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Your MCSD in 2003?

A look at the completed set of MCAD exams and the future of the MCSD.

Just last week, Microsoft released two more of its next-generation developer exams to the public. Once again, in Microsoft-speak, the following exams have "gone live:"

With these additions, here's a complete list of all next-generation exams that apply to MCAD and MCSD certifications, along with status or availability information:

  • Exam 70-300: Analyzing Requirements and Defining .NET Solution Architectures. (No objectives are currently available for this exam; see below for initial release information.)
  • Exam 70-310: Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Visual Basic .NET and the Microsoft .NET framework.(For objectives and other exam details, visit
  • Exam 70-316: Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET (Available since June 3. (For details, see
  • Exam 70-320: Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and the Microsoft .NET framework. (For objectives and exam details, visit

All totaled, six .NET-related developer exams are currently available. Exam 70-300, "Compare MCAD with MCSD" -- which is the .NET architecture core exam for MCSD -- has finally been scheduled for release next February, as reported on the Microsoft Web page. (See for details.)

Bottom line: all MCAD components are now completely available, but the new generation MCSD will remain out of reach until next year. Since the MCAD can lead directly to an MCSD, it's a nice interim step to that more senior credential. More importantly, if the beta for 70-300 appears in November or December as its scheduled release date implies, it's possible that invitees who pass the beta exam may actually attain MCSD status on .NET technologies before the year is out.

Ed Tittel runs a content development company in Austin, Texas, and is the creator of the Exam Cram series. He's worked on many books on Microsoft, CompTIA, CIW, Sun/Java and security certifications. His team is currently at work on TICSA and Security+ study guides for Que Certification Press.

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