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New crop of Microsoft cert exams springs up in April

Spring is in the air, and more than just the flowers are in bloom. Expert Ed Tittel goes over some of the newest Microsoft certifications that have begun their lifecycles this month.

Ed Tittel
As the newest Microsoft credentials begin their lifecycles -- namely, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS, abbreviated TS in the table), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP, abbreviated PRO in the table), and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) -- exams to support them are necessary ingredients in providing the means whereby aspiring IT professionals can earn new certifications, or upgrade from old to new ones. In April 2006, these new program all took a leap forward as three new English exams were introduced, and four exams became available in languages that include some of French, German, and Japanese (see Table 1 for details).

Table 1: Exams Scheduled for Release in April, 2006

Category Exam ID Title Availability Language
TS 70-529 Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Distributed Application Development 4/7/2006 English
TS 70-431 Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - Implementation and Maintenance 4/7/2006 German, Japanese, French
PRO 70-442 Designing and Optimizing Data Access by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 4/28/2006 English
PRO 70-443 Designing a Database Server Infrastructure by Using Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 4/21/2006 German, French
PRO 70-444 Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administration Solution by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 4/20/2006 German, Japanese, French
TS 70-526 Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Windows-based Client Development 4/27/2006 English
TS 70-528 Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-based Client Development 4/25/2006 German, Japanese

As an inspection of Table 1 will reveal, both English-language and non-English credentials relate to developer and database specializations. Non-English exams tend to follow somewhat later than English exams, as the timing of the English versions of 70-431, 70-443, 70-444, and 70-528 will attest. But it looks like Microsoft is completing its Technology Specialist and IT Professional developer and database credentials with this latest slate of offerings, and making good headway on matching that feat in the international arena outside North America.

Interestingly, Microsoft Learning's latest newsletter also claims that the company will add over 100 new e-learning titles to support Visual Studio .NET 2005 and SQL Server 2005 in the near future. These courses cost as little as $39.99 each, and a collection of seven such courses is available for $225. The titles are distributed as follows: 55 on SQL Server for database administrators, developers, and business intelligence specialists, with 74 on Visual Studio topics related to Windows, Web, and Enterprise application development.

Ed Tittel is a long-time follower of the IT certification market, who usually keeps at least one eye on what Microsoft is doing. Among other things, Ed created (and edited) the Exam Cram cert prep book series from 1997 through 2005; he's also a contributing editor for Certification Magazine. E-mail Ed at

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