Showing posts with label microsoft exam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label microsoft exam. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

55 Microsoft exams and 29 certifications planned for retirement

Massive changes are inbound as Microsoft announce the latest plan for exam retirements amid a raft of new technology launches.

Following the arrival of new technologies including SharePoint 2016, SQL Server 2016 and the imminent arrival of Windows Server 2016, we are beginning to see the first of the new exams and aligned certifications emerge. 


This move sparks the end for exams and certifications aligned to technologies now rendered legacy. The release of so many new platforms sees a huge number of exams and associated certifications on the chopping block. 

Let’s take a closer look at those planned changes arriving in the coming months which could affect you.


Windows exams

With the arrival of a second Windows 10 exam, 70-698: Installing and Configuring Windows 10, there now exists a pure route to MCSA: Windows 10. This removes the exitising Windows 8 requirement finalises the retirement of exams 70-687 and 70-688.

Despite being planned for July 31, 2016, the exams have been given a retirement extension as interest lingers for the Window 8 platform among the enterprise.


Retiring on December 31, 2016
70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows 8

Windows Server exams

We recently saw Windows Server 2016 move to Technical Preview 5 and the arrival of three MOCs aligned to MCSA: Windows Server 2016.


With Windows Server 2008 now two versions out of date and 8 years old, its unsuprising we see the exams aligned to the technology marked for retirement. 

Extended retirement date to December 31, 2016
98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

Retiring on July 31, 2017
70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring

70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring

70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows Server 2008

SharePoint exams

Not much movememnt on the SharePoint front, especially considering the arrival of SharePoint 2016. The planned retirement for SharePoint 2010 MCTS and MCITP exams announced in January 2016 is going ahead as planned. 

Interestingly, we see the new inlcusion of a planned retirement for the MCSD: SharePoint Applications recertification exam. Are Microsoft removing the need for recertification or retiring the certification itself? Time will tell.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications
70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-517: Recertification for MCSD: SharePoint Applications

Certifications retiring:
MCTS / MCITP SharePoint 2010 Configuring / Administrator
MCTS / MCPD SharePoint 2010 Developer

SQL Server exams

The arrival of SQL Server 2016 has made zero changes to planned retirements of SQL server certification upgrade exams from SQL Server 2008. Suprising, considerinf we have seen the first peak of three new MCSA SQL Server 2016 certifications:

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Administration
MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development
MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Business Intelligence Development

Announced in January 2016, we remain on course for the July 31, 2016 retirment dates. 

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-432: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
70-448: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
70-457: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2

Certifications retiring:
MCITP Database Administrator - SQL Server 2008
MCITP Business Intelligence Developer - SQL Server 2008
Upgrade to MCSA SQL Server

Visual Studio and .NET exams

There is big movement in the Visual Studio and .NET space. A whole raft of new plans for exam retirements have emerged. Again we see the inclusion of exams aligned to recertification marked for retirement. This adds weight to the possiblility of Microsoft removing recertification requirments across the board.

We also see the addition of new retirements affecting the Universal Windows Platform, Azure and SharePoint 2013. With a vast range of certifications affected.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
98-379: Software Testing Fundamentals

Retiring on September 30, 2016
70-481: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 and JavaScript
70-482: Advanced Windows Store App Development Using HTML5 and JavaScript
70-484: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-485: Advanced Windows Store App Development Using C#
70-490: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
70-491: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-492: Upgrade Your MCPD: Web Developer 4 to MCSD: Web Applications
70-499: Recertification for MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-354: Universal Windows Platform – App Architecture and UX/UI
70-355: Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns
70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
70-489: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions

Certifications affected/retiring:
MCSD: Universal Windows Platform 
MCSD: SharePoint 2013 Applications 
MCSD: Web Applications
MTA Software Testing Fundamentals
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Data Access


Microsoft Dynamics exams

Big changes are abound in the Microsoft Dynamics space as well. New versions of Dynamics CRM and AX have seen exam retirements planned across the board for the Dynamics AX 2012 and Dynamics CRM 2013 platforms. 

This will impact a significant number of Specialist certifications aligned to the Dynamics platforms. All are expected late 2016/early 2017.

Exams retiring on December 31, 2016
MB2-700: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications
MB2-701: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
MB2-702: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment
MB2-703: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration
MB5-705: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations
MB6-700: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Project
MB6-702: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials
MB6-703: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade and Logistics
MB6-704: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Development Introduction
MB6-884: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Lean Manufacturing
MB6-885: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector
MB6-886: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Process Manufacturing Production and Logistics
MB6-889: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Service Management

Exams retiring on March 31, 2017
MB6-701: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Retail
MB6-705: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Installation and Configuration

Certifications retiring:
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications
Specialist: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customisation and Configuration
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Project
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Retail
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade and Logistics
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Development Introduction
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Installation and Configuration
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Lean Manufacturing
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Process Manufacturing Production and Logistics
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Service Management
Specialist: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations

Other exams

Retiring on September 30, 2016
70-673: TS: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management (SAM)

Retiring on January 31, 2017
74-697: OEM Preinstallation

Friday, 20 May 2016

Pass your Windows 10 exam 70-697 with these top tips

 By Sarah Morgan


In January 2016, just six months after its release, it was estimated that Windows 10 was active on 200 million devices. This means Microsoft’s latest operating system is currently growing faster than any version of Windows ever. It is at the forefront of Microsoft’s cross-platform vision aimed at improving usability and reliability. Windows 10 runs on PCs, mobiles, tablets, servers and games consoles.


Image courtesy of Microsoft

The growing popularity of Windows 10 means businesses need people with the skills to install, configure, manage and troubleshoot the new operating system. This gives you a huge opportunity to get ahead of the curve and learn Windows 10 skills before the majority of other IT professionals. By passing the Windows 10 70-697 exam: Configuring Windows Devices, you'll achieve both the MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 certifications. These will prove to employers that you have advanced skills on the latest version of Windows. If you’re acting quickly to make the most of this opportunity, below are our five top tips to get you the necessary Windows 10 skills to pass your Windows 10 70-697 exam.


1. Use Microsoft Virtual Academy


Microsoft Virtual Academy has a huge amount and variety of resources aimed at helping you get the knowledge and skills to pass Microsoft exams and achieve Microsoft certifications. There are videos, articles and more to help you learn about Microsoft technologies. Plus many are aligned to Microsoft exams.

The new release of Windows 10 means there aren’t a great amount of resources. However there are a couple of videos and presentations that are extremely useful for helping you study for the Windows 10 70-697 exam. The first, “Getting started with Windows 10 for IT professionals” has 9 different sections all dedicated to teach you more about Windows 10. Titles include, “What’s new in Windows 10 deployment”, “Runtime provisioning in Windows 10” and “Windows as a service: What does it mean for you business?”. There’s also “Accelerate deployment of Windows 10 at scale”. This includes an hour long video that covers some of the key topics in the 70-967 exam.



Image courtesy of Microsoft

The Microsoft Virtual Academy is ideal for giving you information that can help with your preliminary exam preparation. It’ll familiarise you with the new features of Windows 10 and how it differs from previous operating systems.


2. Take a course


Learning from a course is the best way to make sure you cover all the content you need to be prepared for the exam. Courses are dedicated to giving you all the skills and knowledge you need, not only to pass the exam, but to be able to use them in your workplace.

Firebrand offers accelerated 6 day MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 courses that both prepare you to sit the 70-697 exam. Remember, you’ll achieve both certifications after you pass. As with all Firebrand courses, you’ll spend 6 days in an immersive classroom environment. You’ll learn from an official Microsoft instructor and bounce ideas off other students in the classroom. 


3. Take Practice tests


Practice tests are the best way to replicate the types of questions you’ll face in the real exam. They’ll also cover the full range of topics the exam could include. This’ll give you a better idea of what topics you’ll need to study. What is unique about practice tests is the immediate feedback they give you. This highlights any weaknesses you may have and gives you the chance to focus your studies in those areas.

MeasureUp is the official provider of Microsoft practice exams. It is one of the most extensive resources for IT certification practice tests, offering packages for a large range of exams.  You can find the Microsoft exam 70-697 practice exam here. This includes 119 questions to help you refine your knowledge on subjects like Windows desktop administration, maintenance and troubleshooting, Active Directory and Microsoft Intune. It then gives you thorough explanations about where you went wrong and how to improve.

MeasureUp’s 70-697 exam practice test costs £79 to buy. Alternatively, 60 and 30 day online versions are available for £72 and £66.

Firebrand also offer free and comprehensive practice tests for the 70-697 exam. You can access these on pages for MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10. You can also find practice tests for all of Firebrand’s other 200+ accelerated courses.


4. Use a revision guide


Getting a revision guide is crucial to studying successfully. They give you integral information about the exam topics. They’ll dissect complex technologies or theories giving you in-depth detail. Plus they’ll often indicate which sections require more focus than others. Here are our top recommendations for the 70-697 exam.

Microsoft’s official revision guides are often a great place to start and are closely aligned to the exam content. The revision guide for the 70-697 exam, “Exam Ref 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices” is no different. Written by Microsoft MVP, Andrew Bettany, it covers exam objectives including, plan desktop and device deployment, configure networking and storage and manage data access and protection. It also pushes you further with varied real-world scenarios that show you how your new knowledge can be used.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-1509303014.

A reliable alternative to Microsoft’s study guide is the “MCSA Microsoft Windows 10 Study Guide: Exam 70-697” by William Panek. This is also closely aligned to the latest version of the exam to make sure the information you get is as useful as possible. As well as including plenty of content on all of the exam topics, it also gives you access to the Sybex interactive online learning environment. This gives you extra online content and flashcards to expand and vary your studies. This book covers the exam content in a slightly different way that may suit your leaning style, with the possibility to learn online at times when you may not have the book with you.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is  978-1119252306.


5. Use a trial version


Downloading a trial version of Windows 10 Enterprise is the best way to practice and implement your Windows 10 knowledge. Combine this with a revision guide and you’ll be able to walkthrough each 70-697 exam topic, learning to manage each Windows 10 feature as you go. This’ll help make your learning more real, giving you an edge in the exam room. 

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.


Thursday, 24 March 2016

New SQL Server 2014 certification update

 By Sarah Morgan


When Microsoft launched SQL Server 2014, it was announced for the first time that there were no plans to update the MCSA SQL Server certification to align to the new technology. However, Microsoft did go on to include SQL Server 2014 content for the MCSE: Data Platform and MCSE Business Intelligence curriculum and exams.


MCSA: SQL Server update details


On February 17th 2016, the industry was surprised with changes to the MCSA: SQL Server exams announced via Larry Kaye on the Microsoft Born to Learn blog.

The MCSA: SQL Server exam will now include content and measure skills on SQL Server 2014 as well as 2012. This is to keep the certification relevant, proving database professionals skills on both versions of SQL Server.

The certification will now be re-branded to reflect the updates and will now be called MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014. The following exams, aligned to the certification, will now include the SQL Server 2014 content:

  • 70-461 : Querying Microsoft SQL Server
  • 70-462 : Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
  • 70-463 : Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server

How does this affect current MCSA: SQL Server 2012 holders?


While current MCSA: SQL Server 2012 holders will obviously not have studied SQL Server 2014 skills or practices, this update doesn’t require existing certification holders to take action. They will have their transcript updated to reflect the new name of the certification.


The future of SQL Server and the MCSA


Looking to the future, Microsoft SQL Server 2016 is on the horizon. Whilst Microsoft have not yet announced a planned release date, they have revealed some details and features SQL Server 2016 will likely bring, and you can check these out here. There is a completely new Microsoft MCSA: SQL Server 2016 certification to accompany the technology’s release date. This is likely to be available soon after the release of SQL Server 2016 itself.



About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 4 February 2016

10 tips to pass Microsoft’s MCSA 70-411 exam

 By Sarah Morgan


If you’re considering achieving the MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification, you’ll need to pass 3 exams 70-410, 70-411 and 70-412. Having launched our “10 tips to pass Microsoft’s MCSA 70-410 exam” today we focus on exam 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012. This exam proves your knowledge and skills in implementation and management of Microsoft Windows Server 2012’s components like Active Directory domain services, Group Policy, Remote Access and Update Management.

The 70-411 exam builds upon the fundamental skills demonstrated in the 70-410 exam and proves you can manage the majority of Windows Server 2012’s functions. Remember, you are required to pass all three exams before you are MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certified.

We’ve researched and compiled 10 tips that will help you get you the skills and knowledge to pass the second Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification exam, 70-411.

1. Use the Microsoft Virtual Academy


Microsoft’s Virtual Academy is one of the most useful resources Microsoft provides. Watch videos from Microsoft experts, giving you in-depth training and guidance on core Microsoft technologies. There are also online courses aligned to Microsoft exams. 

You can find resources for the MCSA: 70-411 exam here. This takes you through two substantial videos with all the insight into the details of the overview of the exam aims and contents. These videos also point you to, and talk you through the 70-411 exam page on the Microsoft Learning website. 

I’d recommend using the Microsoft Virtual Academy to prepare you for your studies. Once you know more about what you’ll be facing, you’ll be better placed to begin your studying and exam preparation.  

2. Use a revision guide


A revision guide is a must-have for any exam. It’ll guide you through your studies, highlighting which topics require more focus than others. Study guides often define terms you may not understand and explain theory with a high level of detail.

Don’t mess around searching for study guides, here’s our top recommendations. Like the 70-410 exam before it, Microsoft have a really useful official 70-411 exam revision guide called, “Exam Ref 70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012 R2 (MCSA)”. If you used Microsoft’s guide for the 70-410, this will continue nicely where the last left off, using a similar style. It is well structured to help you focus on each exam objective and also presents real-world scenarios to put your knowledge into context. And finally, published from Microsoft, you can trust that it contains all the information you need for the exam.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-0735684799.

An alternative 70-411 book is William Panek’s MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2 Complete Study Guide: Exams 70-410, 70-411, 70-412. It comes with weight as it’s written by one of Microsoft’s MVPs and covers all the topics in all three of the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification exams. This goes into extensive detail to improve your knowledge and prepare you for the 70-411 exam. Other features include hands-on exercises, practice exam questions, electronic flashcards and over two hours of video content. All of this creates a revision guide package that is perfect at improving your Windows Server 2012 knowledge in all the areas in the three exams.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-1118859919.

3. Join a forum


Sharing your Microsoft 70-411 exam queries and experiences can help you gain ideas and learn from others in the same position as yourself. Doing this in an online forum is easy, can be a well-earned break from revision and may surprise you in the amount of questions it answers. Take each answer with a pinch of salt – not everyone is an expert.

One of the best for Microsoft exams is TechNet’s forums. You can search for specific exam related questions, or look up general technology related queries. You could pose a direct question yourself, or use an existing thread with many responses and answers already available. There are many ways in which an online forum could be helpful to your 70-411 exam studies.

To point you in the right direction, here is a link to the Windows Server 2012 section and a link to the MCSA exams section.

4. Take a practice test

Practice tests are the closest you can get to a real exam. They’re designed to replicate the same question style and cover the same topics as the actual exam. This allows you to identify areas that may need more revision.

The best place to go for Microsoft practice exams is MeasureUp. They’re Microsoft official and have ample resources for all Microsoft exams. You can find the 70-411 practice exam package here, which contains 163 questions in total. Its features include a timed certification mode that mimics an exam scenario, a study mode that walks you through all topics and an instant score and break-down of how you’ve done to see where you need to improve.

You can buy the package for £79 or download 60 and 30 day editions costing £72 and £66 respectively.

5. Take a course


Sit down and learn from experts in the field, dedicated to building your Windows Server 2012 skills and knowledge putting you in the best position to pass your 70-411 exam. They get you hands-on with Windows Server 2012, whilst taking you step by step through the courseware. You’re also with like-minded students - who are a resource in themselves, as they tackle the same obstacles alongside you.

Firebrand offer a 9 day accelerated Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012 R2 course which covers all three exams, of course including the 70-411. 

There’s no better way to help you get certified than taking time out to study and giving it 100% of your time and attention, especially when you combine a course with some of our other tips and resources.

6. Avoid brain dumps


It is important to remember that if found using brain dumps, you will be disqualified from exams. They are a false economy, teaching you to cheat in order to pass, rather than focusing on building the skills and knowledge required to pass. Make sure you steer clear of 70-411 brain dumps. They’re not a good way to invest your learning efforts. Even if you pass, you’ll not have learned the skills the certification aims to teach you, meaning you won’t be able to put these into practice in your job. 

7. Download a trial version of the software


You can get hands-on with a trial version of Windows Server 2012. Put your knowledge into practice, reinforcing your learning of administering Windows Server 2012. Using all the Windows Server 2012 features, you’ll discover things you didn’t in your studies, that’ll be handy in your exam.

To make it more relevant, I’d recommend combining your exploration of the trial version with a study guide and the exam objectives. This’ll help you focus on the commands, switches and parameters used for Windows Server 2012 administration.



8. Join a study group


Study groups are useful for connecting with other students sitting the 70-411 exam. Learn from how others are tackling their studies. They may have tips that could be useful to your study method. Collaboration is always helpful when it comes to studying.

One of the biggest study groups for Microsoft certifications can be found on the Born to Learn blog. Here is the link to the MCSA: 70-411 exam study group. This is where you can find an extensive list of resources to refer to, as well as forums and discussions where you can interact with others.


9. Do some practice labs


If you’re looking to try out Windows Server 2012, but don’t yet feel confident enough to attempt the practices in the 70-411 exam, a practice lab is for you. It is based around guided learning so you can take on the tasks in a safe environment, removing the danger of anything going badly wrong.

MeasureUp’s 70-411 practice lab costs £98, but completing the lab means you’ll have done all the skills the 70-411 exam covers. There’s 16 hours of material and you’re able to go through it at your own pace. If you like to learn practically, this could be invaluable preparation. 

You may already be aware of TechNet’s 31 Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual labs. Although there isn’t one specifically for the 70-411 exam, they are all free and many of these cover topics that overlap with 70-411 exam content – like this one on configuring and managing servers.


10. Download a study app


Revision for your 70-411 exam has not escaped the modern world of the smartphone. Study apps have 70-411 exam resources to help you revise at your convenience. They do not have the extensive resources that a study guide can give you, but are fantastic for revising on the go, or when you’re away from home or the office. The three below are some of the best currently available and all have specific 70-411 sections:

  • Transcender
    • A highly customisable app allowing you to tailor your studying and has a setting to replicate the exam environment and style of questions.
  • uCertify
    • One of the most extensive libraries of practice questions plus a well-structured study guide to assist you through your exam practice.
  • Pass-Guaranteed
    • Another app with a collection of outstanding practice questions. This is because you can customise the type of questions you face, to vary your exam practice.
 About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 22 January 2016

Planned Microsoft exam retirements for 2016








The next generation of Microsoft technologies are fast approaching General Availability. Windows Server 2016, System Center 2016 and SharePoint 2016 are all expected to arrive throughout 2016.

As is the way with new technologies, existing versions are soon rendered legacy. Demand for the skills to manage these legacy technologies disappear as they are replaced, with the associated exams and certifications retired to the archives.

With that in mind, we take a look at the planned Microsoft exam retirements in 2016.


Windows exams

With launch of Windows 10, we'll now witness the planned retirement of exams aligned to the MCSA: Windows 8 certification track. Exams 70-687 and 70-688 have been granted an extension to July 2016, forming an integral part of the new MCSA: Windows 10.

After this date we'll see a new Windows 10 exam, creating a 'pure' route to MCSA: Windows 10.

The retirement of exams 70-689 and 70-692 end the upgrade path from old Microsoft certifications and technologies to MCSA Windows 8. These include but are not restricted to MCDST: Windows XP, MCSE: Windows Server 2003, MCSA: Windows 7 and MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7. Expect this upgrade path to now align to MCSA Windows 10 with new exams later this year.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows 8


Windows Server exams

This year sees the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification retire, with exams 70-415 and 70-416 becoming obsolete. As the focus for professionals in this area moves towards device and app management, MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps is the recommended alternative.

We'll likely see Windows Server 2012 exams joining the planned retirement list towards the back end of the year, as MCSA: Windows Server 2016 makes an appearance sometime in June-August, 2016.

Retiring on January 31, 2016
70-415: Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure
70-416: Implementing Desktop Application Environments

Retiring on July 31, 2016
98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

Certifications retired:
MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure
MTA: Windows Server Administration

SharePoint exams

Now six years old, we see the planned retirement of the SharePoint 2010 MCTS and MCITP exams. The following exams have had a six month extension of life from a planned January 31, 2016 end date.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications
70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator

Certifications affected/retiring:
MCTS / MCITP SharePoint 2010 Configuring / Administrator
MCTS / MCPD SharePoint 2010 Developer

SQL Server exams

The following retirements will mark the end of SQL server certification upgrade paths for the 2008 platform. IT pros looking to upgrade from SQL Server 2008 MCITP and MCTS certifications to the new MCSA and MCSE credentials will need to find an alternate pathway. 

Retiring on January 31, 2016
70-459: Transition Your MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform
70-460: Transition Your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-432: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
70-448: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
70-457: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2

Certifications retiring:
MCITP Database Administrator - SQL Server 2008
MCITP Business Intelligence Developer - SQL Server 2008
Upgrade to MCSA SQL Server

Microsoft Dynamics exams

With the launch of Dynamics CRM 2016 in December 2015, this is the third software upgrade since Dynamics CRM 2011. It's unsurprising therefore that we see the retirement of the final exams associated to the platform.

Exams retiring on January 31, 2016
MB2-866: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization and Configuration
MB2-867: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Installation and Deployment
MB2-868: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Applications
MB2-876: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Certifications retiring:
Dynamics CRM 2011
Dynamics CRM 2011 Online
Dynamics CRM Developer 2011

Exchange and Exchange Server exams

Released in October 2015, the new Exchange Server 2016 puts the 2010 platform two cycles out of date. With this we see some of the last MCITP and MCTS certifications disappearing, soon to join the annals of certification history. 

Retiring on January 31, 2016
70-662: TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring
70-663: PRO: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange

Certifications retiring:
MCITP Enterprise Messaging Administrator
MCTS Exchange Server 2010


Lync exams

Another technology launch in October 2015, we saw the rise of Sykpe for Business Server and the demise of Lync Server. The retirement of exams 70-366 and 70-337 will see the MCSE: Communication certification upgraded, as new exams covering Skype for Business are incorporated.

The following four exams have enjoyed a stay of execution having been planned for retirement in November, 2015.

Retiring on March 30, 2016
74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment
74-338: Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer
70-336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013
70-337: Enterprise Voice & Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013

Certifications affected:
MCSE: Communication (Lync Server)


Visual Studio and .NET exams

With the transition to .NET 4.5 in October 2012, 4 years on, it seems only right that the exams aligned to .NET 4 begin to retire. This marks the mass transition away from the now somewhat obselete framework.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-490: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
70-491: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

98-379: Software Testing Fundamentals

Certifications affected/retiring:
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Data Access
MTA Software Testing Fundamentals

Other exams
Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-673: TS: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management (SAM)


Author Profile


As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 5 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.