MS Dynamics CRM 2011 Certification Tracks and Exams

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Update Feb 2012: I’ve written a much newer article bring up to date all the information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 training courses and exams in one place here: CRM 2011 Training Update 2012

I see lots of people asking about the CRM 2011 certification track, exams and courses and although most of this information is available, it is not very well linked together. So, to try and get things straight and written down in one place, here’s my take on “how to get certified in CRM 2011”.

Individual CRM 2011 exams

There are three core exams already available for CRM 2011, very similar in concept to their 4.0 equivalents, and the details of what is required for each one are on these pages (and their various tabs for skills measured, preparation materials etc):

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

The fourth exam “Extending Dynamics CRM 2011” is not yet available, but it is planned for release in August, and I’ll update this page once details are up on the Microsoft Learning website. Update: the details for Course 80295A Extending MS Dynamics CRM 2011 are now available.

Technology Specialist and IT Professional Tracks

Passing any one of the CRM 4.0 or CRM 2011 exams will earn you a “”Microsoft Dynamics Certified Technology Specialist” (aka MCTS or just TS) accreditation. TS certification is available for a whole range of current Microsoft technologies, they are not specific to Dynamics or CRM.

Passing a combination of exams for CRM 4.0 along with related technologies such as SQL, Windows server 2008 or .NET would get you a “Microsoft Certified IT Professional” (aka MCITP or IT Pro) accreditation, specifically for Applications, Installation and Deployment or Developer tracks. Full details of what combinations of core and elective exams can be used for CRM 4 are on this Microsoft Learning page for Dynamics CRM. Note that in some cases you would have to pass exams in old versions of various things, such as Vista, or “Deploying Business Desktops with Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Office 2003”. Annoyingly, there was no way to cover the same elective with an equivalent exam in a newer technology such as Windows 7 or Office 2007 (or 2010).

Unfortunately that page has not yet been updated to show the combinations which will give the equivalent IT Pro qualifications for CRM 2011, although many of the individual 2011 pages point there, presumably in anticipation of it getting changed soon.

Update 24th July: The layout of the pages for MCTS and MCITP for Dynamics have been substantially changed, which means a) I expect the new information for the MCITP tracks will be there very soon and b) I can’t link directly to the most relevant part of the page because they use lots of expanding/collapsing sections.

Further update: although the Applications track for CRM 4 was updated a while ago, and the Installation one has now been updated to include SQL server (see below), they have still not published the requirements for 2011 as of October 7th.

However, on the individual exam pages it does give some hint of which MCITP tracks each one counts towards, so we do have some insight here if you join up the dots. To make things simple, here’s my take on what to expect based on figuring out and reading between the lines of what is published, and some sensible guesswork about related electives on current versions (note: this is not an official version, just my own conclusions).

IT Pro Applications

You can use MB2-866 (Customization) and MB2-868 (Applications) as credit towards this, according to the exam pages. If 2011 follows the same structure as CRM 4.0, this will probably be 868 as a required exam and 866 as an elective, probably with 70-432 (SQL Server 2008) and 70-680 (Windows 7 configuration) as alternatives.

I’m hoping they will get right up to date and include 70-681 (Deploying Windows 7 and Office 2010) as an option as well, rather than the out-dated Vista and Office 2007 equivalent. The requirement seems likely to remain as one core exam with no choice, and two electives out of three or four choices, so you can gain an IT Pro with only three exam passes this way, although many claim that the Applications exam can be one of the hardest CRM passes because of the breadth of knowledge required.

IT Pro Developer

866 Customization counts as credit here, and will almost certainly be one of the two required exams, along with “Extending Dynamics CRM 2011” (no choice), for which full details have not yet been released (as mentioned above, this is due in August).

868 Applications will be one of the possible electives (two required) along with a selection of .Net exams (possibly on v3.5 only, not 2.0, and already-retired exams are unlikely to count). If this is similar to the CRM 4.0 Developer track, SQL exams won’t count as electives here.

IT Pro Installation and Deployment

One required exam, 867 Installation (which does not count towards any other MCITP), and three electives for a total of four passes makes this similar to Developer in scope. Electives cover the more common system administration “IT pro” subjects, so expect to see current version exams here such as 70-662 Configuring Exchange 2010, or Windows Server 2008 exams 70-642, 70-643 or 70-647.

The CRM 4.0 track did not count SQL exams here either, which I always found a little odd. News: The CRM 4 tracks have been updated, first they showed changes to the Applications track and now the Installation and Deployment track includes SQL Server 2008 or 2005 exams as possible electives (exams 70-432 and 70-431 respectively). This means it looks pretty certain that SQL 2008 will count as an elective for the new tracks, but not 2005 since that version of SQL is not supported for CRM 2011

What about SharePoint?

In CRM 4.0 there was no real built-in integration with SharePoint, so although course 80141A Integrating CRM 4.0 and SharePoint Server 2007 covered this subject, there was no exam and it therefore did not count towards any of the MCITP tracks. Conversely, regular SharePoint skills and exams could not be used as electives since this was not a core component of the CRM platform.

With much closer integration now being part of the out-of-the-box solution, I expect we will see the SharePoint 2010 Configuration exam 70-667 added as an elective for the MCITP Applications or Installation tracks or possibly both, as this is just as valid a part of the toolset of a CRM consultant as Exchange skills (and certainly more relevant than how to configure Vista!).

Training for CRM 2011

I’ve written a follow-up post about the CRM 2011 MOC courses which are available to give you the knowledge to pass the above exams as well as the additional ones covering extra skills for using CRM 2011 in the real world.

Have you started your training for CRM 2011 yet? Do have any experiences to share about any of the new exams (within NDA of course)? Are you already working with 2011 but not re-certified yet? When are you planning on upgrading your certificates? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About ukcrmguru
I'm an MVP for Dynamics CRM, consultant, Microsoft Certified Trainer and self-confessed geek. I also lead the UK CRM User group when I'm not too busy with all that.

13 Responses to MS Dynamics CRM 2011 Certification Tracks and Exams

  1. Hana Collins says:

    Hi Adam,
    My name is Hana. I am a functional CRM consultant. I am certified in 3.0 Application,4.0 Applications, and Customizations. I am working on 2011 version now. I got my Sonoma book Working with MS Dynamics 2011, the free trial on my laptop and I am getting ready for the exams. I am planning to get certified at the end of August. Have you taken any of them yet?

  2. WilyFox says:

    Hi – I am new to CRM2011, having never used CRM 4.0 or any other mainstream CRM package before. I started on our CRM project in December 2010, which went live in production in March 2011. I had some helpful assistance from a CRM consultant to speed me on my way. I wrote and passed 866 Customization in July, and will probably do the Applications one next. Certifications are helpful to round out my knowledge. My study material was the internet, CRM itself, and a couple of CRM2011 books (there aren’t many available!). I booked the exam on impulse, and spent about 2 weeks (after work) brushing up my skills.

    Sydney, Australia

    • Adam Vero says:

      Great to hear about your success – congratulations!
      Applications is considered by many to be one of the toughest of the exams, particularly if you are using your real world experience as a basis for your knowledge and then “topping it up” with information from books and web sources. The problem usually lies in areas of CRM which you may not be making much use of in your day to day work for your real life business model – in some companies that might be service management (Cases), in others maybe sales quotations (using the Product Catalogue), or marketing (using Campaigns) or measuring performance (using Goals). Other things like email templates, saving personal views, sales literature, knowledgebase articles, even Outlook integration may be things you have not done much with, depending on your particular deployment.

      Good luck with all your exams, hopefully I’ll find some time soon for some follow up posts about how the courses map to the exam objectives (especially for MB2-868 Apps – detailing which course ticks which area of the “objective domain”).

    • Temi says:

      Hi wilyfox, what books did you use to prepare for the exams? Iintedn to write the CRM 2011 installation and deployment. Cheers

  3. Barry says:

    Hi Temi, I am new to CRM as well and studying towards the Applications exam. I found two books in Microsoft Press. Working With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Step By Step. I hope these are helpful and you pass your exams.

  4. Pingback: CRM 2011 Training courses update 2012

  5. Mike says:

    Hello Adam and contributors,

    My name is Mike and I have just began to study for the MB2-868 Dynamics CRM 2011 Applications exam. I have a consulting background and am proficient in a number of technical areas, however I have little to no experience with Microsoft Dynamics 4.0 or 2011. I purchased Dynamics CRM 2011 Unleashed and I am debating picking up a few more books. There are only about 5 that appear to be relavent to my situation as far as I can tell. Is it worth the money to invest in the Microsoft eLearning courses? There are 4 that range from $150 to $250. Does anyone have any advice that can help me succeed? Is there any rule of thumb to help me plan out my study time (i.e. Novice = 100hrs study time?)? Clearly, I have no clue. Any sage advice for the weary would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    • Adam Vero says:

      Mike
      Great question! For learning how to use the application if you have no prior experience, a good starting point is the Microsoft Press CRM 2011 “Step by Step” book. This is aimed squarely at end-users and covers marketing sales and service aspects, albeit not in enough detail to come close to being exam prep.
      The Unleashed book, like the “Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible” and “Working with Dynamics CRM 2011” are all aimed really at system implementers, customisers and super-users. These are all great titles in their own right, and useful grounding for the Customisation exam (866) as well as for later reference and moving into areas of development beyond 866. None of these is ideal for training prep for 868 which focuses entirely on out-of-the-box functionality – ie generally things you can do without having system customiser/admin rights.

      Sign up for a Trial of CRM Online (I would suggest setting up a new Live ID just for this to keep separate from other uses of IDs or hotmail accounts you already have). Once you are signed up, through the Resource Center area of CRM (bottom left) you will have access to loads of training materials, including the e-learning and pdf copies of the classroom-based courses just like any other customer, but only for the duration of the trial (note the e-learning is the same material as the instructor-led training, but delivered in a different format so you click through labs as flash demos, rather than actually using the application).
      There is really no substitute for instructor-led classroom training (I would say that, being an MCT of course!) – you get an expert to explain things, you get your hands on to actually try things out and can ask questions which relate to your own specific needs, and you get to keep the training materials, now covered with your own scribbled notes and answers.
      A good starting point might be 80442 – Introduction to MS Dynamics CRM. This is a one day course with broad coverage but obviously limited depth in such a short space of time.
      An alternative would be the four one-day administration course described above, although I realise this involves a more significant investment. Try looking out for late-booking rates at your nearest training center; in many cases once they have hit the minimum numbers for a course they will be happy to get any extra seats in the last week even at bargain basement prices to get the additional profit.

      How long to study? It depends. I had never seen or touched CRM when I got involved in a project to deliver end-user training on Office 2007 upgrade and CRM 4.0 functionality to support a rollout of both together. About two and a half months after first laying sight on the software I took time out and paid for myself to go on the four days Applications training, then two weeks later took and passed the exam. Apart from working alongside consultants and users during the UAT phase they were already in, I was devouring every online blog and resource I could find in my spare time. This was a highly customised implementation, which actually worked against me for the exams as I knew how this one system worked, not how it normally did. Also we were not using areas such as service scheduling at all (they had GP for that side of the business) and for the most part the product catalogue was unused as well (their business model was complex so they used an existing system to generate Quotes and jumped from Opportunity to Orders using mostly write-in products on the Orders).

      So I spent about 28 hours in the classroom, and probably the same again afterwards on revision and preparation for the exam. But I also spent about another 200 hours in front of the application in some way shape or form, but maybe only half of that time was directly helpful to gaining and practicing the skills for the exam. Total of 150 hours or so maybe? But boosted by the four day course (far more learned in those four days than if I had done this for myself – thanks Simon!) and by being surrounded by others working on a project. I guess it depends on how much time you can set aside at any one time – lots of half hour blocks won’t be as useful as several 2-3 hour chunks. Being able to focus purely on the course material and exam objectives will help a lot too.

      Hope this helps – now go get working on that exam prep!
      Adam

  6. pmdci says:

    It seems that Microsoft is really having a hard time with the whole MCITP path for Dynamics CRM 2011. It has been almost one month since I asked them about MCT and MCITP status for Dynamics CRM 2011 and they’re still to get back to me on this one. I even emailed Sarah Grant about this issue and she acknowledges that it is a problem; but nothing else has been done about it.

    This is really frustrating and I can’t help but feel that I’ve been ripped off.

  7. Abdoul says:

    Hello Adam, I just graduated college and will be working on dynamics at my job. I therefore decided to take the certification. I believe in my case taking the MB2-867 would be a good start and then 866 and 868. I want to know if that’s a good way to approach it. And also I would like to know what books or training should I take to be successful

    • Barry says:

      Hi Abdoul,

      As a fellow CRM graduate I started off with 866, then 867 and finally 868 and doing the installation and customisation exams before you tackle applications has really helped me. The applications exam is difficult to pass without knowing the crm 2011 system in depth (don’t expect to parrot learn and pass is what I’m saying). The standard training that comes with the 866 and 867 really does help a lot. For the 868 there is a lot to try take in over four days and reading through the manuals plus going through the system more than once is definitely key in understanding the system.

      Hope this helps.

  8. Abdoul says:

    is Dynamics Certification provided by any other vendor(s) than Microsoft. If yes what these vendors? Thanx

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