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Exam Objective Guides for MCTS and MCPD Exams Now Available

MCTS exams 70-431, 70-431 and MCPD exam 70-441 to head to beta in November-December time frame, with live release in 1Q 2006.

Last week, Microsoft posted three guides for new exams that will count toward the new-generation certifications that the company announced earlier this week. Each of the exams will be beta tested in November, with live release in the first quarter of 2006, according to Microsoft.

Two of the exams, 70-431, TS: SQL Server 2005-Implementation and Maintenance and 70-528, TS: .NET Framework 2.0-Web-based Client Development, will count toward fulfillment of the basic Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist designation.

Exam 70-431 is aimed at those wanting to prove expertise as a database administrator, database developer or business intelligence developer whose work primarily will involve SQL Server 2005. Microsoft recommends this exam for those currently possessing an MCDBA on SQL Server 2000 and want to update their certification with SQL Server 2005 skills. (However, Microsoft also notes that the MCDBA won't be retired, as certifications don't have an expiration date.)

Those who pass exam 70-431 will also have completed a requirement for the premium Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Database Developer , MCITP: Database Administrator and MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer titles. Microsoft expects the exam to be beta tested in November; while in beta, the exam will be numbered 71-431.

Exam 70-528, TS: .NET Framework 2.0-Web-based Client Development will find appeal among those who develop Web-based projects using Microsoft technologies. Microsoft recommends this exam to those who "work on a team in a medium or large development environment that uses Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, Enterprise Edition or Microsoft Visual Studio 2005," as stated on the exam objective guide. The company also recommends that "candidates should have at least one year of experience developing Web-based applications on .NET Framework 1.0/1.1/2.0," as well as solid expertise with Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0.

The exam will be numbered 71-528 while in beta; it's expected to be beta tested in the fourth quarter of 2005, with general release planned for February 2006. Those who pass the beta or live version will earn an MCTS title, and can use it as fulfillment toward the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Web Developer, MCPD: Windows Developer and MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer certs.

Professional developers who design and implement database solutions are the primary audience for exam 70-441, PRO: Designing Database Solutions Using SQL Server 2005, according to the exam objective guide. The guide also states that those who plan to take the exam should have at least three years of experience with database development work, gathering requirements and troubleshooting.

The exam will be beta tested in November, with the live version expected in early 2006. Candidates who pass this exam plus exam 70-431 will have completed two of the three exams needed to earn the MCITP: Database Developer title.

Instructor-led training, e-Learning courses and Microsoft Press self-study kits will be made available later this year; to find out more, see the exam objective guides:

Registration for the beta exams has yet to be opened to the public. Beta exams are free to those who are invited to take it and receive a free voucher code from Microsoft, and can be taken at selected Pearson Vue and Sylvan Prometric testing centers worldwide. To find out more, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/status/beta.asp. When the exams go live, they'll be available for $125 in the U.S. (international pricing will vary by region).

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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