MS Dynamics CRM 2011 Certification Tracks and Exams
June 7, 2011 13 Comments
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):
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.