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Archive for the ‘Microsoft Learning’ Category

Why Microsoft Lync 2013 Exams are Retiring in July 2015

Posted by Rubel Khan on June 9, 2015

Everything Lync is becoming Skype for Business. This means Microsoft is working on replacing their Lync exams with Skype for Business exams. Microsoft is still working on the availability date for the Skype for Business exams, but needed to announce the retirement of the Lync exams (July 2015) to give notice to those who are planning to take the exams soon or who are currently in-path. But don’t worry— Microsoft won’t pull the Lync exams out of market until the Skype for Business exams are available.

The new Skype for Business exams will count toward MCSE: Communication certification like the Lync 2013 exams currently do.

Stay tuned for more information on the new Skype for Business exams.



Q: Should I hold off on taking exams until the Skype for Business exams are available?
A: Not at all. Skype for Business builds on Lync’s features and functionality. The Lync exams provide you with a solid foundation for your Skype for Business implementation. See what’s new in Skype for Business.

Q: Will there be an upgrade exam for those who have completed both Lync exams and want to move to Skype for Business?
A: No. Once you’ve earned your MCSE: Communication certification you cannot re-earn it. You can, however, keep it current through recertification.

Q: What about recertification?
A: Holders of the MCSE: Communication credential must recertify every three years. Recertification is a great way to ensure that you stay current in the latest technology, such as Skype for Business. Microsoft will be providing more information about recertification options for MCSE: Communication this summer.

Q: I’m a partner with the Microsoft Partner Network. I have the Communications Competency and just took the Lync exams to qualify. Do I still qualify?
A: Retirement of an exam from Microsoft learning does not retire it as a qualifying exam for a Competency. Lync Exams for the Communications Competency will still qualify for a period of time. Always check the Microsoft Partner Network competency requirements.


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New Certification: MCSD Azure Solutions Architect

Posted by Rubel Khan on June 9, 2015

Microsoft is pleased to announce the release of a new certification entitled Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): Azure Solutions Architect. This certification is awarded by passing three Microsoft Azure specialist exams, validating competence in the design, development, and administration of solutions powered by Microsoft Azure.

The new certification is earned by passing all three of the following exams:

With a focus on app development and deployment, this certification is classified under the MCSD suite of certifications and, as such, carries a two-year recertification requirement.

The MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect certification went live on June 1, 2015.

For more details on this new certification, please visit the Azure Certification landing page.

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Microsoft Exams Scheduled to retire on July 31 2015

Posted by Rubel Khan on June 7, 2015

Find exams scheduled to be retired on July 31 2015, listed by technology. (The information that follows is subject to change.)

Lync and Lync Server:

  • 74-322: Microsoft Lync Server 2010—Advanced Design and Deployment
  • 74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment
  • 70-336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 70-337: Enterprise Voice Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 74-338: Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer

Project and Project Server:

  • 70-177: TS: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring
  • 70-178: TS: Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2010

SQL Server:

  • 70-433: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Deployment
  • 70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Visual Studio:

  • 70-518: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 70-519: PRO: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 98-363: Web Development Fundamentals
  • 98-372: Microsoft .NET Fundamentals
  • 98-374: MTA: Gaming Development Fundamentals


  • 70-681: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying
  • 98-349: Windows Operating System Fundamentals

Windows Server:

  • 70-643: TS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring
  • 70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist
  • 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • 70-693: PRO: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

Other technologies:

  • 70-158: TS: Microsoft Forefront Identity and Access Management, Configuring
  • 70-595: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010
  • 74-674: TS: Delivering Value Planning Services

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Free Private Cloud Jump Start Training! Register Now!

Posted by Rubel Khan on February 13, 2012

Are you interested in attending two (2) days of free Cloud Training?

Over 4,000 global IT Professionals registered for the February 21-22, 2012 offering! To accommodate demand, Microsoft is running this course again on April 3-4, 2012. You don’t want to miss it, so register now!

Microsoft Learning and the Microsoft System Center 2012 team are partnering to bring provide IT Professionals an exciting opportunity to learn what they need to know to deploy, manage and maintain Microsoft’s private cloud solution. Leveraging the popular Jump Start virtual classroom approach, the industry’s most gifted cloud experts will show attendees why this new private cloud solution, based on System Center 2012 and Windows Server, has garnered so much attention. Here are the details:

  • Date/Time: April 3-4, 2012 from 9:00am – 5:00pm PST | NEWLY ADDED
    IMPORTANT: The Feb. 21-22, 2012 class is fully booked and closed to new registrations
  • Where: Live virtual classroom (online from wherever you are)
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Target audience: IT Professionals (IT Implementers, managers, decision makers)



Day 1: Deployment & Configuration
Part 1: Understanding the Microsoft Private Cloud
Part 2: Deploying the Infrastructure Components
Part 3: Deploying the Private Cloud Infrastructure
Part 4: Deploying the Service Layer
Part 5: Deploying the Applications & VMs

Day 2: Management & Operations
Part 6: Managing the Infrastructure Components
Part 7: Managing the Private Cloud Infrastructure
Part 8: Managing the Service Layer
Part 9: Managing the Applications & VMs

Students have the opportunity to learn from and interact with the industry’s best cloud technologists! This high-energy, demo-rich learning experience will help IT Professionals understand why Microsoft private cloud solutions are making a splash in the industry. Here are the instructors for this two-day event!

  • Symon Perriman, Microsoft Technical Evangelist
  • Kenon Owens, Technical Product Manager, System Center Cloud and Datacenter Infrastructure
  • Adam Hall, Senior Technical Product Manager, System Center Application Management
  • Sean Christensen, Senior Technical Product Manager, System Center Service Delivery & Automation
  • Anant Sundaram, Senior Product Manager, System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management

What’s a “Jump Start” Course?
Training specifically designed for experienced technologists whose jobs demand they know how to best leverage new, emerging Microsoft technologies. These advanced courses assume a certain level of expertise and domain knowledge, so they move quickly and cover topics in a fashion that enables teams to effectively map new skills to real-world situations. Check out recordings of the Office 365 Jump Start and the Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals, too!

Register now for the Private Cloud Jump Start

Source: Microsoft Learning – Born To Learn

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Sneak Peek: SQL Server 2012 learning products in development!

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 16, 2011

SQL Server 2012 is coming! Microsoft has already started developing some of the exams, courses, and books that will help our customers to learn SQL Server 2012 and to showcase their new skills. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in the works.

The quick view

Title Course Book* Exam
Querying Microsoft SQL Server 10774 Training Kit 70-461
Administering a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database 10775 Training Kit 70-462
Building Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 10777 Training Kit 70-463
Developing a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database 10776 Exam Reference 70-464
Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server 2012 10778 Exam Reference 70-465
Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 TBD Exam Reference 70-466
Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Platform TBD Exam Reference 70-467

*There will be several other great SQL Server 2012 books as well, which won’t have corresponding exams and courses. More news on those later.

What’s different about the courses and books this time

  • 1:1 mapping between exam, course, and book (no more two-course mapping!)
  • An exam preparation book for each exam
  • More real-world scenarios and business context

What’s different about the exams and certifications this time

  • More community involvement in identifying the skills to be tested (over 300 people participated!)
  • Higher expectations of skill level and experience for the successful candidate
  • More direct focus on core skills such as querying and on business context
  • Recertification required every three years at the Pro level

Wait just a minute. Did you say recertification?

Why yes, I did. In order to ensure that our certifications remain a meaningful and valuable indicator of candidate’s skills, SQL Server 2012 Professional-level certifications will require recertification every three years. Initially, the recertification requirement will be one or two exams. You can find out more by viewing the frequently asked questions about recertification on our web site.

Source: Krista Wall (Microsoft) via Born to Learn Blog!

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Best practices for search in #SharePoint Server 2010 #TechNet Library

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 4, 2011

This article is one of a series of Best Practices articles for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. This article describes the best practices for enterprise search. Unless otherwise noted, this article applies to both SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Search Server 2010. For more articles in the series, see Best practices (SharePoint Server 2010). For additional information about best practices for SharePoint Server 2010, see Best practices (SharePoint Server 2010) and Performance and capacity management (SharePoint Server 2010).

In this article:

Read full article at

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Jump Start Videos: Microsoft Office 365 Overview for IT Professionals | #Office365 #Lync #SharePoint #Exchange

Posted by Rubel Khan on August 21, 2011

The Microsoft Office 365 Overview provides an excellent perspective of the overall value Office 365 provides to modern organizations in terms of productivity, access, familiarity, security, control and reliability. This section will help IT Pros better understand the options and advantages organizations have by taking this approach.

Happy Learning!

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Put your knowledge to the test | #70-640 #70-536

Posted by Rubel Khan on August 21, 2011

Are you already certified and want to explore branching out into another area? Are you curious about certification, but have never taken an exam? Here is your opportunity to put your knowledge to the test by signing up to receive a series of practice exam questions that can help you prepare to earn a certification.

Why not give it a try? There is no cost to participate!

After you register, each week for seven weeks you will receive test questions by e-mail. The questions are from MeasureUp, a leading provider of high-quality practice tests for Microsoft Certified Professionals.

Starting the second week, you also will receive a link to a video. The video features a Microsoft Certified Trainer who answers the questions from the previous week and discusses the technology. The questions and videos are designed to help pinpoint gaps in your skills and knowledge so you can determine where to focus your training.

Register now to test your knowledge.






Windows Server 2008

IT professionals

Seven sets of test questions and six videos that can help you prepare to take Exam 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory – Configuring

Learn about Exam 70-640


Microsoft .NET Framework


Seven sets of test questions and six videos that can help you prepare to take Exam 70-536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation

Learn about Exam 70-536

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New Roles and Skills for Cloud Computing!

Posted by Rubel Khan on August 14, 2011

By David Linthicum, Microsoft

This article is commissioned by Microsoft Corp. The views expressed are the author’s own.

Clearly, cloud computing requires new skills inside of organizations that are moving to the cloud. We all get that. However, many companies have difficulty understanding exactly what those skills are, the scope required, and the timing. According to a recent survey covered by NetworkWorld, cloud adoption can run into resistance when stakeholders within an organization are unclear about how they’ll be affected by the migration.

There are several ways this can play out. Many companies take the position that cloud computing is much the same as traditional computing, and that their existing teams and skillsets will suffice. That’s a huge mistake. Others will rapidly retrain their existing staff to the use of the cloud. A few are on cloud computing hiring sprees, offering signing bonuses and big salaries.

My take on all of this is that before we ignore the problem, or toss money at it, perhaps this a good time to put some lines in the sand around what skills are required as the cloud creeps into our IT universe. (My colleague Jeff Vance recently outlined how CIOs and IT workers can reposition themselves for a cloud-based future.)

When considering what skills are needed to thrive in the cloud, I like to use a role-based approach, with the new roles being:

  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Security Specialist
  • Cloud Developer
  • Cloud Infrastructure Manager
  • Provider Specialist

Cloud architect is the No. 1 job posting that I see from any company or consulting organization looking to move into cloud computing. While the job descriptions vary widely, typically the cloud architect has an understanding of enterprise architecture, SOA, and the new directions that cloud computing can take both of those disciplines.

More simply put, the cloud architect is a jack-of-all-trades, but master of cloud. They should have a detailed knowledge of PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS, including the players and solutions that are available on the market. This means working with developers and existing IT leadership to progress toward the use of cloud computing, making the right decisions along the way.

Cloud security specialist is perhaps the most important role and skillset you’ll need in moving to the cloud. He or she should understand the new security models and enabling security technology that’s required to keep you out of trouble as you relocate core business processes and data to private, public, or hybrid clouds.

Core skills here are an understanding of what changes with regard to security issues when you move to cloud. I’ve found that cloud security specialists need to understand newer security models and technologies, such as federated identity management and the ability to support data encryption both in flight and at rest in and between clouds. They typically work with existing security staff, so this person needs to have some people skills as well.

Cloud developer core skills are an understanding of core PaaS platforms, private or public, and how applications are designed, developed, and deployed on those platforms. This is a creative and innovative position, if you ask me; one that really requires people who can learn on their own and are willing to experiment with new technology that is rapidly emerging.

I find that cloud developers are typically self-taught. They work with cloud computing by leveraging free trial accounts to create applications on their own time. While that may seems scary to you, those are the types of developers you want on your side.

Cloud infrastructure manager seems like an oxymoron considering that we’re looking to push processes and data outside of the firewall—what  infrastructure needs to be managed? However, this person has a rather important role.  Cloud computing requires special attention to networking and remote or local server monitoring. Thus, somebody needs to pay close attention to the management of their infrastructure in support of cloud, else you’ll find your clouds are not as reliable as they should be.

Skills required here would be knowledge of existing network, application, and database management approaches and technologies, and a deep knowledge of the cloud providers and/or technology you’re leveraging. I would suggest you target those better infrastructure managers in your IT organization and retrain them.

Provider specialist is the person who understands the details around the cloud providers you’re leveraging—public, private, or hybrid. This means that his or her skills are all about being the go-to person in terms of questions that need to be answered and problems solved around a specific provider.

While you can hire these people if you can find them, I find that, in most cases, they are created within organizations through extensive provider training programs. You find the smarter people in IT who have an interest in diving deep into a product or service and then spend some budget to get them the skills. Huge ROI there.

The fact of the matter is that we’re always changing the skillsets required to support IT. The use of cloud computing is not much different. What is new is the degree of change that needs to occur in a relatively short period of time.

Leveraging cloud computing to the fullest is all about the talent you have around you. Investing in training, consulting, mentoring, and even paying through the nose for a few highly desirable skills will be the way of the world for the next several years. However, the return to the business easily justifies the investment.


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New SharePoint 2010 MOS Exam is now Live!

Posted by Rubel Khan on July 25, 2011

Microsoft is excited to announce the arrival of the new SharePoint 2010 exam, joining Microsoft’s Office Specialist 2010 line up.

Interested in taking the exam? Check out the exam objectives here. Need training first? Check out the Learning Plan, which links to a number of helpful articles. Microsoft Learning also has an e-learning collection that might be useful as well as a number of instructor-led courses. Ready to take the exam? Click here to find a test center via our MOS exam provider, Certiport.

Happy testing!

Source: Born to Learn Blog-Post By Wendy Johnson

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