The past few weeks have been busy ones for Microsoft Training and Certification. New exams have been announced or hinted at; numerous old exams have been tapped for discontinuation. Each of these developments helps to show the shape of things to come in the Microsoft certification world.
On the incoming side, there's exam 70-214 "Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network", which I wrote about in my last tip. This is the first-ever nuts and bolts Windows security exam, which means it covers operational details involved in locking down Windows networks and systems and maintaining security thereafter.
Also, Microsoft Press let slip recently that it's working on an MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit for exam 70-272 "Migrating to Active Directory". This exam aims to help Microsoft professionals preparing to migrate networks into Active Directory from Windows NT or domain-based Windows 2000 onto Windows 2000 or .NET Server.
Once the wait is over for the .NET Server release date, a flood of new exams -- including 70-275 (Windows .NET Server),70-276 (.NET Network Infrastructure), and 70-277 (.NET Directory Services Infrastructure) -- will take on more real shape. MS Press already has titles for all these exams in development. See www.microsoft.com/mspress/findabook/list/subject_category_T.asp for more information.
Here's what's out as of June 30, 2003 in keeping with Microsoft's "announce one year in advance" policy:
- 70-056: Implementing and Supporting Web Sites Using Site Server 3.0
- 70-057: Designing and Implementing Commerce Solutions with Site Server 3.0, Commerce Edition
- 70-080: Implementing and Supporting Internet Explorer 5.0 by Using the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit
- 70-081: Implementing and Supporting Exchange Server 5.5
- 70-085: Implementing and Supporting SNA Server 4.0
- 70-088: Implementing and Supporting Proxy Server 2.0
- 70-091: Designing and Implementing Solutions with Office 2000 and Visual Basic for Applications
- 70-098: Implementing and Supporting Windows 98
- 70-105: Designing and Implementing Collaborative Solutions with Outlook 2000 and Exchange Server 5.5
It's no shock that most of these items were headed for oblivion. Exchange 2000, for example, is now well established and a .NET Server version in the offing. So it's obvious that Microsoft is putting 5.5 out to pasture. Likewise it's inevitable that Exchange 5.5 exams like 70-081 and 70-105 are headed for the MCP dustbin.
Still there are some surprises:
- 70-056: This exam hasn't been out for a terribly long time, but it hasn't been too popular either. It's possible that lack of interest and looming technology makeovers in .NET Server explain the change of status.
- 70-080: The Internet Explorer Administration Kit exams (which started with 70-079 for IEAK 4.0) were never popular, and Internet Explorer technology and versions keep changing quickly. I guess that the burden of upkeep probably explains its demise.
- 70-98: Now supplanted by Windows Me and Windows XP, it's goodbye to Windows 9x exam coverage.
In large part, Microsoft is clearing the deck for a new crop of exams based on BackOffice and Server .NET. Please stay tuned!
Ed Tittel is a principal at a small content development company based in Austin, Texas, and the creator of the Exam Cram series. He has worked on over 60 books on Microsoft, CompTIA, CIW, Sun/Java and various security certifications.