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Two new Microsoft exams in the works

Microsoft is preparing certification exams for Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003; detailed exam objectives won't be published for a few months.

Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on two new certification exams it recently made public, but IT administrators interested in learning the exam objectives will have to wait a few more months, said one of the software maker's product managers.

David Lowe, a product manager within the training and certification group, said Microsoft has put the exam titles on its Web site because the company wants to get out as much information as possible regarding upcoming exams that are core requirements or electives for its certifications. The exam objectives won't be published for another few months, he said.

The two exams are 70-284, "Implementing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003," and 70-299, "Implementing and Administering Security in a Windows 2003 Network."

In general, 70-284 is designed for IT professionals with one year of experience implementing Exchange Server 2003 on the Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2000 platform. By the time the exam is ready, many people will have been working with the platform for that long, Lowe said.

Exam 70-284 is comparable to the existing exam, 70-224, he said. Of course, the new exam will pertain to installing, configuring, managing and monitoring Exchange Server 2003.

Exam 70-299 is for IT professionals who have one year's experience implementing and managing security on the Windows 2003 platform. It might include security policy implementation, patch management infrastructure, security for network communications and configuration planning, Lowe said.

Exam 70-299 is analogous to the existing 72-214 exam for Windows 2000, Lowe said. He said the scope and objectives are comparable, but it will focus on security features built into Windows Server 2003.

"The security exam will be important for individuals looking to specialize in Windows security or for people responsible for security in a networked environment," said Ed Tittel, a principal at LANWrights Inc., an Austin, Texas-based training and consulting firm.

Tittel said that since the objectives won't be published until fall, it will likely mean the exams will go to beta around the end of the year. Knowing the previous exams that the two new numbers are tied to should give people clues about the exams' general coverage, he said.

Tittel added that these tests represent the next step in Microsoft moving beyond the core operating system tests to deal with some of the more routine aspects of system management and maintenance with some of the back-office components.


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