I had targets to complete a couple of Microsoft certifications / exams in the first half of 2017. Long-story short – I managed to pass both exams successfully, but it certainly wasn’t easy. I had to pass the following:

  • 70-523 Microsoft Specialist: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
  • 70-346 Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements

Unfortunately/fortunately, prior to seeing the actual contents of the exam, I entered into an Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which means I cannot discuss or reveal specific exam contents. I can only talk about it in general terms.

70-523 Microsoft Specialist: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions

My biggest tip for 70-523 Microsoft Specialist: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions is to ensure you explore the range of services that Azure has to offer. This includes both PaaS and IaaS cloud service models.

Recently this exam had an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) refresh but I do not see any reason why questions regarding Azure Service Management (ASM) services such as Cloud Services would not appear. I would certainly place more time in revising/exploring the ARM side of this exam but maintain up-to-date knowledge on ASM.

Speaking about timing to revise this exam, I spent a good two months going through every single service

70-346 Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements

If you have implemented Office 365 for clients or explored it within your lab environment, this activity should prepare you by some amount on the important topics for this exam. Now, go through that deployment again (in your lab) slowly and notice every single detail.

One core aspect to this exam is identities (as the title suggests). To sync on-premises identity with Microsoft Azure Active Directory/Office 365 you used DirSync in the past or AD Connect. This is one topic that I would recommend that you get in-depth with. It will be helpful in real-world scenarios and also for the exam.

Naturally, with the pace of evolving Cloud-based services and accompanying tools, there will be changes to either product names or functionality. For this exam, Microsoft has issued an “Exam Change Document” that highlights the changes (a link is below).

Exam Resources

Below are some public resources that I have used to help me prepare for this exam:

  1. Skills Measured: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
  2. Skills Measured: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
  3. Exam Change Document: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements

If you are taking one of these exams, I wish you luck! Let me know how you get on and what your experience was. My next logical step would be to complete the two Microsoft Azure exams Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (70-533) and Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions (70-534).

AE