Exams for Dynamics CRM 2016 and 2015 Update 1

Microsoft have just released details of several exams for Dynamics CRM 2016. Let’s take a look at what new exams are available, and how they have changed from their previous versions.

Note that on every page of exam objectives you will see this disclaimer in bold text: “Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.”. You should also read this article in the same context – I have no inside knowledge here (and if I did, I could not share it), so I am basing all my tips on the published, available information.

“Applications”

The “Applications” courses and exams keep changing. The training went from a three-day course for CRM 4.0 to four separate one-day courses for 2011 (Marketing, Sales, Service, Service Management), then this dropped to two one-day courses for CRM 2013 (Sales and Service). Throughout all of this the exam remained a single “Applications” exam, up until MB2-704 “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Application”. This exam title has no version number but is clearly aimed at CRM 2015, or CRM Online of the same internal version and timeframe.

Now the exam has been split into two parts and the version number is explicitly stated once more. I think splitting it is a good thing in order to properly test candidates on the breadth of the application, which has continued to grow with each new release of features and functionality. It also means you can focus on one area at a time or indeed take only one of the exams if you work only in one particular field (perhaps supporting a vertical application). You can see what the learning objectives are at these pages:

MB2-713 Dynamics CRM 2016 Sales

MB2-714 Dynamics CRM 2016 Service

If you need to get up to date quickly with all the changes in the sales and service modules of CRM 2015, and the extra new things added for 2016, why not contact CRM Masters for a day or two of expert training?

Customization and Configuration

First a quick note about exam MB2-707 Dynamics CRM Customization and Configuration. This exam (for CRM 2015) has changed since it was first released in January 2015. It took a while, but it seems that the list of objectives has been updated to reflect new features in CRM Online Update 1 (Spring ’15 release). So what changed there?

As I mentioned in my article this time last year (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Exams), this exam included objectives about calculated and rollup fields which were new for 2015 (compared to 2013), but did not mention hierarchical security or hierarchy visualisations. It now includes references to a few more new or updated features:

  • Work with relationship hierarchy visualization (I assume this means know how to configure this for a system or custom entity, and how this appears in the UI, how to modify the “tile” used – hint: it’s a new Form type)
  • Identify entities for which hierarchical views are available, create hierarchical views (note, some system entities are already enabled and can be turned off, other system entities are not enable but can be enabled for specific OOB relationships, custom entities can be enabled)
  • Manage mobile forms (not new, but do note that the detailed bullets are actually talking about forms for Tablets, not “Mobile” forms for the phone client. So it could be that questions in this area have been updated to reflect changes to the tablet form limitations. No specific mention of phone client, but I would expect there could be questions on that too)
  • Business Process Flows – describe branching logic for guided processes (new, much requested feature)
  • Apply AND/OR, IF…THEN…ELSE logic in Business Rules (again, important new feature to be familiar with)

So if you are yet to take the exam for 2015 (and do not feel ready to tackle the 2016 version), make sure to have practiced and be comfortable with the topics above.

Now on to MB2-712 Dynamics CRM 2016 Customization and Configuration. Again, notice the version number has returned so it is clear what to expect on this exam. There are several new areas in the objectives to be aware of, both in terms of new features and some things that have previously been left out. The rule of thumb in the past has always been – if it is on the exam, it is covered by the training course (this is not true for non-Dynamics subjects such as SQL Server or Exchange). But there are no longer any official instructor-led classroom courses for CRM, so this has meant a bit more freedom for the exam-writing process.

Previously in order to write a particular training “product” for a given timeframe, such as Customization and Configuration as a three day course, the scope had to be set to make this realistic to teach in that time. So in some cases compromises had to be made in terms of content. Over time, as new features were added to the product, topics were cut from the course to make room for newer material – gone are the days of doing some simple JavaScript or configuring various system settings, in favour of auditing, charts, access teams, business rules etc.

This exam seems to have a much broader scope than the previous version, including things such as System Settings and Workflows. It remains to be seen how detailed the questions are for these areas, or whether they are quite high level. Despite covering more ground, the learning objectives are now described in much less detail than before resulting in a shorter page but with much less clarity as to where the weighting really lies. In particular, Solutions is lumped together with forms, views and visualisations for a total weighting of 24%. It is not clear how this would be divided up, which I think makes it much harder for a test-taker to decide where to focus their efforts.

New topics that I could spot amongst the overall description (italics for new content within an existing topic):

  • Configure Dynamics CRM Settings – including document management and collaboration, configure email (I can only assume the email configuration is quite high level; this is not a deployment or installation exam. I take “collaboration” to mean Yammer and/or Office 365 Groups)
  • Manage Security Hierarchy
  • Create Alternate Keys
  • Work with hierarchical data
  • Implement form customisations and mobile clients (as above, no clarity on which clients, but assume tablet and phone clients are covered here)
  • Use Themes
  • Configure Business Rules, conditions, and actions (conditions is a new topic if you learned 2015 and took the exam before the Spring Update, but easy enough to learn or you will already know this stuff if you are working with current online deployments)
  • Implement and manage Workflows, Dialogs, and Custom Actions includes Implement Workflows, identify Workflow types, implement Dialogs and Custom Actions; identify when to use Business Process Flows, Workflow Dialogs (sic) and Custom Actions. (I agree it is useful to have a good understanding of the use cases for these different process types, where they fit and how to create them. Not sure how much can be easily tested on detail of actually writing them adding steps etc. Custom Actions is particularly sneaky in this exam since in 2013 you could only call them from code, but now can call them from Workflows so you might not have done much with them).
  • Understand Business Process Flows…stages and categories, work with multiple entities, use conditional branching (Categories was not called out explicitly before but was implied in the overall understanding of BPFs, I expect to be asked how to change the category list in the global option set for this. You could use multiple entities in 2013, but the limitation of 1:N relationships and re-using a previous entity are now lifted. Conditional branching is new to Spring ’15 update, so update your skills if you have not done so already)

Overall, I think the new customisation exam has a good set of learning objectives. It will be interesting to find out how well a short exam can cover such as broad range of topics.

If you want to get your customisation skills up to date quickly and find out all about the new features in CRM 2015 Update 1 and CRM 2016, you could sign up for one our scheduled courses at CRM Masters, or get in touch about us coming to train a group of people on your own premises.

Online Deployment

There is another new exam MB2-710 Dynamics CRM Online Deployment, not to be confused with MB2-706 Dynamics CRM Online Deployment, of course!

CRM Online does have version numbers, and obviously these are used in any discussion of features, releases, updates etc. But to keep in line with the “branding”, the exams for Online Deployment have no version number in their name. So if you are scheduling this exam, make sure to take the one you are prepared for, and in most cases I would suggest to take the latest version, especially if you are concerned with your CV being up to date, or using your exams towards a Partner Competency for as long as possible.

They do seem to have sorted out the complaints about this exam now. Gone are the subjects about hardware and software requirements, AD groups and so on, with the emphasis shifted towards supported clients, O365 and ADFS (if you are doing SSO). There seems to be more detail about tenants and instances, and the cadence of online updates and how to manage them, while the old “Upgrade” topics have gone. Managing users, email, and the various clients (Outlook, tablets, phones) are all still covered.

There is now a brief mention of some “light” customisation topics:

Customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
Create new fields; modify values for option sets; modify entity forms; create new entities and reports; modify views and dashboards

This is only one sub-topic of a heading with a total weighting of 10-15%, so don’t expect this to be very detailed.

Lync, SharePoint and Yammer were only mentioned in passing on the old exam objectives; these and more are now covered in a whole section titled “Manage related services”, worth 10-15%:

  • Describe related services
    Identify related online services; integrate Microsoft Social Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online; manage campaigns with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
  • Integrate Yammer and SharePoint Online
    Describe Yammer and SharePoint Online; identify SharePoint Online integration types; describe the integration process
  • Integrate OneNote, Skype, Skype for Business, Office 365 Groups, and OneDrive for Business
    Compare Dynamics CRM Notes and OneNote; identify storage location for OneNote notebooks; configure OneNote integration; integrate Skype and Skype for Business; identify limitations for Skype and Skype for Business; describe Office 365 Groups; identify requirements for Office 365 Groups; integrate Office 365 Groups with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Overall, a sensible update to this exam which more closely matches the job description of someone implementing CRM Online. I suspect this will be harder for people to coast through based on old knowledge, and will properly test your understanding of some of the new technologies around CRM.

Marketing

The old exam MB2-720 Functional Application in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing has been retired and entirely replaced by a new exam last year MB2-709 Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. This takes account of the many changes to the features available in MDM, and includes the topic of integrating CRM and MDM.

Share!

If you have taken any of these exams and have some experience to share (without breaking your exam NDA), or have things to ask about taking these or other Microsoft exams please join in via the comments.

Asking for copies of the questions or trying to advertise brain dump sites will get you marked as a spammer and I might forward your details (including IP address) to Microsoft for good measure. I do not tolerate exam cheats; it just erodes the value of the certification for those us who work hard for it.

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.

26 Responses to Exams for Dynamics CRM 2016 and 2015 Update 1

  1. Hosk says:

    Awesome post

    Excellent job marking out the differences compared to the last exam.

    It will be interesting to see what the exams are like the last customization exam I felt the questions were the most confusing of all the CRM customization exam (CRM4, CRM 2011, CRM 2013 and CRM 2015)

    Microsoft do have courses for the exams but they are now primarily video based. I find trying to watch technical videos outside of work extremely difficult. I wish they still had the excellent PDF learning files because you could skip the parts you knew and focus on the bits you didn’t but with videos this isn’t possible.

    • Ben, in the new Dynamics Learning Portal (DLP) you can still download the course slides for you to view offline, from under the “Resources” tab of the course. For example, CRM 2016 Customization and Configuration course has a 52MB zip full of PowerPoint decks that you can use as a reference.

      • ukcrmguru says:

        Good tip, Jukka.
        Of course, this is still only any use for partners or for customers who can afford a service plan. Smaller customers, not-for-profits and others are still struggling to access good quality training without reading hundreds of separate fragmented blog articles or YouTube videos.

    • ukcrmguru says:

      Thanks Ben.
      This is exactly why CRM Masters created our “delta” courses, so you can spend a short time just focussing on the stuff that is new, without wasting time or brain energy on re-treading things you already know. Figuring out the differences between the learning objectives is an important part of planning our courses. While some people want to learn “everything” that is new, others want to make sure they are hitting the key points to ensure exam success.
      Our modular approach means you can also get focussed training on areas that you perhaps need to polish up on, such as a deep dive into security (all aspects, how it works under the hood, and performance considerations too), or processes, or charts (and chart XML) – or any single topic that you need more hep with. Take a look at what we have to offer: http://www.CRMMasters.co.uk

  2. I just wrote MB2-712 (Customization and Config for CRM 2016) and you article very accurately describes what is tested, along with the standard stuff that goes back to CRM 3.0. Hard to comment and hope not breaking any NDA, but I think its safe to say there is an emphasis on security and mobile stuff.

    I also wrote MB2-706 (Dynamics CRM Online Deployment), that one seemed harder. One should know their CRM for Outlook specifications, troubleshooting techniques and setup options quite well.

    What I like about having to write a new set of exams is that it forces you to review a certain set of features and updates that you might not otherwise need to drill into if they are not part of your current projects.

    That being said, $150US a pop with the crappy exchange rate (Canadian), you want to make sure you pass!

  3. Julian Sharp says:

    Adam

    Great post and a good summary of the changes. I have been trying to make the same point that as there is no MOC the scope and depth of the exams has changed so you really need to know the subjects now

    I plan to take MB2-712 today and MB2-710 on Tuesday

  4. Matt Collins says:

    I’ve just booked to do MB2-712 next week (after passing MB2-707 last month with thanks to Adam and his training course) so this blog post is a great resource to understand the differences and areas i should brush up on. Thanks!

    • ukcrmguru says:

      Well done on 707, good luck with 712!

      • Matt Collins says:

        Hi, I passed MB2-712 yesterday. I found the exam more difficult than the previous one (MB2-707), but maybe that means i should brush up in certain areas. This post is a good resource for people looking to pass this exam. Thank you!

  5. lazer30 says:

    Hi @ ukcrmguru, Regarding the Customization & Configuration 2016 Certification, do you know where on the internet I can find the additional topics ~ i.e. DELTA ~ for 2015 & 2016 on the internet, or is it in the SDK?

    Also, on a different note, could I take your company’s course from Toronto? Thanks!!

  6. lazer30 says:

    Hey Guys, could you let me know please ~ were there many questions on Charts & Dashboards, and what I need to focus on regarding Charts & Dashboards? Thanks!!

    • ukcrmguru says:

      Sorry, but to tell you anything about what questions I had specifically would be in breach of NDA. Charts and Dashboards are covered in the objectives laid out for the exam (link above).

      As a trainer I would suggest you make sure you know what options are available and what limitations apply (chart types, how many series, how many categories, aggregation methods, date grouping, using top/bottom rules, types of dashboard component, number of items, differences between personal and system components, sharing…)

  7. Lee Mather says:

    Hello, I’m not in a partner organisation but would like to get hold of the training documents for mb2-707. Could you please let me know where I can get the MOC and other training docs for this course.

    Ta in advance

    Lee

    • lazer30 says:

      Hey @ Lee Maher, I’m independent, and also do not belong to a MS Partner Org, so getting access to adequate training, or collating all the info from various sources (MSDN, TechNet, etc) is always a big challenge!! In fact, I think many training companies no longer offer printed manuals… Cheers & Good Luck!

  8. lazer30 says:

    Hey Guys…

    Regarding the NEW version of the MB2-707 Customization & Configuration (CRM 2015) exam, without violating any NDA, could you please let me know the percentage delta of new topics from the OLD MB2-707 exam?

    @ukcrmguru summarized them at the top — Calculated & Rollup fields, Hierarchical Security, Hierarchy Visualizations, Manage Mobile Forms, Business Process Flows (branching logic), and Business Rules (OR & IF THEN ELSE).

    I’d just like to know approximately how many questions there are in the NEW MB2-707 covering said new topics.

    Much obliged & thanks!!

    • ukcrmguru says:

      No can do.
      a) I can’t remember what was on 707 when I took it over a year ago
      b) I have not taken the new version of 707, but have taken 712
      c) that would violate NDA quite clearly.

      Bear in mind some of the “new” material for the new 707 is simply a change to old things. So if a question asked how you do a logical OR in a Business Rule, the old answer is to have two rules for the two conditions. The new answer is to use an OR in the condition. No more questions, just different answers to prove you are up to date.

      General impression of the 712 exam is that you are expected to have a much broader knowledge of customising CRM than ever before (I have taken this exam for 4.0, 2011, 2013, 2015 and now 2016). So you might not get many questions on some old or new topics, but of course the point is even if you get only two questions on a subject area, you will have no idea which two they will be.

  9. lazer30 says:

    Hey Guys, Hope you don’t mind me posting that I PASSED!! But only the MB2-707 Customization & Configuration 2015 exam. Albeit it’s an older certification, but what the heck, at least now I can say “YES ~ I’m Certified in MS Dynamics CRM”! 🙂

    I’m an independent and don’t belong to a MS Partner so it’s challenging to collate information spanning many different topics & websites not even knowing exactly what to gather or study, so I got very panicky and SCARED away from MB2-712 based on CRM 2016! Maybe if I can manage to arrange & collate all the 2016 information I can pass that later, but NOW I’m doing Form Scripting, Extending, SDK, Plugins, etc.

    For around a week I scrounged the internet for any & all material I could muster together for 2015, including Calculated & Rollup Fields, some other stuff, and followed @ukcrmguru’s advice:: “So if you are yet to take the exam for 2015 (and do not feel ready to tackle the 2016 version), make sure to have practiced and be comfortable with the topics above”. After a few days I got sick of studying so just went for it! I am however a bit disappointed I scored only 825. What is the Maximum score ~ anyone know?

    Passing was a HUGE RELIEF. Also, it’s cool how you can transfer the Certification and Logo directly to LinkedIn 🙂

    THANKS for all your help!! I also need to thank those guys @TravelKevCrm and @Hosk but not certain where they are… The World’s Your Oyster so to speak!!

    PS >>> I find that TechNet and MSDN include more clear, concise, direct, and professional, authoring & writing over the MOCs.

  10. Englert says:

    For me, especially the integration of Office 365 groups in CRM is cool. With the function information about the company or sales opportunities for team members now can share.
    Unfortunately, like the many companies do not like that is with you?

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