In checking over the requirements pages for MCSA and MCSE for Windows Server 2003 this month, I noticed two new elective exams popping up, seemingly out of nowhere. It's an interesting example of how information emerges from this colossus of software and technology. Some things are shouted with great trumpeting and fanfare; others slip out so innocuously that you must look twice to make sure they're for real.
In this case, the two new exams, while interesting in their own right, are also evocative in what they suggest about upcoming Windows Server 2003 certifications and requirements, particularly in the areas of Backoffice components and security.
The exams are:
- Exam 70-284 (MCSE 2003 requirements): "Implementing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003"
- Exam 70-299 (MCSA 2003 requirements): "Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network"
What you won't find for these exams is also pretty revealing: no objectives, nor other mentions either by title or by ID anywhere else on the Microsoft Web site. Thus, I'm inclined to lump them in with Exam 70-298 "Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network" which is a listed core design exam for MCSE but which won't go beta until October, 2003 nor final until the following December. In fact, I'm even inclined to guess that these exams won't appear any sooner, and may in fact be available later.
It stands to reason -- as I've contended in other tips about the emerging shape of Windows Server 2003 certs -- that various BackOffice elements on which exams are routinely available, such as SQL Server, Exchange and System Management Server will be updated for Windows Server 2003 over time. This is probably the best way to understand how 70-284 fits into the picture, and why it's also conceivable that a 70-285 "Designing and Deploying a Messaging Infrastructure with Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server" (If I can be so bold as to guess the forthcoming title with some slight spin on its predecessor) may not be too far behind.
Likewise, the existence of 70-299 argues strongly that MCSA and MCSE security specializations for Windows Server 2003 will also be forthcoming, given the inclusion of the predecessor exam 70-214 "Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network" in requirements for security specializations on Windows 2000.
But we can't know what's going on for sure until Microsoft tells us more. In particular, I'm interested in seeing the objectives for these new exams, to help me better appreciate what Windows Server 2003 feature and functions Microsoft wants to emphasize. For that, we'll have to wait. Stay tuned!
Ed Tittel runs a content development company in Austin, Texas, and is the series editor of the Que Exam Cram 2 and Training Guide series. He's worked on many books on Microsoft, CompTIA, CIW, Sun/Java, and security certifications.