – Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure
70-297 – Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure
70-298 – Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
70-299 – Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
70-648 – Upgrading your MCSA on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist
70-656 – TS: Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, Configuring
74-679 – Windows Server 2008 Hosted Environments, Configuring and Managing
70-690 – Windows Server 2008 HPC Environments, Configuring and Managing
70-691 – Windows Server 2008 HPC Environments, Developing
70-699 – Windows Server 2003, MCSA Security Specialization Skills Update

Visual Studio:

70-502 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Presentation Foundation
70-503 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation
70-504 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Workflow
70-505 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development
70-536 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
70-561 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Application Development
70-562 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development
70-563 – Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
70-564 – PRO: Designing and Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
70-565 – PRO: Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

SQL Server, Lync, and Office Communications Server:

70-451 – PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Designing and Optimizing Database Solutions
70-452 – PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing a Business Intelligence Solution
70-664 – TS: Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Configuring
70-665 – PRO: Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Administrator

The official list of retired Microsoft certification exams is here.

ASP.NET development and open standards: jQuerylicious!

July 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Since the introduction of Ajax in ASP.NET, the Redmond shop has become more welcoming of open-source Web standards. The addition of jQuery in ASP.NET 4 continues that tradition. jQuery is more than just quick syntax for DOM manipulation; it is the basis for a wealth of robust plugins that save valuable development time and energy. And it’s almost as much fun to say as “vuvuzela.”

Let’s start with a basic HTML form:

<form id="jQueryForm">
<select id="lstContacts" >
<option value="jhester">Joshua</option>
<option value="tmcmillan">Troy</option>
<option value="rabernathy">Robin</option>
<option value="gmonsalvatge">George</option>
<option value="alang">Ann</option>
<option value="arotella">Aima</option>
<input id="txtUsername" type="text" />
<input id="jButton" value="test" type="button" />

Let’s say that we want to access the selected option and retrieve the associated username. In vanilla JavasScript, we’d probably use code similar to the following:

var username = document.getElementById("lstContacts").value;

Of course, this script alone is testament to how far browser equality has come. Using the Ajax library, we could abbreviate our script even further:

var username = $get("lstContacts").value;

But what about if the list allowed multiple selections? In that case, we would need to iterate through the elements and format the selections. jQuery supports a CSS-style selector, so we can overcome this issue fairly easy, as shown in this example:

var usernames = "";
$("select option:selected").each(function () {
usernames += $(this).val() + " ";

But, as I said before, jQuery for DOM manipulation is only the tip of the iceberg. Using the Microsoft Ajax CDN, you have a multitude of awesome plugins available, including the jQuery validate plugin. So, let’s take an existing AJAX Web Form (with the requisite jQuery script references):

<form runat="server" ID="numberForm">
<asp:Label runat="server" AssociatedControlID="txtNumber">Type a number from 1 to 10.</asp:Label>
<asp:TextBox runat="server" ID="txtNumber" />
<asp:Button runat="server" Text="Guess" />

Sure, you could use the ASP.NET validators to solve this scenario; nothing wrong with that at all. But the jQuery validate plugin through the Validation library provides a simple, and robust validation mechanism.  The validate plugin uses rules to specify requirements and messages for customized error messages. In this scenario, you would use the following jQuery script:

$("#numberForm").validate ({
rules: {
txtNumber: {
required: true,
min: 1,
max: 10
messages: {
txtNumber: {
required: "Please do not leave blank.",
min: "Must be greater than or equal to 1.",
max: "Must be less than or equal to 10."

Look, no hands! Completely customizable and no server-side postback required!

Once upon a time, choosing ASP as your Web technology locked you into using proprietary VB scripting. Now, with the advent of ASP.NET 4, open standards are finally supported and fully embraced by team Microsoft. ASP coding has evolved from integrating these standards to simply learning how to use them.

–Josh Hester aka codeguru

The April 2010 .NET 4.0 Beta Blitz

May 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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April was a tumultuous month, thanks to Microsoft’s release of  .NET 4.0 Beta Exams. That’s right, Microsoft rolled out all six .NET 4.0/Visual Studio 2010 exams in one month. What that meant to me, your intrepid content developer, was two exams per week and reams of notes, whitepapers, and documentation.

Without violating the NDA, here are my first impressions of the new exams:

So with the 4.0 track there are fewer exams, but more questions and content. Overall, I find myself missing the basic mechanics tested in the good old 70-536 (TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation), but Microsoft is definitely highlighting the new features of .NET 4.0 in these exams.

Phew … now onto practice test development!

(For earlier coverage of the .NET 4.0 exams see my post at The Times: They Are A’Changing for .NET Certification — keeping in mind that some of the info has changed in the interim.)

–Joshua Hester

The Times, They Are a-Changin’ for .NET 4.0 Certification

January 25, 2010 at 9:57 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | 2 Comments
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Just as you’re trying to learn the intricacies of WPF and getting ready to hang that MCPD : Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 credential on your virtual wall, the new .NET 4.0 exams are announced. And, man, are there some changes coming this year!

Let’s start off with the core exams themselves, as reported last year by Gerry O’Brien:

  • 70-511 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Application Development
  • 70-513 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Communication Foundation Development
  • 70-515 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications Development
  • 70-516 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Accessing Data with ADO.NET
  • 70-518 Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET 4
  • 70-519 Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4

Conspicuously missing from this exam list are the exams 70-514 (TS: Windows Workflow Foundation) and 70-520 (Pro: Enterprise Applications). According to Born To Learn, at this time, Microsoft is not developing these two exams.  Windows Workflow Foundation is certainly a compelling technology, but its adoption has been crawling at a snail’s pace. The target audience for the Enterprise Application Developer is in doubt as well. You and I may know what an enterprise application developer is, but many employers simply do not.

If you’re wondering where the WPF and Silverlight exams are, these technologies will  be covered in the 70-511 and 70-515 exams, respectively. Of course, expect more AJAX in the 70-515 exam as well. There is even a confirmed rumor that the current base .NET exam, 70-536 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework: Application Development Foundation, will not be moving forward as a prerequisite for the .NET 4 certifications.

It is still early going, as the development sessions only just concluded and Visual Studio 2010 isn’t slated for release until April 12th, but I thought you might want the heads-up. The beta exams should be out in the October – December 2010 timeline.

Now you know what my New Year’s Resolution has to be for 2010:  to spend my holidays taking beta exams! Nothing like programming with some turkey in the stomach and eggnog in the head…

–Joshua Hester (codeguru)

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