New BizTalk Server exam caught in MCP .Net

New BizTalk Server exam caught in MCP .Net
By Ed Tittel
LANWrights, Inc.

On April 19, Microsoft announced its latest Windows 2000 MCP Exam: Exam 70-230 Designing and Implementing Solutions with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000, Enterprise Edition. It may be a coincidence, but I find it ironic that within a few short weeks of my last column predicting that .Net elements would start showing up in Microsoft certification exams, the folks in Redmond announce the first exam based on a key .Net component.

Perhaps even more significant is the fact that the audience profile for this exam includes new language that I expect will become more or less pro forma for all .Net related exams going forward:

"Candidates must have expertise with XML, and experience with XSLT is recommended. Candidates must have a working knowledge of COM+, including development tools such as Microsoft Visual Basic and Microsoft Visual C++, and a working knowledge of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), ASP, and Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition.

Environmental characteristics include:

  • Document interchange via HTTP, SMTP, Message Queuing, and FTP
  • Transactional and multi-tier applications
  • Secure protocols such as SSL and S/MIME that use public-key infrastructure (PKI)
  • Relational database management system (RDBMS)
  • Distributed networks"

This exam qualifies its takers for an MCP and is also a valid MCSE elective. My guess is that if a redesign of the MCSP program hits any time soon, this exam will also be part of that track. Possible, but less likely, is its inclusion in the track for a revised MCP + Site Building (MCP+SB) certification, since few people have completed the current MCP+SB certification at this juncture.

Here are some specifics:
(Go here for the official version.)

Planning and Designing Biztalk Server Solutions:
This is a kind of "soup to nuts" category that covers planning and designing BizTalk-based applications and services and includes coverage of the BizTalk server itself, use of certificate services, SQL database server security, plus implementation requirements such as hardware, services, load balancing, and clustering architectures.

Installing BizTalk Server:
Attended and unattended installations galore, plus troubleshooting OS, BizTalk, network, and SQL Server installation and configuration problems.

Building Document Interchanges:
Configuring organizations and applications as well as document definitions. Creating and managing messaging ports for distributed application components; selecting and configuring message ports for application and service data interchange. Creating and configuring channels for information exchange or delivery; various methods for configuring receive architectures for information and data delivery.

Creating Auxiliary Components:
Building COM+ components to implement custom message transports, including application integration and pipeline components, as well as programmatic document submission tools.

Administering BizTalk Server Solutions:
Managing and optimizing BizTalk Server performance working with performance counters, Event Viewer, BizTalk Server Administration MMC, Document Tracking and Activity (DTA) tool, XLANG Event Monitor, Windows Management and Instrumentation (WMI), and SQL Server Enterprise Manager. Other topics include auditing through BizTalk Document Tracking, and diagnosis and resolution of numerous implementation errors.

Creating Schemas and Transformations:
Using BizTalk Editor to import, design, create, and modify documents and related schemas, plus output transformations for document delivery.

Implementing Business Processes by using BizTalk Orchestration Designer:
Using the Flowchart Shape, Message Queueing Shape, Script Component Shape, COM Component Shape, and the BizTalk Messaging Shape. Creating and managing business transaction processes; mapping data flow between messages; configuring orchestration ports, and diagnosing and resolving problems with the BizTalk Orchestration Service using the XLANG Scheduler Engine.

All in all, this exam looks like a real monster. But hey, .Net promises some serious challenges for all of us. This exam goes beta in July, which means it will probably be September at the earliest before it goes commercial. Plenty of time to absorb the necessary background between now and then, right?

Ed Tittel is a principal at a small content development company based in Austin, Texas, and the creator of the Exam Cram series, and has worked on over 30 certification-related books on Microsoft, Novell, and Sun related topics.


This was first published in May 2001

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