Monday, January 08, 2007

The SharePoint 2007 Beta Exams tips

Hi,

As you may well know, SharePoint 2007 has 2 developer certification exams (1 for WSS and one for MOSS features) in a beta stage, and Microsoft wants people to take them and then collect feedback so they can finalize the exams for release.

This offers a very good opportunity for you:

  1. The exams are free - just use the promotion codes (see below)
  2. If you take the exams and pass, you will get the credit only after the exam is released (you will not have to take it again)
  3. If you don't pass - think of it as a free exercises for when the actual exam arrives!
There is also one drawback - the moss exam is 3.5 hours long, and the wss one is 3 hours long, and then you get 0.5 an hour each where you are asked to comment on questions (feedback for the beta). Oh - a minor irritating fact- you don't get the results until after the beta has ended. So if you take it now, you will have to wait at least 2-3 months before finding out if you passed or not (unlike the rest of the mcp exams that tell you immediately)

I took both exams yesterday, and I can tell you - they are not easy. You need to have experience with every aspect of each product if you want to pass. And the problem with the 2007 version is that it has a lot of aspects.

Here are the links to the exams and how to register. Below you will find my "prepration guide".


And here is where you can go to register:
  1. Prometric: http://www.register.prometric.com/ClientInformation.asp
  2. VUE: http://www.vue.com/ms

To prepare, I suggest you print out the Microsoft preperation guide (see links below) for each exam, and go and make your self a list of development tasks for each of the skills specified. For example - when I saw that a required skill is to add custom actions to menus - I gave myself the task of creating a printlist menu item and adding it only to the list "actions" menu (see my article on how I did it - how to add print list option to list). I then did a similar thing, but adding only to the site actions menu, but allowing only administrators to view the new menu item. This is good preperation for something that has at least 3-5% of the questions about. (by the way - 90 questions for MOSS, 75 questions for WSS)
Another example - since you need to know about creating custom field types - create one! I did a phone validation field for australian dialing rules. There are a lot of examples on the web. I also did a field that allows only prime numbers (just for fun).

WSS Exam Recommendations:

  1. Make sure you know how to build a feature, with all the options. best thing - know the feature schema by heart.
  2. How to deploy resources? pages?
  3. How to deploy site definitions? know you'r onet.xml!
  4. Learn about event handlers (for lists, sites and features). I suggest you create a few before trying this exam
  5. Make sure you know enough CAML to do queries to search for information. Also, make sure you know about the GetSiteData function and not just the GetItems. And also learn about how to do the search in an entire site collection.
  6. Uploading, downloading and moving files using code.

What about MOSS?
You will need to play around a lot with the search options, with BDC and with the BI options, not to mention Excel.
Search & Profiles (my strong points):

  1. Create a custom search web part, and use the different kinds of search objects (fulltext, keyword etc) (see my article on the subject)
  2. Customize the search interface by changing the selected columns property of the core results web part.
  3. Customize the xslt of the core results web part so that you know how to change the "no results found" text, the "no keywords" text and change the way it displays the actual results (make it a grid-like view)
  4. Combine the two above - add a custom property to the user profiles, make it index-able, add it to the selected columns, and then edit the xslt so that the new column is visible on the page (see my article on this)
  5. Create an audience by code - set rules to it.
  6. Write code that gets all users from the audience. Create code that gets user properties from his profile.


Publishing:
  1. Know how to set up a publising workflow
  2. Know how to set up a publishing job between servers
  3. know how to use document conversions.


BDC, Excel Services and BI(of which I know nothing about and probably failed the exam because of):
  1. Create (manually - don't cheat!) a BDC connection to a SQL database
  2. Create (manually - don't cheat!) a BDC connection to a web service
  3. Create actions to get details on a single row from the rows returned from the above, implement specificfinder and finder and all the rest of the words that I don't really know.
  4. Use the KPI web parts to connect to the above
  5. Use the KPI web parts to connect to sql reporting services
  6. publish an excel spreadsheet to a page, a document library, a trusted location
  7. apply filters on the excel data
  8. apply security on the excel data

phew...long post this was! I am really skeptic about me passing the MOSS part (I am sure I scored high with search and user profiles and audiences, but all the rest

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wish I would have seen your post before appearing for MOSS exam. I did really bad.

After that exam, first thing I did was rescheduled my WSS exam and gave myself an extra time for preparation.

Thanks Ishai

Amit

Anonymous said...

I also took the exam yesterday, the one about WSS. Too bad we have to wait 8 weeks before we get the results, I am very curious about my score.

According to the lady from the exam center, one should score 60% for passing. So if you answer 45 of the 75 questions correct, you should be certified.

The test also mentionned that not all questions are rated, so some questions do not influence your final score.

Friday I will take the MOSS exam. I think that one is much harder, so I will have to study all the time now to pass.

Nadeem said...

Just letting you know that I linked to your blog post. I also took the WSS exam and blogged about it here: http://home.infusionblogs.com/nmitha/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=3

Anonymous said...

About the problem of the custom action not working in a web part. Check out this link for the answer.

http://stephenkaye.blogspot.com/2008/02/bug-with-customactions.html

Anonymous said...

Hi, nice post.

Doesn't it make sense to pass the configuration exams first before you burn your fingers into development exams? Once you know basics of SharePoint, you can start developing for it.

This guy has written guidance to pass 70-630 exam. (MOSS Configuration).

http://codeforfuture.com/2009/04/19/mcts-70-630/