Developer, DBA Exams to Be Decommissioned June 2004

Microsoft plans to retire 11 exams next year, with the majority affecting the MCSD and MCDBA tracks.

Microsoft announced on its Web site that it's retiring 11 exams, many of which are key exams for the MCSD and MCDBA on SQL 2000 titles (see table below for list of exams and affected certifications).

As has been its policy, Microsoft typically announces exam retirements once a year, in June, and pulls the exam off the market the following year. As has also been the policy since October 2001, the company doesn't require that titleholders recertify in order to maintain certification status.

Last year, Microsoft announced retirement of nine elective exams, many of which were part of the requirements list for the MCSE on Windows NT 4.0 and MCSE on Windows 2000 tracks (see "Exams Retiring at End of June" in the News archive). Those nine exams are no longer available as of the end of this month.

Exams Retiring on
June 30, 2004
MCSD MCDBA SQL 2000 MCSE (NT 4.0, Win2K)
70-015: Designing, Implementing Distributed Applications with Visual C++ 6.0

70-016: Designing, Implementing Desktop Applications with Visual C++ 6.0


70-019: Designing, Implementing Data Warehouses with SQL Server 7.0

70-028: Administering SQL Server 7.0
70-029: Designing, Implementing Databases with SQL Server 7.0
70-100: Analyzing Requirements, Defining Solution Architectures
70-152: Designing, Implementing Web Solutions with Visual InterDev 6.0
70-155: Designing, Implementing Distributed Applications with Visual FoxPro 6.0
70-156: Designing, Implementing Distributed Applications with Visual FoxPro 6.0
70-175: Designing, Implementing Distributed Applications with Visual Basic 6.0

70-176: Designing, Implementing Desktop Applications with Visual Basic 6.0

Notes: C=core requirement for track; E=elective; (1) also elective for MCSE+I; (2) also an elective for MCP+Site Building.

For more about Microsoft's exam retirement policy, go to

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Sep 14, 2003 Richard Melbourne

don't waste time on a pre .Net MCSD!!!

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 Jimmy St. Peters, MO

Whats the problem, the Cert is still good, they just arent letting anymore people get the cert.
Pfffft, 12 months if you already have most of the exams done finish it up, just realize that you cant sit back on your laurels. Get out there cracking on those .Net exams. Oh and by the way, its not that hard a move to VB.NET from VB if you already know OOP, I had the MCAD 1 week after the final exam came out and the MCSD.NET 1 month after 70-100 was out, It isnt that hard, you just have to jump through the hoops.

Thu, Aug 7, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Not too suprised at Microsofts decision. I don't think they are rejecting anyones achievement (no re-certification) just moving the train along. I have MCSD (VB6) and just got MCAD. If you knuckle down it isn't too hard.

Wed, Jul 30, 2003 Dan new jersey

i just recently passed 70-176 and was planning on going on the way to my MCSD. i haven't bben programming long and am not prepared to jump ship to .Net after getting to where I am at.. Is taking the 6 tests an exercise in futility for me.

Sun, Jul 27, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

what an utter confusion!!!!!

Thu, Jul 24, 2003 MCSD, et all. Georgia

Bad idea to dump VB6 this soon. .NET isn't ready for the real world yet. Or maybe the developers aren't ready?

Wed, Jul 23, 2003 MCAD future MCSD.NET Richmond,VA

I'm glad I have already started towards my MCAD. 2 exams left to get MCSD.NET
I think I can pass 2 exams in 12 months? What do you think?

Thu, Jul 17, 2003 Kashif MCSD Anonymous

I think Microsoft should continue with these exams, beacuse VB6 is the most powerful and famous tool, still people R using vb to develope rich application. Anyway enjoy with dot net.

Thu, Jul 17, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

"For clarification, the article incorrectly cites MCDBA on SQL 2000."

And for correction and unclarification, the article is accurate. There is no such thing as MCDBA on SQL 7 - every MCDBA is an MCDBA on SQL 2000, even those who have taken only SQL 7 exams and not a single SQL 2000 exam.

Yes, that's stupid, but MS didn't run it by me first.

Thu, Jul 17, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I just saw a complete Commodore 64 system on Ebay for 31 bucks... let's start the revolution!

: )

Mon, Jul 14, 2003 jpallister Anonymous

None of us like to pay to prove we are staying current with our profession, but unfortunately that is a factor that is uncontrollable. No matter which software company is influencing your job, you will have to follow their rules to obtain certs. To be your best at your profession, it is important to stay on the cutting edge. We all know that certs don't make a person a genius or necessarily mean that someone is on the cutting edge, but in todays difficult IT job market certs give you an edge.....a foot in the door. Then you have the opportunity to prove your worth.

Mon, Jul 14, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

If UNIX was so great whty would MS continue to dominate? Im so sick of the UNIX\Linux losers whining about MS. MS is better and is continuing to improve while UNIX stands still. Who cares about scrub hackers, defacing sites is REAL COOL. Some script kiddie running downloaded scripts in theyre parents basement and then calling themselves a hacker is pathetic. Do you people even know what a hacker is? Ill tell you what, they dont waste time crapping up a real coders website. Maybe they need theyre faces defaced!

Fri, Jul 11, 2003 Angelo Fleming MCT, MCSD, Kentucky

Learn how to play the game! Here are the rules: 1. Stay on the cutting edge of technology. 2. Change is GOOD! 3. We make more money when 1 & 2 happen.

Fri, Jul 11, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

There used to be a time when Microsoft delivered products that people wanted to use. Now Microsoft delivers products that it wants people to use. When consumers reach a critical mass of dissatisfaction, even though that might take thirty years, they will create viable competing alternatives to Microsoft.

Fri, Jul 11, 2003 Ross New Jersey

If there is money to be made using VB6, then why should it be retired? Obviously there is still a market for both VB6 as a product and for solutions crafted using VB6. The constant-upgrade hamster wheel is of no value to anyone except Microsoft. If they charged a fair price for their tools, maybe they would be able to let them have a decent lifespan, like 5-10 years. Do auto mechanics announce that they will no longer service 2000 model cars?

Fri, Jul 11, 2003 John Columbus, OH

Time to move to newer and better things. The exams need to be retired, the sooner the better. VB 6 should be retired as well, but there is still to much money out there for us as programmers, working in VB 6.0. Microsoft has alot of problems with any software they put out, but thanks to that, we will always have work.
John, MCSD

Fri, Jul 11, 2003 jon virginia

you still get to keep your cert, so what's the problem? Why should people want to keep working towards an outdated certification? If you haven't got your MCSD in 6.0 yet, you are way behind the curve. That's the sad truth. Resist it if you want, but you are just providing me with less competition when I get my MCAD this summer. Thanks!

Fri, Jul 11, 2003 Chris Scotland

I agree that this is way too soon. I am currently an MCSD and we have no customers currently wanting to move to the .NET platform which means all dev is done in VB6. On top of that, we currently have no time or budget for .NET training - and are unlikely to until we begin to see prospects for it.

Thu, Jul 10, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

"Net has been a total failure in terms of uptake - just look at the number of MCAD and MCSD .Net certs. A case of you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink unless you drown it."

---Before you can even lead a horse it must respect its handler. As a person who supports Microsoft Products, I'm developing a resentment over being used as a Marketing tool for their latest products. Licensing V6, SA, their upgrade policies and their 3 yr product lifecycles are forcing more customers to evaluate alternative solutions. I as a small biz owner am also looking at those solutions to help meet my customers needs.

Thu, Jul 10, 2003 shanmuga raja chennai,india

well...this is shocking news for people like me preparing for MCSD on 6.0 track, now we have fear about future either the value for this 6.0 will remain? or else i need to quit preparing for 6.0 version and switch to .net this will waste my lot of money...

Thu, Jul 10, 2003 JH MD

This is life. Let's move on...move on...move on...

Thu, Jul 10, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Point, Click, & Compile? Try point, click, write heavy-duty data access code to Oracle and SQL Server for recipe control coupled with SECSGEM communication to an automated semiconductor lasermark machine for a VB solution that kept TI from taking their 9 million in business to another silicon wafer manufacturer, THEN compile... sounds like you might want to pursue something a bit more heavy with your MS skills. Let's try to keep the bashing off this site.

Wed, Jul 9, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Mr. jpallister, what kind of IT skills are you talking about in the MS world? Last time I checked it was POINT, CLICK, COMPILE. As for MS operating systems, it is amazing the amount of market share you can create with steel-shackle style license terms to the OEM hardware builders. Ever try buying a major, name-brand PC without an MS operating system installed? It can't be done. BTW, before you call me "anti-MS" or something, I've made lots of money off stupid people that can't operate their MS stuff. It's amazing how people trust that old MCSE logo.

Wed, Jul 9, 2003 JonH Pensacola

For clarification, the article incorrectly cites MCDBA on SQL 2000. The elective exams being retired are for both 7.0 & 2000. The core exams being retired are only for MCDBA on SQL 7.0.

Tue, Jul 8, 2003 jpallister Anonymous

Mr. Anti-Microsoft,
If Microsoft products are as bad as you say then people would not buy them. Microsoft offers the best options for many IT situations, such as the business desktop. Until someone makes something better, Microsoft will continue to be at the top of the heap. You may not like that, but it is true. By ignoring these facts, you are turning your back on necessary skills that are vital in todays IT professions.

Tue, Jul 8, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Sounds like Mr. Anti-Microsoft is a little bitter. If he is so anti-Gates, then why is he on this site. Why is he bothering to go slumming on MCPMag? Hmmmmm.... could it be that he just doesn't have what it takes to pass any of the exams, to earn the credentials to be certified, or is he just underpaid and underappreciated in his little Unix cubical?

Mon, Jul 7, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

For sure that there are still tons of people using vb6 and vc++ in the near future, only retire the exams doesn't reflect the real market need.
NT4 platform, sql7, vb6 and vc++ still share the major market

Mon, Jul 7, 2003 Craig Minnesota

Well, I've passed six of the nine exams being retired. And I've made good money based on those skills, as Microsoft has.

Time to move on to the new skills - make money based on those newer and better platforms.

Mon, Jul 7, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

While you folks are arguing over certifications, Microsofts cash just keeps on growing. Why? 1.) you people who think you need to be certified by Microsoft. Think about it! Microsoft, a company who releases beta software as final release. If you think I kidding just look at all the service paks they put our shortly after a major release. Service paks that fix problems that should have been fixed before final release. 2.) Money from web sites like this. This websites owners pay Microsoft to put their logo on this site. Last time I checked it was $5,000 to be a partner with Microsoft.
3.) Microsoft products are at the bottom of quality. Just as the hacker contestents that participated in the July 4th weekend battle. 1 point was awarded for defacing a Microsoft site and 5 points were awared for Unix. I wonder which one is more secure?
You prople just keep crying and Microsoft will keep on building it's cash!

Sat, Jul 5, 2003 Rune Norway

I only began programming with VB 6 in 2000, with no previous experience. A year later, I passed both VB 6 MCP exams.
In 2002, I read overviews on .NET dev.
In 2003, I began learning to program with VB .NET by my self. Now I have passed two VB .NET exams on first attempt. So it can be done.
And .NET dev and OOP is definitely worth the time spent learning them.
I'm really pleased that MS made VB 7 object-oriented and let us progress and become "real" developers!
I'm going for MCAD and MCSD .NET!!!

Wed, Jul 2, 2003 Christopher D. Bell Manchester

.Net has been a total failure in terms of uptake - just look at the number of MCAD and MCSD .Net certs. A case of you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink unless you drown it.

Tue, Jul 1, 2003 paper mcse Anonymous

I wonder MCPMAG has any integraty concerning exam cheating

Fri, Jun 27, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Whoops... I was wrong... I thought the CERT went away also. It doesn't. Only the exams are going away. Whew!

Fri, Jun 27, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

More money

Fri, Jun 27, 2003 Ben Nevada

I'm the guy who posted the email you responded to (forgot to enter name last time). I wouldn't say your worth goes away in 12 months. I WOULD agree that the learning curve on .NET languages is rather long. Especially if you're going from VB 6.0 to VB.NET because the language is fully object-oriented. We're all scrambling to learn C#, and we're not doing any VB.NET development here. Fortunately, I'm a Database Developer so i'm not going to slammed as hard with the learning curve. But C# is still required knowledge in our shop..

Fri, Jun 27, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

WAY too soon... VB6 is the largest dev tool installed, .NET is a complete new environment (not an upgrade to be learned), and most training budgets have been slashed. There's 40,000 of us MCSDs, and our worth in the job market gets negated in 12 months. We need more time to .et-ready. I'd like to see 2005 be the date of discontinuation. If you agree, email your feedback to

Fri, Jun 27, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I'm surprised they decided to retire the VB 6.0 and VC++ 6.0 exams. I was expecting they would go in the 2005-06 timeframe.

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